Liberty Suburban - Roskam Speaks on the Future of Iraq
By Samantha Nelson
A recent visit to Ramadi, Iraq, showed U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-6th District, of Wood Dale, that progress is being made in the War on Terror.
At a visit to Rest Haven West Christian Services in Downers Grove, Roskam talked to senior citizens about how he and five other congress members, three from each party, were able to visit the city in the dangerous al Anbar province Al Queda has selected for its headquarters.
"Had we been there even 90 days ago, we were told in no uncertain terms we would have been assassinated," Roskam said. "Symbolically, it was very important."
Still the 30-pound body armor and helmets Roskam and the other legislators wore were a reminder the area still is far from safe. But the newly elected representative contends the issues plaguing Iraq are complex but need to be addressed by U.S. government.
"The question on Iraq is where do you go from here?" Roskam said. "I think we've got to be very measured on the notion of withdrawal."
Roskam was critical of the Iraqi civilian government, saying it should not be considering taking any sort of recess until they get the job of running the country done. With the world's second largest oil reserves, Iraq could be paying for its own military support, but the government has been squabbling over sharing the income.
Ramadi's new security is encouraging because alliances have been formed between the Sunni and Shi'ite populations, according to Roskam.
Lombard resident Barbara Davis, who had participated in a town hall phone conference between Roskam and 6,000 constituents, skipped her occupational therapy at Rest Haven to meet Roskam in person.
"He does a wonderful job representing us," she said. "I feel extremely honored that he cares so much about the district."
Scott Studebaker, vice president of ministry advancement and development for Rest Haven, said the agency invited Roskam to present the legislator with the Life Services Network Partners in Quality Award.
A vocal supporter of Medicare, Roskam criticized Democrats for voting to cut its funding while giving benefits to illegal immigrants.
"He's fighting for Medicare," Studebaker said. "He's an advocate for the elderly. He's accessible, and he's not just a listening ear. He's out there doing things."