"Iraq Liberation Act" introduced into Congress
Iraq News, SEPTEMBER 29, 1998By Laurie Mylroie
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I. S.2525/HR 4655, "IRAQ LIBERATION ACT OF 1998," SEPT 29 II. SEN. TRENT LOTT, STATEMENT ON S.2525, SEPT 29 III. SEN. BOB KERRY, FLOOR SPEECH ON S. 2525, SEPT 29 IV. SEN. LOTT, "WE CAN REMOVE SADDAM," USA TODAY, MAR 3 Congress, on a bi-partisan basis, is fed up with the Clinton administration's do-nothing policy on Iraq. Today, the "Iraq Liberation Act of 1998" was introduced into the Senate and House. Those introducing the bill in the Senate were Sen. Majority Leader, Trent Lott, [R, Miss], Sen. Bob Kerrey, [D. Ne], Sen. John McCain [R, Az], Sen. Joseph Lieberman [D Conn] and Sen. Jon Kyl [R, Az]. Those introducing the bill in the House were Rep. Benjamin Gilman [R, NY] and Rep. Christopher Cox [R, Ca] I. S.2525, "IRAQ LIBERATION ACT OF 1998" 105th CONGRESS 2D SESSION S.2525 IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES Mr. LOTT (for himself, Mr. KERRY, Mr. MCCAIN, Mr. LIEBERMAN, Mr. HELMS, Mr. SHELBY, Mr. BROWNBACK and Mr. KYL _________________________) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on ____________ A BILL To establish a program to support a transition to democracy in Iraq. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the "Iraq Liberation Act"of l998. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. The Congress makes the following findings: (1) On September 22, 1980, Iraq invaded Iran, starting an eight year war in which Iraq employed chemical weapons against Iranian troops and ballis-tic missiles against Iranian cities (2) In February 1988, Iraq forcibly relocated Kurdish civilians from their home villages in the Anfal campaign, killing an estimated 50,000 to 180,000 Kurds. (3) On March 16, 1988, Iraq used chemical weapons against Iraqi Kurdish civilian opponents in the town of Halabja, killing an estimated 5,000 Kurds and causing numerous birth defects that affect the town today. (4) On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded and began a seven month occupation of Kuwait, killing and committing numerous abuses against Kuwaiti civil-ians, and setting Kuwait's oil wells ablaze upon re-treat. (5) Hostilities in Operation Desert Storm ended on February 28, 1991, and Iraq subsequently ac-cepted the ceasefire conditions specified in United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 (April 3, 1991) requiring Iraq, among other things, to dis-close fully and permit the dismantlement of its weapons of mass destruction programs and submit to long-term monitoring and verification of such dis-mantlement. (6) In April 1993, Iraq orchestrated a failed plot to assassinate former President George Bush during his April 14-16, 1993, visit to Kuwait. (7) In October 1994, Iraq moved 80,000 troops to areas near the border with Kuwait, posing an imminent threat of a renewed invasion of or attack against Kuwait. (8) On August 31 1996, Iraq suppressed many of its opponents by helping one Kurdish faction cap-ture Irbil, the seat of the Kurdish regional govern-ment. (9) Since March 1996, Iraq has systematically sought to deny weapons inspectors from the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) ac-cess to key facilities and documents, has on several occasions endangered the safe operation of UNSCOM helicopters transporting UNSCOM per-sonnel in Iraq, and has persisted in a pattern of de-ception and concealment regarding the history of its weapons of mass destruction programs. (10) On August 5, 1998, Iraq ceased all co-operation with UNSCOM, and subsequently threat-ened to end long-term monitoring activities by the International Atomic Energy Agency and UNSCOM. (11) On August 14, 1998, President Clinton signed Public Law 105-235, which declared that "the Government of Iraq is in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations" and urged the President "to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into Compliance with its international obligations.". SEC. 3. POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES. It should be the policy of the United States to seek to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a demo-cratic government to replace that regime. SEC. 4. ASSISTANCE TO SUPPORT A TRANSITION TO DE-MOCRACY IN IRAQ. (a) AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE.--The President may provide to the Iraqi democratic opposition organizations designated in accordance with section 5 the following assistance: (1) BROADCASTING--(A) Grant assistance to such organizations for radio and television broad-casting by such organizations to Iraq. (B) There is authorized to be appropriated to the United States Information Agency $2,000,000 for fiscal year 1999 to carry out this paragraph. (2) MILITARY ASSISTANCE--(A) The President is authorized to direct the drawdown of defense arti-cles from the stocks of the Department of Defense, defense services of the Department of Defense, and military education and training for such organiza-tions. (B) The aggregate value (as defined in section 644(m) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961) of assistance provided under this paragraph may not exceed $97,000,000. (b) HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE--The Congress urges the President to use existing authorities under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to provide humanitarian assistance to individuals living in areas of Iraq controlled by organizations designated in accordance with section 5, with emphasis on addressing the needs of individuals who have fled to such areas from areas under the control of the Saddam Hussein regime. (c) RESTRICTION ON ASSISTANCE.