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(Congressional Record - House. 152 Cong Rec H 4024. Retrieved June 20, 2006, from http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/C?r109:./temp/~r109m4Mt1F.)

MESSAGE FROM THE SENATE -- (House of Representatives - June 15, 2006)
[Page: H4024]

   A message from the Senate by Ms. Curtis, one of its clerks, announced that the Senate agreed to the report of the committee of conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on the amendment of the Senate to the bill (H.R. 4939) ``An Act making emergency supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes.''.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that the time allocated by House Resolution 868 to the ranking minority members of four committees instead be controlled by the minority leader or her designees.

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Pennsylvania?

   There was no objection.

   Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to the rule, I call up the resolution (H. Res. 861) declaring that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary, and ask for its immediate consideration.

   The Clerk read the title of the resolution.

   The text of the resolution is as follows:

   H. Res. 861

   Whereas the United States and its allies are engaged in a Global War on Terror, a long and demanding struggle against an adversary that is driven by hatred of American values and that is committed to imposing, by the use of terror, its repressive ideology throughout the world;

   Whereas for the past two decades, terrorists have used violence in a futile attempt to intimidate the United States;

   Whereas it is essential to the security of the American people and to world security that the United States, together with its allies, take the battle to the terrorists and to those who provide them assistance;

   Whereas the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and other terrorists failed to stop free elections in Afghanistan and the first popularly-elected President in that nation's history has taken office;

   Whereas the continued determination of Afghanistan, the United States, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will be required to sustain a sovereign, free, and secure Afghanistan;

   Whereas the steadfast resolve of the United States and its partners since September 11, 2001, helped persuade the government of Libya to surrender its weapons of mass destruction;

   Whereas by early 2003 Saddam Hussein and his criminal, Ba'athist regime in Iraq, which had supported terrorists, constituted a threat against global peace and security and was in violation of mandatory United Nations Security Council Resolutions;

   Whereas the mission of the United States and its Coalition partners, having removed Saddam Hussein and his regime from power, is to establish a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq at peace with its neighbors;

   Whereas the terrorists have declared Iraq to be the central front in their war against all who oppose their ideology;

   Whereas the Iraqi people, with the help of the United States and other Coalition partners, have formed a permanent, representative government under a newly ratified constitution;

   Whereas the terrorists seek to destroy the new unity government because it threatens the terrorists' aspirations for Iraq and the broader Middle East;

   Whereas United States Armed Forces, in coordination with Iraqi security forces and Coalition and other friendly forces, have scored impressive victories in Iraq including finding and killing the terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi;

   Whereas Iraqi security forces are, over time, taking over from United States and Coalition forces a growing proportion of independent operations and increasingly lead the fight to secure Iraq;

   Whereas the United States and Coalition servicemembers and civilians and the members of the Iraqi security forces and those assisting them who have made the ultimate sacrifice or been wounded in Iraq have done so nobly, in the cause of freedom; and

   Whereas the United States and its Coalition partners will continue to support Iraq as part of the Global War on Terror: Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

    (1) honors all those Americans who have taken an active part in the Global War on Terror, whether as first responders protecting the homeland, as servicemembers overseas, as diplomats and intelligence officers, or in other roles;

    (2) honors the sacrifices of the United States Armed Forces and of partners in the Coalition, and of the Iraqis and Afghans who fight alongside them, especially those who have fallen or been wounded in the struggle, and honors as well the sacrifices of their families and of others who risk their lives to help defend freedom;

    (3) declares that it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq;

    (4) declares that the United States is committed to the completion of the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq;

    (5) congratulates Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki and the Iraqi people on the courage they have shown by participating, in increasing millions, in the elections of 2005 and on the formation of the first government under Iraq's new constitution;

    (6) calls upon the nations of the world to promote global peace and security by standing with the United States and other Coalition partners to support the efforts of the Iraqi and Afghan people to live in freedom; and

    (7) declares that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the noble struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary.

 

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 868 and the special order of today, debate shall not exceed 10 hours, with 5 hours equally divided among and controlled by the chairman of the Committees on International Relations, Armed Services, the Judiciary and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and 5 hours controlled by the minority leader or her designee.

   The gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde) is recognized to control 75 minutes.

   GENERAL LEAVE

   Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks on H. Res. 861.

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Illinois?

   There was no objection.

   Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Illinois, the Speaker of the House (Mr. Hastert).

   Mr. HASTERT. Mr. Speaker, one of our greatest Presidents, Ronald Reagan, was fond of saying that ``Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.'' President Reagan's wise words are still true today.

   Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H. Res. 861. This resolution is about more than the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is about a global war to protect American ideals, and the democracy and values on which this great Nation was founded.

   This resolution, Mr. Speaker, like this war itself, is about freedom. Just 12 days ago I returned from Iraq. I can tell this House that the morale of our fighting men and women there is sky high. They are not suffering from doubt and ``second guessing.'' And they are certainly not interested in the political posturing about the war that often goes on in this city. They know why they are there. They know they are liberators doing good. And they believe passionately in their mission.

   It is not possible to talk to these men and women without being inspired by their courage, their determination, their professionalism and their patriotism.

   I came home from Iraq believing even more strongly, that it is not enough for this House to say ``we support our troops.'' To the men and the women in the field, in harm's way, that statement rings hollow if we don't also say we support their mission.

   The clarity with which our men and women in uniform understand the reason they are in Iraq is a stark contrast to some here at home who talk about this war as a ``war of choice.''

   The facts are clear. America has been struck repeatedly. Despite the life-ending attacks on Khobar Towers, our East African embassies, the USS Cole and the first World Trade Center bombing, U.S. policy tended to confuse these attacks with isolated law-enforcement events. We failed to recognize them as

[Page: H4025]
the escalating strikes that they were. We failed to identify the networks behind the bombs. We convinced ourselves that these attacks were just somehow random acts of violence. And yet the attacks continued.

   The terrorists did not admire or appreciate our limited response. They did not come to the table to discuss points of political concern, and they did not de-escalate, demobilize or disappear. Our response was inconstant and limited, but their reactions were not. They plotted and they practiced, while we hoped for the best and fired an occasional cruise missile into the desert. We were wrong and we slumbered in denial.

   And then came the day when terrorism slapped us in the face, awakening us to a stark reality. I remember it as a crisp, fall day. Where the clear blue sky was filled with fluffy white clouds. But that peaceful scene was transformed in an instant when planes went crashing into buildings and the clear sky turned to choking ash and soot.

   I stood in my Capitol office, just a few yards from where I am speaking here today. I saw the black smoke rising from the Pentagon. The third plane had hit just across the river from this Capitol building.

   On 9/11 the terrorists were not a distant threat, they were in our front yard, and they were very real and very deadly. In that moment, we were afraid. None of us had anticipated the lengths to which our enemies would go to destroy our American way of life, our ideals and our belief.

   Of course, we knew that foreign terrorists had caused trouble elsewhere, maybe in Israel or in Northern Ireland, but we found it hard to imagine that they came to our shores hoping to kill tens of thousands of men, women and children, innocent, unarmed people, peacefully going about their daily lives.

   

[Time: 12:15]

   It is hard, even now, to comprehend such enormous evil.

   As we watched some of our fellow citizens leap from burning buildings to their deaths, our fear turned to anger and then anger to resolute determination.

   America's response started high above a corn field in rural Pennsylvania. Brave men and women, armed with nothing more than boiling water, dinner forks and broken bottles, stood up, as Americans always do when our freedom is in peril, and they struck back.

   We know from the messages they left behind that their final thoughts were for their families and their loved ones, but they also spoke of their love of their country.

   ``Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction.'' Perhaps the brave souls on United Flight 93 reflected Ronald Reagan's words because the generation represented on that plane, like the patriots at Concord Bridge, were not going to let freedom be extinguished, not on their watch.

   We in this Congress must show the same steely resolve as those men and women on United Flight 93, the same sense of duty as the first responders who headed up the stairs of the Twin Towers.

   We must stand firm in our commitment to fight terrorism and the evil it inflicts throughout the world. We must renew our resolve that the actions of evildoers will not dictate American policy. And we must decide, right here, today what kind of a Nation we want to leave for our children and their generation.

   We are not alone in the fight on global terror. I cannot list them all, but they include countries large and small, rich and poor: Great Britain, Japan, Canada, Jordan, Portugal, Denmark, Mali, Latvia, Romania, Italy, Poland, South Korea. In fact, the number of countries working to defeat our common enemy continues to grow.

   Pakistan, a nation that once recognized the oppressive Taliban regime, has changed its course and now works closely with the coalition to round up terrorists. Yemen, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia have also moved aggressively within their borders to fight terrorism. Libya has given up her nuclear capability.

   Today, more than three-quarters of al Qaeda's known leaders and associates have been detained or killed.

   There is no doubt that since 9/11 our military, as well as our law enforcement intelligence agencies, have made great strides in uprooting terrorism. Nearly a dozen serious al Qaeda plots have been stopped since September 11th. But there is good reason for ongoing vigilance because the threat is still very real.

   Just recently, our neighbor to the north, Canada, foiled a terrorist plot to storm that country's parliament and one of its major television headquarters. The terrorists planned to behead those they captured.

   Mr. Speaker, today in parts of the Middle East, where once oppression choked out freedom, we are now seeing democracy take root.

   Afghanistan was once a safe haven for the al Qaeda terrorist network. In remote training camps, terrorists planned and practiced attacks on the United States and other freedom loving peoples. Those camps are now gone. In their place is a developing democracy with an elected President and a new Constitution that gives unprecedented rights and freedoms to all Afghans.

   Just 3 years ago, Afghan women were whipped in the streets; schooling was denied to girls. Today, women have the right to vote, and two Afghan cabinet ministers are women.

   In Iraq, just 3 years ago, a brutal dictator sat in palatial luxury. Unhampered by the United Nations, Saddam and his family stole the Oil-for-Food money from starving Iraqi children in order to support their lifestyle of debauchery and brutality. Schoolgirls were raped. Iraqi patriots were thrown alive into meat grinders. Unspeakable atrocities of all kinds were common, including the use of chemical weapons on Saddam's own people, the Kurds.

   Saddam invaded the sovereign nation of Kuwait. He harbored terrorists in his midst, and he defied 17 United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

   Just a few days ago, I was listening to the radio, and a pundit remarked on the sectarian violence in Iraq. He observed that perhaps the Iraqi people were better off under Saddam. Given the unspeakable and systematic brutality of Saddam's regime, such a remark either reflects a serious misreading of history or a very naive and forgiving nature.

   It might have been easier for us in America to turn our heads and look the other way, as much as the rest of the world did, but I would submit that Saddam was an evil cancer on the world. He was a threat to our country, and Mr. Speaker, America, not just Iraq, is better off today because Saddam Hussein sits in a court of law, answering for crimes he committed against humanity.

   While I was in Iraq, I met with Prime Minister al Maliki as well as my counterpart, the Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament. We talked about the birth of democracy in Iraq.

   I looked at the Speaker. I looked him in the eye and I said, ``Mr. Speaker, I admire you. The Iraqi people represent an ancient civilization, but your democracy is just beginning. Your challenges are great, but so too are your opportunities.''

   I urged the Iraqi people to look forward and not back, to listen to the voices of reconciliation, not division, I urged them to choose unity.

   They told me that they were succeeding in putting together a unity cabinet, and shortly after my return, they announced the names of the last three ministers that deal with critical security issues.

   Each Iraqi official I met with, even the Iraqi Speaker, who originally viewed the U.S. presence in Iraq negatively, thanked me for the help America has given their country. He went further and urged us to stay with them while they build up the capacity to take over the task of providing security for their people.

   Today in Iraq we are working together with Iraqi patriots, men and women elected by their fellow citizens.

   Along with brave Iraqi soldiers and police, we are moving toward a day when the Iraqi Government on its own has the strength to protect their people, a day when our men and women, and their coalition partners, can come home.

   The ``stand up'' of this new Iraqi Government, which is the fruit of three elections where Iraqi citizens held up their ink-stained fingers and resisted intimidation, brings us closer to that day.

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   President Bush told us from the beginning that this road would not be easy. We have lost many American lives. And each one is precious to us.

   But our fighting men and women remain committed to the effort. Active duty retention and recruiting is meeting or exceeding all objectives, and we are making progress toward our goal, but the battle is not over.

   It is a battle that we must endure and one in which we can, and will, be victorious. The alternative would be to cut and run and wait for them to regroup and bring the terror back to our shores. When our freedom is challenged, Americans do not run.

   ``Freedom is the very essence of our Nation,'' President Reagan said in 1990 when a section of the Berlin Wall was presented to his Presidential library. America, he said, ``remains a beacon of hope for oppressed peoples everywhere.''

   President Reagan also observed that freedom is not passed on at birth. It must be fought for and protected and handed on. And that is happening. Freedom is being handed on.

   Our soldiers, sailors, Coast Guardsmen, airmen, marines, and our Reserves are serving proudly and bravely in harsh conditions, far from their families.

   When I was in Iraq, I told them that their task was important and how proud we all were of their service. But frankly our men and women in uniform did not need to be told. In fact, it is we who should listen to them.

   They know their sacrifices on foreign shores are keeping the battle against terrorists out of our cities. They know that by going into harm's way they are keeping American freedoms safe, and they know that they are helping a proud but brutalized people to throw off tyranny and stand tall once again. They know that they are liberators, not occupiers.

   Our men and women in uniform know all this, and they are proud of it. It is time for this House of Representatives to tell the world that we know it too; that we know our cause is right and that we are proud of it.

   Stand up for freedom. Adopt this resolution.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Missouri.

   Mr. SKELTON. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

   Mr. Speaker, the media just reported the sad news that we have just reached a sad milestone: 2,500 Americans have lost their lives in the Iraq war. Mr. Speaker, I respectfully ask at the outset of this very important debate that the House observe a moment of silence for all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our country.

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Missouri?

   There was no objection.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 30 minutes.

   All of us know, all of us understand stability in Iraq is important, not only to the United States but to the world.

   It is no secret that Iraq is of particular importance because of its oil. The United States consumes 20.6 billion barrels of oil per day. Yet we produce only 5.1 billion barrels of oil a day. China is the second largest consumer, with 6.9 million barrels per day, and they produce 3.6 million barrels per day. Iraq has the fourth largest oil reserve in the world. Saudi Arabia is number one, Canada number two and Iran number three. So all of us agree Iraq is important. But how do we get to a conclusion?

   Let me compare Gulf War I with Gulf War II. In Gulf War I, Kuwait was attacked by Saddam Hussein. It was a brutal attack. President Bush I immediately reacted. He sent his emissary, Secretary Cheney, to Saudi Arabia. They got an agreement from Saudi Arabia to use their land to put troops in. He immediately sent in the Airborne Division, and he immediately sent in F-16 fighters to deter Saddam Hussein. All of us knew that there was a possibility at that time that he would have complete control of the oil in the Middle East. So we knew how important it was.

   Then President Bush started calling up the Reserves. He called a number of Members of Congress over to the White House, and he consulted and talked to them. I do not remember if the gentleman from Illinois was there, but there were seven or eight of us went to the White House. We talked to him about calling up the Reserves and having other people pay.

   This is important not only to the United States. This is important internationally. This oil supply, this stability in the Middle East is important to the whole world, and he went to work. He called every major nation. He called Egypt, and this was no easy task for these countries to come around to decide to support the United States.

   Matter of fact, President Mubarak said to me that King Hussein came to him and said if you support the United States, you will cut the throat of Saddam Hussein, and yet Egypt decided that they were going to go along with us.

   Then he talked about that we needed to have a U.N. resolution, which we did have. Then we had to have a resolution in the Congress of the United States. But the big thing that he promoted was he got a coalition together, and this coalition ended up with 400,000 American troops and 160,000 coalition troops.

   

[Time: 12:30]

   And I remember during this debate, I remember calling Secretary Cheney, calling General Scowcroft saying, you have got 250,000 troops over there, you don't need any more. Let's get this war going. And General Scowcroft said something I have never forgotten. He said, we are going to give General Schwarzkopf whatever he wants. He wants more troops, we are going to give him more troops. And Secretary Cheney called me and said we are going to have to send another 180,000 troops. We are going to have overwhelming force when we go into Kuwait.

   And they did have overwhelming force. It went on for 6 months. The troops were out in the field, they trained, and when they went in they did a magnificent thing. It was overwhelming. And it was paid for by other countries. Sixty billion dollars came from other countries. President Bush I convinced other countries that they had to help pay for this because it was not only important to the United States, it was important to them, the stability in the Middle East.

   Now, let me talk about the second Gulf War. The second Gulf War we had intelligence that said there were weapons of mass destruction; there was an al Qaeda connection. I believed that. As a matter of fact, I listened to the reports, and I was hesitant about the al Qaeda connection, but I believed that they had biological weapons. Matter of fact, a week or so before the war started, Ms. Pelosi, as the new minority leader, wanted to go overseas on her first trip. She wanted to visit the troops. Even though she had been against the resolution to go to war, she wanted to tell the troops she supported the troops. And anybody that votes for the Defense Subcommittee appropriations, anybody that belongs to the Armed Services Committee shows their support of the troops.

   So we went over, and on our way over we stopped in Turkey. Imagine, the 4th Division was sitting outside Turkey. It was supposed to outflank the Iraqis. And the State Department asked me, okay, talk to the Turkish government about letting us go through. Now, we had the most modern division, the most technologically advanced division in the whole world sitting there off Turkey. I talked to them and I became convinced they weren't going to let us go through, even though they had voted the very day I was there, and they voted by a majority, but not the supermajority they needed to allow the United States to go through.

   I went then to Kuwait and we listened to the commanders. The commanders told us that there is a red line drawn around Baghdad and if we cross the red line they are going to use biological weapons. And I believed that. I believed. As a matter of fact, they said if you cross this red line, we have already verified this by monitoring their telephones, by monitoring their cell phones. When we monitored cell phones of Saddam Hussein's headquarters they said use biological weapons. The troops believed it. They were prepared. They felt like they could go in there with protective gear, they could go in there with what they needed and the hot air, the winds, would dissipate the weapons. And, of course, they crossed the red line and nothing happened.

   But I still thought there were weapons of mass destruction. I still thought there were biological weapons. I came back and we sent a team over there.

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And the team went over and the team looked for those weapons of mass destruction. Matter of fact, at first a fella named Kay, that was so strong about it, former CIA, said, we will find them. And he looked for months and couldn't find anything at all. Absolutely no evidence of any kind of weapons of mass destruction. No biological weapon, no capability, no nuclear capability, no al Qaeda connection.

   When we go to war, we should go to war, first of all, if it is a threat to our national security. It was a threat to our national security when you talk about the first war, because it destabilized and he would have controlled all the oil in the Middle East, which is so important to the free world. The second time was no threat to our national security. Now, we didn't find that out, those of us who voted for it, didn't find this out until after we had gone to war.

   The second thing is you go with overwhelming force. I talked to one of the commanders who was in a meeting with five officials; there was him, there was Secretary Rumsfeld, there was Secretary Wolfowitz, General Pace, and General Myers. And he said we recommended 350,000 troops. And as you know, they gave him a lot less troops than that. The coalition troops at the most were up to 30,000 and now they are down to 20,000.

   The first war, 160,000. And the first war was all paid for. It cost us $5 billion. The reason I remember this so vividly is I was chairman of the committee at the time the money came through our committee, and we then sent it over, reprogrammed it over to the Defense Department itself. But the discrepancy that we have seen, the mischaracterization, the optimistic predictions are the problems that I have had.

