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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

History lesson: Senator McConnell on Haiti

I looked and could not find this on the web, but Lexis Nexis has the CNN News transcript (# 877-11). Mitch McConnell of Kentucky spoke live on the Senate floor at 6:42 pm ET, September 14, 1994, in regards to "Operation Uphold Democracy." This was the Clinton administration's intervention to oust the military junta that had toppled the democratically-elected Aristide government in Haiti: the very least the president should give us and give the American public -and hopefully he'll do that tomorrow night - some clear indication of how our national security interests are involved in invading Haiti. I'm willing to listen, for one, but I must tell you, Mr. President, and my colleagues, it seems to me that, as others have probably said, it's not worth a single life- not worth a single life of any American soldier unless the president can make a national security argument.

...I wonder about the propriety of establishing the principle that we should go about the world restoring deposed regimes as a matter of American foreign policy.

Well, my goodness, if our goal is to depose- to restore deposed regimes, I suspect there will be a long list. Who is going to be in charge of the government in Haiti, it seems to me, is a question for the Haitians. Which is not an endorsement of deposing any particular regime, but the question clearly remains- is it in America's national security interest to restore deposed regimes in countries that have no bearing on America's national security interests. I mean, that is what is before us.

...There seems to be no constituency for it in the United States, outside of possibly a very narrow constituency with a rather provincial concern in this particular country. No broad American interest in this. And so, Mr. President, I think it is particularly ill advised...
Oh, and this is Senator McConnell on Fox News, Sunday August 28, 2005:
WALLACE: Let's turn, Senator McConnell, if we can, to the bigger picture. Given not only the political but the military facts on the ground today, what should be our objective in Iraq and when should we be able to begin to bring U.S. troops home?

MCCONNELL: I don't think we ought to put a deadline on that. I think the president's exactly right. Our goal is to be there and to win. And the definition of win is to go through this process that we've just described. It leads to a democratically elected government taking office New Year's Eve and a gradual ramping up of the Iraqi security forces.
Notice how he didn't answer the part about the objective? Don't get me wrong, he thinks there's a security interest, but uses they administration's mumbo-jumbo about Iraq being the "central front" in the "war on terrorism."

If the US invasion dart had landed on a different Arab or Islamic country, he undoubtedly would have said the same thing about the opposition insurgency.

I confirmed the accuracy of the 1994 statement on Thomas. The Congressional Record had this statement on p. S12908.

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