Speeches

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today was joined by Senators Joe Biden (D-DE), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Joe Lieberman (D-CT), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) in offering a Senate resolution on Kosovo. The text of McCain's floor speech follows: "As my colleagues know I am concerned that the force the United States and our NATO allies has employed against Serbia- gradually escalating air strikes - is insufficient to achieve our political objectives there - the removal of Serb military and security forces from Kosovo; the return of the refugees to their homes; and the establishment of a NATO led peacekeeping force. I hope this resolution, should it be adopted, will encourage the Administration and our allies to find the courage and resolve to prosecute this war in the manner most likely to result in its early and successful conclusion. In other words, I hope this resolution will make clear Congress' support for adapting our means to secure our ends, rather than the reverse. "But that is not our central purpose today. Our central purpose is to encourage Congress to meet its responsibilities, responsibilities that we have thus far evaded. "Many of my colleagues oppose this war, and would prefer that the United States immediately withdraw from a Balkan conflict that they judge to be a quagmire so far removed from America's interests that the cost of victory cannot be justified. I disagree, but I respect their opinion as honest and honorable. And I believe that they would welcome the opportunity to express their opposition by the means available to Congress. "Those of us who support this intervention, and those who may have had reservations about either its necessity or its initial direction but are now committed to winning it, should also welcome this resolution as the instrument for doing our duty, as we have called on so many fine young Americans to do their duty at the risk of their lives. "If those who oppose this war and any widening of it prevail, so be it. The President will pursue his present course, as authorized by earlier congressional resolutions, until its failure demands we settle on Mr. Milosevic's terms. Those of our colleagues who feel that course is preferable to the price that would be incurred by fully prosecuting this war can rightly claim that they followed the demands of conscience and Constitution. But they must also be accountable to the country and the world for whatever negative consequences ensue from our failure. "Should those of us who want to use all necessary force to win this war prevail, then we must accept responsibility for the losses incurred in its prosecution. That is the only-honorable course. But no matter which view any senator holds, should this resolution be adopted at the end of a thorough debate, all members of Congress should then unite to support the early and complete accomplishment of our mission in Kosovo. "Silence and equivocation will not unburden us of our responsibility to support or oppose the war. I do not recommend lightly the course I have called on the President to pursue. I know, as should any one who votes for this resolution, that if Americans die in a land war with Serbia, we will bear a considerable share of the blame for their loss. We are as accountable to their families as the President must be. "But I would rather face that sad burden than hide from my conscience because I sought an ambiguous political position to seek shelter behind. Nor could I easily bear the dishonor of having known that my country's interests demanded a course of action, but avoided taking it because the costs of defending them were substantial, as were its attendant political risks. "Congress, no less than the Administration, must show the resolve and confidence of a superpower whose cause is just and imperative. Let us all, President and Senator alike, show the courage of our convictions in this critical hour. Let us declare ourselves in support of or opposition to this war, and the many sacrifices it will entail. Our duty demands it." 106TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION S J RES IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES Mr. McCAIN introduced the following joint resolution; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on JOINT RESOLUTION Concerning the deployment of United States Armed Forces to the Kosovo region in Yugoslavia. Whereas the United States and its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are conducting large-scale military operations against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro); and Whereas the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) has refused to comply with NATO demands that it withdraw its military, paramilitary and security forces from the province of Kosovo, allow the return of ethnic Albanian refugees to their homes, and permit the establishment of a NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo: Now, therefore, be it 1 Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives 2 of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 3 That the President is authorized to use all necessary force 4 and other means, in concert with United States allies, to 5 accomplish United States and North Atlantic Treaty Or- 6 ganization objectives in the Federal Republic of Yugo- 7 slavia (Serbia and Montenegro). ###