-No assistance under this section shall be provided to any group witthin an organization designated in accordance with section 5 which group is, at the time the assistance is to be pro-vided, engaged in military cooperation with the Saddam Hussein regime. (d) NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENT -The President shall notify the congressional committees specified in section 634A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 at least 15 days in advance of each obligation of assistance under this section in accordance with the procedures applicable to reprogramming notifications under such section 634A. (e) REIMBURSEMENT RELATINGTO MILITARY AS-SISTANCE (1) IN GENERAL--Defense articles, defense services, and military education and training pro-vided under subsection (a)(2) shall be made available without reimbursement to the Department of De-fense except to the extent that funds are appro-priated pursuant to paragraph (2). (2) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.--There are authorized to be appropriated to the President for each of the fiscal years 1998 and 1999 such sums as may be necessary to reimburse the ap-plicable appropriation, fund, or account for the value (as defined in section 644(m) of the Foreign Assist-ance Act if 1961) of defense articles, defense serv-ices, or military education and training provided under subsection (a)(2). (f) AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS--(1) Amounts author-ized to be appropriated under this section are authorized to remain available until expended. (2) Amounts authorized to be appropriated under this section are in addition to amounts otherwise available for the purposes described in this section. SEC. 5. DESIGNATION OF IRAQI DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION ORGANIZATION. (a) INITIAL DESIGNATION--Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall designate one or more Iraqi democratic opposition organi-zations that satisfy the criteria set forth in subsection (c) as eligible to receive assistance under section 4. (b) DESIGNATION OF ADDITIONAL GROUPS.--At any time subsequent to the initial designation pursuant to sub-section (a), the President may designate one or more addi-tional Iraqi democratic opposition organizations that sat-isfy the criteria set forth in subsection (c) as eligible to receive assistance under section 4. (c) CRITERIA FOR DESIGNATION.--In designating an organization pursuant to this section, the President shall consider only organizations that- (1) include a broad spectrum of Iraqi individ-uals and groups opposed to the Saddam Hussein re-gime; and (2) are committed to democratic values, to respect for human rights, to peaceful relations with Iraq's neighbors, to maintaining Iraq's territorial in-tegrity, and to fostering cooperation among demo-cratic opponents of the Saddam Hussein regime (d) NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENT.-At least 15 days in advance of designating an Iraqi democratic opposition organization pursuant to this section, the President shall notify the congressional committees specified in section 634A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 of his pro-posed designation in accordance with the procedures appli-cable to reprogramming notifications under such section 634A. SEC 6. WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL FOR IRAQ Consistent with section 301 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993 (Public Law 102-138), House Concurrent Resolution 137, 105th Congress (approved by the House of Representatives on November 13, 1997), and Senate Concurrent Resolution 78, 105th Congress (approved by the Senate on March 13,1998), the Congress urges the President to call upon the United Nations to establish an international criminal tribunal for the purpose of indicting, prosecuting, and imprisoning Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi officials who are responsible for crimes against humanity, genocide, and other criminal violations of international law. SEC. 7. ASSISTANCE FOR IRAQ UPON REPLACEMENT OF SADDAM HUSSEIN REGIME. It is the sense of Congress that, once Saddam Hus-sein is removed from power in Iraq, the United States should support Iraq's transition to democracy by providing immediate and substantial humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, by providing democracy transition assistance to Iraqi parties and movements with democratic goals, and by convening Iraq's foreign creditors to develop a multilat-eral response to Iraq's foreign debt incurred by Saddam Hussein's regime. II. SEN. TRENT LOTT, STATEMENT ON S.2525 TRENT LOTT U.S. SENATOR FOR MISSISSIPPI SENATE MAJORITY LEADER CONTACT: JOHN CZWARTACKI, 202 224 5358 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, September 29, 1998 Lott bill calls for military aid for groups seeking Hussein's removal ~WASHINGTON - Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi today said the United States needs to seek the removal of Saddam Hussein from power through military support of Iraqi opposition groups. "It is time to move