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U.S. Dissent in Persian Gulf Confrontation

December 16, 1990

In a time of national crisis such as this, it is most discouraging to watch Democratic congressional leaders such as Sens. Sam Nunn and Edward Kennedy openly attempt to undermine the strong message the Administration is seeking to communicate to Saddam Hussein. How effective could any corporation negotiate if members of its board of directors were in the background calling news conferences to second guess and criticize the designated negotiators?

Kennedy maintains on TV that our forefathers clearly provided in the Constitution that only Congress can declare war. True enough, but it is equally true that the Constitution nowhere prohibits the commander in chief to commit U.S. troops to combat, a fact his brothers John and Robert knew full well by their actions in Vietnam and Cuba, not to mention the commitment of troops to Korea, Lebanon, Grenada and Panama by other presidents. Is the senator maintaining that these actions were somehow unconstitutional?

It is interesting to note that Nunn maintains that we seemingly have unlimited time to maintain the standoff in the Persian Gulf. He does not, however, support this thesis by also discussing the possibility that our coalition may also weaken over time, unpredictable future events could easily occur which could undermine our efforts and that Hussein is playing for more time--the very time that Nunn is obviously prepared to give him.

DONALD FENMORE

Los Angeles

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