Senator Byrd On Opposing War With Iraq

Senator Robert Byrd of Virginia writes of his opposition to the war on Iraq in an op-ed article in today's New York Times. Here are some portions, but go read the whole thing.

...."I have listened closely to the president. I have questioned the members of his war cabinet. I have searched for that single piece of evidence that would convince me that the president must have in his hands, before the month is out, open-ended Congressional authorization to deliver an unprovoked attack on Iraq. I remain unconvinced. The president's case for an unprovoked attack is circumstantial at best. Saddam Hussein is a threat, but the threat is not so great that we must be stampeded to provide such authority to this president just weeks before an election."

"Why are we being hounded into action on a resolution that turns over to President Bush the Congress's Constitutional power to declare war? This resolution would authorize the president to use the military forces of this nation wherever, whenever and however he determines, and for as long as he determines, if he can somehow make a connection to Iraq. It is a blank check for the president to take whatever action he feels "is necessary and appropriate in order to defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq." This broad resolution underwrites, promotes and endorses the unprecedented Bush doctrine of preventive war and pre-emptive strikes — detailed in a recent publication, "National Security Strategy of the United States" — against any nation that the president, and the president alone, determines to be a threat."

...." Congress must not attempt to give away the authority to determine when war is to be declared. We must not allow any president to unleash the dogs of war at his own discretion and for an unlimited period of time."

...."We must not yield to this absurd pressure to act now, 27 days before an election that will determine the entire membership of the House of Representatives and that of a third of the Senate."

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