beyond political support to direct military assistance. It is time to openly state our policy goal is the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime from power," he said. Senator Lott today introduced the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, S. 2525, which allows the President to provide "direct and overt" military assistance to Iraqi opposition groups. He made the following statement: "I am introducing legislation allowing the President to provide direct and overt military assistance to the Iraqi opposition. This is a bipartisan initiative. I am joined by Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, Senator John McCain of Arizona, Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, and Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona. "Today is the 55th day without weapons inspections in Iraq. For months, I have urged the Administration to fundamentally change its policy. Monitoring the concealment of weapons of mass destruction is not enough. Our goal should be to remove the regime of Saddam Hussein from power. "We should have no illusions. This will not be easy and it will not happen quickly. But it can happen. The U.S. has worked with Iraqi opponents of Saddam Hussein in the past. We can and should do so in the future. "I have been working with a bipartisan group of Senators throughout much of the year to support a change in U.S. policy toward Iraq. In the State Department Authorization conference report, $38 million is authorized for political and humanitarian support for the Iraqi opposition. "In P.L. 105-174, Congress appropriated $5 million to support the political opposition and $5 million to establish Radio Free Iraq. "In the Senate-passed version of the Fiscal Year 1999 Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, there is an additional $10 million for political support to the Iraq opposition. "These steps have been important. But they are not enough. It is time to move beyond political support to direct military assistance. It is time to openly state our policy goal is the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime from power. "As long as Saddam Hussein remains in power, Iraq will pose a threat to stability in the Persian Gulf. As long as he remains in power, Iraq will pursue weapons of mass destruction programs. His record speaks for itself. "The answer is not just 'containment' or a U.S.-led invasion. There are Iraqis willing to fight and die for the freedom of their country. There are significant portions of Iraq today which are not under the control of Saddam Hussein. "Our goal should be to support Iraqi freedom fighters and expand the area under their control. "I have discussed this approach with senior Administration officials. I have consulted with distinguished outside experts. I have raised this approach with heads of states and government officials from the region. I believe this approach can work. "S 2525, the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, has four major components. First, it calls for a policy to seek the removal of the Saddam Hussein regime. "Second, it authorizes the President to provide $2 million for broadcasting and $97 million in military aid to Iraqi opposition forces. The President is given the discretion to designate the recipients of this assistance. The military aid authority is similar to that used to support anti-narcotics operations in South America and to train and equip the Bosnian army. "Third, it renews Congressional calls for an international tribunal to try Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi officials for war crimes. This will be a crucial step in delegitimizing his reign of terror. "Finally, the bill looks toward post-Saddam Iraq and calls for a comprehensive response to the challenges of rebuilding the country devastated by decades of Saddam Hussein's rule. "Similar legislation has already been introduced in the House. We will make every effort to work with the Administration to see if we can enact this legislation before we leave. "We need bipartisanship now more than ever in foreign policy. This is a bipartisan approach to U.S. policy toward Iraq. We are interested in looking to the future. We are interested in protecting American interests and ensuring that Saddam Hussein can never again threaten his neighbors with military force or weapons of mass destruction." III. SEN. BOB KERRY, FLOOR SPEECH ON S. 2525 IRAQ POLICY Floor Statement of Senator Bob Kerrey September 29, 1998 Mister President, I rise to comment on the situation in Iraq and to urge my colleagues to support the legislation introduced by the Majority Leader today. I spoke on Iraq on this floor last November and again in February, but Saddam Hussein is still in power, still threatening his neighbors and oppressing his people, so I must turn again to this topic. In fact, I will keep turning to it, joining my colleagues from both sides of the aisle, trying to change U.S. policy toward Iraq, because I cannot abide the idea of Saddam Hussein as the dictator of Iraq and I will never accept the status quo in Iraq. One of three things will happen, Mr. President: Saddam Hussein will lose his job, I will lose my job, or I will keep talking about him on this floor. 