   Now, I sent a letter, with Duncan Hunter and a number of other people, and I said to the President, we need 100,000 more troops. Well, the President decided he didn't need 100,000 more troops. Now, imagine this, we are on the ground and we have won the war. The troops did a magnificent job, as we knew they would, but they completely miscalculated the problems that we were going to have afterwards.

   Now, I talked to a tribal leader the other day in Anbar Province. He told me that, as far as he saw, the first 6 months we had occupied Anbar. Now, Anbar is the province we are having the most trouble right now. It is where Ramadi and Fallujah are. Those are the areas where there is the most contention. In the first 6 months there wasn't a shot fired. Not a shot fired. I said, let me ask you right now, what kind of progress have we made economically? No water, no electricity, no jobs in Anbar Province. Two million people.

   And we talk about Saddam Hussein. Almost 900,000 people left when Saddam Hussein was there. They left the country as refugees. The time we have been there 900,000 people have left the country. They voted with their feet. The President went in the other day, he says he was glad to see democracy in action. You know where he went? The same place I go, in the fortress. In the Green Zone. That is where he went. They are afraid to go outside the Green Zone.

   When I first went there, the first two or three trips I went, I could go anyplace. I drove around all over Iraq. The last time I landed at Baghdad Airport, they flew me to Anbar Province down in Haditha, and we flew so low because of the threat we had to come up over the wires in order to get down, and I didn't see a person the whole time. There were 2 million people in Anbar Province. Not one project. Not one.

   I said on the floor of the House the most important thing in that first supplemental, in the $87 billion, was the $18 billion that went for reconstruction. And of course there are so many projects that haven't been finished. Now, after we sent the letter about the 100,000, and during that period of time, we asked a fella named Hamre, who was the former Under Secretary of Defense, who went over to Iraq and he did a study for the Defense Department. He came back and said, you have got 3 to 6 months to get this straightened out.

   And what did he suggest had to be done? They weren't big projects. He suggested we had to have trash picked up, sewage taken care of, electricity, and jobs. Those are the kinds of things he talked about, and securing the border. Those are the things he said had to be done in 3 to 6 months, and if it is not done, it will go the other way. And all of us know what has happened. All of us know what has happened with the insurgency.

   Now, let me go through why I get so distressed by the reports that I get about how well it is going. First of all, the number of daily attacks in Iraq have gone from in 2004, daily, 53 attacks in 2004, 70 attacks in 2005, and in 2006, 90 attacks a day.

   Estimated size of the insurgency. Now, we are supposed to be making progress. That is what we hear. The estimated size of the insurgency in 2004 was 15,000. In May of 2005 it was 16,000. In May of 2006 it was 20,000.

   This is the way I measure whether there is progress or not progress.

   The amount of cash paid to families, this is an important point, to Iraqi civilians killed or maimed by the operation involving American troops went from in 2004, $5 million to $20 million.

   Now, what does that mean? The problem is that all of us want to solve the problem, all of us want to have a satisfactory answer in Iraq. The problem is the way we have to operate as a military. The reason we won the first Gulf War is we were fighting a conventional force and we wiped them out. Nobody can match our military. They are the best in the world. But now we are fighting a guerilla war, and that is the type of problem that we have.

   For instance, we went into Fallujah, we put 300,000 people outside their homes and only 100,000 have come back now. And when we put 300,000 people outside their home, every one of those are an enemy.

   Abu Ghraib. Why did Abu Ghraib happen? Abu Ghraib happened because we had insufficient forces and untrained people and unsupervised people in that prison.

   Now, what do I mean by untrained? We had one fella, who happened to be from my district, that had a court order against him because he had abused his family, and he couldn't carry a gun in Pennsylvania. And he said, I can't do this. This is against my nature. I don't know anything about taking care of prisoners. He is now in jail. But the point is he was untrained in that particular job, and even though he told them, they put him in the job. And of course we know the tremendous consequence, at the very time we went into Fallujah, at the very time we put 300,000 people outside their home.

   And listen, I endorse this. I know we have to have, when we go into an area, we have to use overwhelming force. That is the way the military has to operate. But, you see, these payments from $5 million in 2004 to $20 million last year, that is because when we go into a place we kill them inadvertently. And when we kill people inadvertently we make enemies, and Abu Ghraib was the biggest public relations disaster we had since My Lai during the Vietnam War.

   The number of complete or reconstructed projects, as I said, in al Anbar Province, imagine now, this is one-third of the geography of Iraq, and they have 2 million people, zero. Zero. Number of civilians who died in Baghdad last month, 1,400, in sectarian violence. What is the definition of sectarian violence? A civil war.

   All of us want to end this thing. All of us want to find a way to prevail in Iraq. This is a civil war and we are caught in a civil war. There is less than a thousand al Qaeda in Iraq. They have diminished al Qaeda. But we are caught in this civil war between 100,000 Shiias and 20,000 Sunnis fighting with each other.

   The average monthly U.S. war expenditure in Iraq: $4.4 billion in 2003, $5 billion in 2004, $6.1 billion in 2005, and $8 billion. The average monthly expenditure, $8 billion. Now, think what I am saying. The first Gulf War, and Duncan Hunter remembers this, they paid internationally. We paid $5 billion. He was on the Armed Services Committee. He knows what I am talking about. We paid $5 billion and they paid $60 billion. They had 160,000 troops in the first Gulf War.

   Now, let me talk about the sentiment and talk about the polls taken. We all look at the polls to see what is going on. Now, the only poll taken of U.S. forces in Iraq, about 3 1/2 months ago: 72 percent of the American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within a year.

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   Now, I can understand that. Let me tell you, it is hot, they are wearing 70 pounds every day when they are out there in the field, and I can certainly understand that. Forty-two percent say they do not know what the mission is. And that is devastating when they do not understand the mission.

   A public opinion Iraqi poll, a segment of 18 provinces, all 18 provinces: More than half the Iraqis say they are headed in the wrong direction, and 82 percent say the economic situation is either poor or fair. Now, these are the Iraqis. Ninety percent say the security situation is poor or fair.

   And who do they trust? Who do they trust for personal security? Forty-three percent trust the Iraqi police, 35 percent trust the Iraqi army, 6 percent trust the insurgents, 6 percent trust the insurgents, 4 percent trust the armed militia, and 1 percent, 1 percent trust the multinational force. In another poll taken at the beginning of this year, 47 percent approve the attacks on the United States forces, and 87 percent of the Iraqis endorse a timetable for withdrawal.

   Our global image couldn't have been higher after the first Gulf War, with 80 to 90 percent of the people in the world thinking the United States did a marvelous job. We had recovered from Vietnam, finally, in the first Gulf War.

   Ten of 14 countries polled said the war in Iraq has made the world more dangerous, and most of the countries rated the U.S. troops in Iraq a bigger danger to world peace than the threat posed by Iran. Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Russia, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Jordan, and Turkey all have more favorable ratings of China than the U.S.

   Now, this resolution is a restatement of the failed policy of this administration, and it is no surprise that that is what this is.

   

[Time: 12:45]

   We can't win this. This cannot be won rhetorically. We cannot sit here, stand here in an air-conditioned office and say we support the troops, say we support the policy.

   I visit the hospitals every week, and the only person to visit them more than I do is Bill Young and his wife. I see these young people. I am so impressed by their determination, and I am so hopeful we can end this terrible tragedy.

   When I got into this 6 months ago, I got into it because of the troops and because of the fact that I felt we couldn't do anything more militarily. We had done everything we could do militarily, and, second, because of the future of the military.

   The bill we are going to pass next week, and very few people are going to vote against it, if you want to really support the troops, that is what you vote for. You vote for that legislation. That will say we will run out of money for personnel for the troops because we cut $4 billion out of the base bill by September. We will take care of that. We will find a way to do it. But the point is the base bill was cut by $4 billion.

   Now let me tell you the difference in what I believe is the answer. I believe we redeploy and be ready; that is what I say. I say redeploy and be ready.

   We are the targets. We are causing the problem. You know who wants us to stay in Iraq right now, the al Qaeda wants us there because it recruits people for them. China wants us there. North Korea wants us there. Russia wants us there. We are depleting our resources, just like Russia depleted their resources in Afghanistan. The same thing is happening with the United States. We will have spent $450 billion by the end of this fiscal year. Now think, the first gulf war we spent $5 billion. We have spent $450 billion.

   Stay and we will pay, not only pay in dollars, in money; we are going to pay long term.

   I figure it took us through the Reagan administration to pay for the Vietnam War. We had 18 to 21 percent interest rates during the Reagan administration, and the reason we did was because Lyndon Johnson, the President of the United States, said we can have butter and we can have guns, and he didn't raise the taxes he should have raised when we had the war going on.

   So we continue to pay with lives lost in terms of financial treasure and more than $8 billion a month. We pay in terms of international reputation. We pay in terms of the future of our military. We stay and pay. I say redeploy and be ready.

   Let me tell this one last story.

   When I came out of Vietnam, they gave me this small bullet. It is a 45 caliber without any powder in it. It says: ``First Marines, everything is going to be all right.''

   A month after I came out of Vietnam in 1967, Lyndon Johnson said, and I believed in the Vietnam War. I thought we were fighting communism. But Lyndon Johnson said, and they had an election, one month after I came out of Vietnam, everything was going to be all right. Do you know how many people we lost from 1967 until we pulled out? 37,000.

   Rhetoric does not answer the problem. Only the Iraqis can solve the problem in Iraq. They are fighting with each other, and our troops are caught in between. I say it is time to redeploy and be ready.

   Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

   Mr. Speaker, I can't help but comment on my good friend Mr. Murtha's eulogy for the first gulf war. The problem we have had there is we quit too soon. We quit before the victory was secure. We left the Republican Army, we left Saddam Hussein, we just washed our hands and left. I hope we learned a lesson from that, what a mistake it was and it led to later difficulties.

   Mr. Speaker, so much of what we do in this Chamber is inconsequential; but the subject of this debate is anything but trivial. Let us then be serious as life and death are serious.

   The capacity to reproduce that fearful mushroom cloud which first terrorized the world in 1945 is multiplying and becoming the deadly plaything of rogue nations across the globe.

   Partisans have charged the President with misleading us into war, ``misleading'' being a pale euphemism for lying. The acquisition is made more grave by the assertion that he concocted the war for purely political purposes.

   By any measure this is a monstrous charge, but questions persist that must be answered if we are to honestly examine the President's rationale for intervention. It is essential to first understand the context in which the decision was made.

   President Bush has cited two factors for his decision to intervene in Iraq: the first, his belief that Saddam was reconstituting his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction; and, secondly, that the Iraqi dictator was cooperating with al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.

   The threat from Saddam Hussein stretches back much further than many of today's critics care to remember. Saddam's effort to develop a nuclear weapon began in the 1970s, centered around the nuclear reactor being constructed at Osirak.

   Despite the alarming evidence of its purpose, the world casually contemplated what it saw as a distant, perhaps even benign, development.

   But the luxury of inaction was not available to Israel because her leaders knew that the country was certain to be among Saddam's first targets. They also knew that the responsibility for Israel's safety was theirs alone, and that the world would do nothing to save their country if they failed to act.

   So act they did, launching a bold attack in 1981, destroying the reactor complex and setting Saddam's nuclear quest back many years. But far from praising this heroic act that benefited humanity, the world community responded with condemnation, even outrage. Yet, in hindsight, is anyone so foolish as to assert that Israel should have waited for the United Nations to confirm that a threat existed, that Israel should not have taken action to destroy the reactor, even in defiance of the international community?

   Had Israel not acted, the future of the Middle East and the West would likely have unfolded quite differently and far more tragically.

   Unchastened by this setback, Saddam continued his aggressive campaign to dominate the region and control the world's oil supply, launching a decade-long war against Iran in 1980 during which over a million people were killed and in which he used poison gas and other means of mass slaughter.

   After being beaten back from Iran, his attention then turned to Kuwait,

[Page: H4029]
which he invaded and annexed in 1990, assuming the world would meekly accept this fait accompli.

   Many forget that for a time that outcome was a real possibility. Much of the initial response in the world community, and in this country, was one of let's look the other way and hope for the best.

   Only when the United States decided to forcefully eject Saddam from Kuwait and to assume the principal burden for doing so was the international community finally persuaded to go along. We refused to allow our fate and that of the world to be shaped by a dictator, and all sensible people are glad of it.

   What we providentially discovered after that war astonished the entire world. Despite years of inspections and the best efforts of numerous intelligence services, Saddam had managed to secretly construct a massive program to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. The experts estimate that he was only 6 months from an operational nuclear device. Had he postponed his invasion of Kuwait by half a year, the world would now be a much darker place.

   This record of unrelenting aggression and implacable menace was the only context in which a reasonable person could view Saddam's future designs. This was the background in which the events of 9/11 occurred.

   Imagine yourself as President, confronting the fact that an unknown group of terrorists had incinerated 3,000 Americans in an attack carried out by individuals who gladly committed suicide to create this horror. We had no idea how extensive their resources were, how global the threat was, who were their allies, how massive were the hidden terrorists to come.

   In this context, let us consider the alternative to our intervention in Iraq: The President is presented with evidence that once again Saddam Hussein has developing weapons of mass destruction, that he once again refuses to cooperate with international arms inspectors, that he has had contact with al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, that he is even harboring terrorist organizations. And yet the President decides not to act. He decides to wait, to see if those same inspectors who had previously been deceived by Saddam will again give him a clean bill of health months or years in the future, to wait until our allies or the United Nations grudgingly grant us a narrow warrant to act. To wait until Saddam perhaps gives to some terrorist organization a nuclear, chemical, or biological weapon to detonate in some U.S. city.

   To trust our fate to those who would destroy us is to die and leave no descendants.

   Is it possible to imagine the storm of condemnation that would justifiably fall on a President who, by not acting, allowed Saddam to arm himself once again with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons? To allow the possibility that these might be made available to a terrorist organization, to acquiesce in the death of thousands, tens of thousands, perhaps of millions of Americans simply because the available evidence was not 99 percent, no, 100 percent certain?

   For if al Qaeda had had a nuclear device, there can be no doubt it would have used it on 9/11 and we would be mourning the death of 3 million Americans, not a tragic 3,000.

   Which then was the greater risk in the face of decades of evidence? To act or not to act? To trust Saddam? Who in this body is willing to assert that it is ever wise, that it is ever moral to risk the destruction of the American people? That is the context in which the decision to intervene in Iraq was taken.

   Was our intelligence imperfect? In retrospect, that is obvious. But when is it ever perfect? Nor was this shortcoming uniquely ours. Every intelligence service in the world assumed that Saddam was once again engaged in developing weapons of mass destruction. After the invasion, we learned the astonishing fact that even Saddam's own generals believed he possessed them and was prepared to use them.

   It is certainly worth noting that among the shrillest voices condemning our intelligence failure are many who once devoted their efforts to weakening our intelligence capabilities, who employed their energies towards imposing restrictions, cutting budgets, sounding alarms about imaginary ``rogue elephants.''

   Permit me to quote from some of the most strident critics of this administration and its campaign against the terrorists.

   The first is a United States Senator now serving with great distinction in the other body. And on September 23, 2001, 12 days after the events of 9/11 this Senator stated: ``The tragedy is at this moment that the single most important weapon for the United States of America is intelligence.

   

[Time: 13:00]

   ``We are weakest, frankly, in that particular area. So it is going to take us time to be able to build up here to do this properly.'' You will find that on CBS's Face the Nation, September 23, 2001.

   But this same Senator, in 1995, introduced a bill, S. 1290, that would have reduced the intelligence budget by $300 million in each of the fiscal years, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000.

   Then we have a gentlewoman serving with distinction in this body, from sunny California, and in 1998 she stated, ``it is time to totally eliminate the CIA.'' Congressional Record, March 18, 1997.

   On several occasions in the 1990s, following the collapse of the Soviet empire, a majority of Democrats in the House voted to cut the U.S. intelligence budget. Yet, following the horrific events of September 11, the chorus of voices that had previously advocated reducing our intelligence capabilities quickly reversed their theme. Even they must thank God that they had been unsuccessful in their efforts. But on this subject we hear nothing but deafening silence.

   One inescapable lesson of history is that passivity in the face of a threat is an invitation to strike. The desire to run away only encourages pursuit. We are seeing that fatal approach gather strength elsewhere in the world manifested in efforts to bind the hands of those who would attack terrorism at its source. The hope is that, as with the passing of a storm, the threat will move on and blue skies reappear and that the nightmare will at last be over. But the terrible reality is by succumbing to the fear of terrorism, by doing too little in the fear that we are doing too much, we condemn ourselves to a future of unending assaults.

   Other countries have learned that, however meager their contribution to their own and the world's security, however ineffectual their actions, in the end the United States will rescue them. We will make the world right again. We will defend against all threats. We, however, no longer have that luxury. If we do not take action to defend ourselves, then we are lost because no one exists to rescue us if we fail.

   So, aware of its responsibilities, aware of the horrific consequences that might occur from indecision and a reliance on trust and hope, President Bush acted to remove the threat posed by Saddam. What he did is called leadership. And for doing his duty for all of us, he has been denounced by many of the same people who would have denounced him had he not acted, denounced by people who bear no responsibility, who take no responsibility, even for their own actions.

   Saddam is no longer a threat to anyone. That is a salutary lesson for those around the world who watch and wait for opportunities for unopposed aggression. They now know that their invulnerability has vanished. Even more important, and almost entirely unnoticed amid the torrent of criticism focused on President Bush, is that his actions have greatly enhanced the credibility of the United States. For the next time this or any President warns a foreign despot to cease actions we believe are threatening to us, there can be little doubt that we will take decisive and forceful action, no matter how great the opposition of the world community.

   No one can credibly question that this greatly enhanced credibility paid off with Libya's decision to abandon its efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Qaddafi understood what President Bush's critics still refuse to acknowledge, that this administration is determined to eliminate threats to our country, both actual and potential, and if necessary, will use force to do so.

[Page: H4030]

   That is in sharp contrast to the passivity of the previous administration, whose failure to react to the repeated attacks on the United States only encouraged our enemies to make further attacks. What other conclusion could al Qaeda and others have reached from our baffling inaction and response to their assaults on our embassy, on our military, on us? They were taught the false lesson that they were free to slaughter us and we would do nothing.

   Incredibly, senior officials from the administration now shamelessly criticize this President for taking decisive measures to address the threat that they themselves could not be brought to contemplate. By acting first in Afghanistan, and then Iraq to remove Saddam, President Bush has rendered the need for future interventions much less likely.

   It is unfortunate that the quest for political advantage and a high decibel partisanship have intruded into the national discussions of how best to address the problems we face in Iraq. But there can be no doubt that the more we appear disunited, and the more voluble our dissent into weakness, dissension and inaction, the greater the aid and comfort we give to our enemies.

   The world of predictability and relative safety we once knew is gone. We are now engaged in a cruel, brutal struggle with those who would destroy us, one unprecedented in its challenge to our perseverance and courage, and one that will be fought not just in foreign lands but on our own soil.

   To insist that decisions must await perfect intelligence, that the risk of action is to be more feared than the risk of inaction, that others will save us, is to guarantee our defeat. But defeat in this new and more dangerous world means annihilation. The smoking gun that some critics insist on might well be some of our cities.

   We in this Chamber, our country, the entire world, owe this President not condemnation but our thanks for acting in Iraq, for refusing to wait for an avowed enemy to strike, for not temporizing and letting the forces of destruction wage unopposed their pitiless war to destroy everything we believe in.

