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Berkley Statement on American Resolve in Iraq

Location: Washington, DC

Berkley Statement on American Resolve in Iraq

Congresswoman Shelley Berkley today entered the following remarks into the Congressional Record in response to Republican attacks directed at Rep. John Murtha. Berkley addresses the question of America's military strategy for success in Iraq and the future of U.S. troops in the region. Her statement is as follows:

Mr. Speaker,

I voted to give President Bush the authority to go into Iraq. I'm not on the left; I'm not on the right. I'm on the side of our country and I'm on the side of our troops.

I can't imagine why the Republicans have brought the Hunter resolution to the floor. How does this help our troops serving in Iraq? How does this help make our nation safer?

For the past two years, the Republicans have taken any criticism of this war and labeled it as unpatriotic and as an attack on our troops. Criticizing the way the war has been prosecuted -- criticizing the way it has been bungled -- is not unpatriotic. It is the ultimate act of patriotism.

John Murtha is a 37-year veteran of the Marine Corps.
He served in Korea and in Vietnam.
He was awarded the Bronze Star.
He received two Purple Hearts.

Now Mr. Murtha has provoked an important debate -- one we should be having in this body. Mr. Murtha has the right to have these ideas discussed. Our troops have the right to have these ideas discussed. The American public has the right to have these ideas discussed.

We send young men and women to war. We are responsible for them. We must be diligent in our oversight. That's our duty.

What we are doing here tonight is a waste of time and does a tremendous disservice to our troops.

Talk about patriotism -- this is not patriotism. This is a cheap political stunt and an affront to those serving our nation so far from home. The President wants to stay the course. What does that mean? 700 attacks a week against our troops no winning strategy no plan no end in sight

Let us not embarrass ourselves any further.

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