Lott: Timing Is 'Subject to Question'
Wednesday, December 16, 1998
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott made the following statement today on the U.S. attack on Iraq:
While I have been assured by administration officials that there is no connection with the impeachment process in the House of Representatives, I cannot support this military action in the Persian Gulf at this time. Both the timing and the policy are subject to question.
I am opposed to endangering the lives of brave American men and women in the military for action in Iraq that will not effect real change in that nation. If, however, military action is taken, all Americans will fully support our troops in battle.
I could support a future military operation with clearly defined objectives, among them the removal of Saddam Hussein from power and the eradication of his capability to make and deliver weapons of mass destruction. This cannot be accomplished by a cursory air strike, but must include an intensive and sustained bombing campaign of all Iraqi facilities that keep Saddam in power such as his Republican Guard and other security forces and all command and control entities and all targets dealing with his capacity to manufacture weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them. Furthermore, the president should demonstrate his seriousness of intent by committing to a complete implementation of the Iraq Liberation Act signed into law last October.
This administration has squandered too many opportunities in Iraq. I will support serious and sustained action but will oppose action that does not accomplish our larger, strategic goal. The American people, as well as the people of Iraq and the region, deserve nothing less.
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