1998 has unfortunately brought us a new and less advantageous situation in our relationship with Iraq. First of all, other threats have pushed Iraq into the background. Asia's recession and the collapse of the Russian ruble have sent shock waves through all the emerging markets. Economic instability is usually the harbinger of political instability, which in turn threatens the peace between nations and the ability of weakened nations to maintain their own security. The Indian-Pakistani nuclear confrontation and the unravelling of Russia's military are two highly significant examples of this trend. Russia's crisis is particularly important because our security and that of our allies depends on Russia keeping its nuclear weapons and fissile materials out of the hands of the rogue states and terrorist groups which would deliver them to us, either by ballistic missile or by the rented or stolen truck favored by terrorists. Terrorism may or may not actually be on the rise, but terrorists have recently shown the intention and ability to attack American targets overseas. As we confront organizations like that of Usama bin Ladin, we come face to face with people who will go to great efforts to kill Americans, and we react strongly. In the aftermath of events like the bombing of Khobar Towers or the two embassies in Africa, we naturally move terrorism to the forefront of our threat concerns. As peace is gradually made in the world's most intractable ethnic and religious conflicts, terrorism ought to decline, but our rationality can not penetrate terrorist motivation. In addition, there is proliferation. Rogue missiles and their deadly cargoes are rapidly developing, arid spreading: the North Korean launch follows launches by Pakistan and Iran and tests of nuclear weapons in both India and Pakistan. The trend in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is running against us as an increasing number of countries come to view these missiles as a low-cost way of placing the U.S. and our allies at risk without expending the resources to confront us militarily across the board. In a way, Iraq during the Gulf War was the precursor of this kind of thinking: they entered the war with a big army and air force, but in the end the only thing that made them a serious and deadly opponent was their arsenal of SCUD missiles. SCUDs and the like may be 1950's technology, but armed with biological, chemical, or nuclear warheads, these missiles are equalizers in 1998. And so, in this time of uncertainty and change, we rank the threats to our national life and to our individual lives and livelihoods, and we tend to forget Iraq. It is an old threat, after all, and we have lived with it for all this decade. In addition, Iraq seems held in check by its neighbors and by economic sanctions. Yet although the Iraqi threat may appear to be dormant, in fact the risk we and our allies run from the continuation of Saddam Hussein in power is, in fact, greater than it has been for years. We know, most recently and unambiguously from the former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter, that Iraq's program to develop weapons of mass destruction continues. We know that more than fifty days have elapsed since the last UNSCOM weapons inspection. Almost two months of immunity have been granted to a regime which used chemical weapons on its own people, which seeks biological weapons, and which had an active and advanced nuclear weapons program. Further, Iraqi regime rhetoric, stated most recently by Tariq Aziz at the U.N. General Assembly meeting this week, notifies us that Iraq will no longer accept UNSCOM monitoring, at least not in an effective form. So Iraq's neighbors, and we, can expect to be threatened by Iraqi weapons of mass destruction of ever-growing lethality in coming years, with no collective international action to halt it. Saddam Hussein pays for his weapons programs by smuggling oil, at which he is getting more proficient, and by diverting resources which should be going to the Iraqi people. His military may be less capable than before the Gulf War, but his troops could still overwhelm the remaining areas of Iraqi Kurdistan outside his control. They could move north at any time or attack pockets of resistance in the southern marsh areas. It is strongly in America's interest that Iraq's neighbors and our allies in the region live in peace and security. That interest alone more than justifies a policy to change the Iraqi government. But there is an additional reason which ought to have particular resonance in the United States. Mr President, I refer to the need to free the Iraqi people from one of the most oppressive dictatorships on earth. We Americans, who have striven for more than two centuries to govern ourselves, should particularly feel the cruel anomaly which is the Iraqi government. In an age in which democracy is in the ascendant, in which democracy is universally recognized as a government's seal of legitimacy, the continued existence of a Stalinist regime like the one in Baghdad should inspire us to action. Saddam Hussein rules by raw fear. In terms of absolutism, personality cult, and terror applied at every level of society, only North Korea rivals Iraq today. The existence of such a government is a daily affront to every freedom-loving person, to everyone who is revolted by the degradation of our fellow human beings I refuse to accept it, and I want the United States to refuse to accept it. As I have said on this floor before, when Saddam's prisons and secret police records and burial grounds are