Hmmm…wonder where all the talk of “mission creep” has gone? It is amazing to see the arguments used then and now and how dramatically they change given who is in the White House. (ht www.noiraqescalation.org)
McCain argues for troop withdrawal from Haiti:
McCain argues for troop withdrawal from Somalia:
Background and much, much more after the break…
[via email from the folks at www.noiraqescalation.org]
Recently, we researched back issues of the Congressional Record to determine how several current Republican Senators addressed the issue of timelines and U.S. troops in Somali and Haiti. We searched several floor statements from 1993 and 1994 to find the GOP position on troop withdrawals. Many Republicans mirrored the exact sentiment of Democrats today, who are pursuing a reasonable end to the war in Iraq.
What we found: In 1993 and 1994, Senator John McCain went to the Senate floor and made two impassioned speeches urging, in fact demanding, that then-President Clinton bring home our troops from Somalia and Haiti. Here are McCain?s quotes:
John McCain, Oct. 14, 1993, 139 Cong Rec S 13480:
?Mr. President, our mission in Somali is over. It is time to come home. Our mission in Somali was to feed a million starving Somali who needed to be fed. It was not an open-ended commitment. It was not a commission of nation building, not warlord hunting, or any of the other extraneous activities which we seem to have been engaged in.?
?If the President of the United States cannot say, “Here is what we are fighting for in Somali, that more Americans may perish in service to the goals, and here is why it is worth that price,” then, Mr. President, we have no right — no right — to ask Americans to risk their lives in any further misadventures in Somali.?
McCain 1993, Congressional Record, Oct. 6, 1994, 140 Cong Rec S 14302:
?First, the President should have sought congressional approval before employing United States Armed Forces to Haiti. Second, the resolution offers support for the withdrawal of United States Armed Forces as soon as possible. In my view that does not mean as soon as order is restored to Haiti. It does not mean as soon as democracy is flourishing in Haiti. It does not mean as soon as we have established a viable nation in Haiti. As soon as possible means as soon we can get out of Haiti without losing any American lives.?
?There may be different interpretations of this resolution on the other side of the aisle because I think clearly this resolution will be approved overwhelmingly in the upcoming vote. But it is my view, and I think the majority of the American people’s view, and I want to make it clear, that as soon as possible means as soon as possible, exactly what those words say.?
?In addition, the provisions of this resolution require the President to report to Congress on the policy objectives, mission, and rules of engagement in Haiti. This information will help Congress to keep track of the evolution of our mission, otherwise known as mission creep.?