RELATING TO THE LIBERATION OF THE IRAQI PEOPLE AND THE VALIANT SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES AND COALITION FORCES -- (House of Representatives - March 17, 2004)
Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 561, I call up the resolution (H. Res. 557) relating to the liberation of the Iraqi people and the valiant service of the United States Armed Forces and Coalition forces, and ask for its immediate consideration.
The Clerk read the title of the resolution.
The text of House Resolution 557 is as follows:
H. Res. 557
Whereas Saddam Hussein and his regime committed crimes against humanity, systematically violating the human rights of Iraqis and citizens of other countries;
Whereas Saddam Hussein's terror regime subjected the Iraqi people to murder, torture, rape, and amputation;
Whereas on March 16, 1988, Saddam Hussein's regime had and unleashed weapons of mass destruction against Kurdish citizens, killing nearly 5,000 of them;
Whereas as many as 270 mass grave sites, containing the remains of as many as 400,000 victims of Saddam Hussein's regime, have been found in Iraq;
Whereas rape was used to intimidate the Iraqi population, with victims often raped in front of their families;
Whereas the regime punished the Marsh Arabs by draining the marshlands, which created hundreds of thousands of refugees and caused an ecological catastrophe;
Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338), passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 360 to 38, made it United States policy to support efforts to remove from power the regime headed by Saddam Hussein;
Whereas with the Iraqi regime failing to comply with 16 previously adopted United Nations Security Council resolutions, the Security Council unanimously approved Resolution 1441 on November 8, 2002, declaring that Iraq "has been and remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions, including resolution 687 (1991), in particular through Iraq's failure to cooperate with United Nations inspectors"; and
Whereas on October 10, 2002, the House of Representatives passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243) and on March 19, 2003, the United States initiated military operations in Iraq: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives-
(1) affirms that the United States and the world have been made safer with the removal of Saddam Hussein and his regime from power in Iraq;
(2) commends the Iraqi people for their courage in the face of unspeakable oppression and brutality inflicted on them by Saddam Hussein's regime;
(3) commends the Iraqi people on the adoption of Iraq's interim constitution; and
(4) commends the members of the United States Armed Forces and Coalition forces for liberating Iraq and expresses its gratitude for their valiant service.
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Mr. BACA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of our troops and in support of those who lost loved ones in the violence in Baghdad that we all witnessed today.
On a day that should have shown the unity of our government, we have seen the parties divided. The Republican resolution has left out Democratic input.
It has left out our condolences to the families of those killed in Iraq.
It has left out feelings that our troops must be equipped with body armor and armored vehicles.
And it has left out steps to correct the intelligence failures in the run-up to the war.
Even though the Republican resolution leaves out so much, I'm supporting it to show my support for our troops.
After one year in Iraq our troops are still suffering.
Our soldiers were sent to Iraq without enough of the equipment they depend on to do their jobs safely and without a plan to bring them home.
564 Americans and 100 other coalition troops have been killed. Americans deserve to know what happened in the events leading up to the war in Iraq.
We demand accountability. We are tired of the President and the Administration obstructing the 9/11 commission.
We must be able to trust that what the President tells them is true and we shouldn't have to bear the burden of rebuilding Iraq alone.
American taxpayers are paying almost all the bills, $120 billion and rising.
We deserve a detailed plan for future spending, so our troops are guaranteed to get the resources they need.
Part of winning the war on terror is taking care of those who helped us fight it.
We must ensure our veterans health care, their pensions, and their survivor's benefits.
But the Administration wants to raise health care costs for over 1 million veterans, increasing co-payments and imposing new enrollment fees that will cost veterans $2 billion over 5 years.
Just this past month the VA said it will cut 540 positions from the Veterans Benefits Administration. How can the Administration reduce the veteran benefit backlog when it cuts the resources needed to help our veterans?
I keep thinking about the young men in my district that we recently lost.
There was Corporal Jorge Gonzales. His parents, Mario and Rosa are from Rialto and they still grieve.
And then there was Corporal Sean Grilley of San Bernardino who was killed while he was enforcing a curfew.
These brave men and their families deserve truthful accountability so our soldiers are protected, our veterans are taken care of and our troops can come home as soon as possible.
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