   To those faint of heart from temporary setbacks in Iraq or who seek to benefit politically from our differences there, permit me to quote from Thomas Paine. Thomas Paine wrote, ``These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this crisis shrink from the service of their country. But he that stands by it now deserves the love and thanks of men and women. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered. Yet, we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.''

   Charles De Gaulle once said, ``France would not be true to herself if she weren't engaged in some great enterprise.'' Our great enterprise is the defense of freedom, and may we be worthy of the challenge.

   Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 2 minutes.

   Let me comment on a couple of things the distinguished gentleman from Illinois said.

   He talks about early exit. This war has gone on, Mr. Chairman, this war has gone on longer than the Korean War. It has gone on longer than World War I, and it has gone almost as long as the European War.

   If I believed we were making progress, we can't win this militarily. What I am saying is to redeploy, to get our troops out of harm's way is the key. I see no progress at all in this operation. I see the opposite.

   When I see, you talk about al Qaeda being encouraged by what we say. Al Qaeda has gone from 15,000 to 20,000. Incidents have gone from 50 a day to 90 a day. That is the thing that worries me. And we are not making progress. We are losing progress.

   I yield 10 minutes to the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton).

   ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE

   The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The Chair reminds Members to direct their comments to the Chair.

   Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak on this issue today, this important issue for so many Americans across the country, from my home State of Missouri. So many families such as mine have young people in uniform. But this resolution before us today is not what we requested, nor is it what we were told we would have before us to debate. We expected a resolution confined to the country of Iraq and the conflict there. That is not what the resolution is. This resolution covers the Middle East waterfront, trying to blend together the Iraqi war and the war against terrorism, which has its genesis in Afghanistan.

   Mr. Speaker, these are two separate and distinct wars. We did the right thing by going into Afghanistan, toppling the Taliban, which supported and protected the al Qaeda terrorists. And then came along the discussion, the international discussion about Iraq and Saddam Hussein and the weapons of mass destruction.

   We made the decision, as a country, to go into Iraq. At that time, Mr. Speaker, knowing the history and the culture of the Middle East, I sent two letters to the President of the United States, one on September 4, 2002, and one on March 18, 2003, before we went into Iraq. My letters warned against the aftermath.

   They sent an Assistant Secretary of State and an Assistant Secretary of Defense over to see me and said, ``Ike, it will be all right.''

   We know what happened in the aftermath insurgency because we allowed the looting, we sent the Iraqi Army home, rather than give them a paycheck and a shovel, and didn't have enough troops to quell any insurgency. And it arose. And here we are, some 3 years later.

   Despite the fact that this resolution is a broad one, let's talk about Iraq, which should be the complete subject of the resolution before us.

   Mr. Speaker, this Nation is at a strategic crossroads. We are spending $8 billion a month, over $300 billion on this war. And more strikingly, we are losing, Mr. Speaker, a battalion's worth of casualties killed or injured between Iraq and Afghanistan. By far, most of them are, sadly, in Iraq. And there are increasing insurgent inspired attacks.

   Now, what makes this resolution so interesting is the fact that it flies in the face of the law that we passed here in the Congress of the United States and the President signed. The bill, the defense bill of 2005 said this: ``Calendar year 2006 should be a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty with Iraqi security forces taking the lead for the security of a free and sovereign Iraq, thereby creating conditions for the phased redeployment of the United States forces from Iraq.'' That is the law of our land. That is what the defense bill said last year. ``Thereby creating conditions for the phased redeployment of the United States forces from Iraq.''

   

[Time: 13:15]

   What does this mean to us in the long run? Well, farmers in Missouri know that the quality of the corn that they plant will bring about the quality of the corn that grows. And we find ourselves militarily eating our seed corn in the country of Iraq. Sadly, a few moments ago we had a moment of silence for the 2,500th American that sacrificed a life in that sad country. But it means eating up the equipment, and we are using equipment right and left and it is going to take 3 years to refurbish the United States Army if the war would stop today equipment-wise. There are challenges in recruiting and retention. But I have to tell you how proud I am of those young people in uniform today. But if we do not take serious thought about the phraseology that is in the law creating the condition for the phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq, I think that we may be eating our military seed corn. And what does this mean? It means that the United States of America will be less prepared to either deter or defend an attack that might come at some future date.

   This is serious business. We need to remain strong militarily. That is the way you deter problems. Should North Korea, somewhere in Asia, somewhere in Latin America, somewhere in Africa that would cause us to be involved, the question is, Mr. Speaker, would we be prepared militarily to meet that challenge?

   That is why it is very important that we do our very best to take seriously the law regarding transition this year, the significant transition.

[Page: H4031]

   And what will it take? It will take the Iraqi government to stand up on its own, and it is on its way there, to transfer the security problem and situation to their police force and to their military, and we have some 250,000 Iraqi military either fully trained or nearly fully trained. We have to hand the baton over to them. We as a country, whether militarily or not, cannot determine the fate of Iraq. The Iraqis have to do it themselves, their own government, their own military, and their own police force. We can be of help. We have been of help. We have been there some 3 years. I think it is time for us to seriously look at where we are, where we are going, and do our very best to keep ourselves militarily strong for those days that are bound to happen.

   And, Mr. Speaker, let me remind the Members I have been in Congress 29 plus years thanks to those wonderful folks in Missouri. During that time, we have had 10 military confrontations with other countries. History being what it is reflects that, and the future may hold something similar. We hope not. But the question is will we be militarily prepared when the time comes?

   The Iraq adventure needs to be looked at in light of the law that we passed last year. The calendar year 2006 should be a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty with Iraqi security forces taking the lead for the security of a free and sovereign Iraq, thereby creating the conditions for the phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq. That is the law. That is what the Congress passed. That is what the President signed. And that is where we are.

   Mr. Speaker, I will enter into the RECORD at this point my letters in full to the President, dated September 4, 2002, and March 18, 2003.

 

   COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES,

   HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

   Washington, DC, September 4, 2002.
The PRESIDENT,
The White House,
Washington, DC.

   DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Thank you for inviting me to the briefing this morning. I share your concern about the continuing threat posed by Saddam Hussein and his efforts to produce weapons of mass destruction (WMD). I would like to offer my assistance as the administration considers how to deal with this threat.

   Before Congress can authorize any military action that might be part of the administration's plan, we must have answers to more questions than were able to be raised. at today's meeting. Our constitutional duty requires us to ensure that all implications of such action are considered in advance. The case has not yet been fully made as to what the threat is, why military force is an appropriate way of addressing the threat, and why action must occur now. In short, Congress and the American people must be clear on your strategic vision before we can authorize a specific course of action. I believe, like Clausewitz, that in strategy there is an ``imperative ..... not to take the first step without considering the last.''

   Your strategy for dealing with Iraq must address the fundamental questions of the threat, the method of acting, and the timing. Furthermore, any strategy to eliminate Iraqi WMD must also address several component issues, each of which raises critical questions.

   1. How to manage Iraq's transition to a stable post-Saddam regime:

   As I mentioned to you this morning, this is a crucial question for administration strategy to answer in advance of any military action. I have no doubt that our military would decisively defeat Iraq's forces and remove Saddam. But like the proverbial dog chasing the car down the road, we must consider what we would do after we caught it.

   As Sun-Tzu said in the classic strategic treatise, The Art of War, ``To win victory is easy; to preserve its fruits, difficult.'' Military planners and political leaders alike knew this in World War II. Planning for the occupation of Germany and Japan--two economically viable, technologically sophisticated nations--took place well in advance of the end of the war. The extreme difficulty of occupying Iraq with its history of autocratic rule, its balkanized ethnic tensions, and its isolated economic system argues both for careful consideration of the benefits and risks of undertaking military action and for detailed advanced occupation planning if such military action is approved.

   Specifically, your strategy must consider the form of a replacement regime and take seriously the possibility that this regime might be rejected by the Iraqi people, leading to civil unrest and even anarchy. The effort must be to craft a stable regime that will be geopolitically preferable to Saddam and will incorporate the disparate interests of all groups within Iraq--Shi'a, Sunni, and Kurd. We must also plan now for what to do with members of the Baath party that continue to support Saddam and with the scientists and engineers who have expertise born of the Iraqi WMD program.

   All these efforts require careful planning and long-term commitment of manpower and resources. The American people must be clear about the amount of money and the number of soldiers that will have to be devoted to this effort for many years to come.

   2. How to ensure the action in Iraq does not undermine international support for the broader war on terrorism:

   In planning for military operations in Iraq, we cannot ignore the lack of international support to date. Pre-emptive action against Iraq is currently vocally opposed by many of our allies and friends throughout the world and particularly in the Middle East.

   When we are seen as acting against the concerns of large numbers of our friends, it calls into question the ``humble'' approach to international relations you espoused during the presidential campaign. More than that, it has several potentially damaging long-term consequences. First, it risks losing the large number of partners needed to prosecute the global war on terrorism. To ferret terrorist groups out of their many hiding places, we must have broad allied support. Second, it risks seriously damaging U.S. moral legitimacy, potentially providing states like India and Pakistan with a preemptive option that could drive long-standing conflicts beyond containable bounds.

   Finally and perhaps most dangerously, actions without broad Arab support may inflame the sources of terrorism, causing unrest and anger throughout the Muslim world. This dynamic will be worse if Iraq attacks Israel--perhaps with weapons of mass destruction--and draws them into the conflict. Iran, which has the potential to seize a reformist path, may well move away from the United States in the face of attacks that could next be taken against them. Together, these dynamics will make achieving peace in the Middle East more difficult and may well provide the rationale for more terrorist attacks against Americans.

   These concerns do not make military action in Iraq untenable. They do, however, highlight the depth and importance of the issues to be addressed before we strike. We need to ensure that in taking out Saddam, we don't win the battle and lose the war.

   3. How to ensure that the United States can execute this operation successfully as well as its other military missions:

   As you are well aware, Mr. President, the consideration of military action against Iraq comes at a time when U.S. forces are actively engaged throughout the world in a range of missions. Given the operational pressures these forces currently face, we must ask what the risks and trade-offs will be of defeating Iraq, particularly if Iraqi forces mass in Baghdad for urban operations. How many casualties must the American people be prepared to take in a worst-case scenario? What will the impact of sustained operations be on so-called high-demand, low-density assets? What military operations might we have to forego because of continued demands in Iraq? Will we still be prepared for the range of other threats that might emerge throughout the world? With little allied support and contributions, will we still be able to maintain military spending on transformational technologies and on sound quality of life for our forces if we are bearing a huge wartime cost alone? What will be the impact on the domestic economy of these resources drains and of the long-term costs of reconstructing Iraq? These questions must be answered before any military action commences so that the American people understand the risks and the sacrifices involved.

   I ask these questions only to highlight the complexity of the undertaking and the need for Congress, the American people, and our friends around the world to understand exactly what is at stake and why we must act now. Only such a comprehensive strategic approach will ensure that we commit U.S. troops consciously and with full knowledge of the range of challenges we face--both in the initial campaign and in the long aftermath to follow. Even a strategy that has military action as its centerpiece will require great diplomatic efforts to ensure its success. I look forward to hearing the administration's answers and to working with you to find the best course of action.

   Sincerely,

   Ike Skelton,
Ranking Democrat.

--

   COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES,

   HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

   Washington, DC, March 18, 2003.
The President,
The White House,
Washington, DC.

   DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: This is a critical week for our nation and for the world. As you prepare to make the most difficult decision of sending our troops into combat, the thoughts and prayers of all Americans are with you. My colleagues here in Congress have many different views on the wisdom of action in Iraq and the severity of its consequences. But we are united in our support for all the men and women who serve this nation.

   There is no doubt that our forces will be victorious in any conflict, but there is great potential for a ragged ending to a war as we deal with the aftermath. I appreciate the efforts that members of your administration have made to keep me informed about plans for the administration and reconstruction of Iraq following military conflict. Your team has thought about many of the things that will need to be done.

[Page: H4032]

   Secretary Rumsfeld frequently talks about the list he keeps of things that could go wrong in an Iraq war. I have kept my own list--of things that could go wrong after the war is over. The list below is indicative of this broader list. My hope is that this will be helpful to members of your administration as you continue to plan for all possibilities. These are not complete scenarios but rather a series of possible problems that could occur in some combination.

   INTERNAL DIVISIONS AND EXTERNAL INFLUENCES IN IRAQ

   Without access to Iraq through Turkey, U.S. troops are not present in northern Iraq in large numbers. Turkey enters northern Iraq to establish a buffer zone and fighting breaks out between the Turks and Kurds. A significant U.S. military force is needed to separate the groups, complicating the governmental transition and international support.

   An uprising in Kirkuk leaves the Kurds in control of areas of the city and surrounding area. This triggers a large Turkish invasion to protect the Turkmen minority and to prevent Kurdish control of oil resources. Again this would require U.S. military resources with all the attending effects.

   In the event that Turkey crosses into Iraq, Iran may do the same, ostensibly to stem the refugee flows from southern Iraq and to protect Shi'a interests.

   Shi'a populations in the south rebel and undertake attacks against Sunnis. U.S. troops must step in to protect the Sunnis and restore peace. These tensions resurface during attempts to build a federal and representative government.

   Urban fighting in the south brings Shi'a into conflict with Sunnis. The resulting devastation causes a refugee crisis as Shi'a make for the Iranian border. The results of Saddam's policy of forced Arabization of areas like Kirkuk yield dangerous consequences. Groups like the Kurds flow back into these areas seeking to reclaim their former homes and land, sparking conflict with Iraqi Arabs.

   Attempts to fashion a federal government in Baghdad prove difficult. Iran is able to establish proxies for its influence among the Shi'a representatives. Once in Iraq, infighting breaks out among members of the former Iraqi opposition in exile. The United States is unable to transition the administration of Iraq effectively and has to remain in place, with significant military backing.

   The war involves lengthy urban combat, particularly in Baghdad. Most infrastructure is destroyed resulting in massive humanitarian problems. The emphasis on humanitarian aid distracts from efforts to establish a new government. Once established the government faces massive political pressure from the sustained humanitarian crisis.

   WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

   Saddam uses biological and chemical weapons against advancing U.S. troops, but also inflicts substantial civilian casualties. Efforts to stabilize cities and to establish a government are complicated by the need to deal with the large number of dead and to decontaminate affected areas.

   Saddam uses biological and chemical weapons directly against civilian populations or against another Arab country and seeks to affix blame for civilian suffering to the United States. Over the period of occupation, this resentment complicates U.S. efforts to maintain support for reconstruction efforts.

   U.S. troops are unable to quickly find all of Saddam's capabilities, requiring a long, labor-intensive search and anxiety as to when the task is complete.

   Regional leaders, for money or to gain influence, retain caches of WMD and transfer some to terrorist groups.

   Saddam attacks Israel with missiles containing weapons of mass destruction. Israel retaliates. Arab countries, notably Saudi Arabia and Jordan, come under intense political pressure to withdraw their support from the U.S. war effort. U.S. forces are forced to reposition operational centers into Iraq and Kuwait, complicating reconstruction and transition efforts.

   OIL RESOURCES

   Saddam sabotages a significant number of wells before his defeat. Current estimates indicate he may already have wired up to 1,500 of these wells. The damage takes years to contain at great economic and environmental cost and removes a major source of reconstruction funding.

   Internal groups, such as the Kurds, seize oil-rich land before American troops reach the area, causing internal clashes over these resources. Militant Shi'as seize other wells in the South.

   INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT

   The United States takes immediate control of Iraq's administration and of reconstruction. The United Nations can't agree on how involved to get given the divisions among the Security Council about the need for conflict. The lack of UN involvement in the administration makes the European Union and others less likely to give. This situation delays reconstruction and puts more of the cost on the United States and a smaller number of partners.

   U.S. reconstruction efforts that give U.S. corporations a great role at the expense of multilateral organizations and other participation--as was detailed in yesterday's Wall Street Journal--spur resentment and again limit the willingness of others to participate.

   AMERICAN COMMITMENT

   Stabilization and reconstruction prove more difficult than expected. U.S. troop requirements approach 200,000--the figure General Shinseki has mentioned--for a sustained period. This puts pressure on troop rotations, reservists, their families, and employers and requires a dramatic increase in end-strength.

   Required funding reaches the figure suggested by a recent Council on Foreign Relations assessment--20 billion annually for several years. During a period of economic difficulty, the American public calls for greater burdensharing.

   It is my hope that none of these eventualities comes to pass. But as you and all military leaders know, good planning requires considering the range of possibilities. It also requires advance preparation of the American people. You have regularly outlined the reasons for why the United States must disarm Iraq. I urge you to do the same in explaining why we must stay with Iraq for the long haul, even with the economic and military burdens this will entail.

   As always, I am willing to help in any way I can to make this case to my colleagues and the American people.

   Sincerely,

   Ike Skelton,
Ranking Democrat.

 

   Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

   Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the chairman of the Intelligence Committee for allowing me to take a little time early in this debate, although I know the Armed Services Committee is going to come up a little later. And I wanted to talk about this war and touch on some of the subjects that my good friend Mr. Murtha has brought up over the last 15 or 20 minutes.

   I was a new Member of Congress in 1983 when I went over to Beirut with a lot of those great members of the Armed Services Committee, and we got over there a couple of weeks before the Marines were blown up in the terrorist act that all Americans now have heard about and understand. And the reaction of the United States to that was basically to move out. And I know we all remember the Khobar Towers going up and a similar nonreaction from the United States. And we remember the embassies going up in North Africa and the national derision that followed the sending back of a couple of cruise missiles, one of which was alleged to have hit a drugstore, which was at most a symbolic response to the blowing up of those embassies in Africa. And I remember the Cole, and we all remember the Cole, and the destruction of that ship and the ensuing American casualties and the nonaction by the United States.

   And then we were struck on 9/11, and we realized that it was wrong for us to treat these terrorist acts as isolated, compartmentalized acts that were unrelated. And at that point we struck back. And we undertook a mission first to Afghanistan, secondly a mission to Iraq.

   And I do not think we have to plow old ground about Iraq. I think everybody understands Saddam Hussein, Gulf I. But I think it is important and it is good that my friend Mr. Murtha has pointed out that, in fact, even as we drove that armored spearhead north in this war against Iraq, taking Baghdad, Tommy Franks was intercepting communications even then from Iraqi officers to the effect that they were on the verge of using the ``special weapon,'' which we interpreted to be poison gas, a weapon of mass destruction, and he gave out orders that were right down to platoon and squad level, get ready for those weapons of mass destruction.

   I can also remember giving a briefing, giving an invitation to every Member of this House, Democrat and Republican, before we voted on taking military action in Iraq, to come over and listen to intelligence experts in a closed briefing with no handlers, no White House personnel, and ask any question they wanted to ask about weapons of mass destruction. And they did that. Lots of them. We had over 100 Members at several of the briefings. And we had members of the intelligence apparatus of this country laying out differences. They talked about the aluminum tubes, how some people thought those were to be used in centrifuges for the conversion of uranium, the enrichment of uranium. Others thought they were to be used for rocket bodies. But we invited all the Members before they made that vote to give the President license to go into Iraq. They did that vote from an educated standpoint. They had an opportunity to pull all the information that they wanted.

   Now, it has been stated that we did not have enough troops going into Iraq.

