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Afghanistan

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. JONES. Mr. Speaker, I have been listening to both sides in this very important debate: the future of America and where we are going and how we are going to pay for the future of this country. What is amazing to me is that President Karzai of Afghanistan, I don't believe he has furloughed one person.

We are furloughing U.S. Government workers all across this Nation, but Mr. Karzai continues to get his millions and millions of dollars. Mr. Speaker, this is unnecessary. I don't know why we in Congress continue to fund a war where we can't even get an accountability from the inspectors. It makes no sense.

I want to read three paragraphs from an article I read this weekend, called, ``The Forgotten War.'' One of the paragraphs:

But even when the war ``ends'' and Americans have forgotten it altogether, it won't be over in Afghanistan. Obama and Karzai continue negotiating towards a bilateral strategic agreement to allow the United States to keep at least nine of the biggest bases it built and several thousand trainers, and undoubtedly Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan, seemingly forever.

Another of the paragraphs:

It won't be over in the United States either. For American soldiers who took part in it and returned with catastrophic physical and mental injuries and for their families, the battles are just beginning. For American taxpayers, the war will continue at least until mid-century. Think of all the families of the dead soldiers to be compensated for their losses, all the wounded with their health care bills, all the brain-damaged veterans at the VA hospitals. Think of the outgoing costs of their drugs and prosthetics and benefits. Medical and disability costs alone are projected to reach $754 billion, not to mention the hefty retirement pay of all those generals who issued all those reports of progress as they so ambitiously fought more than one war leading nowhere.

Mr. Speaker, just this past weekend, we had five Americans brought back in flag-draped coffins. I doubt sincerely if many people in this country read that report, that five Americans came back in a flag-draped coffin.

I do not understand why this Congress continues to have these difficulties of trying to fix our own problems in this country, but don't worry about the waste, fraud, and abuse--and, more important, the loss of limb and body and heart that our kids have been giving in Afghanistan.

I will close by reading one more paragraph from the article, called, ``The Forgotten War'':

Will the United States still be meddling in Afghanistan 30 years from now? If history is any guide, the answer is ``yes''; and if history is any guide, three decades from now, most Americans will have only the haziest idea why.

I can only say to the families of those five patriots who came back in a flag-draped coffin, may we never forget. May we never forget that the war in Afghanistan continues to go on and on and probably will for the next 30 years. Come on, Congress, let's get together. Let's stop spending money in Afghanistan. More important, let's stop sending our young men and women to give their limbs and their life.

Mr. Speaker, in closing, as I always do, I ask God to please bless our men and women in uniform. I ask God to please bless the families of our men and women in uniform. I ask God, 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 us in the House and Senate, bless the President, and, please, God, three times, God, please, God, please, God, please, continue to bless America.


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