President Bush asked Congress Thursday for authority to "use all means,'' including military force if necessary, to disarm and overthrow Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein if United Nations inspections cannot eliminate Iraq's banned weapons.
The proposal Bush sent to Capitol Hill would give him broad war-making authority. "If you want to keep the peace, you've got to have the authorization to use force,'' he told reporters in the Oval Office.
Whereas Congress in 1998 concluded that Iraq was then in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations and thereby threatened the vital interests of the United States and international peace and security, stated the reasons for that conclusion, and urged the President to take appropriate action to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations (Public Law 105-235);
Whereas Iraq remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations, thereby continuing to threaten the national security interests of the United States and international peace and security;
Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolutions of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population, including the Kurdish peoples, thereby threatening international peace and security in the region, by refusing to release, repatriate, or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq, and by failing to return property wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait;
Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people;
Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;
Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;
Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of American citizens;
Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001 underscored the gravity of the threat that Iraq will transfer weapons of mass destruction to international terrorist organizations;
Whereas the United States has the inherent right, as acknowledged in the United Nations Charter, to use force in order to defend itself;
Whereas Iraq’s demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the high risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify the use of force by the United States in order to defend itself;
Whereas Iraq is in material breach of its disarmament and other obligations under United Nations Security Council Resolution 687, to cease repression of its civilian population that threatens international peace and security under United Nations Security Council Resolution 688, and to cease threatening its neighbors or United Nations operations in Iraq under United Nations Security Council Resolution 949, and United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 authorizes use of all necessary means to compel Iraq to comply with these “subsequent relevant resolutions,”
Whereas Congress in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) has authorized the President to use the Armed Forces of the United States to achieve full implementation of Security Council Resolutions 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670,674, and 677, pursuant to Security Council Resolution 678;
Whereas Congress in section 1095 of Public Law 102-190 has stated that it “supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of Security Council Resolution 687 as bring consistent with the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq (Public Law 102-1),” that Iraq’s . repression of its civilian population violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 and “constitutes a continuing threat to the peace, security, and stability of the Persian Gulf region,” and that Congress “supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of Resolution 688”;
Whereas Congress in the Iraq Liberation Act (Public Law 105-33 8) has expressed its sense that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;
Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States, as Congress recognized in the joint resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40); and
Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to use force in order to defend the national security interests of the United States;
Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This joint resolution may be cited as the “Further Resolution on Iraq”.
SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.
The President is authorized to use all means that he determines to be appropriate, including force, in order to enforce the United .Nations Security Council Resolutions referenced above, defend the national security interests of the United States against the threat posed by Iraq, and restore international peace and security in the region.