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Public Statements

Providing for Consideration of H.Res. 571, Expressing Sense of House that Deployment of Forces in Iraq be Terminated Immediately

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H. RES. 571, EXPRESSING SENSE OF HOUSE THAT DEPLOYMENT OF FORCES IN IRAQ BE TERMINATED IMMEDIATELY -- (House of Representatives - November 18, 2005)

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Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the rule and in strong opposition to the underlying resolution.

I too am a Vietnam veteran. I flew 116 combat missions in B-52s in Vietnam, and I was deeply troubled to hear my colleague from Pennsylvania, a fellow Vietnam veteran, yesterday call for the immediate withdrawal of our troops from Iraq. It brought to my mind the outrage that I and so many of my fellow veterans felt so many years ago as a young Air Force officer in Vietnam when we would hear the politicians in Washington undermining the war effort for political purposes.

For the past few weeks, much of the criticism of the war in Iraq, Mr. Speaker, has been nothing more than an attempt to undermine our Commander in Chief. Unfortunately, this comes at the expense of our troops in the field. How do you think this call to immediately withdraw will affect our brave soldiers fighting on the ground overseas and their families at home awaiting their return?

I will just say it is demoralizing and insulting to them. It emboldens the terrorists.

We should not misrepresent the mission in Iraq. Our troops are not occupiers. They are liberators. They are there serving the cause of freedom and freedom is not free. It is costly.

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Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the rule and opposition to the underlying resolution.

I am a Vietnam veteran. I flew 116 combat missions in B-52's in Vietnam. I was deeply troubled to hear my colleague from Pennsylvania, a fellow Vietnam veteran, yesterday call for our immediate withdrawal from Iraq.

It brought to mind the outrage I, and so many of my fellow veterans, felt so many years ago, as a young Air Force Officer in Vietnam, when we would hear the politicians in Washington undermining the war effort for political purposes.

For the past few weeks, much of the criticism of the war in Iraq, Mr. Speaker, has been nothing more than an attempt to undermine our Commander in Chief.

Unfortunately, this comes at the expense of our troops in the field.

How do you think this call to immediately withdraw will affect our brave soldiers fighting on the ground overseas and their families at home awaiting their return? It is demoralizing and insulting to them.

And what do you think such comments like those made yesterday do for our terrorist enemies in Iraq? It emboldens them and puts our troops at greater risk, Mr. Speaker.

How dare some of my colleagues on the left misrepresent our mission in Iraq. They call our troops occupiers rather than liberators, and it seems they're more interested in demonizing Bush than defeating terrorists and defending freedom.

History has some lessons to teach us. One is written in words on the mall. It says ``freedom is not free.''

While we respect those who disagree with us and who may even protest, we should always remember that our freedoms were not won with poster paint. They were won by the blood of patriots.

Winning and protecting freedom is costly. That's what our troops are doing in Iraq.

As a combat veteran who served in an unpopular conflict during another painful time in our history, I can tell you that our troops will always remember which politicians supported them, and which undermined their efforts.

Walking away from Iraq before the job is done would be surrendering Iraq to terrorism and an incredible insult to the many brave men and women who have sacrificed so much.

If the war against terrorism is lost, it will not be lost by our magnificent troops on the battlefield. It will be lost right here at home in the halls of Congress by politicians who lose their resolve.

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