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Congressman Kingston Supports Iraq Resolution

Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Kingston Supports Iraq Resolution

Provides Briefing On Progress In Iraq With Defense Secretary Rumsfeld

U.S. Congressman Jack Kingston (R/Ga.-1) today supported H. Res. 861, declaring that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, which passed by a vote of 256-153.

"Passing this Resolution today sends a clear message to our servicemen and women that we support their efforts to win the Global War on Terror. As the terrorists know, the frontline for that fight is Iraq and we must stay the course until the job is finished," Congressman Kingston said.

As Chairman of the Republican Theme Team, Congressman Kingston was asked to host a special, Members-only briefing on America's progress in Iraq with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Thursday. In the meeting, Secretary Rumsfeld highlighted the progress and the successes that have been achieved in Iraq. In particular, the formation of the full Iraqi government and the death of al-Qaeda's key leader in Iraq, Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi, have helped ‘turn the tables' in Iraq.

"Among other things, Secretary Rumsfeld told us that Iraqi Prime Minister al-Malik was making headway in three key areas: reconciliation, reconstruction, and securing Baghdad," Congressman Kingston said.

Congressman Kingston continued, "The Secretary said that political polling showed that an overall majority of Iraqis want the violence to end and that Sunnis, Shiites, and other tribes were coming together as a government to make that happen. As an example of progress on the ground, he revealed that the number of intelligence ‘tips' had gone from 400 per month to 4,000 which increases the possibility of capturing terrorists like al-Zarqawi.

"He also said that physically, Iraq is war torn, but is being rebuilt. Basic services like electricity and water are still spotty, Despite insurgent attacks on critical transmission lines, seasonal electricity production by the Ministry of Electricity in the first quarter of 2006 was 5 percent higher than the first quarter of 2005 and 2004 and that full-year average peak generation in 2004 and 2005 was approximately equal to pre-war level of 2002.

"He said that before liberation, Iraq's cities suffered from inadequate sewage systems. So far, the U.S. has helped Iraqis build/repair sewage treatment plants for 5.1 million Iraqis and that U.S. funded projects have also improved access to clean water for 3.1 million people.

"He told us that the Iraqi people are leading the way on the ground. He noted that Iraqi Security Forces are maintaining 60 percent of Baghdad, and that there are now 111 Iraqi Army and Special Operations battalions conducting counter-insurgency operations, and is at 86 percent of its authorized end strength.

"Despite those who say America should cut-and-run in Iraq, it's clear that the progress made would be lost. If we were to set a leave date for our troops, Iraq would follow the Fallujah-model where the terrorists regained control of the city. Further, America would lose all credibility in the international community and we would be ensured that Iraq would become another terrorist-sponsoring country which is rich with oil.

"And finally, those who gave their lives, and the families that have sacrificed so much to help win the Global War on Terrorism, deserve completion in this war. One example of this is the late Army Chief Warrant Officer Corey Goodnature who was killed when the MH-47 Chinook helicopter that he was aboard crashed in Asadabad, Afghanistan in the Kunar Province. Here is a letter Corey wrote saying what fighting the war on terrorism means to him."

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