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And I remember, as we were driving that armored spearhead north, and the Marines taking a piece of it, the Army taking a big piece of it, we had a number of experts appearing on national forums on a daily basis saying there were not enough troops. They used the term we are going to get ``bogged down,'' and what was interesting is even as they were on talk shows saying that there were not enough troops, the talk show would be interrupted with a news flash to the effect that Tommy Franks had taken yet another stronghold. And it was stated at the end of that drive toward Baghdad with what was described by some of the observers, some of the so-called experts, too few troops, that that lightning attack taking Baghdad would go down in history as an example of a low casualty level, and we did have an extraordinarily low casualty level, and a lightning advance in which the enemy in many cases was destroyed long before the American columns got to their land forces.

   Now let us talk about troops in the occupation and the level of troops in the occupation because that has been brought up a number of times, and General Shinseki's statement about needing more than the number of troops that we had there has been used many times. There have been two arguments: one, that we needed to have more troops to make sure we could suppress the insurgents; and the other statement that was made, sometimes in the same speech, would be that we needed to put an Iraqi face on the security apparatus. Well, you can't have it both ways. You cannot have an American on every street corner and have an Iraqi face on the security apparatus.

   And let me just say one last thing, which is a hard, tough truth for this House. But when the gentleman from Pennsylvania and I, as we watched the last of the 1990s unfold and the Clinton administration left the White House, we noticed in our defense committees that we went into that administration in the early 1990s with 15 American Army divisions. We came out of that administration with 10, count them, 10. Roughly 33 combat brigades. That is a fact of life. That is what we had to go into this operation with. Now we are moving and we are building toward 43 combat brigades right now. But we cut the military, we cut the U.S. Army, by almost 40 percent, and that is what we had to go into this war with.

   Now, with respect to the gentleman's statements that in the first war we got lots of folks to chip in and pay for this thing, that is right. On the other hand, you had lots of self-interest. You had Saddam Hussein's tanks in third gear before we threw the 82nd Airborne in between him and his objectives, and you had everybody that had an oil well in that region scared to death and willing to pour money into this operation. So it is no surprise that countries out of self-interest will pile on and will help out. It is also no surprise that we have had lots of times in our national history when it has been tough to bring allies on board, when we had to have big pieces of this operation by ourselves and go it alone. And yet we were able to bring at least 20,000 coalition members into this operation.

   And it is true we did not have the French and the Germans. But the French and the Germans were looking forward to major oil contracts with Saddam Hussein, and they did not want to go this time against their pocketbooks, and that is a fact of life.

   Mr. LEWIS of California. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

   Mr. HUNTER. I would be happy to yield.

   Mr. LEWIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I very much appreciate my colleague's yielding.

   You and I have had a great opportunity to work together in the defense arena in recent years. My chairing our subcommittee in Appropriations brought in clear form to me the contribution you have made to the strength of America and our role in the world.

   I may not be able to speak later, but let me say to the gentleman that very early on in this process, one of the great trips I have ever taken was with a cross-section of this House, people who voted against the war, people who were in the center somewhere, people who supported the President from the beginning, all of them over a long weekend. And together we saw Saddam Hussein for what he was, visiting killing fields with 500,000 people that this guy murdered, of his own people, while he was building golden palaces.

   As we left, we came together to see what we would do about that big supplemental on the war. To a person, Democrat and Republican, one of our Members summarized it by saying this: All of you know where I have been coming from. I voted against the war. It is going to be very unpopular when I go home. But after seeing what Saddam Hussein is really about, how could we do anything else?

   And all 13 of those Members came in that great debate and supported the President's fight against Saddam Hussein because it was a fight against the war on terror.

   

[Time: 13:30]

   Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman. And, you know, that takes me to another point, which is the Iraqi Army. It has been said many times, and probably will be said again in this debate, that we should have kept the Iraqi Army intact.

   Now, the road that is not taken is always the smoothest. But looking at the Iraqi Army, at Saddam Hussein's army, he had 15,000 Sunni generals. How are you going to maintain an efficient Iraqi Army that is responsive to a new fledgling civilian government with 15,000 Sunni generals running this thing?

   We have had to build this army from the ground up. I think that history will show that that was the right thing to do. To have an efficient army, you have got to have a couple of things. You have got to have an army that has a chain of command which is responsive, that means that the private does what the sergeant says and the sergeant does what his platoon leader says, and right up the chain of command.

   And you have also got to have an army that is responsive to the civilian government, to that new defense minister that was just put in place. I do not think you are going to do that with 15,000 Sunni generals. I have seen that statement tossed around so much that I hope to be able to talk to some of the folks a couple of years down the line when it is reflected.

   Incidentally, people like Barry McCaffrey who have not been great friends of the administration's operation have said that looking at the Iraqi Army now, they see a core of strength, they see leadership emerging, and they see an Iraqi Army that is becoming effective.

   So what are we doing? We have a mission, and the mission right now for the military is to provide a shield for this fledgling government as it goes into place, this new government. We are nation-builders. We are building a nation. It is also to train up the Iraqi military, and we are going to hand off this defense burden, that means our people come home after we train up and mature the Iraqi military.

   If the question for us is, who is best equipped to decide when we take the training wheels off, when we let the Iraqi military go forward, I think we should leave that judgment up to the people who tracked down and brought to justice Mr. Zarqawi, a gentleman who said that he was going to take this war to Washington, DC, and London.

   He is going to be a little late for that one, because we have an extremely competent American military on the ground in Iraq right now. I think the gentleman from Pennsylvania would agree with that.

   So let's use that same judgment of those combat commanders who are training those Iraqi units in their areas of operation who say, okay, this battalion is just about matured, this one is not, this one needs more equipment, this one needs some more training. Let's rely on their judgment as to when we can hand that load off to them and let them bear the security burden.

   Why should a Senator from Wisconsin or a Congressman from California try to impose an arbitrary date on when that maturity takes place. You cannot do it. So I would just ask my friends to give to those great Americans who are over there working this mission right now, let's send a united statement to them that there is value in this mission, there is value in their operation.

   We are going to complete this mission. You know, they are lacking something that the Greatest Generation had. The Greatest Generation in World

[Page: H4034]
War II had a united American public. When the 101st went into Northern Europe, they had a united American public. Let's give the 101st Airborne now in Mosul, and in that tough Sunni Triangle, let's give them the same support we gave them in Europe, a united American public and a united American Congress.

   Let's give the 1st Marine Division that is out there in that tough province in the al Anbar Province out in Fallujah the same support we gave them when they were fighting Guadalcanal. The 1st Marine Division deserves a united American public and a united American Congress.

   So let's send a message. The main message that is manifested in this resolution is that we should not have an arbitrary cut-off point, an arbitrary deadline, and, secondly, that we will complete this mission. Let's send this message to every soldier, every marine who is watching this thing from the mess halls in Mosul and Tikrit and Baghdad and Fallujah, the message that the United States House of Representatives stands with them.

   Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 2 minutes.

   Mr. Speaker, I believe we send them a message when we vote on the armed services bill. Very few people voted against it. I believe we voted, in the defense subcommittee of appropriations, only 15 or 16 people voted against it. But Theodore Roosevelt said, ``If you disagree with a policy and you do not say anything, you are actually treasonous.''

   I disagree with the policy. I do not disagree with supporting the troops. There is no one that supports the troops better than the Members of this Congress. And that is shown by the few people that vote against the bill.

   One other thing: I think the gentleman made a mistake when he said we are for the war, against the war on terror. We are actually fighting for the war on terror is what we are doing. But I appreciate what the gentleman is saying.

   I appreciate the fact that he and I both asked for more troops at one point. He was the lead sponsor at that particular time.

   I recognize the gentleman from California for 13 minutes.

   Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, before we went to war, President Bush and other administration officials made three promises to the American people: one, we would find weapons of mass destruction; two, we would be welcomed as liberators; and, three, the reconstruction of Iraq would pay for itself.

   Well, all three promises proved to be false. Today I will focus on the reconstruction effort in Iraq and the massive waste, fraud, and abuse that have undermined our efforts.

   Stuart Bowen is the Special Inspector General for Iraq reconstruction. He often talks about the reconstruction gap which is the chasm between the President's promises and reality.

   Mr. Bowen is absolutely right: the gap is enormous. But it is dwarfed by the incompetency and corruption gaps in Iraq. The consequences of mismanagement and corruption are serious. Waste, fraud, and abuse have flourished. The taxpayer has been repeatedly gouged.

   Iraq is not being rebuilt. We have lost credibility and are now viewed in Iraq as occupiers, and our troops did not get essential equipment when they needed it. We have now spent $50 billion on Iraq reconstruction, including $30 billion from U.S. taxpayers.

   Let's look at what we got for the money. Despite spending $2 billion, Iraq's oil production is still well below prewar levels, running about a half million barrels below 2003 levels. We have invested $4 billion into improving electricity generation.

   Not only is the administration 2,000 megawatts short of reaching its goal for peak output, but generation is actually below prewar levels. And we spent $6 billion on oil production and electricity generation. And we have actually lost ground.

   The situation is the same for drinking water. In essence, we have squandered $50 billion. Profiteering has been rampant, and the taxpayer has gotten gouged and the work has not gotten done. And what is especially shameful about the wasteful spending is that we needed this money for our troops. When we first went into Iraq, our troops did not have enough body armor.

   Families had to purchase armor off the Internet and ship it to Iraq in a desperate attempt to protect their loved ones. On congressional delegations, individual servicemembers have taken our staffs aside and begged for more night vision goggles.

   Patriotic Americans even had to donate their frequent flier miles so troops who were dumped at the Baltimore airport by the Pentagon could make it home for the holidays. This should never have happened. It is inexcusable that our troops face desperate shortages of essential gear while billions of dollars were frittered away.

   To understand the magnitude of this, there is no better place to start than Halliburton. Halliburton is the largest private contractor operating in Iraq. The company has three contracts that total more than $20 billion. We now know that political appointees, not career civil servants, decided to give Halliburton a secret no-bid contract for $7 billion to operate Iraq's oil fields.

   As GAO has reported, the key decision that led to the award of the secret contract violated Federal procurement law. When a career attorney properly objected, he was simply overruled. And despite statements from the Vice President, we know now that his chief of staff, Scooter Libby, was personally briefed on this entire plan months before the war.

   The decision to give those lucrative contracts to Halliburton has been expensive. According to Pentagon audits, Halliburton's total unreasonable and unsupported charges exceed $1.4 billion. Well, the examples of waste, fraud, and abuse are numerous. Halliburton charged $45 for a case of soda; $100 for a 15-pound bag of laundry.

   When they had brand-new $85,000 Halliburton trucks, they abandoned them or torched them if they got a flat tire or experienced minor mechanical problems. Halliburton's contracts are cost-plus. That means that Halliburton is reimbursed for all of its costs, and then receives an extra percentage as additional profit.

   In practical terms, this means that the more Halliburton spends, the richer it gets. Now we talked to former Halliburton employees who worked in Iraq. They told us the informal company motto was: ``Do not worry about price, it is cost plus.''

   Halliburton was supposed to be in Iraq to provide support for the troops, but the company used one standard for the troops and a completely different standard for its own executives. Halliburton employees stayed at the five-star Kempinski Hotel in Kuwait, where it costs taxpayers $10,000 per day. This is the five-star Kempinski. This gorgeous hotel offered maid service, complimentary fruit baskets to Halliburton employees.

   Our troops stayed in tents in the desert. At one point, a cost-conscious Army official asked Halliburton to move its employees into air-conditioned tents, but they refused.

   To their credit, career government auditors identified these overcharges. When they examined Halliburton's second oil contract, they harshly criticized Halliburton's performance, citing profound systemic problems and exorbitant indirect costs. But their recommendations were rejected.

   After reviewing Halliburton's first oil contract in Iraq, auditors recommended that the Army not pay $263 million in unreasonable and unsupported charges. But the Army ignored those auditors and paid Halliburton $254 million, over 95 percent of the disputed charges.

   And in spite of the auditor's findings, Halliburton was paid nearly $100 million in profits and bonuses for overbilling taxpayers.

   Well, Halliburton symbolizes what went astray in Iraq, but it is not the only contractor abusing the system. Parsons received the contract to rebuild health clinics throughout Iraq. But despite spending $186 million, Parsons completed just 20 of 142 health clinics they promised to build.

   Another firm, Custer Battles, received two security contracts. A Federal jury recently found that the company committed 37 separate acts of fraud. These are not isolated instances. There are over 70 corruption investigations currently under way in Iraq. These cases involve allegations of

[Page: H4035]
fraud, false claims, theft, bribery and kickbacks. Some of the worst problems in Iraq are almost beyond comprehension.

   The U.S. management of the Development Fund for Iraq, which was the fund that held the proceeds of Iraqi oil sales, is a classic example of what not to do. The Coalition Provisional Authority handed out over $8.8 billion in cash, in cash, to Iraqi ministries. And they had no idea what happened to the money: $8 billion in cash simply vanished.

   One former U.S. official who was in Iraq at the time, Frank Willis, described conditions as the Wild West. He said the lack of controls effectively created a free fraud zone.

   

[Time: 13:45]

   Iraq was awash in brand-new $100 bills with no accountability to prevent corruption. All the while, the White House looked the other way and Congress put its head in the sand.

   Under the Constitution, we are supposed to be a check and balance, but we have abdicated this responsibility. The Republican majority is terrific at applauding the President, and they are proving it again today with this dishonest resolution.

   Congress isn't doing the serious and important work it must do to protect our troops, rebuild Iraq, look out for American taxpayers. Congress must be more than a cheerleading section for the White House.

   The fiasco in Iraq was a windfall for some. Halliburton made more than $2 billion in profits last year. Its total revenue has increased by 66 percent since 2002. Another beneficiary was David Brooks. He is the CEO of a company that makes bulletproof vests. In 2001, Mr. Brooks reportedly earned $525,000. In 2004, he earned $70 million. Last year, the U.S. Marines recalled more than 5,000 of the company's armored vests. But by that time Mr. Brooks had pocketed $186 million.

   Well, the American people might think that Congress would rise up in the face of such unconscionable profiteering. When our troops are willing to sacrifice so much, and they do sacrifice so much, how can we let others create cynical fortunes off their blood?

   As we debate this resolution, 2,500 of our bravest men and women, have been killed in Iraq. Over 18,000 have been wounded, and the total cost of the Iraq war is over $300 billion. Those of us privileged to serve here have been spared any of the personal consequences of being on the front line, but we should not be spared the responsibility of doing our job.

   We owe more to our troops than slapping ``I support our troops'' bumper stickers on our cars and extolling their courage. Instead of wasting time on bipartisan charades, we should acknowledge and fix our mistakes so that Iraqis can take over and our troops in Iraq can come home.

   We owe more than empty promises to American families who are paying for this costly war in Iraq. They count on us to make sure that their money is spent well, and we haven't done that.

   An honest unsparing look at the record of the past 3 years tells us a stark truth. The White House and Congress have failed our troops, the taxpayers and the Iraqi people. They deserve better than a partisan resolution that pats ourselves and the White House on the back.

   It is shameful that we are squandering money on Halliburton at the very same time that we don't have enough money to protect our troops. It is shameful that Congress has abdicated its oversight and legislative responsibilities to rein in the incompetence and corruption that has undermined our efforts in Iraq.

   Mr. HOEKSTRA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

   Mr. Speaker, this resolution in front of us today is about an urgent proposition. We are a nation at war, a nation at war with radical Islamists. The war was not of our choosing, but it is the central struggle of our time, the first major conflict of the Information Age.

   This debate is a defining one for the House and for our Nation. It is important to begin by explaining that the threats that we face are real. They are serious, and they are ongoing. We must address these threats by continuing to confront them aggressively rather than shying away from them because they are difficult. We begin the debate framing four fundamental issues that define the war with radical Islam.

   First, our Nation is engaged in a long-term war. That war didn't begin on 9/11. We should maybe look back to 2/26. February 26, 1993, perhaps is when this war really did begin to come into focus. What happened on February 26, 1993? That was when the World Trade Center was attacked for the first time.

   Second, al Qaeda views Iraq as a central front in its war against Western democracies. Bin Laden's stated goal is to establish a global Muslim caliphate whose historical center includes Iraq, and Zarqawi was operating in Iraq long before American troops entered that country.

   Third, al Qaeda is a sophisticated enemy in the first war of the Information Age. In a war against terrorism, a critical battle is over intelligence. We must use every means at our disposal to obtain information about our enemies and counter their sophisticated information war.

   Fourth, our Nation must recognize how this battle is evolving. We need to recognize the threat of home-grown terrorism, home-grown terrorism that has already been experienced in Spain, the United Kingdom, Australia, the Netherlands and, most recently, Canada.

   We are a nation at war. America has been in an armed struggle with radical Islam for at least 15 years. The first clear declaration was the attack on the World Trade Center, 6 dead, 1,000 wounded. The Khobar Towers were attacked in June of 1996. Our ambassadors were attacked in Kenya and Tanzania in August of 1998 and the USS Cole was attacked in October of 2000.

   In 1996 bin Laden declared war against the United States in its fatwa. Throughout the 1990s, there were multiple attacks. Almost 300 people were killed, and there was a minimal U.S. response. No one in the 1990s connected the dots.

   But this war is not just limited to the United States. It is a global war against Western democracies. Our enemies are active across the globe, and they must be countered across the globe, not just by the United States but by our allies.

   I would like to yield to my colleague from New Mexico, the chairwoman of our Technical and Tactical Intelligence Subcommittee, for a further explanation about the long-term focus of this war.

   Mrs. WILSON of New Mexico. Mr. Speaker, it is important for Americans to understand that the war on terror did not begin on a cool September morning, that this was something that had been building over a decade or longer, that in February of 1993, radical Islamist operatives drove a truck into the basement of the World Trade Center and blew it up. One thousand people were injured and six people died, and we treated it as a crime, not an act of international terror.

   On June 25, 1996, American airmen who were conducting operations in the southern no-fly zone in Iraq were settling in for the night in their quarters in Saudi Arabia in a building known as the Khobar Towers when a sewage truck drove into the compound, backed up to the wall of that building, and the people who drove it fled in a white car.

   They were seen from the roof of the building by the security forces, and they started evacuating the building. They were about three floors down when the truck exploded and 19 airmen were killed.

   In August of 1998, we were here in this House when we got word that our two embassies, one in Kenya and one in Tanzania, had been attacked by bombs. The U.S. Attorney in the District of New York got 17 indictments, one of them for a man whose name wasn't really well known at the time. His name was Osama bin Laden.

   In October of 2000, the USS Cole was in port in Aden, in Yemen when a small boat came up to it and exploded, tearing a gash 40 feet by 60 feet long midships on the USS Cole, and 17 sailers died.

   All of these actions we treated as isolated instances. We played defense ineffectively against a transnational, loosely connected movement against extremists who exploit Islam and use terrorism to bring about their dark vision of the future.

   The adherents to this movement are parasites who thrive in weak states and in failed regimes. That is why the terrorists made Iraq a central front in

[Page: H4036]
their war. If they could foment civil war, if they could keep self-government in Iraq from being born, then they could thrive in the chaos and continue their attacks on us.

   That is why it is important to see it through in Iraq. We made a decision after 9/11 that we would play offense and not defense. As Americans, we know the enterprise that we are engaged in is difficult and requires persistence and resolve. That is very hard on some days. It is very hard for us to understand why it is important to stay the course.

   But we know this. Our enemies are persistent and will stay the course. They will not stop if we ignore them.

   So that is the choice we face as a nation and why this debate today is so important. It is a choice between resolve and retreat. For me and my family, I choose resolve.

   Mr. HOEKSTRA. Reclaiming my time, I thank the gentlewoman for her comments.

   A quote from Zawahiri to al Zarqawi in July of 2005: It has always been my belief that the victory of Islam will never take place until a Muslim state is established in the manner of a prophet in the heart of the Islamic world, end of quote.

