Patience, not war
by Terry Sanifbfd
Senator Sanjbrd is a member of the Senate Fore^ Relations Committee and is a
North Carolina Democrat senHng his first V. S. Senate term.
Stand behind Bush
by Jeuc A Hdnis
Mr. Helms is sewing his fourth term in the U. S. Senate. He is the ranking
R^bHcan on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Last week’s meeting of Secretary of
Stale Baker with the foreign minister of
Iraq was disappointing, but not
surprising. So nothing has changed.
H)ere is no new justification for the
United States to succumb to anger and
tush to war.
It has always been easier to s^tle an
argument with a gun. It is much moie
difficult to selde one by ocher means. To
find a way to resoh« nattonal diffierence
without war, people throughout the
world have been struggling, without
success, for all of the century and longer.
But we are making progress.
Probably the greatest thing coming out
of Worid War n was the birth of the
United Nations. Until now, the U.N. has
been stymied by the Cold War conflict
between the Soviet Union and the United
States. In tfie Iraqi crisis, we have seen
how effectively the Uiuted Nations
mobilized its moral force, backing it up
with the military might of its members,
principally, the United Stales. Today,
we have arrayed in Saudi Arabia the
greatest concentration of military might
since World War II. The question is
which way do we go first^ Do we resort
to the age*old way of war, or do we at
least try to use this new force of sanctions
available to us through the combined
weight of the nations of the world
throu^ the United Nations?
After the invasion of Kuwait by
Saddam Hussein, I wired President Bush
to congratulate him for taking a strong
stand against Iraq’s illegal aggression
and to note the rare opportunity^ that it
presented. I believed he could be the
president who finally made the United
Nations work for the benefit of all the
Indeed, the time for that kind of
resolution of conflict has arrived. The
time has come when punishing
aggression, preventing war-like acts by
nations, can likely be accomplished
through the strength of the United
Nations. The only fortunate side of the
invasion of Kuwait is that Saddam
Hussein has given iis the opportunity to
show just how effective we can be
without actually going to war.
We can teach Saddam a lesson, we
can teach would-be aggressors the same
lesson, and we can greatly diminish the
chance of future invasions of neighboring
Through the United Nations we
have isolated Iraq politically,
commerciall/, and economically. We
have sealed Iraq off from the rest of the
It is, / suggest,
immored to start a
unttt we have
It is notonfy
impatience, but a
courage to rush
hurriedly into war.
world. If we continue relentlessly to
enforce the embargo, we will have
caused economic collapse, which
certairUy will have the capacity to bring
Iraq into compliance with the demands
of the rest of the world.
It is not only reckless impatience,
but, I would suggest, a lack of real
courage to rush hurriedly into war. We
will have not given the embargo enough
time to be effective. Risking lives in a
war is not to be taken lightly. Certainly,
where we have such a good alternative
as we now have, it would be unthinkable
not to try it. Obviously, it takes time, it
takes courage, it takes moral strength, it
takes patience, it takes wisdom, to make
the nation being punished realize the
embargo can be forever. That is the path
I hope our president will take.
War, actually, is not the courageous
choice. You can make the decision, Mr.
President, that gives us a great
opportunity for building a more stable
world. We can make the United Nations
work. The chances are good that the
embargo will be effective. It is, I suggest,
immoral to start a shooting war until we
have exhausted all other altematives.
Let us stand tall, Mr. President. Let's
not take the quick and easy way. Future
generations will praise your wisdom.
Mothers, wives and children will offer
prayers of thanksgiving that you got the
job done without sacrificing the lives of
our loved ones.
Secretary of State Baker's seven-
hour meeting in Geneva made clear that
President Bush and Secretary Baker
have exhausted every reasonable
diplomatic effort to resolve the crisis in
Kuwait The Iraqi refusal even to receive
the president’s letter in a diplomatic
fonim demorutrates a complete lack of
good faith in the peace process.
It is now time for the American
people to rally arouml the president and
support the 400,000 American troops
now poised in the gulf. Ihese 400,000
troops in the Persian Gulf ate in a
situation fraught with danger.
For die past five month ttie American
people have been subjected to a
cacophony of carping criticism and
second-guessing that, intentionally or
tKX, has persuaded Saddam Hussein
that the will of the American people is
weak when vital principles are at stake.
The only hope for avoiding hostilities—
if there is a hope—is for Saddam Hussein
to be convinced beyond a doubt that the
American people stand behind their
I have not agreed with all aspects of
the president’s program, but I
communicated my concerns to him
privately. I have issued no press releases,
nor have I consented to go on television
to differ with president. Now that the
critical moment has arrived, it Is time for
all of us to stand uruted behind him.
On August 8, in response to the
request by Saudi Arabia, the president
sent troops to the gulf The president
stated four goals: the immediate and
unconditional withdrawal of Iraqi forces
from Kuwait; the restoration of the
legitimate government of Kuwait; the
security and stability of the Persian Gulf;
and the protection of the lives of
American citizens abroad.
All four of these goals are directly
related to the national interest of the
United States. The principle of national
sovereignty is the very basis of our
independence and national survival.
These principles are of particular impor
tance to the United States when the
victim whose ^sovereignty is violated is a
country such as Kuwait, which has a key
role in economic and diplomatic rela
tionships with the Unites States.
President Bush is to be commended.
He has not deviated froth his original
purposes. His forthright stand has pro
tected American lives in Kuwait and
Iraq. He has demonstrated that we are
willing and able to protect the security
and stability of the Fensian Gulf
Congress has a
duty to abandon
as it did 50 years
ago when another
the freedom and
security of the
All presidents in modem times have
made the security and stability of the
Persian Gulf a paramount interest of our
foreign p>olicy. Our interest is not, in the
first i^ace, economic. But the oil supplied
by the gulf is indeed a major element in
our own national security and stability.
If we allow aggression to disrupt our
relationships with friendly governments,
the strength and independence of the
United States is threatened.
The president’s action in August
was therefore action in the defense of
Some have argued that the sanctions
imposed upon Iraq must be given time
to work. They have already worked.
They are demonstrated that the whole
worid is standing together against the
aggression of Saddam Hussein. The
world does not turn upon economic
issues alone, and it is difficult to imagine
that a tyrant who has killed 500,000 of
his own people for political reasons will
be persuaded ultimately by an economic
squeeze. Besides, Saddam Hussein has
stolen almost $7 billion in gold and cash
from the Kuwait central bank, and he
has the economic cushion to resist the
The U.S. Constitution was carefully
crafted to allow much room for
judgement in matters of war. The power
to declare war does indeed lie with
Congress—nobody disputes that—but
Congress has used that power only five
times. On the other hand, the power to
make war cleariy belongs with the
commander-in-chief. The president has
a duty to seek the support of Congress,
and he had sone that But the Congr^'ss
has a duty to close ranks and abandon
partisanship, just as it did 50 years ago
when another tyrant threatened the
freedom and security of the worid.
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