Cynthia McKinney blasts H.R. 3908 "Emergency" supplemental
March 29, 2000
Mr. Speaker, if this bill weren't
so serious, I'd think it's a joke. Once again, the United States
is proposing a huge military alliance with a foreign military known
for its human rights abuses. Now, you'd think we'd have learned
our lesson by now. How long ago was it that Bill Clinton went to
Guatemala and apologized for fueling that country's generation-long
slide into chaos? But, just a year later, you could say, "Here we
No one seriously denies the link of
vicious paramilitary groups to the Colombian government and here
we're going to turn over to known human rights abusers the means
by which they can perfect their trade.
As we stand here on the Floor today,
3,000 union leaders, students, parents, shopkeepers and others are
standing before 3,000 armed Colombian soldiers, forming a human
shield to protect the peaceful U'wa people that the Colombian government
wants to move off their ancestral land to make way for Occidental
Petroleum's oil rigs. We should be standing with the people, not
giving aid and encouragement to Colombia's brutal military.
We should have learned our lessons
well about going in with the military where only diplomacy should
be allowed to tread. Unfortunately, it appears that we have not.
Because in addition to Plan Colombia, this bill also provides an
additional 5 billion dollars to keep us in Kosovo: Another failed
military blunder that diplomacy should have resolved.
After our military gambit in Kosovo,
we have left 31,000 rounds of depleted uranium rounds and 50% unemployment;
in some areas rising to 85%. The crumbling infrastructure is yet
to be rebuilt and our European allies haven't lived up to the commitments
they made at the beginning of that adventure.
Time and time again, this Congress
commits our troops to military adventures without a plan to bring
them home. Last year, US aircraft flew over 1,000 sorties in Iraq
nearly a decade after that war supposedly ended and the civilian
death toll climbed over one million. In Kosovo, our limited engagement
has turned into a permanent occupation. Now we are being asked to
fund the Vietnamizaton of Barry McCaffrey's war without an exit
strategy or end game.
We ought to take a page out of Nancy
Reagan's book and just say no. It seems that an emergency is only
an emergency when multi-million dollar arms sales are at stake.
We think nothing of spending a million dollars each for cruise missiles
or attack helicopters, but to reverse the devastation of Mozambique
that is suffering a real emergency today, it doesn't even make it
on our radar screens.