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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Holbrooke Speaks before Foreign Relations Committee

Aired September 25, 2002 - 14:38   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. I'm told now we are going to turn to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. We are going to listen in as talk about post-war with Iraq -- conditions of post-war Iraq.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

RICHARD HOLBROOKE, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS: ... the region referred to in Security Council 687 meant Kuwait and Iraq, and Mr. Chairman, I checked this with Ambassador Pickering when he realized he couldn't be here today. He was the ambassador in New York at the time it was passed. He was absolutely clear that that phrase in 687 meant only Iraq and Kuwait, and I would like to help -- offer that to you as you deliberate.

In the draft before you, however, the phrase could mean anything at all, and I strongly endorse the concerns expressed by Senator Feingold and some of his colleagues. The phrase should simply be removed. Refining it, which is an option, is simply too cumbersome and unnecessary. The final resolution should, in my view, focus clearly on Iraq, nothing else.

My second suggestion, Mr. Chairman, is that the resolution contain a statement of strong support for the efforts of the president, the secretary of state, and their colleagues to seek and achieve a satisfactory Security Council resolution.

For some reason, the draft does not emphasize the effort at the Security Council, which I know is of great concern to all of us. This would emphasize the importance of the Security Council and show our unity to those nations now wavering over this issue.

Third, I would suggest that you add a reporting clause, requiring the administration to inform and consult Congress on a very timely basis, perhaps as frequently as every month in writing, and even more frequently in closed and highly confidential meetings as they proceed.

The administration should not be left with the ability to say that if this resolution passes, they have discharged their obligation to consult and inform Congress, as President Johnson did after the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in August 1964.

PHILLIPS: Richard Holbrooke, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. addressing the Senate Foreign Relations committee about post-Iraq, if indeed the U.S. does wage a war against that country.

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