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Public Statements

Afghanistan

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. JONES. When I was home, like most Members, during the Easter break, I had the opportunity to read in the Raleigh, North Carolina, paper an article that just really took me backwards. The title of the article is: ``Iran Is Victor in Post-War Iraq.'' The first paragraph says:

Ten years after the United States-led invasion to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the geopolitical winner of the war appears to be the common enemy: Iran.

Mr. Speaker, I think most of us in the House know that 25, 30 years ago, our Nation supported Saddam Hussein when he was fighting the Iranians. This is what frustrates the American people. We create a bad policy; we continue to support a bad policy. It makes no sense.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak to the inspector general for the Iraq Project, and when I get the report, I would maybe like to share more information. Just for example, approximately $11.7 billion in waste, fraud, and abuse. What makes this so ironic is that the Iranians are possibly becoming the beneficiaries of this money. The taxpayers now are spending money in Iraq that could possibly be going into the coffers of the Iranian people. I guess that makes sense to most of my colleagues, but it doesn't to me.

I encourage the American people to go to www.costofwar.com. If you can get it on the Internet, you need to see it. The American people need to understand what is happening in Afghanistan and Iraq. You will see a combined total of $1.4 trillion, and it's a running total. It doesn't stop; it doesn't pause; it just keeps running. So there we go again. Poor Uncle Sam can't take care of his bills, but we're going to take care of these foreign countries. It makes no to sense to me.

Mr. Speaker, a total of 6,656 American troops have died in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, not to mention the thousands of civilian lives lost and the veterans who return home physically and mentally wounded. Whether it's in Iraq or Afghanistan, we cannot continue to spend money that we don't have and neglect the American people.

I hope the people of this country and my fellow colleagues share my outrage and my concern, because it would be almost a sin if we continue to spend this money without any accountability or very little to speak of.

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I visited a soldier from my district in North Carolina. He was at Walter Reed Hospital at Bethesda. His father called me 4 months ago and said, I really would appreciate if you would see my son. He's lost a leg. He's lost fingers. He's badly burned.

Mr. Speaker, it was humbling to go to Walter Reed yesterday and see this young corporal, but he is what makes America great. His attitude is excellent, not complaining about his injuries, and I just pray to God that we will realize that if we don't stop spending the money we don't have that young men and women like the corporal in the years to come will not get benefits because we will be financially broke. That will be a sin, and I hope it never happens.

So, Mr. Speaker, I will be back next week. I will have the inspector general's estimate on the cost to stay in Iraq for 2 more years, and I hope to have some figures I can leave and put in the Record, because it is time that we have a debate on our foreign policy right here in the House of Representatives. Maybe we will in May. I hope so.

With that, Mr. Speaker, as I always do, I ask God to please bless our men and women in uniform, to please bless the families of our men and women in uniform, in His loving arms to hold the families who have given a child dying for freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I ask God to bless the House and Senate, that we will do what is rights in the eyes of God for God's people today and God's people tomorrow.

I ask God to please bless the President, that he will do what is right in the eyes of God for God's people today and God's people tomorrow.

Mr. Speaker, three times, God, please, God, please, God, please continue to bless America.


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