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Appointment of Conferees on HR 1591, US Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health and Iraq Accountability Act, 2007

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC



Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. I thank the gentleman from California for the time.

Mr. Speaker, whether or not some choose to acknowledge it, we are at war with militant Islamists who seek our destruction. Yet some on the other side of the aisle today announced that the war is lost in Iraq. This comment shows little understanding of the ability and the determination of our men and women in the Armed Forces.

Naysayers and those who doubt our Nation's ability to prevail over evil have existed throughout the centuries, and it appears that there are those who doubt the ability of this century's greatest generation to defeat these Islamist militant extremists operating in Iraq.

Our mission is just. The soldier cannot be separated from his mission. All I have to do is look to the inspiration of the Parsons brothers from my congressional district, who are serving in Iraq. They know that we must and indeed we can succeed.

Huber Parsons was with the 101st Airborne for two long Iraq deployments. He is currently on his third deployment with the Army Stryker Brigade. His twin brother, Bill, has served two tours in Afghanistan and two tours in Iraq. And their little brother, Charlie, is on his first deployment in Iraq. All three brothers are deployed in Iraq right now.

I ask for the Parsons brothers and for all of our brave men and women serving our Nation in Iraq that we not put them at increased risk with these arbitrary, artificial deadlines.

My stepson, Douglas, and my daughter-in-law, Lindsay, both served in Iraq as Marine fighter pilots, and tomorrow Lindsay will be deploying to Afghanistan to continue her military service.

Arbitrary deadlines and the consequences of retreating and failure are personal issues for me. Establishing arbitrary deadlines for withdrawal of our forces before Iraq is stable and secure gives the insurgents, as well as the Islamic extremist terrorists, a roadmap, a how-to guide, on how to defeat the United States, our Iraqi partners and other coalition forces in Iraq. Our troops understand this. Our enemies understand this. Our allies understand it; we must as well.

We met with Egyptian leader Mubarak just 2 weeks ago in a bipartisan congressional delegation, and this is what he told us: ``Withdrawing from Iraq without creating stability will mean that the U.S. will suffer and all of us in the region will suffer. I know how these terrorists think,'' Mubarak said to us, ``and they will come after you and then come after us.''

He continued by saying, ``The way to control Iran is for the U.S. to succeed in stabilizing Iraq. Withdrawal of your forces in Iraq without making Iraq stable will strengthen Iran and will cause you harm and will cause all of us harm.''

Mr. Speaker, we either stand now against the Islamic militant jihadists operating in Iraq or have these militants continue to threaten our men and women fighting the forces that seek our destruction. We cannot leave our troops serving in Iraq or anywhere else vulnerable to the whims of armchair generals in Congress.

Support our troops. Reject this motion.


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