   Al Qaeda views Iraq as a central part of this global war on terror.

   I would like to yield to my colleague from Michigan (Mr. Rogers).

   Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

   Mr. Speaker, Iraq is the central front in the war on terrorism, despite what you hear and, despite the pointing out of problems in a very difficult task, we ought not to be asking politicians here in Washington, we ought to be listening to our enemy.

   Osama bin Laden, quote, this third world war is raging in Iraq. The whole world is watching this war. It will end in victory and glory, or it will end in misery and humiliation.

   With what you have talked about earlier, Mr. Chairman, from that letter from Zawahiri to al Zarqawi, he went on to say that prophet in the heart of Islam world, specifically Egypt, neighboring states of the peninsula and Iraq, they have declared war against the United States and all those who seek to find democracy and peaceful solutions.

   Terrorist Abu Nidal found safe haven in Iraq and was killed in Baghdad in 2002. Zarqawi and his network were operating in Baghdad and the Kurdish-controlled region of Iraq a year at least before the start of the war. As a matter of fact, from that base of operations, they executed the assassination of an American diplomat in Jordan in 2002.

   Our troops found a suicide vest factory that had 800 suicide vests equipped and ready to go in south Baghdad in April of 2003. Iraq was on the State Department sponsor of terrorism list. Saddam Hussein paid $25,000 cash to the family of suicide bombers in Israel.

   You know, with every sacrifice made by our great American soldiers, for every girl that now walks in Iraq and Baghdad and goes to school, for every young mother that goes to a medical clinic to get treatment where there was none before, for every dead terrorist in Iraq, we make progress every day.

   One platoon sergeant in Iraq, and I quote, I have yet to speak to an American here who thinks we are losing. Trust me, no soldier wants to be here. No one wants to cut and run either. Leaving would send the wrong signal to our enemies.

   There are only two groups of people who want America to leave and withdraw in humiliation, Mr. Speaker, from Iraq.

   President Bush met with the Shiia, the Sunnis, the Kurds just recently, just this last week. None of them, even the Sunnis, wanted the United States to leave. As a matter of fact, they asked for reassurance that we would stay with them in this difficult and tough struggle for freedom.

   

[Time: 14:00]

   That would leave only the terrorists who want an early American withdrawal and some politicians in this town.

   I would listen to what our enemies said when Zarqawi declared, ``We have declared a bitter war against the principle of democracy and all those who seek to enact it.'' They will kill American families at any given opportunity.

   I would say, Mr. Speaker, that we should stand with our soldiers. We should stand with our families here that helped take the fight to the terrorists overseas. We should stand for victory, and we should stand with the United States of America.

   Mr. HOEKSTRA. I thank my colleague from Michigan for those comments.

   The other thing that we have learned is that this is the first war in the Information Age. The Information Age provides some unique opportunities to our enemy. As we work to deny the terrorists their physical sanctuary, radical Islamists, using the tools of the Information Age, are working actively to develop a virtual sanctuary on the Internet which enables them to grow their movement around the globe.

   Some have said, well, this is a battle that should be fought in Afghanistan. This battle is not limited to Afghanistan or Iraq. Tell that to the people in Spain, the Netherlands, the U.K., Canada or Australia that this is really just a battle about Afghanistan.

   The Information Age is making this a very, very different battle than we have ever fought before. To explain that in more detail is my colleague from Texas (Mr. Thornberry).

   I yield to Mr. Thornberry.

   Mr. THORNBERRY. I thank the chairman for yielding.

   Mr. Speaker, part of the job of intelligence is to understand our enemy, and what we should clearly understand about our enemy in the war on terrorism is that they are very sophisticated. They are sophisticated users of technology using, as Chairman Hoekstra just mentioned, the Internet in order to recruit, in order to train its people, in order to intimidate populations to go along.

   They use Internet video games in order to help train and indoctrinate people in the Arab world to their way of thinking. They use the Internet for communication. They use videotapes and DVDs to get their message out. They have very adept users of technology.

   But they are also adept at using media. As a matter of fact, Prime Minister Blair said recently that they play our own media with a shrewdness that would be the envy of many a political party. They know, for example, that one horrific act of cruelty shown on video will get far more attention than a thousand acts of kindness or patience from our soldiers.

   They are agile and clever in using cruelty through the media in order to achieve their ends; and, Mr. Speaker, I think maybe the most important point we can make on their sophistication is that they know they cannot beat us militarily, and that is not their object. They are sophisticated enough to know that the way they can beat us is to influence our political decisions, to impact our political will.

   There has been a very, what has now really become a classic study of this sort of warfare, often called 4th-generation warfare, a book called ``The Sling and The Stone,'' which traces this sort of attack from Mao's Tse-tung all the way through al Qaeda and its affiliated groups. One of the key points that the author makes, unlike previous generations of war, it does not try to win by defeating military's forces. Instead, it directly attacks the minds of enemy decision-makers to destroy the enemy's political will.

   That is what is going on. Their use of technology, their use of cruelty, their use of the media has a target which is us because, as another author has written, it only takes a few hundred people in Washington, DC, to decide that this war is lost. So they are focusing their attention not on our strength, but on our weakness, which is potentially our political will.

   That is why this resolution is important. It is why in order to meet a sophisticated threat, a political threat, which al Qaeda and its affiliated groups try to pose to us, we have to resist that sort of manipulation. Part of that resistance occurs on the floor of the House.

   I thank the chairman for yielding.

   Mr. HOEKSTRA. Mr. Speaker, this battle continues to evolve. We know that al Qaeda wants to attack us again in our homeland. That is why it is important to stay on the offensive, attacking them where they are and making sure that they do not have a safe haven to plan, to train and to develop the resources to attack us again.

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   But the other thing that they are trying to do is to develop the concept of homegrown terrorism, and it is something that is evolving.

   I would like to yield to our chairwoman of the committee, Mrs. Davis.

   Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS of Virginia. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

   Mr. Speaker, some of the worst acts of radical Islamic terrorism have been committed by homegrown terrorists, and homegrown terrorists are citizens or residents of the Western countries who, without any direct contact with al Qaeda, adopt a militant radical Islamic outlook, and they seek to conduct acts of terrorism in support of the global jihad.

   Propaganda on the Internet, as we heard from you and from Mr. Thornberry, drives the movement. Groups like al Qaeda and the Zarqawi network use it to distribute their slick videos, to glorify the violent jihad.

   Homegrown terrorists committed, as I think you have said before, recent acts in Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

   The Madrid attack, for instance, on March 11, 2004, a group of Moroccans living in Spain attacked passenger trains in Madrid killing 190 people; and the plot was conceived, it was organized, and it was equipped with no support from international terrorist groups.

   Recent events have demonstrated that Europe is not the only place where homegrown Islamic militants can develop.

   On June 4, 2006, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested 17 Canadians for planning to attack Canadian government buildings.

   We have seen homegrown Islamic extremist groups in the United States. Our Federal, our State, and our local law enforcement agencies have so far been able to stop them before they could launch attacks.

   In August 2005, for instance, the FBI arrested four members of the JIS plotting to bomb military recruiting offices and synagogues in southern California, and this is the interesting part: The JIS was founded by an inmate at the California State Prison in Sacramento, and most members of the JIS are American citizens who were born and raised in the United States. They were radicalized and recruited into JIS while they were in prison; and as far as authorities know, none of these members had any contact with foreign terrorist groups.

   Last February, the Justice Department indicted three men in Ohio for aiding insurgents in Iraq and planning to attack U.S. troops there. Two of the men were naturalized U.S. citizens, and one was a permanent legal resident. The men learned their craft by downloading terrorism instructional videos from jihadist Internet sites. They had no contact with al Qaeda. Had they not been arrested, they may have started looking for local targets that they could attack.

   We cannot ignore the threat of homegrown terrorism. It is imperative that we understand which elements of our society are vulnerable to jihadist propaganda, how radicalization occurs, and how we can prevent Americans from becoming pawns of al Qaeda.

   The British House of Commons concluded that the U.K. counterterrorism community did not anticipate the March 2005 suicide attacks because it did not understand homegrown terrorism and the radicalization process. We cannot make that same mistake.

   At the same time, we cannot let our concern about homegrown threats breed suspicion and distrust of our fellow Americans. The diversity and the harmony of the American people is our country's greatest strength, and the global jihadist network we are fighting wants to divide us by inspiring homegrown terrorists whose attacks will spread.

   And I think Mr. Thornberry said it best, they are using the media, the Internet. They are using that to divide our country, and that is what will take us down, Mr. Speaker. That is why it is imperative that we continue on this course and we continue to fight this war on the away front, not the home front.

   Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

   Mr. HOEKSTRA. I thank my colleague.

   Reclaiming my time, it is why this resolution is so important, to send a clear signal that we are going to win this global war on terror; that we are going to be successful in Iraq; that we are going to fight the enemy where they are using all of the techniques that they use in an Information Age; and why we need to redouble our efforts to make sure that they cannot attack us; and that we stop the development of homegrown terrorism in this country.

   Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 minute.

   This all sounds good. It is all rhetoric. It is rhetoric. The number of daily attacks in Iraq have gone from 2004, 53 attacks per day; May 2005, 70 attacks per day; May 2006, 90 attacks per day. Electricity is less than prewar level. No water available to all, only 1 hour a day, Mr. Speaker, and the oil production which was supposed to pay for the war is less than prewar production.

   Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. George Miller).

   (Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. Mr. Speaker, there is no more pressing issue in our country today than bringing an end to the war in Iraq as quickly as possible.

   I thank my colleagues on the other side who just completed their discussion of the war on terror. They remind us that it is a war in which we can never yield and about which we have no choice. They also remind us that Iraq has become a recruiting ground for those international terrorists; that Iraq has become a proving ground for those international terrorists; and that Iraq has become the motivation for many of those international terrorists, none of which existed before the President's choice to go to war, a war not of necessity, a war that was unjustified based upon falsified intelligence.

   In fact, we see the new CIA Director said that intelligence that the administration used to make the case for war was wrong, inaccurate, and misleading. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and there was no connection between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein.

   The administration used fear to scare this country into war based upon those lies. He refused to properly prepare for the war and its aftermath, and now our soldiers, our families, and our Nation are paying an enormous price for this President's tragic blunder.

   Two thousand five hundred Americans soldiers, we are informed today, have died in Iraq. 19,000 American soldiers have been wounded, many of them missing limbs and suffering other very serious debilitating injuries that will afflict them the rest of their lives. The war has cost almost a half a trillion dollars in taxpayer money, and America's international reputation and respect in the world has been severely damaged.

   The President often says that he makes decisions about the future of Iraq based upon what the generals say; but when the time came to listen to the generals prior to Iraq, the President refused to listen to them. He refused to listen to them when they questioned the force structure that was available to us to go into Iraq at that time, but he went anyway. He refused to listen to them when questions were raised the day after we seized Baghdad.

   What we now see is massive national chaos for which our soldiers were not trained, not given any instructions on how to deal with, and certainly did not have sufficient numbers to deal with. The President sent the troops into that war with that poor planning, that poor structure, and that poor understanding of what would take place afterwards.

   The American public had to witness soldiers being forced to buy their own body armor, have their families buy it because we did not have a proper supply prior to going into that war. Many men and women were sent into battle with unarmored, old Humvees that were used for flood control in the California rivers before they showed up in Iraq, and those soldiers died because of that inadequate equipment and because of the roadside bombs that are the number one killer in Iraq.

   We see the torture of detainees was approved at the highest levels in the Pentagon; and this, again, has led to an undermining of our position in the world, our moral position in the war in Iraq and the war against terrorism.

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   This is a policy blunder of historic proportions by this President, and it is very important that we understand that we are paying a huge price for these mistakes by this administration. Tragically, we stand here on the floor of this Congress today 3 years after the beginning of this war, but for 3 years questions were not raised in this Congress about that force structure, about that preparedness, about the detainee policy, about these actions that have so severely undermined us.

   Yes, we saw the taking of Zarqawi, and what do we have there? We have the real use of smart intelligence on the war against terror. As you pointed out, they are not going to come after the 130,000 troops. They are not going to come after our strengths, but that is what people have been saying for a long time. That is what people have been writing about at the military schools, about the networking of terrorism and how you had to go after it. We went after it exactly the wrong way, in exactly the same way, as people who made these historic blunders throughout history, when confronting this kind of force.

   Yes, we should provide the special ops; yes, we should provide the surveillance; yes, we should provide the intelligence and we should work together. In the case of Zarqawi, we saw, once the Jordanians were insulted enough by the attacks on their land, they put their intelligence sources to work, combined with ours, and Zarqawi was run down, and we provided the 500-pound bombs. We provided the special ops.

   That is not what is happening day to day in the war in Iraq, and our troops are paying a horrible, horrible price for the lack of preparation, the lack of planning and the lack of prosecution of this effort and the initial mistake and lies by the President of the United States.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   The President's policies in Iraq have severely undermined America's national security and made the world less safe.

   In response to the clear failures in Iraq, the Republican Congress has acted like a rubberstamp for President Bush rather than the elected representatives of the people of America.

   Republicans in Congress have hid their heads in the sand and refused to question the President, instead sheepishly pretending success is around the corner.

   As a result, Iraq is engaged in a civil war that threatens to consume the country.

   Congress has done nothing to stop the civil war in Iraq, nothing to hold the President accountable for the failures in Iraq, and nothing to put our troops on a safe and speedy path toward home, or to other parts of the world where they are needed to fight against terrorism.

   The President and his allies in the Republican leadership in Congress have made up their minds.

   They have a plan for Iraq. It is the same failed plan they started the war with. It is chaos with no end in sight.

   There is no more that we can ask of America's troops. They have done everything they have been asked to do. It is time for them to serve their nation where they are needed most, and that is surely not in Iraq.

   Now is not the time to stay the course of failure.

   America needs a new direction in Iraq--a new direction that will make Americans safer.

  • [End Insert]

     

   

[Time: 14:15]

   Mr. HOEKSTRA. The historic blunder is that we didn't address this problem in the 1990s when it started rearing its ugly head.

   I yield to my colleague for a unanimous consent request.

   Mr. DUNCAN. Mr. Speaker, I request unanimous consent to place a statement concerning this resolution in the RECORD at this point.

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the gentleman's statement will be placed in the RECORD.

   There was no objection.

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   Mr. DUNCAN. Mr. Speaker, much of this resolution is language that everyone supports, especially the praise for our troops.

   They do a great job everywhere they are sent, and it is certainly no criticism of them to criticize this war.

   In August of 2002, two months before Congress voted for the war in Iraq, Dick Armey, then our Republican Majority Leader, in a speech in Iowa, said:

   ``I don't believe America will justifiably make an unprovoked attack on another nation. It would not be consistent with what we have been as a Nation.''

   Jack Kemp wrote before the war, ``What is the evidence that should cause us to fear Iraq more than Pakistan or Iran. Do we reserve the right to launch a preemptive war exclusively for ourselves or might other nations such as India, Pakistan or China be justified in taking similar action on the basis of fears of other nations?''

   Mr. Kemp said, based on evidence that he had seen, there was not ``a compelling case for the invasion and occupation of Iraq.''

   William F. Buckley wrote that if he had known in 2002 what he knew then in 2004, he would have been against the war.

   Last year he wrote another column against the war saying: ``A point is reached when tenacity conveys not steadfastness of purpose but misapplication of pride.''

   The very popular conservative columnist Charley Reese wrote that the war was ``against a country that was not attacking us, did not have the means to attack us, and had never expressed any intention of attacking us, and for whatever real reason we attacked Iraq, it was not to save America from any danger, imminent or otherwise.''

   Many years ago, Senator Robert Taft expressed the traditional conservative position: ``No foreign policy can be justified except a policy devoted to the protection of the American people, with war only as the last resort and only to preserve that liberty.''

   Millions of conservatives across this Nation believe that this war was unconstitutional, unaffordable, and, worst of all, unnecessary.

   It was waged against an evil man, but one who had a total military budget only two-tenths of one percent of ours.

   We are not going to be able to pay all our military pensions, social security, Medicare, and all the little things we have promised if we are going to turn the Department of Defense into the Department of Foreign Aid and attempt to be the policeman of the world.

   This is contrary to every traditional conservative position on defense and requires huge deficit spending.

   The conservative columnist Georgie Ann Geyer wrote: ``Critics of the war against Iraq have said since the beginning of the conflict that Americans, still strangely complacent about overseas wars being waged by a minority in their name, will inevitably come to a point where they will see they have to have a government that provides services at home or one that seeks empire across the globe.''

   Mr. Speaker, we need to start putting our own people first once again and bring our troops home, the sooner the better.

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   Mr. HOEKSTRA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to our chairwoman, Mrs. Davis.

   Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, an issue that hasn't received enough attention in the debate on the global war on terror is what happened to American intelligence during the 1990s.

   To effectively wage the war on terrorism, we need a robust intelligence community that is capable of gathering intelligence aimed at eliminating the terrorist threat. Unfortunately, as the war escalated in 2001, the intelligence community was still reeling from policies that were implemented in the 1990s which undermined the ability of our intelligence agencies to predict 9/11 and to effectively fight the war today. Simply throwing people and money at the issue, it doesn't solve the problem. Developing expertise to replace what was lost in the 1990s is a long endeavor. It takes 5 to 7 years of training and experience to bring an operations officer up to full performance.

   Mr. Speaker, I would like to list a few examples of what happened in the 1990s that hampered our intelligence community efforts leading up to and at the onset of the war.

   Between 1992 and 1999, the CIA's presence overseas declined by almost one-third. Our intelligence agencies had their hands tied by the Deutch Doctrine, forbidding recruitment of sources that had shady backgrounds, limiting our ability to get information on potential terrorist attacks. The number of officers declined and overseas facilities were closed. And as a result of the crises in the Balkans and in Africa, et cetera, officers were sent to areas where many times they had little knowledge of the issues there and, in some places, the targets had little and sometimes no presence.

   As a result, overall intelligence collection was decimated. James Pavitt, the former CIA Deputy Director for Operations, told the 9/11 Commission in April of 2004 that we were vastly underfunded and did not have the people to do the job, and noted that spending on CIA human collection was cut by 20 percent during the 1990s.

   Analysis suffered equally in the 1990s, with low priority accorded to terrorism analysis. Intelligence analysts were

[Page: H4039]
discouraged from writing original out-of-the-box assessments that might have raised awareness to terrorists staging unconventional attacks. And, instead, our analysts were pressured to craft politically correct analysis.

   The death of Zarqawi and the arrests of 17 terrorist suspects in Canada are recent successes in the global war on terror. However, we still have a long way to go to rebuilding our networks of human sources. Reform has to continue, and we must acknowledge that many of the problems facing U.S. intelligence agencies today are the product of unwise and neglectful intelligence policies of the past.

   It is simple to destroy, but it is much more difficult to build. Over the past 6 years, we have worked to rebuild our Nation's intelligence capability, and it may take a few more years to complete. There is not a moment to waste in carrying out these essential reforms to our intelligence community.

   And I will say, Mr. Speaker, that we must continue this war. We must continue to let our intelligence community do their job.

   Mr. MURTHA. I yield myself 1 minute.

   One of the Members said, ask Spain about the threat. Fifty-six percent of the population of Spain believes the U.S. in Iraq is the most dangerous threat to world peace. They rank Iran lesser of a threat than the United States.

   And one other thing. When we look back at the intelligence cuts, President Bush I felt it was a peace dividend and started to cut the intelligence budget years ago. So we have to make sure we don't let our rhetoric get ahead of the facts.

