Dr. Coburn Applauds President Bush's Call to Stay the Course in Iraq
U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement today in support of our mission in Iraq:
"President Bush's critics are naïve to assume that getting our troops out of harm's way in Iraq would make the world a safer place. Setting an artificial timeline for withdrawal would only encourage the terrorists to wait us out and step up the intensity of their attacks. Leaving before Iraq is secure would shift the front line in the War on Terror away from Baghdad and toward American cities.
"The American people and elected officials need to understand the terrorists are watching public opinion and political speeches about Iraq very closely. Despite our bold actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, Islamic radicals, or, as some have said, Islamo-fascists' remain convinced that the United States is a paper tiger that is unwilling to defend itself in a long struggle. History, unfortunately, supports their conclusion.
"Prior to September 11, the United States did cut and run in the face of terror attacks beginning with the Iran hostage crisis in 1979 and continuing through the attacks against U.S. Marines in Lebanon in 1983, the first World Trade Center attack in 1993, the bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and the attack against the USS Cole in 2000. The consequence of 22 years of cut and run policies arrived in the form of suicide pilots in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2001.
"President Bush is the first American president to wake up to the fact that the free world is, and has been, engaged in a deadly and global struggle against Islamo-fascism. Returning to a defensive posture in the face of terror would only invite more deadly attacks.
"The enemy we are fighting cannot be appeased or contained. They will not stop until everyone who opposes their agenda is killed or forced to submit to an Islamo-fascist government. A free and democratic Iraq will be a beacon of light in a troubled region and will help keep the terrorists, not the free world, in a position of retreat."