IRAQ WAR RESOLUTION -- (House of Representatives - February 14, 2007)
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Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, as I rise I do want to say a special thank you to our troops who are deployed tonight, to those that are from Tennessee's Seventh Congressional District, many of those from Fort Campbell, and our National Guardsmen, our Reservists, certainly to our veterans.
I can think of no more wonderful gift to give those and to leave for those you love than the gift of freedom. And certainly, on Valentine's Day, on Valentine's evening that is an important, important thought for us to have. And I appreciate all of our men and women and the efforts that they make to keep this Nation free, and to be certain that our children and our grandchildren have the opportunity to grow up in freedom and to enjoy the America that we have enjoyed.
As we have talked about this resolution, the 97 words that exist in this very short resolution, we have talked about it from different angles, how a nonbinding resolution and a no confidence resolution affects our troops, the thoughts that went into creating this resolution. And one of the questions that I continually come back to that actually was posed to me by some of the veterans in my district, is whose side are you on? When you offer a resolution like this, whose side are you on?
And the other question that keeps coming back is who are you listening to?
Certainly, I would hope that we would all be standing on the side of freedom. I would hope that we would all be standing on the side of our troops. And I do hope that we would all be listening to our commanders in the field.
There has been some mention this evening of General David Petraeus, who this weekend took control of command in Iraq. And I will give you some of his quotes, some of the things that he has had to say in the last few days as he is over there and working those. And I quote from him. ``Our job in the months ahead, supporting and working with Iraqi forces, will improve our security so that the Iraqi Government can resolve the tough issues it faces, and so that the economy and basic services can be improved. These tasks are achievable. This mission is doable.''
Indeed, those on the ground believe this is doable. We know that it is doable, and we know in the global war on terror we have to win. We cannot lose. We have to win. The civilized world depends on defeating terrorists and winning.
We also know that Iraqis are making progress. There has been some debate and some mention tonight about progress not being made in Iraq. And, Mr. Speaker, I will offer to you that indeed you are not going to hear this on the 6 o'clock news, the 10 o'clock, 11 o'clock news around the country because the major media outlets just don't want to report it. But we are finding out that while this body sets aside a political debate that some think will benefit them, what we see is our troops in the field in Iraq are making progress. They understand their mission. They know what they are about every day. We see that even just in the last few days, when you are talking about Baghdad, three Iraqi Army brigades are now deploying to Baghdad to reinforce the six Iraqi Army brigades and nine National Police brigades that are already there. These are steps that are taking place. This is progress that the Iraqi people are making on behalf of their quest for freedom. These are their steps, these are their steps toward freedom and toward leadership.
How dare we discount that? How dare we not recognize that? How dare we not encourage that? And how dare we take steps to embolden and encourage the enemy who would seek to strike them down?
Mr. Speaker, we should be very, very careful whom we listen to, and we should be very thoughtful as we answer the question, Whose side are you on?
I am so grateful, Mr. Speaker, that those that have gone before us chose to be on the side of freedom.
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