   I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Emanuel).

   Mr. EMANUEL. Mr. Speaker, since day one of the war in Iraq, Democrats have provided the President with everything he asked for, yet Republicans have denied the President the one thing he needed: Oversight.

   In a post-9/11 world, the American people need the vigilance and the patriotic determination of every Member of Congress to demand answers to the questions their constituents are asking. Instead, the Republican Congress sat and watched the administration make mistake after mistake after mistake.

   And don't listen to just one Member of Congress. Consider the words of Three Star General Greg Newbold, top Operations Officer for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. After a scathing critique of Secretary Rumsfeld, he says, ``The Bush administration and senior military officials are not alone in their culpability. Members of Congress defaulted in fulfilling their Constitutional responsibility of oversight.''

   General Anthony Zinni, former Commander of the U.S. Central Command in the Mideast: ``We are paying the price for the lack of credible planning, or the lack of a plan. Ten years of planning were thrown away.''

   Major General Batiste, who commanded 22,000 soldiers on the ground in Iraq. ``Rumsfeld and his team turned what should have been a deliberate victory in Iraq into a prolonged challenge.''

   Eight generals have raised serious questions concerning Secretary Rumsfeld's leadership. I don't know, maybe the Pentagon suffers from the soft bigotry of low expectations and social promotion as a policy. Maybe these generals weren't just qualified; or maybe, just maybe, they had to speak up because the Republican Congress was silent. You have adopted an approach of ``see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil'' with abandon.

   America was told this would be a quick war, and it turned into a long war. This Congress walked away from its oversight responsibility. America was told 130,000 troops would be enough, but more were clearly necessary. This Congress, the Republican Congress, walked away from its oversight responsibility. America was told this would be a conventional war. It turned into an insurgency. This Congress walked away from its oversight responsibility. America was told oil would pay for reconstruction, and the taxpayers are left with a $480 billion tab. This Congress walked away from its oversight responsibility. America was told we would be greeted as liberators, but they have become and are treated like occupiers. This Congress walked away from its oversight responsibility.

   And when Don Rumsfeld, a man who expressed contempt for the idea of nation-building, was assigned the responsibility of rebuilding Iraq and mismanaged the war against the insurgency, this Congress, the Republican Congress, walked away from its oversight responsibility.

   Mr. Speaker, the Republicans want to portray the greatest foreign policy challenge of a generation as simply the choice between more of the same or a new direction. And we Democrats welcome that. The debate today is about whether the American people want to stay the course, with an administration and a Congress that has walked away from its obligations, or pursue a real strategy for success in the war on terror.

   Twenty-five hundred brave Americans, male and female, have given their lives in trying to stabilize Iraq. Last month was the bloodiest in Iraq's history. According to Major General Rick Lynch, attacks against civilians increased 80 percent since November 2005.

   We cannot achieve the end of victory and continue to sit and watch, stand pat, the status quo. That is the Republican policy. Democrats are determined to take the fight to the enemy. In the words of President John Kennedy, ``We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe in order to assure the survival and success of liberty.''

   Democrats will never put American servicemembers in harm's way without a plan and without support. For that, you need the sit-and-watch complacency of a Republican Congress.

   Mr. HOEKSTRA. This Congress will not walk away from a mission, it will not walk away from its troops, and it will not walk away from its allies.

   With that, I would like to yield 3 minutes to my colleague from Michigan (Mr. Rogers).

   Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I am a little bit saddened by the comments of the gentleman from Illinois. You know, our enemies do not have a first Tuesday in November plan. They have a plan for a caliphate. They have well established themselves to murder Christians, Jews, Muslims, women, and children. They will behead you, they will shoot you, they will blow you up. They do not care.

   To have the talk of rhetoric, because the electricity isn't where it is, let's come home in defeat; because the oil isn't going exactly the way we would like it, let's come home in defeat; that is no standard for victory.

   What is the standard for victory? Where were we 4 years ago? Let us look at it in the global war, this World War III that Osama bin Laden declared in his own words. Pakistan, 4 years ago, was the only government supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan. They were working against the United States in Afghanistan. They supported, financed, gave as much comfort as they could to the enemy to produce terrorists, to attack Americans and Westerners all over the world. In Iraq, we know that Zarqawi was there a year before the war; that they used that operation to kill an American in Jordan, a diplomat of great service to our country. In Libya, they had a nuclear weapons program and self declared they would share it with anyone.

   So 4 years later, not because I gave a great speech on the House floor but because very brave men and women put on the uniform and fought the terrorists with a military uniform so our children wouldn't have to fight it in a school uniform here at home, and now what has happened? Pakistan has joined us in the fight against terror. There are our allies just 4 years later in hunting down al Qaeda.

   Afghanistan is now an ally in the war on terror. Their intelligence services, their military, as a matter of fact just this morning, launched a 10,000 troop crackdown on terrorists. This morning. Last week, Iraq launched a 70,000 security personnel crackdown on terrorists. This week, they are our allies now in the war on terror.

   Libya. That is the components of the nuclear weapons program of Libya. It is now in the possession of the United States of America. They gave it to us not because we stood here and debated but because we had brave men and women with boots on the ground who showed courage and commitment and said we will take the fight to you. We will not allow you to take the fight to us.

[Page: H4040]

   Which country would you have go back? Which one would you say, ah, it wasn't important that they became an ally? Four Muslim nations have stood up against the ravages and the terror and the brutality of terror today because of actions our brave soldiers take overseas.

   So don't get confused in every little problem that happens, and there are a lot of them. Sir, you served in Vietnam. You know this challenge. They are great, they are hard, and sometimes they are disappointing, yes. But at the end of the day, every great victory, every great victory ends with our heads held high and safety and security for the United States.

   Let us not come home in humiliation. Let us not tell all of those families that their loved ones died in vain because we have a November time frame and not a time frame for victory.

   ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair would ask Members to address their comments to the Chair.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 2 minutes.

   This is rhetoric. It is not getting better. I spoke out November 17, and things have gotten worse than it was 6 months ago. They are worse today than they were then.

   When I left Vietnam in August of 1967, they gave me this bullet, and they said in this bullet that everything is going to be all right. The President of the United States said we just had an election, and we have a new election in Vietnam, and this was a month after I got out of Vietnam, and everything is going to be all right. We lost 37,000 people.

   It is not a matter of whether we want to prevail in this operation, it is a matter of how we are going to do it, and I disagree with the way we do it. I disagree with the policy. That is what I disagree with. I think our troops have become the targets. Incidents have increased every day, and more Americans are being killed every day. And we are going to pay a heavy price in people being killed and also we are going to pay a heavy price for the individuals in the future with the debt increasing at $8 billion a month.

   I yield 4 minutes to the gentlewoman from Connecticut (Ms. DeLauro).

   Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Speaker, it is to my great regret that at key moments like this the President of the United States does not seek to unify the country. He does not use these moments to bring people together, to strengthen us. He does not rally the country behind our men and women in arms and in harm's way.

   We applaud our troops. Thank God for their willingness to sacrifice for our Nation. I take every moment to support them and their families. But the President and the Republican leaders, within moments of our soldiers' valor in eliminating one of the worst terrorists, is rushing for some political advantage, some way to hurt the Democrats and raise the President's poll numbers. Our country deserves so much better.

   The President wants this Congress to simply applaud his current course in Iraq, which is an indefinite, open-ended commitment of U.S. troops in the middle of a sectarian religious war. By the President's own words, 3 more years, with generals now talking about 10 years and permanent bases.

   I want to be clear. I do not want to stay the course with this policy which will make us less safe, undermine our military, help the terrorists, cost many thousands of lives and cost another trillion dollars. This Congress has never held the President and his administration accountable, even when there were no plans.

   

[Time: 14:30]

   This President, more than any other, has politicized this war, ignoring the advice of the military at every step, from General Shinseki's call for more troops to General Casey's admission that our troops' presence was inflaming violence. They have imposed political judgments from ideologues at the White House at the expense of our military's best advice.

   And this Congress supported the White House politicians, not the generals when our course was set. This Congress supported the White House politicians when they did not give our troops the body armor and Humvee armor they needed. Now, when the President says just support the politicians in the White House one more time, they are here with this resolution.

   What our troops need is a policy that is good for America and for our military. Being bogged down in Iraq indefinitely will make us less safe. All of the countries in the world and the region and the Iraqi people need to hear that America will redeploy over a responsible period. The current course allows countries a free ride at the expense of American troops and taxpayers. A policy of responsible redeployment will force others to play their role.

   No one on this floor is for a precipitous withdrawal, and the President's statements are reckless, political and a disservice. We all agree, as did both bodies of the Congress, that 2006 would be a turning point. The White House politicians have ignored that resolution.

   I support a redeployment of our troops to meet critical security needs over the next 12 months, with a significant reduction by the end of 2006. Others support redeployment by the end of 2008, and some by the end of 2007. But we all believe America's interest and our troops are served by a new course.

   So I ask the President to change. Why not speak to the country's better virtues and unite the country? We want you to succeed. We should work together for a stronger America.

   Mr. HOEKSTRA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to a colleague from the Intelligence Committee, the gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Everett).

   Mr. EVERETT. Mr. Speaker, in November 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini, the former radical Islamic leader, seized power in Iran, riding the slogan, ``Death to America.'' Just 4 months after his rise to power, it became evident that agents of radical Islam would stop at nothing to kill Americans. This doctrine of hatred resulted in terrorists killing over 600 people prior to 9/11.

   My colleagues, my chairman has mentioned this, Congresswoman Wilson mentioned part of this, and I wish everyone who got up here would go over this list.

   In April 1983, 63 people died at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. That is not rhetoric; that is dead Americans.

   In October 1983, 241 died at the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut. That is not rhetoric; that is dead Americans.

   In February 1993, six people were killed at the World Trade Center. That is not rhetoric; that is dead Americans.

   In June 1996, 19 American servicemen died after a truck bombing at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. That is not rhetoric; that is dead Americans.

   In August 1998, 224 died at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. That is not rhetoric either; that is dead Americans.

   In October 2000, 17 died on the USS Cole in Yemen. That is not rhetoric either; that is dead Americans.

   If some people continue to preach cut and run from this war, then they will continue to kill Americans, kill Americans and kill Americans. The global war on terrorism must be fought. We can do it on the streets of our hometowns, or we can take the war to the terrorists. Either way, it has to be done; and personally, I prefer doing it over in Iraq rather than in New York or Washington, D.C. or San Francisco.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   For the first 20 years, we allowed the terrorists to fight this war on their terms. 9/11 served as a wake-up call for us in the sense that we could no longer afford to sit on our hands and let the terrorists continue to kill innocent Americans. Under the leadership of the Bush administration, and with the support of this Republican-led Congress, we took the fight to the terrorists, wherever they may be.

   Mr. Speaker, right now their choice is Iraq. It is the central front in the war on terror. In fact, Osama bin Laden has said he believes the war going on in Iraq is nothing short of the Third World War. The importance of Iraq in achieving al Qaeda's objectives of killing Americans is clearly spelled out in a 2005 letter from Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's closest advisor, to Musab al Zarqawi, the man tapped by bin Laden to head al Qaeda operations in Iraq. He said that getting the U.S. out of Iraq is critical if they are to turn Iraq into a permanent base of recruitment, training and operations just like the one they had in Afghanistan.

   This is why it is imperative that we stay the course and ensure that the democratically elected government can take hold. A democratic Iraq will be the death of al Qaeda, and those aren't my words Mr. Speaker, they are the words of Zarqawi.

[Page: H4041]

   Mr. Speaker, we have accomplished so much in the global war on terror, highlighted by the recent death of Zarqawi. We have significantly degraded the al Qaeda network by denying them a safe haven in Afghanistan and capturing or killing many of their leaders and associates. We have also built an unprecedented international coalition to combat and prevent terrorist financing and dismantle terrorist support networks.

   Mr. Speaker, America is safer, but we are not yet secure. The enemy we are fighting is determined and serious about its desire to kill Americans. We can not allow Iraq to become a breeding ground for terrorist activity.

   A free and democratic Iraq is absolutely essential to fighting the terrorist threat and building long-term peace and stability in the region. I urge my colleagues to support the resolution.

  • [End Insert]

     

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 2 minutes. I was in Beirut the day after the attack, and I recommended to President Reagan, I recommended to the President of the United States, get out of Beirut because we didn't have enough troops; 2 months later he got out of Beirut because he didn't have enough troops.

   I know what rhetoric is, and I know what fighting on the front lines are. I know the difference between them. I know that standing here does not solve the problem, and it has gotten better, it has gotten worse. That's the problem. And you are not talking about Iraq. The gentleman up there was talking about the war on terror. I am talking about Iraq. That's what I am talking about.

   Mr. Speaker, I recognize the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Clyburn) for 4 minutes.

   Mr. CLYBURN. I thank Mr. Murtha for yielding me this time.

   Mr. Speaker, last Saturday I visited the Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, South Carolina. That medical center is named for a young man who is the recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor because just out of high school he went off to fight in Vietnam and he threw himself on a grenade to save the others in the foxhole with him.

   I went to the hospital last Saturday to visit one of my heroes, Joseph Henry Washington. Joseph Washington was on the USS Arizona on that fateful day at Pearl Harbor. I went because I wanted to report to Joseph Henry Washington on my recent trip to Iraq because he questioned the wisdom of my going there.

   I said to Joe that I was very pleased with what I had found militarily in Iraq. I told him that I thought that our military forces were doing an admirable job, and I thought they were meeting with significant success.

   But I said to him, Uncle Joe, I am very, very disappointed in what I have found on the domestic front. We are not going to win the hearts and minds of the people of Iraq until we can give them a police force that believes and is committed to law and order, not one that is 80 percent corrupt.

   I said to him that I did not think that we were going to be successful in Iraq until we involved the Iraqi people in the reconstruction efforts. We see $9 billion that we can't account for. We see construction going on up in the northern part of the country. But in Baghdad, in and around that part of the country, we see a failed policy. That is what is causing the problem in Iraq. We must begin to involve the Iraqi people in the reconstruction of their country.

   Eighty-five percent of the country is without electricity. Almost 60 percent of the country is without drinking water. We are never going to be successful until we tackle these problems, and that is where we are failing because there is no accountability on the domestic front in Iraq.

   Mr. Speaker, I go back to Charleston the day after tomorrow because we are going to bury Uncle Joe. He stayed alive long enough for me to make my report to him. And for over 45 years in my consultations with him, he never wanted to talk about his experiences on the USS Arizona or his experiences after returning home. Why? Because he was never sufficiently included in the building of this great Nation. And the people of Iraq are not being sufficiently included in the rebuilding of their country. Until we do that, we will never be successful with this policy.

   Mr. HOEKSTRA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Kansas (Mr. Tiahrt), my colleague from the committee.

   Mr. TIAHRT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Michigan.

   Mr. Speaker, this is an important week for us to have this debate on the necessity of the global war on terror, a war that we did not ask for, but a war that came to us.

   The gentleman from Pennsylvania pointed out that after Beirut, we left. We did not react to it. Several other instances like that occurred during the 1990s. We were attacked at the Khobar Towers; we did not react. We were attacked at the Kenya embassy; we did not react. We were attacked the first time at the World Trade Center; we did not react. The Tanzania embassy was bombed; we did not react. The USS Cole was bombed; we did not react. What did it yield us? A continuing battle against terror around the globe.

   I would remind my fellow colleagues that one such incident of attacking Americans happened in the Philippines when Gracia and Martin Burnham were kidnapped, along with a constituent from Representative Bono's district. The leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group, ASG, was trained by al Qaeda in Afghanistan. That training occurred because we did not respond to these prior attacks. We left them alone.

   In the Indonesian al Qaeda training papers they found, they said one of the things that America is vulnerable about is they don't follow up. You can attack them, and they withdraw. They withdrew from Vietnam, they withdrew from Beirut, they withdrew from the Cole, the Kenya embassy, and Khobar Towers. They did not react the first time when they attacked the World Trade Tower. We have continued to make ourselves vulnerable by not responding to the worldwide war on terror.

   Thanks to American training and intelligence aid, the Philippine Government was able to rescue Gracia Burnham. Martin Burnham died in the rescue attempt. It was probably because we couldn't get close enough into the fight.

   But the important thing that we need to remember is if we back off now, according to the paper, or the letter that was written from al Zawahiri to the now-deceased al Zarqawi, it will be considered a victory for al Qaeda if we leave. Al Qaeda is the one that has decided to bring this war to Iraq and to fight Americans. That information is available on their Web sites and in the information that we collect. It is what the captives tell us when we interview them.

   They want to take this fight to the Americans in Iraq. I tell you, if we are going to have to fight terrorists, I would rather fight them at a place where every American carries a gun rather than on the streets of New York or Washington or Wichita because they have brought the fight to us. It is not we who decided to do this.

   I think it is very important as we pursue this worldwide battle against terrorism that we insist on doing it with our full resources, with full dedication, and that we disrupt their finances, that we disrupt their places of safe haven, that we disrupt the countries that are providing protection for them, and that we go to the terrorists and we find the root causes of this terrorism and sever the root.

   I think the reason we have seen so much money from al Qaeda going to Iraq, the reason that they have sent so many weapons into Iraq, the reason so many foreign fighters have gone into Iraq is because that is where they want to fight this battle.

   If we leave now, it would be giving them a victory and we would be once again putting another picture on the board here saying we should have fought harder; we should have stopped it back in 2006.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 minute.

   The problem is that the opposite is happening. That is the problem we have. We can stand here and say we want to fight the terrorists in Iraq. Actually, al Qaeda we think is less than 1,000.

   We think we are caught in a civil war. It is the way that we are doing it. The military cannot win this war. The military commanders, even General Pace admits we cannot win this militarily.

   What we are caught in, we have become the target of the insurgency of the sectarian violence. It is the way that we are doing it is what I disagree with.

[Page: H4042]

   Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Larson).

   Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I thank Mr. Murtha for having the temerity to speak truth to power. Thank you for having the temerity to separate the war on terror from the travesty that is taking place in Iraq.

   It is amazing to me, and this used to be a place, as Professor Remini writes, where Members would come down, unrehearsed, without charts or graphs. They would speak from their heart. They would talk about this institution and what it means to democracy all over the world.

   What a sham today. We should all glorify in the aspects of democracy that take place all around the world and in Iraq. But what a sham this is today when we are denied any alternative resolution.

   

[Time: 14:45]

   Mr. Lantos eloquently stated that earlier today, when he talked about Bob Michel and his eloquence standing on this floor, talking about speaking truth to power. And that is what is so upsetting to the American people and why Mr. Murtha has been recognized all around this country for standing up and speaking the truth to the American people, something this administration and, frankly, this Congress, has been unable to do. Level with the American people. Let's start with leveling with the American troops, leveling with all of those families of reservists and National Guardsmen who I speak with on a regular basis, who have been deployed, redeployed, deployed and redeployed again many times because we haven't had a plan.

   Here we are in a race between cooperation and catastrophe, and you guys bring to the floor a political document not designed for a new direction or to bring the country together to discuss this issue the way it should be, but instead as talking points outlined by Karl Rove in New Hampshire, sandwiched in between the President's photo op and a picnic this evening.

   Americans are outraged that we don't have a citizenry and Members here who are willing to stand up and have accountability. We all support the war on terror. And this party, from Roosevelt to Truman to Kennedy, to JACK MURTHA, has stood on the watch wall of freedom and stood there valiantly, but collectively with the American people and in this body and in this Chamber, but that is not going on here today. Instead it is right out of the playbook, attack JACK MURTHA. Attack the messenger. That is a formula that works. It worked against Max Cleland. It worked against JOHN KERRY. Geez, that will work against JACK MURTHA also. Discredit this guy. Discredit what he has had to say because he had the temerity to speak truth to power in an administration that can't level with the American public, can't level with you.

