USIS Washington 

30 September 1998


(Bipartisan support shown for removal of Saddam Hussein) (4520)

Washington -- Democratic and Republican legislators September 29
introduced into Congress a bill entitled the "Iraq Liberation Act of
1998," calling for the removal of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and
support for the Iraqi democratic opposition.

Under the proposed legislation, Congress would authorize the arming
and training of the Iraqi opposition, and the United States would
provide humanitarian assistance to individuals living in areas
currently controlled by opposition forces and to those who have fled
Hussein's regime.

Also in the proposed bill, Congress is asking the United Nations to
create a War Crimes Tribunal for Iraq 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.

The last part of the law states that Congress would fund Iraq's
transition to democracy by providing "immediate and substantial
humanitarian assistance" to the Iraqi people. The bill also calls for
a meeting of Iraq's foreign creators to develop a multilateral
response to Iraq's foreign debt incurred by Saddam Hussein's regime.

Following is a copy of the pending legislation, including remarks by
two of the bill's sponsors and a USA Today news article:

(Begin text)

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)






Mr. LOTT (for himself, Mr. KERRY, Mr. MCCAIN, Mr. LIEBERMAN, Mr.
_________________________) introduced the following bill, which was
read twice and referred to the Committee on ____________


To establish a program to support a transition to democracy in Iraq.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the "Iraq Liberation Act" of l998.


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
ballistic 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
civilians, and setting Kuwait's oil wells ablaze upon retreat.

(5) Hostilities in Operation Desert Storm ended on February 28, 1991,
and Iraq subsequently accepted the cease-fire conditions specified in
United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 (April 3, 1991)
requiring Iraq, among other things, to disclose fully and permit the
dismantlement of its weapons of mass destruction programs and submit
to long-term monitoring and verification of such dismantlement.

(6) In April 1993, Iraq orchestrated a failed plot to assassinate
former President George Bush during his April 14-16, 1993, visit to

(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 capture Irbil, the seat of the Kurdish
regional government.

(9) Since March 1996, Iraq has systematically sought to deny weapons
inspectors from the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM)
access to key facilities and documents, has on several occasions
endangered the safe operation of UNSCOM helicopters transporting
UNSCOM personnel in Iraq, and has persisted in a pattern of deception
and concealment regarding the history of its weapons of mass
destruction programs.

(10) On August 5, 1998, Iraq ceased all cooperation with UNSCOM, and
subsequently threatened 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."


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 democratic government to replace that regime.


(a) AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE. -- The President may provide to
the Iraqi democratic opposition organizations designated in accordance
with section 5 the following assistance:


(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


(A) The President is authorized to direct the draw down of defense
articles from the stocks of the Department of Defense, defense
services of the Department of Defense, and military education and
training for such organizations.

(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 within an organization designated in
accordance with section 5 which group is, at the time the assistance
is to be provided, 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.


(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 Defense except to
the extent that funds are appropriated 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 applicable
appropriation, fund, or account for the value (as defined in section
644(m) of the Foreign Assistance Act if 1961) of defense articles,
defense services, or military education and training provided under
subsection (a)(2).


(1) Amounts authorized 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.


(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 organizations 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 additional Iraqi democratic opposition
organizations that satisfy 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 individuals 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 integrity, and to fostering cooperation among democratic
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
proposed designation in accordance with the procedures applicable to
reprogramming notifications under such section 634A.


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.


It is the sense of Congress that, once Saddam Hussein 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 multilateral
response to Iraq's foreign debt incurred by Saddam Hussein's regime.







Tuesday, September 29, 1998


~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

"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."



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

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 cannot
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

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

I yield the floor.


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
creates a crisis, he pays no cost -- though the Iraqi people pay
dearly. Each time he manufactures 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 already has bipartisan support. We must strike at the
fault lines of his regime. Opposition 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 wounded 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 indict 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 opponents so
we can recognize liberated zones, lift sanctions and create a safe and
prosperous "Free Iraq." Then watch the flood of defections from

This strategy requires a strong U.S. military presence in the region,
and that requires supplemental funding now and increased long-term
defense funding.

Critics claim this approach is too difficult, 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, commitment, and resolve.
We've had it in the past. We need it now.

Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss, is Senate majority leader.

(End text)