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Iraq War Resolution

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. BARROW. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, since taking a seat in this body over 2 years ago, I have supported our President's efforts in the war on terror at every turn. I have been to Iraq. I have visited those wounded there, and I have spoken with family members who have sacrificed more for their country than most people could stand.

I have carefully considered the President's plan. I have listened to his reasons, and I have tried to understand them. But the inescapable conclusion is this. While there are differences between the President's new strategy and his prior conduct of the war, the similarities still outweigh the differences. The President's new plan is not a new strategy. Instead, it represents more of the same strategy that has gotten us to where we are today. If we are going to defeat terrorism in Iraq, we simply cannot afford to keep doing more of the same.

Congress cannot manage a war, and it should not try. Instead, Congress' job is to demand accountability from those charged with the conduct of the war effort, and so far Congress has failed to do that job.

This resolution, however imperfect, is intended to bring about some accountability on the part of those charged with the conduct of the war effort, and it says of the President's plan, thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.

The President's plan is found wanting because he doesn't explain how this escalation in the number of American troops can make any difference in a war plan that depends on redeploying so many more Iraqi troops. We have been given no credible explanation as to why 21,000 more American troops can accomplish what the 130,000 already on the ground cannot accomplish.

The President's plan is found wanting because it calls for completely new rules of engagement.

The President's plan is found wanting because it calls for new rules of engagement, with no explanation as to why such rules of engagement were not allowed in the past when they would have done the most good.

The question before us is not whether the President's new plan represents a better chance of success in Iraq. The real question is whether the chances for success it represents is a good enough chance to be worth the sacrifices that our soldiers will have to make to implement it.

A 1 percent increase in the chances of success may be better than no increase, but our troops deserve a better plan that that. Mr. Speaker, I do not believe that this plan represents the change in strategy that we need in Iraq, nor does it offer a good enough chance for success to be worth the sacrifices that it will cost. And that is why I will support the resolution.


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