   Why don't you criticize General Baptiste, General Zinni, General Van Riper, all of these generals? Are they all wrong too for speaking truth to power? Shouldn't we be talking about how we can collectively move forward in a new direction for this country, instead of a tried and true playbook of political jargon on a resolution that is nonbinding? Speak truth to power.

   I am proud to associate myself with Mr. Murtha and everything he stands for.

   ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE

   The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The Chair would renew his request that all Members should address their comments to the Chair and not to other Members.

   Mr. HOEKSTRA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Florida, the chairman of the defense appropriations subcommittee, Mr. Young.

   Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Speaker, this debate is not about politics. This debate is about America. It is about Iraq because Iraq is one of the many battlefields on which we fight the global war on terror. Afghanistan is another battlefield on which we fight the war on terror. But there are many battlefields on the war on terror, and we don't want any of them to be here in the United States of America.

   Mr. Speaker, as I said, this is a lot about America, not only America today, America past, but America in the future. The world still remembers, and many Americans still remember December 7 of 1941 when American territory was attacked by an enemy. An America that was built out of the wilderness and was built by settlers, that was built by industrialists, that was built by just plain ordinary people, brick by brick, block by block, business by business, school by school, hospital by hospital, an America that many Americans paid a great price to create, to achieve. And that America has come under attack in many ways.

   As I said, December 7, 1941, some of us remember that day and where we were. Others will never forget September the 11th of 2001, where we were, what we were doing and what it did to this great country of ours.

   The global war on terror must be won. It is real. The threat is real. If you don't believe the threat is real, look at the old news reels of the Twin Towers in New York City or the field in Pennsylvania where Flight 93 crashed into Mr. Murtha's district to avoid that aircraft from attacking this United States Capitol.

   And just a few minutes ago I came from the Pentagon where a celebration of the dedication of the Pentagon Memorial was unveiled where 184 Americans lost their lives in that vicious attack on the Pentagon.

   Mr. Speaker, this war has to be won. All over the world there are cemeteries where Americans lie in rest, Americans who lost their lives in different parts of the world to keep America what it is, to keep America what was created at so many sacrifices. And many of us have had the opportunity to visit those cemeteries and to pay our respects to those fighting warriors who went ahead and did what was necessary to do to preserve this great America.

   There are American heroes in Iraq today and American heroes in Afghanistan today. And as Mr. Murtha said earlier, he and I have spent a lot of time visiting with a number of those wounded heroes at our military hospitals. But they will tell you, and they will be the first ones to tell you, we have got to win this war. And the attitudes of these young men and women are outstanding because they will tell you that what they want is to be healed from their injuries and to get back to the fight because they believe in their country. They love their country, and they believe that it is important that we stop the threat to this great Nation of ours from those terrorists, the terrorists who attacked us on September 11 in New York, in Pennsylvania, at the Pentagon, those terrorists who attacked the USS Cole, killing many of our sailors and wounding many more, those terrorists who blew up the Khobar Towers, which was a home for American airmen in Saudi Arabia, those terrorists who blew up the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. These young troopers, these warriors understand the threat. America understands the threat. And ladies and gentlemen, it is important that we stand up to that threat and that the America that we know is the America that our kids will know and that our grandkids will know in the years to come.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I recognize the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Harman) for 30 minutes.

   Ms. HARMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding and, as prior speakers have done, I commend him for speaking truth to power.

   Mr. Speaker, 1,184 days ago American troops invaded Iraq to rid Saddam Hussein of weapons of mass destruction.

   The weapons weren't there. But American troops still are. I have met some of those troops on my three trips to Baghdad and Afghanistan, as well as Pakistan, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. Our Armed Forces and intelligence personnel are extraordinary. Many are on their third or fourth tours.

   As a mother of two sons and two daughters, and as a newly minted grandmother, my heart goes out to families who have lost their dear ones. I am deeply moved by the courage, dignity and patriotism of the men and women recovering from grievous wounds at Walter Reed and other U.S. hospitals. And I have visited with them.

   Our action in Iraqi created a failed state and, tragically, our postwar mission, as presently defined, cannot succeed. There are too few troops to stabilize the country. They are inadequately equipped.

[Page: H4043]

   They are fighting an insurgency we didn't predict, at constant risk from IEDs we can't find, with no clearly developed goals to help the new Iraq government achieve political and economic security, and no exit strategy.

   Two major failures led us to war, and we had best learn some lessons or risk making the same mistakes again. As ranking member on the Intelligence Committee, these failures haunt me.

   Had we got the intelligence right, I believe we could have made different choices, and the pain and loss and anger many feel could have been avoided.

   First was a massive intelligence failure in assessing Saddam's WMD capability. The second, equally grave, was the politicization of intelligence by the President and a White House determined to push us toward war.

   The failure to assess Saddam's WMD capability accurately has been well documented. As CIA weapons inspector David Kay put it, ``we were all wrong.'' Overriding the advice of intelligence professionals, administration officials put stock in bogus sources like CURVEBALL, and self-promoters like Ahmed Chalabi.

   But simply calling Iraq an intelligence failure ignores the larger policy failures that created the false momentum toward war.

   The administration cherry-picked intelligence and hyped the threat. They talked in ominous tones about ``mushroom clouds,'' even though many questioned evidence suggesting Saddam had nuclear weapons capability.

   They made a mantra of the claim that 9/11 hijacker Mohammad Atta met with Iraqi agents in Prague, a claim that has been thoroughly discredited.

   Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz famously predicted we would be greeted as liberators, that Iraqis would throw rose petals, ignoring intelligence community assessments about the potential for armed resistance.

   Writing in Foreign Affairs, Paul Pillar, the intelligence community's senior Middle East analyst, described how the Bush administration disregarded the community's expertise, politicized the intelligence process, and selected unrepresentative raw intelligence to make its public case.

   To date, nobody has been held accountable for this misuse of prewar intelligence.

   The intelligence failures did not end when we invaded Iraq. Our President declared ``Mission Accomplished'' in May 2003. Senior U.S. officials in Iraq asserted in July 2003 that insurgent attacks represented ``a limited problem of some bitter-enders'' loyal to Saddam.

   Yet, 3 years after Saddam's fall, 2,500 U.S. troops are dead, a number confirmed by the Pentagon just today, and insurgents appear more active than ever.

   We have surged intelligence resources into Iraq in a frantic effort to find the next IED. As a result, we have taken our eye off the ball in Afghanistan, where Taliban fighters are reconstituting themselves, even as the United States reduces the number of troops there. Osama Bin Ladin and Ayman al Zawahiri are still at large, inspiring a new generation of recruits to the jihad.

   Just as constant deployments to Iraq cause burnout in the Army, National Guard and Reserves, we are also burning out large numbers of intelligence professionals. And assigning them to Iraq means they are not available to address other national security challenges, like Iran and North Korea.

   There has been good news. U.S. intelligence agencies operating with Special Operations Forces have tracked down many key terrorist leaders. The takedown of Zarqawi showed the importance of fusing human intelligence, imagery, signals intelligence and a military strike capability in real time. That is how intelligence ought to work. It was a huge tactical victory.

   But tactical victories alone are not enough. We need a new strategy for Iraq, a dramatic change of course. We need to hold senior officials accountable for massive policy and management failures. Replacing Donald Rumsfeld, the chief architect of the postwar policy, is long overdue. He ignored the advice of senior military advisers, ignored the careful recommendations of those who understood nation-building, and ignored those horrified by a prison situation careening out of control. And he prides himself, even now, on refusing to change a failed policy.

   

[Time: 15:00]

   Congress must also provide aggressive oversight to learn why the administration erred so grievously.

   Since I returned from my third trip to Iraq last September, I have been calling on the administration to develop an exit strategy, and I believe it is now time to begin a phased, strategic redeployment of U.S. and coalition forces out of Iraq on a schedule designed by military commanders. A schedule designed by military commanders, not designed by the U.S. Congress.

   I believe the U.S. is part of the solution in Iraq, but our large military presence is part of the problem. Beginning to reduce the ``footprint,'' while maintaining an over-the-horizon strike force, will improve our chances for success.

   I think we have 3 to 6 months to advance three objectives: first, helping the new Iraqi Government provide electrical power, particularly in Baghdad, and deliver other critical economic and social services to the Iraqi people. Second, supporting the Iraqi Government in its effort to disarm Shiite militias and integrate them into a trained Iraqi national security force. Third, continuing the process, begun by our able Ambassador Khalilzad, of obtaining buy-in from Sunni political leaders. Achieving these objectives will enable us to leave Iraq in better shape than we found it.

   Mr. Speaker, the next 3 months are critical. We have a moral obligation to assist Iraq on its path to democracy. But if clearly defined minimum objectives cannot be achieved within that time frame, the prospects for success in Iraq could all but disappear.

   So a change in course is urgently needed. The President's visit to Baghdad was important, but it is not a substitute for needed policy changes. And Congress cannot be infinitely passive. This debate today will only have meaning if, in fact, it leads to a change of course in Iraq.

   Mr. Speaker, it is time for Congress to lead. This resolution, in my view, is a press release for staying the course in Iraq. It does not signal a change in policy, and thus I cannot support it.

   Mr. HOEKSTRA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to my colleague from Arizona, a member of the Intelligence Committee, Mr. Renzi.

   Mr. RENZI. I thank the chairman.

   I have respect for the gentlewoman from California. I also listened to her words carefully, and I want to remind her that on October 9 she spoke about Saddam Hussein and his development of weapons of mass destruction, saying that he is impulsive, irrational, vicious, and cruel and that left unchecked, he will grow stronger, only to develop the capability to match his disdain for America and his Middle East neighbors and that he poses a clear and present danger.

   Those were the words of the ranking member. That was the belief of Bill Clinton. That was the belief of Hillary Clinton. That was the belief of Madeleine Albright. And yet we are told today that this is a press release.

   al Qaeda is a cancer. It has metastasized itself throughout the world. There is a lot of negativity, whether or not we want to join and take the war in Iraq and link it with terrorism. It is a cancer. It needs to be carved out, and the American people need to show the will and the endurance. Our troops do. Our people at home, I believe, have that will.

   I believe there should be no arbitrary date set for withdrawal and yet no permanent, unending deployment. No cut and run, yet measured progress in helping a people who want to be free without an illusion of overnight success.

   This enemy wants to take the fight into the later rounds. They want to prey on what they perceive is our lack of concentrated focus, and their captured documents refer to the U.S. being worn down and quitting.

   Today's resolution is very similar to Rosie the Riveter. We bring out and ask the American people to stay strong. During World War II, we fought an enemy whose goal was to invade and dominate the land and the geography and to gain power and spread fascism. Terrorism is like fascism. While different tactics may be in place, Islamofascists want to establish a caliphate covering Southeast Asia,

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Southern Europe, and North Africa, very similar to the same geography that we saw in World War II.

   Zarqawi died in Iraq. Saddam was pulled out of a spider hole in Iraq. The Taliban was defeated in Afghanistan. Taking the fight to them works. With continued detainee reporting, coalition and allied sharing of intelligence, the Iraqi people working with us to identify safehouses, and the greatest group of unsung Americans sequestered in the backrooms of our intelligence agencies, we can keep the pressure on.

   This resolution is about prevailing against our enemies, about achieving a shared success, Republicans and Democrats with the Iraqi and the Afghanistan people. This is about taking the fight to those who will strike America again and will wound this Nation and kill our innocent civilians.

   America must endure, endure and prevail.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that the gentlewoman from California control the 30 minutes and yield to people.

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Pennsylvania?

   There was no objection.

   Ms. HARMAN. Mr. Speaker, how much time of my 30 minutes remains?

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman has 21 minutes remaining.

   Ms. HARMAN. It is now my intention to yield to members of the minority of the House Intelligence Committee who are here.

   First, I would yield 3 1/4 minutes to Representative Boswell who is ranking member on our Subcommittee on Terrorism, Human Intelligence, Analysis and Counterintelligence.

   (Mr. BOSWELL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. BOSWELL. Mr. Speaker, first off, I want to say to Mr. Murtha, I salute you, sir. We both served in Vietnam. I had two tours. I never told you this. I don't go around talking about it much. You don't either. But Charlie Beckwith, you remember that name, don't you? In the Iron Triangle? Sometimes we had those assaults and sometimes we had to go bring them out. When we had to bring them out, there were lots and lots of casualties. We did not like to do that.

   So this exercise we went through a few months ago, saying that you wanted to make an immediate withdrawal, that is not what you said. I know that, and we all know it because that would be chaos. It needs a plan.

   So I come today to share that little bit with you. I finished up my tours in the military as an instructor at the Command Staff College, Department of Tactics. We rewrote 101-5. We might want to talk about that sometime. You might find it interesting. And I would say without reservation, LEONARD BOSWELL, JACK MURTHA, and probably everybody in this Chamber support our troops, absolutely, 100 percent. That is not on the table, as far as I am concerned. They are in a difficult mission. They are performing superbly. And we are very, very proud of them. That is not the question.

   Last December IKE SKELTON and, I do not know, 12 or 15 of us, and I do not know how I got invited, but we got invited to the White House to meet with the President, the Vice President, Mr. Rumsfeld, Ms. Rice, General Pace. And the whole conversation was everything is going really, really good in Iraq. And I got a chance to engage in conversation with the President, and I said it seems to me what I am hearing here is we have got 90-plus battalions, at that time, and now it is over 100, 20-something brigades, several divisions, armed, equipped, and in the field. And I have been to Iraq. A lot of us have. I am not sure about that, but if that is true, then why don't we start a withdrawal program carefully?

   Do you know when we do best? We do best when we are under a little bit of pressure, when we know we have got to perform, we got to get the job done. And I think that applies to everybody in my life experience, Iraqis included. Under pressure, we went through the liberation from Saddam, regardless of how we decided to make the decision. We can debate that if you want to, but I do not want to do that. I supported the resolution based on what information I had. But regardless of that, if we would look at it in this sense: we have liberated the people from Saddam. He is in jail. He is on trial. Now we are occupiers. We want to help them get settled. They had a great election. We all understand that. They have established a government. And it is pretty tough. They got it done, I am told.

   You know, it is kind of like putting the team on the field. You haven't seen them play yet together. Maybe they will do well, or maybe they won't. I don't know. We don't know. But we wish them well. We want them to succeed absolutely.

   My point is this: they need to take some responsibility and the pressure is on to do it. They have got 254,000 troops trained, equipped, and in the field. We have a right to start, orderly, with a plan, bringing our troops home. We ought to do that. Not run, but an orderly withdrawal.

   And I salute you for that, Mr. Murtha.

   Ms. HARMAN. Mr. Speaker, I now yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Reyes), a senior member of our committee and a member of the Armed Services Committee.

   Mr. REYES. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me time on this very important matter.

   To my good friend Mr. Murtha, I also salute you as a Vietnam veteran, one that knows what the cost of war does to a family and to our country.

   My friends on the other side of the aisle would have you believe that this is a simple choice between retreat and resolve. This is a false choice. It is a political stunt. This is about respect. This is about respect for our role to do our jobs as a Congress in oversight.

   We can win this war with a comprehensive and reasoned approach to deployment of our troops. But the President's supporters characterize any disagreement as cutting and running. It does not wash. This is unfair and it is disingenuous and this is unpatriotic.

   The real choice is between blind adherence to Secretary Rumsfeld's ill-conceived strategy and the somber assessment of the proper way to fight against an insurgency. Congress has an important role to play in this process, and that is what today's debate should be about.

   In my role as a member of both the Intelligence and Armed Services Committees, I traveled to Iraq and paid a great deal of attention to the effects of this war and their impact on our military, on their families, and our intelligence apparatus. There have been and continue to be critical gaps in our intelligence system in this war.

   When the Vice President says that our troops will be greeted as liberators, I have to think that we were not prepared. When the Army's chief of staff tells us that a successful campaign would require many more troops than we were planning to deploy, I have to think that we were not prepared. When the administration cannot get its story straight about the rationale for war and the connection between Iraq and al Qaeda, I have to think that we were not prepared for this war.

   These mistakes, these gaps in our knowledge, frankly, cry out for oversight. It is not about resolve versus retreat. It is about respect for this Congress doing its job in oversight. This Congress could have and should have done a better job of conducting oversight and vigorously questioning the statements that have been made by this administration: statements about the presence of WMD or about connections to 9/11 or about the war taking no longer than 6 months.

   In fact, when I asked the administration, before we went to this war, whether there was a connection between al Qaeda and Iraq, the answer was no. We could have made America safer by conducting vigorous oversight, but we as a Congress have failed to do that.

   At the same time, while most of our men and women have served honorably and bravely, the unsustainable pace of our operations combined with an overstressed force has led to major problems. It led us on the road to Abu Ghraib and to some of the most heinous allegations lodged against our American troops in history.

   Mr. Speaker, I am afraid that the conduct of this war has made us less safe. This is what this debate should be about. It has distracted us from the global war on terror. It has hurt recruiting and retention in the military. It has broken our Army for possibly the next decade or more. It has hurt

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our ability to work with other nations. I think that is where the real debate should occur.

   

[Time: 15:15]

   Ms. HARMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to my California sister, a member of our committee, the ranking member of the Technical and Tactical Intelligence Subcommittee, Ms. Eshoo.

   Ms. ESHOO. Mr. Speaker, I thank our distinguished ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee and Congressman Murtha. We salute you for your extraordinary leadership.

   Mr. Speaker, we are here today because the majority has brought a resolution before the House. It is a resolution. It is a nonbinding resolution. For those that are listening in, it just means that we are going to talk. There is not any action that will come out of it.

   Let us think about the context, the broader context of where we are today, June 15, 2006. Across this magnificent country, almost two-thirds of the American people, it matters not where they live, what their economic background is, what their political affiliation is, have now lost faith in the President's war in Iraq.

   They have also lost faith in the President. He had high ratings. He is now down to about 33 percent. And it is about this issue of war in Iraq. Why? Why? Because what was advanced? We had to go in because there was an eminent threat. If we did not get them, they were going to get us. Except that premise, the President even acknowledged, did not turn out to be so.

   We all honor and support our troops. None of us will stipulate to anything less. We all honor the tradition that they have set. We all stipulate to that. We know that there are terrorists in this world. And we will pursue them in the pursuit of the protection of our Nation.

   But there is a difference between Iraq and the war on terrorism. And some people in the Congress, unlike people in the country, do not want to acknowledge that. So where are we today? Our intelligence agency demoralized, intelligence manipulated, the American people ashamed of what we are doing instead of being proud.

   It is too bad, my friends, that the term ``cut and run'' is ever used against a man that has served so honorably and has the medals to show them. I submit that it is the Congress that has cut and run on accountability, on not doing oversight, on not watching where the money is going.

   Potable water has not been improved in Iraq. Even retired generals, for the first time in my life of 63 years have I ever heard retired generals that have spoken out and said this is not a policy, stay the course is not a policy.

   Yes, we need a debate. We need a debate about alternatives. About alternatives. This is a regrettable instrument that you have brought to the floor today. I think two-thirds of the American people understand it.

   Ms. HARMAN. Mr. Speaker, I now yield 3 minutes to Mr. Holt of New Jersey, ranking member of the Intelligence Policy Subcommittee.

   Mr. HOLT. I salute Mr. Murtha, and I salute the servicemen and -women in the field, recovering at Walter Reed, and waiting to serve.

