8th District Veterans Join with Boehner to Denounce Nonbinding Resolution on Iraq
Ohio 8th District veterans today joined with Congressman John Boehner (R-OH) to denounce a non-binding resolution being debated in the U.S. House of Representatives declaring support for troops but not support for their mission in Iraq. Several comments throughout the debate from anti-war Democrats have indicated this resolution is a "first step" to cutting off funding for troops in combat zones.
Additionally, the Democratic leadership refused to allow a vote on a Republican measure that would bind Congress to an unwavering commitment to fund U.S. service men and women.
"The impact on us troops is that we believe there's not support for the job we're doing," said Ryan McDonald, a Marine Corps lance corporal who recently served seven months in Iraq and is currently finishing his senior year at Miami University. "It's like people saying they feel bad we had to take time out of our lives to go over there. This is something we believe in and something we want to do."
McDonald added that the nonbinding resolution sends a clear message to the terrorists, who will exploit any perceived weakness as they work to defeat U.S. efforts.
"It shows a lot of weakness and show that we're not committed to the job we're doing," he said.
Miami County resident Henk Brunsveld, whose son is serving his second tour in Iraq, said it's important to look beyond the fighting to see the progress Iraqis have made rebuilding their country. He noted that the Iraq's currency - the dinar - has consistently risen in value since the sentencing and execution of deposed dictator Saddam Hussein. Projects like infrastructure repairs are moving forward as part of the reconstruction effort to get Iraq back on its feet.
"The Democrats are twisting issues; they're playing on words," said Brunsveld, a retired Marine Corps Sergeant Major who served for nearly 25 years. "They keep talking about how we're losing but we're in a different campaign. We have to stand beside the Iraqis until they get on their feet. It's a delicate operation, and it's going well."
Brunsveld likened the rhetoric on Iraq and the nonbinding resolution to a town that pulls all of its police officers, fire fighter and emergency medical technicians off the streets to spend more time at home. He said the absurdity of that is comparable to the effect of telling the United States' all-volunteer military that their mission is not deserving of support.
"It demoralizes our troops to see the politicians turning on them. Supporting our troops and supporting their mission go hand-in-hand," Brunsveld said.
In his Floor speech opening the debate on the nonbinding resolution, Boehner pointed out the devastating consequences of appearing weak to terrorists.
"We know what al Qaeda thinks when America retreats from the battlefield. They think we can't stomach a fight," Boehner said. "This is why they haven't been afraid to strike us whenever they've had the opportunity. America slept through the first 22 years of this war:
It began with the Iran hostage taking in 1979.
Then, on October 23, 1983, the suicide attack on the Marine Barracks in Beirut killed 241 American servicemen and injured 60 others.
On February 26, 1993, the 1st World Trade Center Bombing killed six people and injured more than 1,000 others.
On June 25, 1996, the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia killed 20 people and injured 372 people.
On June 7, 1998, the Kenya Embassy Bombing killed 213 people and injured 5,000 people.
On June 7, 1998, the Tanzania Embassy bombing killed 11 people and injured 68 people.
On October 12, 2000, the U.S.S. Cole bombing killed 17 people and injured 39 people."
Retired Lt. Col. Edwin W. Kulo, a Tipp City resident, who served in the Army during World War II, Korea and Vietnam, emphatically stated the resolution takes the country in the wrong direction.
"I am completely against the U.S. House resolution against the war in Iraq," Kulo said. "I believe this resolution will give the wrong message to our enemies. There is no substitute for victory."
Boehner represents Ohio's 8th District, which includes all of Darke, Miami and Preble counties, most of Butler and Mercer counties, and the northeastern corner of Montgomery County. He was first elected to Congress in 1990.