“Congress Has Spoken...The Debate Is Over”
John McCain, opposing the Kennedy resolution yesterday on the Senate floor:
That debate is over. After a months-long period in which the Bush
Administration went to the Security Council – as the Senator called for last
fall; secured a new Council resolution demanding Iraqi compliance with its
disarmament obligations – as the Senator called for last fall; and pursued
patient diplomacy while educating the American public about the threat Iraq
poses to our interests – as the Senator called for last fall, I agree with him
that, ‘Much has changed in the many months since Congress last debated war with
What has changed is that the Administration has pursued the careful
diplomacy the Senator had urged on it and has refrained from using force
unilaterally against Iraq. The President has worked to make the case for Iraqi
disarmament to America and the world. The Administration was able to unite the
Security Council behind our demand that Iraq disarm or be disarmed. And the
Administration has worked diligently to assemble a coalition that will stand
with us in the event military action is necessary.
Iraq has provided more evidence of its intentions, and its defiance, by its
failure to provide anything resembling an honest declaration of its arsenal of
banned weaponry, and its failure to cooperate substantively with the U.N.
inspectors, as Hans Blix has stated. By its own actions, Iraq has placed itself
before the world in material breach of the Security Council resolution the
Senator from Massachusetts demanded the Administration seek, and honor, in the
Congressional debate last fall.