IRAQ WAR RESOLUTION -- (House of Representatives - February 14, 2007)
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Mr. CARTER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, I spent many years of my life being a trial judge in the beloved State of Texas, and as we are trying to make these decisions here today, I think there is a good parallel to be struck between the decisions that this House is going to make and the decisions that a jury gets asked to be made in the courtroom.
The process always begins with pleadings, and I have here in my hand the pleadings of the majority party of the House of Representatives, pleading for relief from this body.
They begin by section 1, the Congress and the American people will continue to support and protect the members of the United States Armed Forces who are serving and have bravely served honorably in Iraq.
Well, they are not really pleading for any relief there. They are not actually
asking us for anything, other than stating this is what they stand for. So we have to kind of fall back on our experience and what we have experienced recently.
We have just experienced a continuing resolution, as they called it, which cut the military over $4 billion. But that is okay, it is going to be put back in the supplemental, we are told. Yet in the argument in this case, I have heard many folks that step up there and start talking about they are part of the Out of Iraq Caucus and they wish to defund to get the troops back home. So if they are going to defund, when are they going to put that money back?
They say they support our troops. They, this Congress, has elected by its vote, General Petraeus, an expert in counterinsurgency, to give us a plan. And he has. He has told us, I need more boots on the ground to back up the Iraqi troops as they go in and clean out these militias and give some stability to Baghdad. That is what he has asked us for. And he has also told us that this type of action by Congress will discourage his troops.
Secretary Gates has told us in his opinion this will encourage our enemies, just this statement, this kind of thing that we are doing here today. And yet we hear arguments that is just not true.
Yet I don't know, I have got a little note here that ABC News, certainly nobody's conservative press, reports that they talked to some Army sergeants in Ramadi. First Sergeant Louis Barnum says, ``It makes me sick. I was born and raised a Democrat. When I see that, it makes me sad.''
Sergeant Brian Orzechowski says, ``I don't want to bad mouth the President at all. To me, it is treason.''
Then in this morning's paper, in the Washington Times, Cal Thomas' column, Army Sergeant Daniel Dobson, 22, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, in his second tour in Iraq, says, ``The American military has shown a stone-cold professional veneer throughout the seething debate over Iraq. Beneath that veneer, however, is a fuming visceral hatred. We feel as though we have been betrayed by Congress.''
So the evidence seems to be that this does seem to discourage our troops.
And how will it encourage our enemies? Let's think about that. If the majority gets its way and we pull out of Iraq, the enemy will be able to say, the jihadists of whatever faction they may be, will be able to say, ``We defeated the Russians in Afghanistan; we defeated the Shah and the United States of America in Iran; we have now defeated the United States of America and its coalition partners in Iraq.''
Won't this make a great recruiting poster and slogan for those who seek further jihadists who wish to do us harm?
So although their pleadings don't call for anything other than a statement of what they stand for, the consequences may be dire.
Then we go on to see what also they are telling us that they want to do. They are just telling us that Congress disapproves of the decision of President George Bush, that President George Bush announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 22,000 additional United States troops in Iraq.
Okay. What does that tell us? That tells us they don't like what the President's decision was. That is what it tells us. Does it tell us why? Well, we have heard a lot of people tell us why. So I guess that is what we have to rely upon. Has it told us what alternative they feel like we are going to have? Does what they are asking us to do today give us an alternative? I find nothing else in this piece of paper that says that. I don't find any solution proposed.
So what should Americans expect from what is being asked for here today? I think they should expect discouraged troops. I think they should expect an encouraged enemy. But, more importantly, I think we as we make this decision should realize that what we may be doing is bringing this fight to the very people we are here to represent, so that when we stand in those metal detector lines at our malls we will know it all started with H. Con. Res. 63. Now we live in the unsafe world that the Israelis deal in every day.
Mr. Speaker, the relief sought here today is minimal, this action does nothing to help our troops or help our effort, and the only solution, if it goes bad, is prayer. We have a chance to have a solution here today, and I would submit that that solution is vote against House Concurrent Resolution 63.
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