CONSIDERATION OF H. RES. 114, AUTHORIZATION FOR USE
OF MILITARY FORCE AGAINST IRAQ RESOLUTION OF 2002 --
(House of Representatives - October 08, 2002)
Hon. John N. Hostettler of Indiana
(Mr. HOSTETTLER asked and was given permission to revise
and extend his remarks.)
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman
from New Mexico for yielding me this time.
Today the question before this body, Mr. Speaker, is
not ``How shall we respond to the unprovoked attack
by a foreign nation upon the United States or its fielded
military forces abroad?''
We are not debating ``How will we respond to the menace
of a political and/or cultural movement that is enveloping
nations across the globe and is knocking on the door
90 miles off the coast of Florida?''
Nor, Mr. Speaker, are we discussing a response to an
act of aggression by a dictator who has invaded his
neighbor and has his sights on 40 percent of the world's
oil reserves, an act that could plunge the American
economy, so dependent on energy, into a deep spiral.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, and this point must be made very
clear, we are not discussing how America should respond
to the acts of terrorism on September 11, 2001. That
debate and vote was held over a year ago; and our men
and women in uniform, led by our Commander-in-Chief
and Secretary of Defense, are winning the war on terrorism.
It is with their blood, sweat, and tears that they are
of us who will lay our heads down in peace this night,
the right to wake up tomorrow, free.
No, Mr. Speaker, the question before us today is ``Will
the House of Representatives vote to initiate war on
another sovereign nation?''
Article I, Section 8 of the governing document of this
Republic, the United States Constitution, gives to Congress
the power to provide for the common defense. It follows
that Congress's [sic] power to declare war must be in
keeping with the notion of providing for the common
Today, a novel case is being made that the best defense
is a good offense. But is this the power that the Framers
of the Constitution meant to pass down to their posterity
when they sought to secure for us the blessings of liberty?
Did they suggest that mothers and fathers would be required
by this august body to give up sons and daughters because
of the possibility of future aggression? Mr. Speaker,
I humbly submit that they did not.
As I was preparing these remarks, I was reminded of
an entry on my desk calendar of April 19. It is an excerpt
of the Boston Globe, Bicentennial Edition, March 9,
1975. It reads, ``At dawn on this morning, April 19,
1775, some 70 Minutemen were assembled on Lexington's
green. All eyes kept returning to where the road from
Boston opened onto the green; all ears strained to hear
the drums and double-march of the approaching British
Grenadiers. Waving to the drummer boy to cease his beat,
the Minuteman Captain, John Parker, gave his fateful
command: `Don't fire unless fired upon. But if they
want to have a war, let it begin here.''
``Don't fire unless fired upon.'' It is a notion that
is at least as old as St. Augustine's Just War thesis,
and it finds agreement with the Minutemen and Framers
of the Constitution.
We should not turn our back today on millennia of wisdom
by proposing to send America's beautiful sons and daughters
into harm's way for what might be.
We are told that Saddam Hussein might have a nuclear
weapon; he might use a weapon of mass destruction against
the United States or our interests overseas; or he might
give such weapons to al Qaeda or another terrorist organization.
But based on the best of our intelligence information,
none of these things have happened. The evidence supporting
what might be is tenuous, at best.
Accordingly, Mr. Speaker, I must conclude that Iraq
indeed poses a threat, but it does not pose an imminent
threat that justifies a preemptive military strike at
Voting for this resolution not only would set an ominous
precedent for using the administration's parameters
to justify war against the remaining partners in the
``Axis of Evil,'' but such a vote for preemption would
also set a standard which the rest of the world would
seek to hold America to and which the rest of the world
could justifiably follow.
War should be waged by necessity, and I do not believe
that such necessity is at hand at this time. For these
reasons, Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to please
vote ``no'' on the resolution to approve force at this
Source citation: 107th Congress, 2nd
Session, October 8, 2002, Congressional Record, pp.