Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), October 16, 2003, Congressional Record:
All the administration’s rationalizations as we prepared to go to war
now stand revealed as “double talk.” The American people were told
Saddam Hussein was building nuclear weapons. He was not. We were told
he had stockpiles of other weapons of mass destruction. He did not. We
were told he was involved in 9/11. He was not. We were told Iraq was
attracting terrorists from al Qaeda. It was not. We were told our
soldiers would be viewed as liberators. They are not. We were told Iraq
could pay for its own reconstruction. It cannot. We were told the war
would make America safer. It has not. . . .
So when the roll is called on this $87 billion legislation, which
provides no effective conditions for genuine international
participation and a clear change in policy in Iraq, I intend to vote
no. A no vote is not a vote against supporting our troops. It is a vote
to send the administration back to the drawing board. It is a vote for
a new policy — [a] policy worthy of the sacrifice our soldiers are
making, a policy that restores America as a respected member of the
family of nations, a policy that will make it easier, not far more
difficult, to win the war against terrorism.
The amount of money is huge. It is 87 times what the federal government
spends annually on after-school programs. It is seven times what
President Bush proposed to spend on education for low-income schools in
2004. It is nine times what the federal government spends on special
education each year. It is eight times what the government spends to
help middle- and low-income students go to college. It is 15 times what
the government spends on cancer research. It is 27 times what the
government spends on substance abuse and mental health treatment. . . .
Here at home, all Americans are being asked to bear the burden, too —
and they deserve more than a phony summons to support our troops by
pursuing policies that will only condemn them to greater and greater
danger. Yes, we must stay the course — but not the wrong course.