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U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007 Veto Message From The President Of The United

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


U.S. TROOP READINESS, VETERANS' CARE, KATRINA RECOVERY, AND IRAQ ACCOUNTABILITY APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2007--VETO MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (H. DOC. NO. 110-31) -- (House of Representatives - May 02, 2007)

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Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. I thank the gentleman from California.

Mr. Speaker, last month, a member of the majority leadership stated, ``This war is lost, and the surge has not accomplishing anything.'' He further stated, ``We are going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war,'' and adding that he had been shown numbers that are compelling and astounding.

I cannot imagine that there were many in either party who were not shocked by these brazenly cynical words.

This past Saturday, I sat down with Phyllis and Huber Parsons, constituents from my congressional district who have three sons serving in Baghdad. They are pictured here in the poster behind me. They are officers with the Army Stryker Brigade. They said to me that remarks such as the ones that I just quoted by our congressional leaders ``made them sick.'' Their sons, Charlie, Huber and Bill, are not bullets to be used to hit a political target. And while some of my colleagues may not agree with the administration's efforts to win the battle against Islamic jihadists in Iraq, the Parsons brothers should not be abandoned without ammunition to defend themselves.

My stepson, Doug, and my daughter-in-law, Lindsay, both served in Iraq. Lindsay is now in Afghanistan. They were not following the orders of would-be generals here in Congress. They were serving their country and their President, whom the Constitution clearly states is the commander-in-chief.

Not one of us here in Congress can usurp that role. Nor can we fill the role of General David Petraeus, who bears the enormous burden of directing this war and who has said that our mission is just and necessary.

These men and women of our Armed Forces, such as the Parsons brothers and my stepson and daughter-in-law, understand their mission. They understand that they are locked in a generational struggle with global Islamic radicals who seek our destruction. If we declare that we have been beaten in this phase of the struggle and then retreat, it will only grow, it will follow us home, and it may never end.

Imposing a timetable for withdrawal of our forces and retreating over the horizon, as some have suggested, will not insulate us from the terrible strategic consequences that would result. This fighting will spill into neighboring countries, threaten our allies and then spread throughout the Middle East.

In addition to these frightening strategic consequences, if we surrender the Iraqi nation to the terrorists, we would open the gates to a potential humanitarian crisis of epic proportions, including mass murder and displacements of thousands and thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women and children that our retreat helped make possible.

Let me remind the advocates of defeat of the words of one of our former presidents who battled against the legions of those who sought to block his efforts to save democracy for this country and for the world. He said, ``This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny. In this world of ours, there are some people, who seem to have grown too weary to carry on the fight. I believe in my heart that only our success can stir their ancient hope. They begin to know that here in America we are waging a great and successful war. It is a war for the survival of democracy.''

These are the words of Franklin Roosevelt, and I think were he here today, I am confident that he would never give in to those who say that we have lost and who demand that we retreat.

I ask my colleagues to uphold the President's veto and demand a clean supplemental to support our troops in the field, to give Bill, Charlie and Huber Parsons the resources they need to achieve victory in Iraq.

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