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Public Statements

Congressman Kingston Returns from Iraq

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Location: Washington, DC


Congressman Kingston returns from Iraq
Visits troops from Georgia to let them know they have America's support

Washington, Dec 5 -

Congressman Jack Kingston (R/Ga.-1) has returned from a trip where he met with American troops and Iraqi officials to learn the truth about what is going on in the region.

Troop morale is sky-high," Congressman Kingston said. "We had heard that they were not happy and we found out that is not true. They are enthusiastic about what they are doing and they are upset with the way the New York Times portrays them. Our troops have everything they need from tanks to toilet paper. They have bullet-proof vests, up armored humvees and above all, commitment."

Congressman Kingston was part of a bi-partisan group which included Democratic Representatives Adam Smith of Washington, Kendrick Meek of Florida and Tim Ryan of Ohio, as well as Republicans Dennis Rehberg of Montana and Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania who led the delegation. They met Minster of Defense Ali Allawi and Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi.

"They want us to stand by, not cut and run," Congressman Kingston said. "They don't want us to run the show. There is no debate from them or us about transitioning Iraq into independence. America's role is to transition out of Iraq. Right now, 50-percent of Baghdad is under Iraqi control."

This was Congressman Kingston's second trip to Iraq. He was there two years ago and said that there has been a great deal of change during that time.

"On this trip, I saw more cars and traffic. There was a resumption of daily routine. Normal life is beginning to return," Congressman Kingston said. "There has been so much progress. They passed a Constitution on October 15 and they have an election coming up December 15 and 228 political parties are running candidates.

"They are taking more control which is good. The American soldiers tell us that if a small-arms fight breaks out, the Iraqi forces are the first on the scene. Americans are there for backup and support."

Congressman Kingston said the Iraqi people are happy that American troops are there to help and protect them and are embracing the changes in their society.

"The more Democracy they get, the more they are turning away the insurgents," Congressman Kingston said. "It is a troubled region. There is strife that goes with the turf. Even al Zarqawi's own family has disowned him. Iraq may never be entirely peaceful, but it could be a good American ally in the future.

"They are moving in the right direction. Iraq has 212,000 troops and 9,000 more about to graduate and 10,000 more behind them. They are not having any trouble getting recruits. They have teachers trained and the terrorists are being rounded up.

"It is a difficult job to plant the seeds of Democracy in a region that is not used to it. We are still working to understand Democracy in America. We need allies to step in and help continue the process. It is so important for us to transition out slowly
and deliberately."

http://kingston.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=37501

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