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Public Statements

Pay More Attention To Fraying Economy

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. KAPTUR. Madam Speaker, today we have a $96.7 billion bill that expands supplemental funds for more war in Iraq, ratchets up U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, and allocates a minimum of $400 million for nation building in Pakistan where corruption is the norm.

We must ask how competent is our government to transform a world beyond our borders that speaks Arabic, Pashtun, and Farsi? Not even a handful of our military does.

Those majorities practice religions largely foreign to us, and their governments, if you can call them that, are undemocratic, weak nation states with vast legions of poor people and corrupt governance. Pakistan alone has 163 million impoverished people, and Afghanistan's largest export is heroin. So we are going to inject ourselves into that situation even deeper, with almost no multinational support.

What have we achieved politically in Iraq? Spending our Nation into endless debt, we have transformed a secular dictatorship into a divided Nation separating Sunni, Shia, and Kurd factions. A nation of 25 million has been upended, millions uprooted, and maybe 18 million shell-shocked people remain, while oil contracts have been divided up among multinationals. Not a pretty picture. And not a situation that will hold long term.

So, now we're going to take on Afghanistan, a country that's not a nation, with over 400 tribes, where the Taliban is strengthened by the very sight of foreign troop presence.

Madam Speaker, it is time for America to come to our senses. After $1 trillion, isn't it time to pay more attention to the fraying economy here in our homeland and the American people?

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