|00:00:00||ONE OF ONE PARTY AND ONE OF ANOTHER PARTY.|
|00:00:06||THE EMBARGO WAS PUT ON BY ONE, SAID THAT IT WOULD BE LIFTED BY ANOTHER.|
|00:00:11||BUT IT STILL HAS NOT BEEN DONE.|
|00:00:14||THE RESULT IS THAT THE BOSNIANS WHO WERE AGREESED AGAINST, A-- AGRESSED AGAINST, ATTACKED, HAVE NOT HAD THE WEAPONS TO DEFEND THEMSELVES.|
|00:00:29||NOW WE SAY IN THE DAYTON AGREEMENT WE WILL MAKE SURE THE BOSNIANS ARE FINALLY ARMED.|
|00:00:34||THE EMBARGO STILL EXISTS, IT NEEDS TO COME OFF.|
|00:00:37||AND OF COURSE, IT NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN PUT ON.|
|00:00:41||THE ISSUE IN THIS DEBATE IS NOT WHO IS AN INTERNATIONALIST AND WHO IS AN ISOLATIONIST.|
|00:00:48||I WOULD LIKE TO THINK THE ISSUE IS WHO IS A REALIST.|
|00:00:53||THE ISSUE IS ALSO ONE OF THE POWER OF THE CONGRESS AND THE POWER OF THE PRESIDENT.|
|00:01:01||UNDER THE CONSTITUTION, PRESIDENTS MAY WAGE WAR.|
|00:01:06||IT IS CONGRESS THAT DECLARES WAR.|
|00:01:10||AND AS WE KNOW FROM STUDYING THE CONSTITUTION IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, HIGH SCHOOL, COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY THAT THERE ARE APPROXIMATELY 200 CONFLICTS, LARGE AND SMALL, THAT WE HAVE BEEN IN SINCE 1789 WHEN THE FIRST CONGRESS MET IN NEW YORK.|
|00:01:30||ONLY FIVE OF THOSE DID CONGRESS DECLARE WAR.|
|00:01:35||BUT CERTAINLY GAVE SUPPORT TO A NUMBER OF OTHER THROUGH APPROPRIATIONS, THROUGH AUTHORIZATIONS.|
|00:01:43||BUT THAT POWER OF THE PRESIDENT TO WAGE WAR IS NOT A MANDATE TO BE SUPER COP TO THE WORLD AT EITHER THE WHIM OR THE POLICY OF THE PRESIDENT.|
|00:01:54||THE QUESTION IS, WHERE IS OUR VITAL INTEREST?|
|00:01:58||USUALLY THE VITAL INTEREST HAS BEEN IN MOST OF THOSE 200 ENGAGEMENTS WHERE THE LIVES OF CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES HAVE BEEN INVOLVED.|
|00:02:07||CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES ARE NOT BEING HELD CAPTIVE IN BOSNIA, AND THE LIVES OF AMERICAN CITIZENS HAVE NOT BEEN INVOLVED.|
|00:02:18||WE HEAR MEMBERS OF THE ADMINISTRATION SAYING THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE ANOTHER VIETNAM .|
|00:02:24||EVEN THOUGH ONE OF THE TOP NEGOTIATORS AT DAYTON HAD A SLIP OF THE TONGUE YESTERDAY IN TALKING TO A FEW OF US AND MENTIONED VIETNAM IN THE PLACE OF WHERE HE MEANT -- MENTIONED BOSNIA.|
|00:02:36||WHETHER THAT' S SIGNIFICANT I LEAVE TO THE PSYCHOANALYSTS.|
|00:02:41||OUR TROOPS ARE ON THE GROUND TO SEPARATE THE WARRING PARTIES.|
|00:02:45||WHO NOW ARE TIRED PRESUME EARL AND WANT PEACE AFTER -- PRESUMABLY AND WANT PEACE AFTER 500 YEARS OF ACRIMONY, WAR, CONFLICT BASED ON ETHNICITY AS WELL AS RELIGION.|
|00:02:58||WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THOSE SUPPOSEDLY TIRED WARRING PARTIES DECIDE THEY DON' T WANT PEACE ANYMORE AND THE AMERICAN FORCES ARE IN THE MIDDLE PRESUMABLY OF TRYING TO SEPARATE THEM?|
|00:03:11||THE AMERICAN FORCES THANKFULLY DO HAVE THE POWER TO RESPOND AND RESPOND PROMPTLY.|
|00:03:19||BUT I WORRY WHEN A PRESIDENT, ANY PRESIDENT, REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT, AND THIS IS NOT A NEW THOUGHT WITH ME, DOES SOMETHING IN FOREIGN AFFAIRS IN AN ELECTION YEAR.|
|00:03:32||WE ALL AGREE THAT HANDLING FOREIGN AFFAIRS IS FRANKLY EASIER THAN DEALING WITH DOMESTIC POLICY AND ALL THE DIFFERENT FACTIONS THERE.|
|00:03:40||THE LIVES OF AMERICAN MILITARY MEN AND WOMEN ARE TOO VALUABLE TO BE AN ELECTION YEAR PHOTO OPPORTUNITY.|
|00:03:46||THE PRESIDENT DOES NOT HAVE THE POWER TO DEPLOY TROOPS ANYWHERE ON EITHER WHIM OR LONG THOUGHT- OUT POLICY.|
|00:03:55||AND IT IS THE CONGRESS THAT MUST FACE UP TO THE ISSUE AS TO WHETHER THE PRESIDENT HAS THE RIGHT TO DEPLOY TROOPS IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA, PRIMARILY IN BOSNIA.|
|00:04:06||I WOULD SUGGEST THAT THE PRESIDENT DOES NOT HAVE THAT RIGHT.|
|00:04:10||HE HAS NOT SHOWN US THERE IS A VITAL INTEREST IN THERE FOR AMERICA.|
|00:04:15||CERTAINLY THERE' S A HUMANITARIAN INTEREST, THERE ARE DOZENS OF HUMANITARIAN INTERESTS WHERE PEOPLE ARE BEING BUTCHERED BY THEIR NEIGHBORS IN THE SAME COUNTRY, BE IT IN AFRICA, BE IT IN PARTS OF EUROPE, BE IT IN ASIA.|
|00:04:30||WE CANNOT BE, AS I SAID EARLIER, SUPER COP TO THE WORLD.|
|00:04:34||AND I THINK THE CONGRESS NEEDS TO FACE UP TO THIS ISSUE AND NOT DUCK IT AS IT HAS BEEN DUCKING IT FOR THE LAST TWO WEEKS.|
|00:04:43||THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE: THE GENTLEMAN' S TIME HAS EXPIRED.|
