DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2007--Continued -- (Senate - September 06, 2006)
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Mr. DeMINT. Thank you, Mr. President.
I am afraid if my Democratic colleagues spent half the time helping us fight this war on terror as they do attacking the administration we would be a lot closer to winning this war. But, unfortunately, they are very united in defeatism, in their negative attacks on the President, and, in the process, encouraging terrorists all around the world, sending the signal that America is frustrated and ready to quit.
America is not ready to quit.
As they continue their attacks, I would like to remind them of the progress we have made since President Bush took office. Before President Bush took office, after 8 years of President Clinton's administration, Afghanistan was a worldwide staging area for terrorism, where the training took place, communications were organized, financing took place. Iraq was sitting on multiple chemical weapons in defiance of the United Nations resolution. Numerous terrorist attacks had occurred against our warships, our embassies. And our administration, under President Clinton, did nothing.
Again, terrorism was unchallenged and undetected. President Clinton was doing exactly what our Democratic colleagues want President Bush to do now. They tried to stop the PATRIOT Act so that we would not have the tools to fight terrorism. They have tried to stop the interception of communications from terrorists into this country so we could not find out who they were and what they were planning. They have complained about tracing the financing of terrorism around the world--when this President took action.
We need to remind our Democratic colleagues that before President Bush took office, 9/11 had already been planned under the Clinton administration, been financed. The communication was set up. All the tools that the President needs and has used to protect us were not used then. So 9/11 has happened.
But since 9/11, this President took action. And with the support of this Congress, he along with his staff has changed Afghanistan. Afghanistan is no longer the staging area for terrorism. And a signal has been sent to any country that does it.
Afghanistan is now a democracy. Women can vote and go to school. Iraq no longer has control of their arsenal of chemical weapons. Iraq is moving toward a democracy, admittedly with many difficulties.
But if our Democratic colleagues had their way, Iraq would become the new staging area for terrorists. Being between Iran and Syria, if we leave before this country can stand up on its own, everyone knows it will be in the hands of terrorists.
We cannot retreat. We must fight this global war that has been declared on us. There is a reason there has been no attacks in this country since 9/11. It is because we have been attacking the terrorists all around the world.
The Democrats are united. They are united in the idea of retreat and defeatism. They attack this President with no ideas of their own. They are trying to take the tools to fight terrorism away from this President--the PATRIOT Act, the interception of communications, tracing finances. On every turn, the Democrats are obstructing the things that have changed with this President that allowed terrorism to grow unchallenged for 8 years under the Clinton administration.
Now my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have stooped to attacking members of the President's Cabinet. I think it is time to get this amendment off the table. It is not germane. We need to get back to the business of approving the resources that our soldiers need.
I would appeal to my Democratic colleagues to stop performing for an audience and help us fight this war on terror.
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