THE TRUTH ABOUT THE WAR IN IRAQ -- (House of Representatives - November 03, 2005)
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Mr. CARTER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding to me, and I thank the gentleman from California (Mr. Hunter) for putting together this opportunity to honor those who serve our Nation in the war on terror.
I am up here speaking for the people of the 31st Congressional District of Texas. How does the 31st Congressional District of Texas have credibility to speak on behalf of these efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan? I would like to tell you a little bit about our credibility.
The first American soldier killed in combat in the war on terror is from Georgetown Texas, which is 5 miles from my home; and every death in this war is absolutely critical to Americans. So counting numbers, every number counts. But the 2,000th death also took place, this famous 2,000th death that everybody in the press was just salivating to see happen, it seemed to me, he was also from the 31st district, Killeen, Texas. The people of the 31st district, from Stevensville, Texas to Round Rock, Texas, support our war, support our troops, and support our efforts in the war on terror.
The people of the 31st district know we were attacked in the most vicious attack that has ever been done on the homeland in the history of the United States in our country, and we have retaliated in force and effectively and done our job. And who has done that job? Our 31st district's III Corps went over there. Fourth Infantry Division went over there and captured Saddam Hussein. The First Cavalry Division went over and ran a perfect election and protected people as they went out and, as we have heard tonight, exercised their right to vote.
We have committed two full divisions to this war, and the Fourth ID is on its way back right now as we speak. I have been able to go over when both my divisions have been over there, and I promised General Thurmond and the that guys I talked to about 2 months ago, I am coming back just as quick as I can get over there right after the first of the year, because these are the finest human beings that have ever taken up arms on behalf of our country.
For those people to talk about cutting and running, Americans do not cut and run. You know, this House has a shame on it when they turned on our soldiers in Vietnam, and I take that position and I am not backing off of it. The liberal press shamed a great generation of people who did their duty then and we, cannot afford to allow that to happen again for political expediency so someone can possibly use the war to gain political advantage in the United States.
We are at war with evil people who intend to do harm to American citizens, wherever American citizens live or breathe or walk the street. We are unsafe with terrorism on the street, we are unsafe in our Nation and in every other nation on Earth because it is an evil cancer that can only be taken out by noble men and women who are willing to stand up on the wall and say we will fight for freedom, not only the freedom of Americans, but the freedom of the people that they are intimidating with their terrorism wherever they may appear. And I am telling you, we have got soldiers that have been willing to do that and have done the job well.
I remember when I was in Afghanistan, the story I love to tell about a 20-year-old sitting looking at a screen of a film of a drone that was broadcasting pictures from the desert. And while we were there, he went to his commander and said, Sir, there is a bunch of camels crossing out there in a part where there should not be any camels. And I thought, how does this kid know there are not supposed to be any camels in this part of the country? He said, I think there are people underneath those camels.
Three Blackhawk helicopters launched about 180 miles away. We were 180 miles from this location. And they caught nine Taliban crawling across the desert under the bellies of camels.
My whole point of that story is: What kind of great, intelligent, smart kids are we sending over there and they are putting their lives in harm's way? This was a smart kid, a computer operator running a drone, able to know the knowledge of the country, to know where our enemy might be hiding. We have got the best of the absolute best over there, the same kind of people that you run into when you go to Iraq and you talk to these kids.
I talked to a 20-year-old African American kid. We were having supper. He was from my district, and we have got a lot of them from my district. And I said, ``Son, have you had any hot spots that you have been in over here?'' And he said, ``Yeah. Yesterday we were in a convoy. They made the mistake of shooting at us.'' He said, ``They will not make that mistake again, sir.'' He said, ``When they stand and fight, they lose.''
Our young men and women are doing a fabulous job, and there is shame on anyone in this country who turns on these noble people who are standing up for the freedom of the people in Iraq and Afghanistan and the freedom of the United States of America. They are heroes.
Today, I am very proud to say that one of the first people in my district to be wounded, seriously wounded, Allen Babbin, he has undergone close to 200 surgeries from a round that he took, winning the Bronze Star for pulling another wounded soldier off a bridge in the second day in Baghdad. Today, he flew back home; and he is on his way to full recovery because of the great work of the Army, Navy, and Air Force in getting him to the right kind of treatment.
Everybody is working the right way in this job, and we bring shame upon ourselves, and those who would criticize these young men and women and the job they are doing bring shame upon themselves, and I am sorry for it.
We in America must remember: If we do not fight tyranny wherever tyranny exists, we have learned this lesson over and over and over in American history, and if we do not support those who fight tyranny wherever tyranny exists, then tyranny will take over that map until tyranny controls the world. There will not just be no freedom in Iraq or no freedom in Afghanistan. There will not be any freedom anywhere. Not even in the cradle of American liberty will there be freedom.
What this is about, Mr. Speaker, is the ability of Americans and others in this world to live the kind of life that everybody wants to live, raise their kids, have a job, eat dinner at night without fearing somebody blowing them up, walk the streets. It is for all the world that we stand in the gap, not just for Americans, not just for Afghans, not just for Iraqis or others in the Middle East. It is for the world that these young men and women stand in the gap.
I am very proud on behalf of the people of the 31st Congressional District of Texas to tell you that we stand tall on behalf of our soldiers. We know they are the best of the best, and they will win the war on terror because it is the right thing to do.
Lastly, we pray God's blessing on each and every one of them and each and every family that is also courageously allowing their family member to do the job that has to be done to keep freedom alive and well in this country. So this is all about us. It is all about the best of the best. God bless every one of them.
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