|00:04:46||FOR WHAT PURPOSE DOES THE GENTLEMAN FROM FLORIDA RISE?|
|00:04:49||>> I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO ADDRESS THE HOUSE FOR FIVE MINUTES.|
|00:04:52||THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE: WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.|
|00:04:56||MR. WELDON: I RISE TO DISCUSS AN ISSUE REGARDING A LETTER THAT PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VIPTE GORE SENT TO A -- VICE PRESIDENT GORE SENT TO A NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES.|
Mr. HORN. Mr. Speaker, the tragedy in Bosnia is very much on the mine of every Member of this Chamber. Bosnia is not a partisan matter. Our policy in Bosnia, in my judgment, has been the error of two administrations, one of one party and one of another party. The embargo was put on by one, said that it would be lifted by another, but that still has not been done.
The result is that the Bosnians, who were aggressed against, attacked, have not had the weapons to defend themselves when they wanted to defend themselves. Now we say in the Dayton agreement that we will make sure the Bosnians are finally armed. The embargo still exists. It needs to come off. Of course, it never should have been put on.
Mr. Speaker, the issue in this debate is not who is an internationalist and who is an isolationist. I would like to think the issue is who is a realist.
The issue is also one of the power of the Congress and the power of the President. Under the Constitution, Presidents may wage war. It is Congress that declares war.
As we know from studying the Constitution in elementary school, high school, college and university, there are approximately 200 conflicts, large and small, that we have been in since 1789 when the First Congress met in New York. In only five of those did Congress declare war, but it certainly gave support to a number of others through appropriations and through authorization.
But that power of the President to wage war is not a mandate to be Super Cop to the world at either the whim or the policy of the President. The question is: `Where is our vital interest?' Usually the vital interest has been, in most of those 200 engagements, where the lives of citizens of the United States have been involved. Citizens of the United States are not being held captive in Bosnia and the lives of American citizens have not been involved.
We hear Members of the administration saying, `This is not going to be another Vietnam,' even though one of the top negotiators at Dayton had a slip of the tongue in talking to a few of us and mentioned Vietnam in the place of where he meant Bosnia, Whether that is significant I leave to the psychoanalysts.
Our troops are on the ground to separate the warring parties, who now are tired, presumably, and want peace after 500 years of acrimony, war, and conflict based on ethnicity as well as on religion. What happens when those supposedly tired warring parties decide they do not want peace anymore and the American forces are in the middle, presumably trying to separate them? The American forces thankfully do have the power to respond, and to respond promptly.
But I worry when a President, any President, Republican or Democrat--and this is a not a new thought with me--does something in foreign affairs in an election year. We all agree that handling foreign affairs is, frankly, a lot easier than dealing with domestic policy and all the different factions there.
The lives of American military men and women are too valuable to be an election year photo opportunity. The President does not have the power to deploy troops anywhere on either whim or long-thought-out policy. It is the Congress that must face up to the issue as to whether the President has the right to deploy troops in the former Yugoslavia, primarily in Bosnia. I would suggest that the President does not have the right. He has not shown us that there is a vital interest in Bosnia for America.
Certainly there is a humanitarian interest. There are dozens of humanitarian interests where people are being butchered by their neighbors in the same country, be it in Africa, be it in parts of Europe, be it in Asia. We cannot be, as I said earlier, Super Cop to the world. Congress needs to face up to this issue and not duck it as it has been ducking it for the last 2 weeks.
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