opened, when the Iraqis can at last tell their horrifying story to the international court which will try Saddam for his many crimes against his own people, we Americans will be proud we took this stand. Mr. President, over the past year we have made some progress toward a policy of replacing the Iraqi regime. The Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill passed by this body included funding for assistance to Iraqi opposition movements and for broadcasting to Iraq. The Administration has proposed a program to assist the Iraqi opposition abroad, to link the different groups together and get them organized. I support all these efforts, but they don't go far enough. The legislation before us takes the additional steps which indicate full commitment to helping the Iraqi people get rid of Saddam and his regime: the legislation states the commitment, and it enables the Administration to supply military assistance to the Iraqi opposition. Mr. President, should this legislation come into effect, we and the Administration should be prepared for the possibility that the Iraqi opposition may use the military equipment they receive, together with their own resources, to liberate some portion of Iraq. As I have said before that will be the time for the United States to recognize the opposition as Iraq's government and lift economic sanctions on the liberated part of the country. At this time in history, when some in the world seem ready to set aside their moral scruples and interact with Saddam, when the UNSCOM inspection system is at grave risk, when Saddam may attempt to break free of the sanctions which have restrained him since the Gulf War, it is urgent for the United States to clearly state its implacable opposition to Saddam and his regime. This legislation is the way to do that, and to simultaneously help Iraqis make their revolution. Besides strengthening the Iraqi opposition, this legislation tells Iraqis to keep up hope. It enables the Administration to tell Iraqis we know how bad Saddam is, we have the facts on him, and we will not rest until we see him in court. Iraqis will also learn that we understand the need to deal with the burden of debt Saddam has incurred, and we will work with Iraq's international creditors to find a solution for a post-Saddam Iraq. Iraqis will learn of our commitment to provide humanitarian assistance and democracy transition assistance to a post-Saddam Iraq. They will learn that an Iraq committed to democracy will be a welcome member in the family of nations. As they learn what we have done and what we are prepared to do, the Iraqi people will be our allies in an enterprise which will make them free, and America and its allies more secure. I yield the floor. IV. SEN. LOTT, "WE CAN REMOVE SADDAM" USA Today March 3, 1998 We can remove Saddam Opposing View: There are many ways the world can work against Saddam. A 'Free Iraq' is the goal By Trent Lott The strategy of :containing" Saddam Hussein is not working. Each time he cre-ates a crisis, he pays no cost--though the Iraqi people pay dearly. Each time he man-ufactures a confrontation, the United States finds itself with less support - and Saddam finds more apologists. Start with this unpleasant fact: As long as Saddam remains in power, he will threaten vital U.S. interests in the Middle East. His hatred for our country, our friends and our values knows no bounds. He has murdered uncounted thousands of Iraqis, invaded his neighbors, used chemical weapons against both Iran and his own people, and tried to assassinate former president George Bush. Who believe "containment"--will change this leopard's spots? There is an alternative which would give us--not Saddam--- the initiative. It al-ready has bipartisan support. We must strike at the fault lines of his regime. Oppo-sition groups already challenge his control over large areas of Iraq: Kurds in the North, Shutes in the South. He so fears his people that he rarely appears in public and moves from lair to lair each night. His son-in-law defected in 1991, his first wife was arrested a year ago, and his son was wound-ed in an assassination attempt in 1995. His military, regularly purged, is a shell of the force we defeated in Desert Storm. We should exploit those vulnerabilities, starting with an international move to in-dict Saddam Hussein for his war crimes. End his monopoly on information through a Radio Free Iraq. Toughen enforcement of existing sanctions. Expand existing no-fly and no-drive zones to degrade his armed forces' control. Support his oppo-nents so we can recognize liberated zones, lift sanctions and create a safe and prosper-ous "Free Iraq." Then watch the flood of defections from Baghdad. This strategy requires a strong U.S. mili-tary presence in the region, and that re-quires supplemental funding now and increased long-term defense funding. Critics claim this approach is too diffi-cult, that the United States would stand alone. On the contrary, key regional allies such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey are more likely to support a goal of removing Saddam than a policy that just leaves him madder--and securely in power. Doing the right thing will take leadership, com-mitment, and resolve. We've had it in the past. We need it now. Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss, is Senate majority leader.
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