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Location: Washington, DC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to oppose this resolution, and I readily admit that I don't know for sure what the best policy is in this fight against radical Islamic groups. With all due respect, I don't think any other Member of this body does either. Much of what we have heard this week are words based on emotions, and not facts.

In the midst of such uncertainty, I do believe there are certain opinions that are factually sound. Number one, the greatest weapon our enemy has is the loss of resolve on the part of the American people. Two, what this Congress does significantly affects that resolve of the American people. Three, this resolution is a major signal that America has lost its resolve.

If we succumb to an attitude of defeat, then defeat is what will occur. I will simply ask, if we don't want to engage radical Islam in Iraq, then where? If we don't want to engage radical Islam now, then when?

If we cannot answer these questions, be assured that our enemy will provide us with the answers. I am not willing to vote for a resolution that I believe does just that. It is true that the Iraqis must truly step forward and want to govern themselves. President Bush has set out markers by which they will be measured. We should hold them to these reasonable standards.
Tonight I stand with our troops, and I thank them and their families for their service.

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