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Declaring that the United States Will Prevail in the Global War on Terror

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. PRICE of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the resolution.

International Terrorism--when we discuss this very important issue--an issue of life and death--not just for each of us individually, but for our nation and way of life--it is imperative that we begin our discussion--at the beginning. And that beginning wasn't on 9-11! We've been under attack for at least 30 years.

We did not want this fight--we did not invite this fight--we did not wish to engage in this battle. However, once our enemy crossed over the line--confirmed for us and the world--that they were unwilling to respect international law, respect individual liberty, respect sovereignty of nations--and that they were willing and desirous of engaging in mortal battle--no other option was left to us or the civilized world.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, on January 23, 2005, said: ``We have declared a fierce war on this evil principle of democracy and those who follow this wrong ideology.''

So, this discussion today comes down to a fundamental question--what is the appropriate strategy and tactic to adopt to win the War on Terror?

Will we withdraw and simply defend--a policy of isolation and containment--or will we aggressively combat terrorism--and take the battle to our enemy?

This war is unlike any other in history--without a doubt.

Our enemy has no single home. It recruits and trains its army from nations around the world. The only unifying element is hate--hate for the West--hate for democracy--hate for freedom of religion--hate for liberty.

The only message our enemy understands is force. Period. Terrorists don't negotiate--terrorists don't compromise--terrorists are not interested in peace. To them, that's weakness.

Thankfully we've stayed the course. Thankfully we've persevered in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The greatest threat to terrorism is freedom, liberty and democracy--in the Middle East and beyond.

Today the terrorists are truly on the run.

Last week U.S. and Iraqi forces eliminated Al Qaeda in Iraq's top terrorist--Abu Musab Al Zarqawi. This was accomplished with excellent intelligence--knowing where the bad guys were and when. And this information came from Iraqi civilians--that is a very positive sign.

This important step demonstrates many things: we will hunt down terrorists and eliminate them wherever they are hiding, the shackles of decades long terrorism are being removed from the Middle East, Iraqi security forces are stepping up to the challenge; Iraqi citizens want to be free of terrorists and they are not going to sit idly by.

Success breeds success.

Never has that been more evident than this past week.

While Zarqawi was eliminated--finding him brought a treasure trove of information allowing U.S. and Iraqi forces to dismantle many more pieces of Al Qaeda's puzzle.

Success breeds success.

Iraq just this past week selected 3 more officials--cabinet ministers--to serve in its standing government.

Success breeds success.

It is also important for us to recall and reiterate why we are engaged in this war.

It is imperative during this debate that we re-examine the conditions that required the United States to take military action in Afghanistan and Iraq in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Just a short look at recent history--just the last 27 years--vividly demonstrates the death, destruction and terror brought to Americans by our enemy.

November 4, 1979--Iranian radicals seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held 53 hostages for 444 days.

April 18, 1983--Sixty-three people, including the CIA's Middle East directory, were killed when our U. S. Embassy in Beirut was bombed.

October 23, 1983--simultaneous suicide bomb attacks on American and French compounds in Beirut, Lebanon; killing 242 Americans and 58 French troops.

March 16, 1984--Islamic Jihad kidnapped and later murdered Political Officer William Buckley in Beirut, Lebanon.

October 7, 1985--Achille Lauro Hijacking--terrorists seized the Italian cruise liner and murdered one American invalid in a wheelchair.

April 5, 1986--Berlin Discotheque Bombing--Two U.S. soldiers were killed and 79 American servicemen were injured in a Libyan bomb attack in West Berlin, West Germany.

December 21, 1988--Pan Am 103 Bombing--Pan Am 103 blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland by bomb placed by Libyan terrorists--all 259 people on board were killed.

February 26, 1993--First World Trade Center Bombing--car bomb exploded in an underground garage killing 6 people and injuring over 1000.

November 13, 1995--car bomb explodes at U.S. military complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, killing one U.S. citizen, several foreign national employees of the U.S. government and over 40 others.

June 25, 1996--Khobar Towers Bombing--a truck bomb in Dhahran destroys Khobar Towers, a U.S. Air Force barracks, killing 19 U.S. military personnel and wounding 515 people, including 240 U.S. personnel.

August 7, 1998--U.S. Embassy Bombings in East Africa--two coordinated attacks on U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania--killing over 300.

October 12, 2000--Attack on U.S.S. Cole--a small dingy carrying explosives rammed the destroyer U.S.S. Cole, killing 17 sailors and injuring 39.

September 11, 2001--Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Homeland--Two hijacked airliners crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Soon thereafter, the Pentagon was struck by a third hijacked plane. A fourth hijacked plane, suspected to be bound for a high-profile target in Washington, crashed into a field in southern Pennsylvania. The attacks killed 3,025 U.S. citizens and other nationals.

Treating these incidents as crimes--not acts of war--and providing reactionary measures rather than moving pro actively--will not work. How do we know? Because that is precisely what we did for decades--and the consequence was 9-11.

The attacks we witnessed that day serve as a reminder of the dangers we face as a nation in a post-9/11 world. We can no longer expect oceans between us and our enemies to keep us safe.

Policy of containment has been proven to be a dismal failure.

Just as the battle in Afghanistan was not simply to remove the Taliban. The battle in Iraq was not simply to remove Saddam Hussein and his murderous regime.

One has to look no further than the action of our enemy to see that we are fighting those who want to bring their brand of terror and fear to our shores.

We must not forget those threats that have been disrupted here at home and on our allies: the West Coast Airliner Plot; The Heathrow Airport Plot; and The Jose Padilla Plot.

The campaign against the United States and its allies is ambitious, simple and clear.

Terrorists will stop at nothing to achieve their distorted sense of reality.

Now, we could have easily stayed out of this conflict .....

However, giving terrorists free reign would not make us any safer--history has proven that.

The price would be more innocent lives lost--more bombings--and not an ounce of peace.

We must not be held hostage by terrorism--that is not living in liberty and freedom!

There are defining moments every generation must face. For this generation that defining moment is how we engage in this War on Terror--highlighted by a very different post 9-11 world. When we came to that defining moment--that tragic day--we, as a nation with our allies around the world, decided we would not allow terrorists to win.

The choice is clear, our resolve is clear. We will and must prevail.


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