News

USIS Washington File

01 November 1999

Text: Senator Brownback Statement to the Iraqi National Assembly Oct. 29

(U.S. and Iraqi National Congress must rid the world of Saddam
Hussein) (1100)

"Let's put Saddam Hussein on notice here and now: The good people of
Iraq with the firm backing of the United States want you out. We will
not rest until we see Saddam Hussein behind bars," Senator Sam
Brownback, Republican of Kansas, said October 29 to the National
Assembly of the Iraqi National Congress.

Brownback stressed to the Iraqi National Congress members that while
they will need the support and assistance of the United States and of
countries in the region, "most of all, you will reed to become a
potent, unified force. Divided, you represent millions of Iraqis.
Together, you can represent much of the country. .... Your fate, and
the fate of all the peoples of Iraq, is together. This is your start,
but you must keep it up."

"We in the United States have a job too," Brownback said, noting that
Ambassador at-large for War Crimes Issues David Scheffer "is doing his
best to build consensus for a war crimes tribunal for Iraq. In
addition, the Congress has appropriated $10 million dollars in this
fiscal year, $8 million for groups designated under the Iraq
Liberation Act, and $2 million to pursue war crimes charges. Then
there is the $97 million in drawdown authority."

"The more unified and organized you are the more we in the United
States can assist you, materially and diplomatically," Brownback said.

"Remember, we have a common enemy. ... Saddam Hussein is evil and it
is your mission and ours to rid the world of this man," he asserted.

Following is the text of Brownback's statement:

(begin text)

Statement of Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas to the National Assembly
of the Iraqi National Congress

New York, NY

October 29, 1999

First of all, I must thank you for inviting me to join you here today.
I am genuinely proud to be part of this effort -- your effort -- to
bring new democratic rule to Iraq.

This National Assembly is a new beginning for the Iraqi opposition.
There have been too many missed opportunities in the last decade,
mistakes from which one man has benefited: Saddam Hussein. But that
time is behind us. Let's put Saddam Hussein on notice here and now:
The good people of Iraq with the firm backing of the United States
want you out. We will not rest until we see Saddam Hussein behind
bars.

Let's talk for a moment about the details: I have long argued that
removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq is extremely important to
the national security of the United States and its allies in the
Middle East. But let's not pretend. I am not the Commander in Chief of
the U.S. military, and I cannot order Saddam's removal. Neither
President Bush nor President Clinton has been willing to do so. That
means the job is up to you.

You will need the support and assistance of the United States and of
countries in the region. But most of all, you will reed to become a
potent, unified force. Divided, you represent millions of Iraqis.
Together, you can represent much of the country. Divided, you have
rivalries that you could fight out for centuries, and still not
resolve. Together, you can democratize Iraq within a year. Your fate,
and the fate of all the peoples of Iraq, is together. This is your
start, but you must keep it up.

We cannot lose the momentum of this meeting. I and my colleagues in
the Congress are looking forward to being briefed on your action
plans. You have many missions, and democracy is only one of them.
There are humanitarian problems inside Iraq, there is a propaganda
battle to be won; there is a war crimes tribunal to pursue. You are
the people to do it, and I have no doubt as to your abilities.

We in the United States have a job too. Ambassador Scheffer, who is
also speaking this evening, is doing his best to build consensus for a
war crimes tribunal for Iraq. In addition, the Congress has
appropriated $10 million dollars in this fiscal year, $8 million for
groups designated under the Iraq Liberation Act, and $2 million to
pursue war crimes charges. Then there is the $97 million in drawdown
authority.

Already, the President has drawn down $5 million dollars for material
support and training for the INC. I must tell you frankly that I am
not pleased with this drawdown. I believe we must move swiftly to
provide humanitarian assistance and logistical supplies on the ground
inside Iraq. I also believe that the first non-lethal tranche of
drawdown should be followed swiftly by lethal drawdown.

In addition, I believe the United States must pursue a proactive
policy to put Saddam Hussein on notice that the status quo will not
continue. Though we have four red lines Saddam may not cross, we
should be adding more. I intend to recommend to the President pursuing
a no-drive zone throughout northern and southern Iraq. Further, the
protections in place for the Kurdish people should be in place for
residents of southern Iraq. If we are unwilling to tolerate an attack
on the Kurds, why should one on Shi'ites or Sunni be more acceptable?
Saddam cannot be permitted to oppress his own people. I will [do what
I can?] to make these things happen, but a lot is up to you.

It is up to you, the members of the Iraqi National Congress to ensure
that all the circumstances of the past seem irrelevant. There must be
no credibility to charges from the region that Iraq will dissolve if
Saddam is overthrown. You must be fully unified. You must be able to
receive humanitarian assistance and deliver it efficiently inside
Iraq. You must be a professional and dedicated force. The more unified
and organized you are the more we in the United States can assist you,
materially and diplomatically.

Remember, we have a common enemy. Saddam Hussein has murdered hundreds
of thousands of his people, your people. He is starving the children
of Iraq right now. He has enriched himself and his despicable cronies.
He is developing weapons of mass destruction, and I have no doubt he
is willing to use those weapons. Saddam Hussein is evil and it is your
mission and ours to rid the world of this man.

Thank you.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State.)