Monday, January 22, 2007

"Clinton Signed 'Iraq Liberation Act' Into Law 1998"

Maybe you supported military action in Iraq in 2003, or maybe you didn't. Maybe you think the war has been poorly prosecuted, regardless of whether or not you initially supported (or continue to support) the war. Fair enough. Reasonable people can disagree on any of that.

However, one thing that reasonable people cannot disagree on is this: the idea to invade Iraq did not originate with George W. Bush. Amy Proctor has more:
Bottom Line Up Front: The war in Iraq is not “Bush’s war”, it is America’s war and it has been since the early 1990’s. In 1998, then President Bill Clinton on the eve of presidential impeachment hearings signed into law The Iraq Liberation Act which committed U.S. money to supporting the overthrow of a dangerous Saddam Hussein and laid out U.S. policy as supporting a free Iraq.

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
October 31, 1998

Today I am signing into law H.R. 4655, the "Iraq Liberation Act of 1998." This Act makes clear that it is the sense of the Congress that the United States should support those elements of the Iraqi opposition that advocate a very different future for Iraq than the bitter reality of internal repression and external aggression that the current regime in Baghdad now offers.

Let me be clear on what the U.S. objectives are: The United States wants Iraq to rejoin the family of nations as a freedom-loving and law-abiding member. This is in our interest and that of our allies within the region.

The United States favors an Iraq that offers its people freedom at home. I categorically reject arguments that this is unattainable due to Iraq's history or its ethnic or sectarian make-up. Iraqis deserve and desire freedom like everyone else. The United States looks forward to a democratically supported regime that would permit us to enter into a dialogue leading to the reintegration of Iraq into normal international life.

My Administration has pursued, and will continue to pursue, these objectives through active application of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. The evidence is overwhelming that such changes will not happen under the current Iraq leadership.

In the meantime, while the United States continues to look to the Security Council's efforts to keep the current regime's behavior in check, we look forward to new leadership in Iraq that has the support of the Iraqi people. The United States is providing support to opposition groups from all sectors of the Iraqi community that could lead to a popularly supported government.

On October 21, 1998, I signed into law the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999, which made $8 million available for assistance to the Iraqi democratic opposition. This assistance is intended to help the democratic opposition unify, work together more effectively, and articulate the aspirations of the Iraqi people for a pluralistic, participatory political system that will include all of Iraq's diverse ethnic and religious groups. As required by the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for FY 1998 (Public Law 105-174), the Department of State submitted a report to the Congress on plans to establish a program to support the democratic opposition. My Administration, as required by that statute, has also begun to implement a program to compile information regarding allegations of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes by Iraq's current leaders as a step towards bringing to justice those directly responsible for such acts.

The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 provides additional, discretionary authorities under which my Administration can act to further the objectives I outlined above. There are, of course, other important elements of U.S. policy. These include the maintenance of U.N. Security Council support efforts to eliminate Iraq's weapons and missile programs and economic sanctions that continue to deny the regime the means to reconstitute those threats to international peace and security. United States support for the Iraqi opposition will be carried out consistent with those policy objectives as well. Similarly, U.S. support must be attuned to what the opposition can effectively make use of as it develops over time. With those observations, I sign H.R. 4655 into law.



October 31, 1998.
Well, whaddya know! It looks like this isn't "Bush's war" after all. Democratic opposition is simply a political concoction. This is America's war and has been for 15 years. The Bush administration promotes the identical agenda in Iraq from regime change to halting Saddam's WMD program to promoting democracy and freedom in the Middle East. Clinton even dismissed the excuse Democrats use today that sectarian strife in Iraq has been going on for too long and cannot be reconciled saying he "categorically reject[ed] arguments that this [freedom within Iraq] is unattainable due to Iraq's history or its ethnic or sectarian make-up. Iraqis deserve and desire freedom like everyone else." Sound familiar?
BRAVO! Do yourself a favor and read the entire transcript of Pres. Clinton’s explanation justifying strikes on Iraq by US and British forces. He gave a more coherent description than Pres. Bush has in the last 6 years. (Then again, Bush isn't exactly an excellent communicator, now is he? - Ed.)

Now the U.S. military strike against Iraq occurred on the eve of Clinton’s impeachment hearings resulting in their postponement. The four articles of impeachment charged Clinton with perjury, obstruction of justice and abuse of power in the Monica Lewinsky affair. The timing of military action in Iraq appeared to be a tactical maneuver by Pres. Clinton to avoid the humiliating proposition of becoming the first President in U.S. history to be impeached (which is what later happened), under such embarrassing circumstances. Republicans criticized the move for that reason, although most still supported the action against Iraq.
At the time, Democrats reacted angrily to the criticism of Clinton's motives. For example, Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-NJ) said:
"(The GOP reaction is) as close to a betrayal of the interests of the United States as I've ever witnessed in the United States Congress. It's unforgivable and reprehensible."
Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD):
"This is a time for our country to be united, even though we're divided on other matters."
Daschle and Richard Gephardt (D-Missouri) issued a joint statement defending the timing, saying:
"Any delay would have given (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein time to reconstitute his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and undermine international support for our efforts."
Where are these Democrats today, and why are they opposing the Clinton law and initiatives that they so vehemently supported in 1998? In fairness to Bill Clinton, despite the timing (which very well may have come from ulterior motives), it was the right thing to do. His mission in Haiti was right, his mission in Bosnia was right, and his mission in Iraq was right.

Should Bill Clinton arrested on war crimes for civilian deaths suffered by the strikes in Iraq and Bosnia? If not, how can liberals so hypocritically demand that action for Bush? And how could the U.S. bomb "Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs" in 1998 if there were no WMD? And if there weren't WMD (which there were), doesn't Clinton share the same culpability that Democrats claim for Pres. Bush? Clinton was right no matter what his motive, President Bush is right, and if Democrats would stop pretending to be bi-partisan and actually be bi-partisan, America might work toward unity. As former Democratic Senator Tom Daschle said,
"This is a time for our country to be united, even though we're divided on other matters."
Nice job, Ms. Proctor, of laying out the case against the hypocrisy that we see today, despite the fact that the MSM has covered up said hypocrisy like a cat turd in a litter box.

I suppose the Democrats' position on Iraq can be summed up thusly: If we need to attack Iraq based on intel that our country has and that the whole world (including the useless U.N.) thought was valid, then we should NOT do so. However, if we need to attack Iraq to divert attention from a Democratic president's troubles over perjury and diddling an intern his daughter's age, then we should DEFINITELY do so.

Got it. Thanks for the clarification on that, as well as the clarification on "unity", meaning that "unity" is to be displayed when a Dem occupies the Oral Oval Office, but not a Republican.

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