HALL STATEMENT ON 6TH ANNIVERSARY OF 9-11
Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX/4th) issued the following statement on the upcoming anniversary of September 11, 2001:
"Next week we remember with thoughts and prayers those Americans who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, and their families and friends who mourn their passing.
"On that day America declared war on terrorism, and today that fight continues in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and in countries around the world where terrorists plot to kill innocent citizens and destroy the fabric of freedom that we have fought long and hard to preserve. We have lost many brave Americans in this struggle, and many more have been gravely injured. Today we honor the sacrifice of these fallen heroes. Our Nation owes them a debt of gratitude and support that can never be fully paid.
"The war on terror has been like no other. The enemy hides among innocent civilians to wage deadly attacks and seeks to coerce and intimidate by targeting both civilians and soldiers. Our soldiers are under immense pressure - tactically, physically, and emotionally - but they are prevailing. Our troops have killed or captured dozens of leaders and thousands of members of Al Qaeda. The new surge in Iraq is showing some positive - if uneven - results. While much remains to be done, it does seem that we have new momentum.
"I returned from my trip to Iraq last month with renewed hope that we can reach a point next year when we can begin to transfer more authority to Iraqi troops and security forces and begin an honorable withdrawal of our troops. General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker are providing excellent leadership, and I anticipate that their report to Congress next week will give an accurate and cautiously optimistic portrayal of the situation in Iraq. Attacks by Al Qaeda have declined, basic services are improving, and local leaders are coming forward in pursuit of peace. Now is not the time to change course.
"The challenges in Iraq are formidable - but the strategic consequences of failure would be enormous. We should be encouraged by the new momentum and give General Petraeus and our troops the time they need."