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Public Statements


Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. JONES. Mr. Speaker, yesterday in the Republican Conference, I acknowledged that five marines and one soldier from my district, the Third District of North Carolina, had been killed in Afghanistan by the Afghans they were training. This, to me, just does not make any sense at all as to why we stay in Afghanistan.

I also shared with the Conference an email I got from the former Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, who has actually been my adviser on Afghanistan for 3 years. I said, Mr. Commandant, why do we stand by and see our American soldiers, Marines, killed by those people we're training? I said, Mr. Commandant, how many more have to die, killed at the hands of the people they're trying to help?

And I read this from the Commandant:

At the end of the day, I am more convinced than ever that we need to get out of Afghanistan. When our friends turn out to be our enemy, it is time to pull the plug. The idea that troops we have trained and equipped now turn that training and equipment on us is simply unconscionable. Whether we leave tomorrow or 1,000 tomorrows from now, nothing will really change. We are now nothing more than a recruiting poster for every malcontent in the Middle East. We need to wake up.

I read that yesterday in the Conference, Mr. Speaker. I want my party and the Democratic party to wake up and get our troops home.

Mr. Speaker, recently on CNN's Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz, a well-known journalist, Tom Ricks, made the following statement:

We, as a Nation, seem to care more about the sex lives of our generals than the real lives of our soldiers.

Mr. Ricks went on to say that probably no one knew who Sergeant Channing Hicks and Specialist Joseph Richardson were. They were two Americans killed in Afghanistan the Friday before Ricks was interviewed. The media will not print those names, but almost everyone in the country knows Paula Broadwell. That's such a tragedy, Mr. Speaker, that our troops are dying in Afghanistan, and we're writing about generals having relationships outside of a marriage. It makes no sense.

We lost 32 Americans in October and November. I want to know, where is the outrage here in Congress? Why are we spending money we don't have? Why are our troops dying, and yet we just seem to go on and on talking about the fiscal cliff? Well, I know that's important.

Mr. Speaker, it is time for Congress to realize that we are having young men and women die in Afghanistan for a failed policy that will not change one thing.

Mr. Speaker, before closing, I make reference to this poster of a young American in a casket being carried by his colleagues to be buried. Please, American people, put pressure on Congress to bring our troops home now and not wait until December 2014.

I ask God to please bless our men and women in uniform, to please bless the families of those who've lost loved ones in Afghanistan and Iraq. I ask God to please bless the United States of America. And please, God, help us get our troops home now and not later.

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