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US Senate and war against Iraq

At the request of Phyllis Gardner, I posted the remarks by Senator Edward Kennedy questioning the Bush administration's plans for war against Iraq. The Democrats carried their campaign to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, presided over by that admirable Republican Richard Lugar. Testifying were Under Secretary of State Richard Armitage and US Ambassador to the UN John Negroponte. Armitage outranks Negroponte, and he did most of the talking, He looks and sounds like a hoarse frog, but because of zoological correctness, this should not be taken as criticism. I suspect rather that his Pentagon background made the Democrats especially suspicious of him. They wanted to know why he would not give the committee, even in closed session, information the administration claims to have about violations by the Iraqi regime. Joseph Biden clearly felt he had been downgraded by losing the chairmanship of the committee. Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut was especially effective. I am a great admirer of the US committee system, but I doubt if this meeting made the Bush administration change its mind.

Ronald Hilton - 1/31/03