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Relating to the Liberation of the Iraqi People and the Valiant Service of the United States Armed Forces and Coalition Forces

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


RELATING TO THE LIBERATION OF THE IRAQI PEOPLE AND THE VALIANT SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES AND COALITION FORCES -- (House of Representatives - March 17, 2004)

Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 561, I call up the resolution (H. Res. 557) relating to the liberation of the Iraqi people and the valiant service of the United States Armed Forces and Coalition forces, and ask for its immediate consideration.

The Clerk read the title of the resolution.

The text of House Resolution 557 is as follows:

H. Res. 557

Whereas Saddam Hussein and his regime committed crimes against humanity, systematically violating the human rights of Iraqis and citizens of other countries;

Whereas Saddam Hussein's terror regime subjected the Iraqi people to murder, torture, rape, and amputation;

Whereas on March 16, 1988, Saddam Hussein's regime had and unleashed weapons of mass destruction against Kurdish citizens, killing nearly 5,000 of them;

Whereas as many as 270 mass grave sites, containing the remains of as many as 400,000 victims of Saddam Hussein's regime, have been found in Iraq;

Whereas rape was used to intimidate the Iraqi population, with victims often raped in front of their families;

Whereas the regime punished the Marsh Arabs by draining the marshlands, which created hundreds of thousands of refugees and caused an ecological catastrophe;

Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338), passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 360 to 38, made it United States policy to support efforts to remove from power the regime headed by Saddam Hussein;

Whereas with the Iraqi regime failing to comply with 16 previously adopted United Nations Security Council resolutions, the Security Council unanimously approved Resolution 1441 on November 8, 2002, declaring that Iraq "has been and remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions, including resolution 687 (1991), in particular through Iraq's failure to cooperate with United Nations inspectors"; and

Whereas on October 10, 2002, the House of Representatives passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243) and on March 19, 2003, the United States initiated military operations in Iraq: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives-

(1) affirms that the United States and the world have been made safer with the removal of Saddam Hussein and his regime from power in Iraq;

(2) commends the Iraqi people for their courage in the face of unspeakable oppression and brutality inflicted on them by Saddam Hussein's regime;

(3) commends the Iraqi people on the adoption of Iraq's interim constitution; and

(4) commends the members of the United States Armed Forces and Coalition forces for liberating Iraq and expresses its gratitude for their valiant service.

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Mr. BECERRA. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me the time. First and foremost, let us all begin by thanking and saluting each and every American soldier, more than 500 of whom have died, thousands who have been injured, and several hundred thousand who are on active duty today, for their service and continued service doing what they are commanded to do every day. But under the shield of commending our troops, the sponsors of this measure are trying to run through what I believe is a resolution that does really nothing to, one, equip our soldiers with the body armor they still need and the extra protection for the armored vehicles that they use in Iraq, does nothing to restore veterans benefits that President Bush's budget proposes to cut for health care for our veterans, does nothing to bring in meaningful assistance from our so-called coalition partners or the international community to help patrol the streets of Iraq and rebuild the nation and the billions of dollars it will cost. And this resolution does nothing to lay out the exit strategy this Nation will need to tell our troops when they will be able to come home and when we will be able to stop spending the billions of dollars every day abroad.

Mr. Speaker, this is a resolution which can commend our troops, and should; but it does nothing to move the ball forward.

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