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Public Statements

Iraq War Resolution

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


IRAQ WAR RESOLUTION -- (House of Representatives - February 14, 2007)

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Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Michigan for yielding the time, as we come to the floor to debate this nonbinding, no confidence resolution that is going to serve to discourage our troops and embolden our enemies.

I have noted that this obviously is the best that the Democrats have to offer when it comes to national security and to their thoughts on how we deal with the situation in Iraq, and that is a disappointment to me.

I think that the question that we have to ask is, whose side are you on? Whose side are you on? Are you on the side of winning? Are you on the side of freedom? Or are you on the side of allowing the terrorists to get an upper hand?

And as I begin my remarks, I do want to thank the troops that live in my district, those of the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell, members of the National Guard who have served with distinction, Reservists who have been deployed more than once. I want to thank their families, and I want to thank the veterans that served in an advisory capacity to me as we look at these issues and as we make decisions about how best to approach preserving freedom, preserving liberty, and preserving the sovereignty of this great Nation as we know it. I thank them. I am grateful for their sacrifice. I am grateful for their service to this Nation, and I want it to be noted on this day. They have a commitment and a perspective and a love of freedom that few Americans will ever know. I wish that we all did.

I am grateful also that they can articulate so fluently their mission and what they are called on to do every day in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and in the 30 countries around the globe where Americans fight to preserve freedom. They articulate this in e-mails and blogs, and even in notes and letters to their Member of Congress.

I also, Mr. Speaker, want to recognize the Kurdish community that calls Nashville, Tennessee home, and recognize their commitment and their appreciation to our U.S. troops. One of the points that many of them make to me regularly and also one of the points that our men and women in uniform make regularly is to remind us of why we are in this fight, why we are in this fight and providing the historical perspective that is so important. This didn't begin on September 11. It did indeed begin long, long, long ago.

Indeed, the radical Islamists have fought Judaism and Christianity not for decades but for centuries. This is something that we all know. The Islamic radicals did get a toe-hold in Iran in the late 1970s with the approach at that point by President Carter, then President Carter, and those around him. And now those radicals tell us, they tell us that Iraq is indeed the central front in the global war on terror. We know that they want to change the Middle East and then they want to change the world. And, Mr. Speaker, that is not the type change that we want. I want my children and grandchildren to live in freedom. I want them to know an America that is free and strong and independent.

Our soldiers are fighting. They are fighting every day. They are fighting the insurgents in the field, they are fighting the battle of ideas; and the battle of ideas is a very, very powerful fight in Iraq at this point in time.

Now, too many in this Chamber want to add another fight to our military men and women, to their agenda every day. They want them to have to fight the battle of public opinion here in the United States. I see that as a disservice to the men and women in uniform. This legislative body does have a role in oversight of the war, but I do believe, I personally believe it is inappropriate, Mr. Speaker, that we try to micromanage from the comforts of Washington. I do believe that we should be listening to our troops and our commanders in the field.

General David Petraeus, who has taken the command, accepted the coalition flag this Saturday, said it very well and I will enter his comments for the Record. He reminds us that progress is being made and lays that out, and I will enter that for the Record and have the opportunity to talk about it again later. I think that what we have to do is realize the resolution before us, Mr. Speaker, will not build morale with the troops on the ground, and it does give the terrorists just what they want. We have to fight back. We have to realize sacrifices do have to be made in order for us to further the cause of freedom and liberty in this great land.

The situation in Iraq is exceedingly challenging. The stakes are very high. The way ahead will be hard and there undoubtedly will be many tough days . . . however, ``hard'' is not ``hopeless''; indeed, together with our Iraqi partners, we can and we must prevail. (General David Petraeus, Commander MNF-I, 2/10/07.)

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: GENERAL PETRAEUS TAKES COMMAND

This Mission Is Doable: ``Our job in the months ahead, supporting and working with Iraqi forces will improve our security so tht 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.'' (General David Petraeus, Commander, MNF-I, 2/10/07)

Enemies Who Brag of Inhuman Acts Against Fellow Human Beings: ``Tragically, barbaric enemies have prevented Iraq from making the most of the abundant blessings bestowed by the Almighty on Mesopotamia. These are enemies who brag of inhuman acts against fellow human beings, who invoke religious justifications for actions that no God could countenance, who try to drive wedges between religious and ethnic groups that have lived together in harmony in the past, and who in recent weeks have even targeted a girls' school, innocent laborers, marketplaces and pet shops in their efforts to spark sectarian violence.'' (General David Petraeus, Commander, MNF-I, 2/10/07)

Together We Can Defeat The Enemies of Iraq: ``Surely the Iraqi people realize that these enemies do not want the best for Iraqi's citizens, and surely now is the time for all Iraqis to reject violence, crime and corruption and to rise up against those who employ such methods to further their agendas. It is against these enemies that all Iraqis must now fight. And I pledge the full support of the Multinational Forces Iraq in this endeavor. Together we can defeat the enemies of Iraq.'' (General David Petraeus, Commander, MNF-I, 2/10/07)

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