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DeMint Voices Support for War in Iraq, Criticizes Partisan Attacks

Location: Washington, DC

DeMint Voices Support for War in Iraq, Criticizes Partisan Attacks

Washington, May 7 - U.S. Representative Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) released the following statement today on developments regarding Iraq:

"Our enemies would like nothing more than for the shameful acts of prisoner abuse to divide the U.S. from our allies and derail the planned transfer of power in Iraq. The wave of opportunistic and politically-motivated attacks against Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will help our enemies in that effort."

"President Bush was right to call the acts of some of our troops abhorrent. And, as Secretary Rumsfeld has suggested, the way our free, democratic society confronts this mistake will demonstrate the integrity of our system and our values."

"Now is the time to rally around the more than 120,000 troops serving us in Iraq who are demonstrating tremendous courage and bravery. Brazen partisan attacks undermine their mission and ultimately their safety. We can engage in a healthy debate about Iraq without issuing reckless calls for resignation."

"Now is also the time to remind not only the world, but ourselves, why our mission in Iraq is so critical and why we should reject the path of appeasement. Our mission is important because terrorists understand that if freedom and representative government take root in Iraq, radical Islamic extremism may be forced into an irreversible retreat. The greatest threat to terrorists is a free people who are not willing to be controlled by someone else's religion, lifestyle or values. At its core, the war on terror is a battle between freedom and tyranny."

"President Bush understands, like no other president before him, that terrorists do not listen to reason and that we must not answer aggression with appeasement. In Iraq, terrorists are wagering that every attack by a grenade, roadside bomb or missile will translate into declining political support at home for our mission in Iraq. They hope the American people will elect leaders who prefer appeasement over action and will withdraw from Iraq before the country is secured and a democratic government takes root."

"As a nation that values religious freedom, we must understand that terrorists and radical Islamic extremists do not merely want to be left alone to practice their beliefs. They want to murder anyone who resists their theology of hatred, brutality and repression. If we retreat, they will follow us. We will fight them in the streets of Baghdad or they will surely fight us in the streets of America."

"Success in Iraq will require patience, commitment and a determination to win on the part of the American people. It is this battle of wills that shall ultimately determine whether freedom or tyranny will prevail. If freedom wins in Iraq, it will mean greater security and peace for America. If we fail, the cost of allowing the nation to revert to a Taliban- or Hussein-style government would far exceed the costs to win the peace. Iraq is not America's beachhead in the Middle East, but freedom's beachhead against tyranny."

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