   This is a critical matter that we waited far too long to debate on this floor. And instead today we now get a meaningless resolution that says, well, stay the course, whatever that means.

   Well, today I was meeting with some seventh and eighth graders. And I asked them to help me put in perspective what we are talking about here today, what would we say that 10 years from now we wish that we had said about the war in Iraq.

   The first one said, too many lives have been lost already. The second one said, the reasons for going to war were wrong, maybe even deceptive. The third said, the Iraqi people are worse off today than they were before.

   We should ask ourselves how posterity will regard Congress for giving President Bush everything he asked for without oversight, without accountability. There are shifting rationales for war: oh, it was weapons of mass destruction; oh, no, it was retribution for September 11; no, actually it was about human rights abuses under Saddam; no, actually it was containment and disarmament and the U.N. were not working.

   No. No. It was to stand up a democracy that could be emulated throughout the Middle East. No, it was to protect America's strategic interests, including oil. And today we have heard over and over again a response that this is about terrorism.

   No, it is not about terrorism. This is not about Khobar Towers. It is not about the USS Cole; it is not even about the World Trade Center. Today's debate is about Iraq, a war of choice. And this is a resolution that says, stay the course.

   The other side, Mr. Speaker, is engaging in classical misdirection. This has nothing to do with terrorism except that Iraq has now become a breeding ground and a training ground for terrorists. And meanwhile the war has warped American priorities and cost us dearly.

   Numerous powder kegs around the world are being ignored. International standing and our ability to counter terrorism is hurt. Here at home, I must say, Hurricane Katrina crystallized American thinking when they realized that the President and Congress were putting our attention, our resources in Iraq and not for the needs of the people here at home.

   History will remember this war as a colossal blunder. When we leave Iraq, and I hope we will begin immediately, no one will wish that we stayed longer. No one will look back and think the current course could ever have been successful. This war is not making us safer. It is not making Iraq safer.

   The generals understand that. You have heard that today. The large majority of the Iraqis understand that. The U.S. public understands that. And, yes, even seventh graders in New Jersey understand that.

   Let us begin our redeployment immediately, rather than approve a meaningless stay-the-course resolution.

   Mr. HOEKSTRA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to our colleague from California, a member of the Intelligence Committee, Mr. Issa.

   Mr. ISSA. Mr. Speaker, I certainly think it is important that this debate go back and forth as it has between the defeatist attitude of my colleagues and what I believe is the appropriate stay the course of this side of the aisle.

   Mr. Speaker, we are often alleged of only doing two things in the Congress, either nothing or overreacting. Today, by a measured response of saying stay the course, we are doing exactly what we need to do. This is not meaningless.

   Just in the last week a declassified document taken from the safehouse in which Zarqawi met his appropriate punishment, and I will read just short excerpts, our time is short, but they are meaningful and I think many Members listening throughout their offices and here on the floor probably have not yet read this.

   Zarqawi says, however, here in Iraq, speaking of why time is on the side of al Qaeda, however, here in Iraq, time is now beginning to be of service to the American forces and harmful to the resistance for the following reasons.

   He goes on to talk about the formation of the National Guard. He goes on to talk about the impact on the resistance of various improvements there. He goes on to talk about how we the Americans and the Iraqis have undertaken a media campaign against the resistance and it is working.

   He goes on to say, the resistance has had its financial outlets cut off and restricted. He talks about how, in fact, we have been effective in creating big divisions among the ranks of what he called the resistance.

   He then plots to find a way to get America embroiled in yet another conflict with another enemy. And he is speaking of Iran. He then plots on how he might convince us that Iran was further along in its weapons of mass destruction. He then plots no more.

   Mr. Speaker, we have done, for once, the even, middle-road thing we have to do. We did not go into this war the way we went into, as Congressman Murtha said, Beirut, only a little bit, only not enough, and only for a little while.

   We have gone into the war on terrorism with commitment from this Congress, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in the South of the Philippines, wherever the terrorists may be; and we said we will stay the long haul in each of these places.

   My time is short. I just want to do two things. One is, to say that, unlike Congressman Murtha, I did not serve in combat. But I entered the Army in

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1970, and I entered as a grandson of Lebanese immigrants.

   And throughout the 1970s and 1980s and 1990s, I visited Lebanon, and I visited the region, and I got to know my fellow Arabs of the world. And I knew there was a problem and they knew there was a problem and we were not addressing it. We are now addressing it.

   So we will be punished by the opposition any time we either do nothing or do something. But I would rather do something in the interests of freedom.

   Ms. HARMAN. Mr. Speaker, many on this side advocate a strategy for success.

   Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to another member of our committee, Mr. Ruppersberger of Maryland.

   Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. Mr. Speaker, whether you are for or against the war in Iraq, the fact is we are there now and we must support our troops. We must give them the resources they need to protect themselves.

   In Congress and across the country, we all want the same thing. We all want the Iraqi military to be able to take control of their own country and secure their cities so that we can bring our men and women home that are in uniform.

   What we disagree on, though, is strategy. We have been staying the course and continuing down a bumpy, dangerous and deadly road for a long time. The American people are losing confidence in the war in Iraq. Americans are turning on the news and opening up the newspaper to see more and more stories about troops being killed by roadside bombs and suicide bombers.

   The Department of Defense released today that 2,500 troops have died in the war in Iraq since it began more than 3 years ago, and more than 20,000 have been injured.

   The only people sacrificing in this war are the troops and their families. I have been to Iraq four times and just returned from my most recent trip over the Memorial Day recess. I also serve on the House Select Intelligence Committee where I am briefed often on the situation in Iraq and the global war on terror.

   Mr. Speaker, I believe we need a new strategy in Iraq. I believe we must have the Iraqi security forces take on more responsibility in securing their country. I believe we must move American troops to the perimeter of the urban areas and let the Iraqi military patrol the streets in their cities.

   Under this perimeter strategy, the American military will still back up the Iraqis in an emergency. This will reduce the Iraqi dependence on Americans and help them gain confidence in their own ability to secure their country.

   This perimeter strategy will free up American troops to start the process of bringing our servicemen and -women home. Having the Iraqi military patrol their own streets will show the Iraqi people that their new government has been created and their own forces are now protecting them.

   It will also give the American public new hope that the Iraqis are taking more control of their country and U.S. troops are not put in the dangerous situation of patrolling the Iraqi streets every day.

   This perimeter strategy will allow the American military to do what it does best. Our intelligence analysts can use technology to locate insurgents and al Qaeda operatives.

   Our special operations forces can focus on high-value targets, and our air power can be used to take them out. Changing the mission of U.S. forces, redeploying them to perimeter areas, and lowering the profile of the U.S. forces in urban areas will break the dependency the Iraqi military has on U.S. forces.

   Mr. Speaker, you know, it is not about being a Republican or Democrat. It is about having the right strategy, it is about having the Iraqi military secure its own cities, and it is about bringing our men and women in uniform home.

   I believe this new perimeter strategy will help us do that. I also, with the remaining time that I have, want to talk about the issue of the Iraqi war versus terrorism. There is no one that I know in the Democratic Party that is not behind the United States fighting the war strongly against terror.

   

[Time: 15:30]

   Ms. HARMAN. Mr. Speaker, it is now my pleasure to yield 3 minutes to the rookie on our committee, Mr. Tierney of Massachusetts.

   Mr. TIERNEY. Mr. Speaker, regretfully this debate on America's role in this debate on Iraq has been converted into a debate on the war on terror.

   The Republican leadership has mimicked this divisive White House and sought a political squabble instead of a policy debate. The majority leader's memorandum that was circulated directing his Members to politicize and name call and obfuscate the issue is a disservice to this House and to the country as a whole.

   Nothing was gained when the administration first inflated the issue of Osama bin Laden and terrorism with Iraq, and nothing is gained here today by this bald attempt to avoid discussion of Iraq policy and again try to conflate the issue of international terror with Iraq's insurgency.

   Our country's democratic system requires the active involvement of Congress on key policy questions, particularly the issue of war. Its Members have a patriotic duty to hold the executive branch accountable, especially during a time of war. Troops as well as our citizens at home deserve and expect no less.

   Back in 2001 this entire Congress went into Afghanistan against al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, the Taliban and essentially every Member, Republican, Democrat or Independent, went with the international community, rallying to the side of Americans, rallying to our aid. Our intelligence personnel, special ops forces, military and our allies were there.

   But it was not in the case in Iraq where this President, President Bush, prematurely diverted troops and resources out of Afghanistan, before that mission was completed, before Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and Taliban leaders were captured, and before Afghanistan was stabilized.

   President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld chose to start the Iraqi conflict on selective and incomplete intelligence when there was no imminent threat to the United States, without letting the international inspections run their course, without building international support, without a plan to stabilize and rebuild the country and bring our troops home, and ignoring the advice of leading generals about troop strength and strategy.

   As a result of those failed judgments made over and over again, our troops have suffered in the field, not having adequate body armor and vehicle armor. They have been deployed an unreasonable number of times, and they are under unbelievable stress and danger. Our veterans have received inadequate care, some $3 billion short of what they should be having, and we have experienced a harmful lack of oversight and accountability.

   The Iraqi people, more than half of them, are without clean water, 85 percent lack electricity, oil production less than what it was before the war started, and unemployment of over 40 percent and billions of dollars of American taxpayer money being spent without getting it where it is supposed to go, our troops not getting the safety equipment, Iraqis not getting the reconstruction done, and the American taxpayer $360 billion out of pocket. The policy of the Bush administration has done more to harm our military strength and more to harm and misdirect resources away from terror.

   United States troops have done their jobs. They got rid of Saddam Hussein, they allowed for the constitution to be drawn and elections to be held, and they trained Iraqi security. The time has come for Iraqis to have the incentive to take control and responsibility for their own security. This idea of an open-ended commitment to stay the course just impedes this goal.

   The true presence of our country impedes and fuels the insurgency. Nine out of 10 Iraqis want a timeline for withdrawal. Seventy percent, including the Prime Minister, set a timeline for withdrawal. It appears that the Bush-Rumsfeld group wants to be more Iraqi than the Iraqis.

   It is time to shift the focus to political and diplomatic solutions. It is time we disavow any intention to permanently remain or to keep them on bases. It is time to revitalize our military, refocus on Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden and the Taliban, and

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secure our own country by fulfilling the 9/11 Commission's recommendations.

   Mr. HOEKSTRA. Zarqawi's document:

   However, here in Iraq, time is now beginning to be of service to the American forces, harmful to the resistance, for the following reasons.

   Time is on our side. We are making progress.

   Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Gutknecht).

   Mr. GUTKNECHT. Mr. Speaker, today we have heard a lot about who is right and who is wrong. Let me quote, at the outbreak of the Civil War, from Leroy Walker, who later became first Confederate Secretary of War. He said that he could wipe up with one handkerchief all the blood that would be spilled in the coming dispute between the North and the South. He was wrong.

   We have been wrong, too. We were wrong about weapons of mass destruction. We were wrong about the costs, and we were wrong about the tenacity of this insurgency. But Tony Blair came here about a year and a half ago and he gave a great speech, and he said something very important we ought to be reminded of.

   He said if we were wrong about weapons of mass destruction, and all we did was liberate a noble people from a brutal dictator, he said that history would forgive. But had we failed to act, and had we been right about weapons of mass destruction, he said that history would not forgive.

   So this debate about who is right and who is wrong, I think, misplaces the interest of the United States. We were right that Saddam Hussein and his sadistic sons were a clear and present danger to his people, his neighbors, the region, and to American interests. Saddam Hussein plotted to kill a former U.S. president.

   And just like megalomaniac leaders of the past, he attacked his neighbors in Iran, and he invaded Kuwait. Some prefer to ignore the historic comparisons to the Sudetenland and Liebensprau. Montezuma was right, those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

   Dr. Henry Kissinger was right, too, when he said that with domestic policy, actions have consequences. But with foreign policy, inaction can have consequences. We are now seeing the suffering played out in Darfur and Somalia because of inaction.

   Millions of innocent women and children are now at the mercy of the followers of bin Laden and al Zarqawi, and al Qaeda understands what some in this body refuse to acknowledge, that Iraq and Afghanistan are part and parcel of their war against us. When they are defeated there, and I pray that they will be, their ability to wage terrorist war against us will be diminished dramatically.

   When we talk to the troops who come home from that region, they talk about progress. They talk about schools and hospitals that are open. Members, let me read for you from an e-mail that came back from a Minnesota soldier back to Minnesota. This was after the first election in Iraq.

   He said, despite everything that has been going on around them, they still voted. Despite all the violence, they stood in line to be heard. Word is that despite the insurgents' best efforts, voter turnout may be as high as 72 percent across the country. Shoot, even in the States, that would be a great turnout.

   All I can say is that together we, the United States and the Iraqis, no kidding, we did it. I know full well that this doesn't solve everything. Sure, there will be tough days yet to come. But for today, we won, we all won.

   Our returning military personnel tell us something else. Iraqi and Americans have one thing in common. They want American forces to come home, but not just yet. Members, now is not the time to go wobbly. Let's give victory a chance and a lasting peace will surely follow.

   Ms. HARMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 15 seconds to explain to our colleagues that this side is not trying to go wobbly. We are trying to articulate what we believe would be a better strategy for success in Iraq.

   For our final 2 minutes, I will yield the first minute to Representative Crowley of New York, a member of the International Relations Committee.

   Mr. CROWLEY. Mr. Speaker, I thought we were going to start this debate this evening to talk seriously about the problems we are facing in Iraq and begin to talk about our constitutional oversight powers to begin to address this situation. I was wrong.

   The American people want a change in our Iraq policy, and as their representatives, we have an incredible opportunity to speak to those concerns. But, quite frankly, we won't do that today.

   As a New Yorker, and as the only Member of this House to lost a relative on 9/11, I am sickened that once again my colleagues on the other side of the aisle continue to try to spin this as an answer to 9/11.

   If we thought that Ann Coulter's criticism of the Jersey girls who fought for an independent inquiry into the 9/11 attacks was bad, today Ms. Coulter pales in comparison to this Republican-led Congress. They still use the victims of 9/11 as a reason for being in Iraq in the first place, when all evidence, all evidence says otherwise.

   When I hear my colleagues continue to talk and say that Iraq is a stop in the war in terrorism, what happened to the first stop? What happened to Osama bin Laden? Five years later, we have yet to capture or eliminate the person responsible for that action in the first place. But yet we find ourselves in a quagmire in Iraq. I intend to vote ``no'' on this resolution.

   Mr. HOEKSTRA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New York (Mr. McHugh), a member of the committee.

   Mr. McHUGH. Mr. Speaker, I will be very brief. I just want to make a couple of observations. To my colleagues on the minority side, ladies and gentlemen, debate what you wish to debate. No one is telling you what to debate here today. All I have heard you do is complain about what you can and cannot say. I very much want to hear your strategy.

   Ms. Harman talked about we have a strategy for success. The gentleman from Illinois, Mr. Emanuel, talked about we want to take the fight to the terrorists. I would love to hear how.

   That is what we are doing at this moment. There is an old country and western song that teaches you, you know, while I was busy dreaming about yesterday, tomorrow hit me right between the eyes.

   What you are doing is dreaming about yesterday. We are in Iraq. Mr. Holt had it right. It is today a training ground, a recruiting ground for terrorists. It is interesting, it is instructive, and we should talk about how that happens so we don't repeat it in the future.

   But it is the reality for the moment. What do we do to end it? Where do we draw the line? Where do we say this is where we have to win? It is Iraq, and we better get it right.

   Ms. HARMAN. To the prior speaker, we are trying to articulate exactly what we should do.

   Mr. Speaker, I now yield the final minute of the Intelligence Committee's time to Mr. Van Hollen of Maryland, a member of the National Security Subcommittee of the Government Reform Committee.

   I thank Mr. Murtha for yielding me the 30 minutes.

   Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. Speaker, we can say what we want on the floor of this House. We can debate and vote on nonbinding resolutions like this. But what is most important to the American people is not what we say here but what we do here.

   This resolution does not commit this House to do anything. It does not require this Congress to take any measures to hold the Bush Administration or ourselves accountable for what is happening in Iraq.

   The Bush administration was totally wrong about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. No one has been held accountable. The Bush Administration totally miscalculated the number of troops that would be required to provide greater stability on the ground in post-invasion Iraq. No one was held accountable. The Bush Administration got the costs of the war totally wrong. Again, no one was held accountable.

   It is a simple principle. If you reward and ignore failure today, you are going to get more failure tomorrow. This House has ignored those failures. While our men and women have been fighting bravely in Iraq, this House has been AWOL when it comes to providing oversight.

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   Instead of providing a system of checks and balances, this Congress has been a blank check and a rubber stamp.

   If we were a board of directors, we would be sued by shareholders for gross negligence.

   I proposed a simple amendment to this resolution. It would have required this Congress to actually do something--to conduct adequate oversight and to implement the 9-11 Commission's recommendations, including those requiring this body to reform its own intelligence oversight process. The Republican leadership refused to allow us to debate or vote on my amendment. It apparently wants this House to remain an accountability free zone.

   Ten hours of debate does not excuse years of giving the administration a blank check on Iraq. A non-binding resolution is not a substitute for an action plan. Let's start doing our job. We owe it to our troops and the American people. Shame on this House for abdicating its constitutional responsibility.

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   Mr. HOEKSTRA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Pennsylvania (Ms. Hart).

   Ms. HART. Thank you Mr. Chairman, for yielding me a few moments today to speak with our colleagues and with the American people.

   As I traveled with seven colleagues earlier this year to visit our troops in the Middle East and Central Asia, I learned a great deal about the American spirit, the spirit of our volunteer servicemen and women and what drives them to risk it all. It is the defense of freedom. It is the understanding that vigilance and sacrifice are requirements for our Nation's security.

   Back home in the comfort of their living rooms though, many Americans lack that focus. They forgot about Iraq's violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and the mounting incidence of attacks on our Nation leading up to 9/11. They began to loudly dissent and doubt and distract from our mission in Iraq.

   One of the generals who I spoke with while I was in Kuwait took the opportunity in a quiet conversation to ask a very pointed question. He said, is America fighting this war, or is it just our military who is fighting this war?

   We today, together with all Americans, must answer that general's thoughtful question. We must answer it for him, for ourselves, for the rest of the world, but especially for our enemies, so they know America is truly committed to liberty and the victory of civility and opportunity for all who love freedom and support democracy.

   These enemies have long been committed to robbing the world of liberty. The United States and others have been targets of these terrorists many times leading up to 9/11 because of our commitment to the ideal of freedom. These enemies include regimes which harbor terrorists, but most especially those loosely connected terrorist organizations operating outside a national framework who share an ideology of oppression, tyranny, control, hatred resentment. They value no life, no man, no woman, no child.

   We Americans cannot continue to be free if we spend all our time questioning our mission. Many Americans want to debate the validity of prewar intelligence or weapons of mass destruction. Whether one nation or another supported al Qaeda, how many troops do we need? Americans have to look beyond the tactical challenges.

   We must do as Tony Blair did. The people who are fighting us, he said, know what is at stake. The question is, do we?

   

[Time: 15:45]

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 60 minutes to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Waters) from the Out of Iraq Caucus, and I ask unanimous consent she control the time.

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Pennsylvania?

   There was no objection.

   Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself as much time as I may consume.

   Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak on this resolution as the chairperson of the 72-member Out of Iraq Caucus of the House of Representatives. Tomorrow will mark the 1-year anniversary of the Out of Iraq Caucus.

   My colleagues and I joined together to form the Out of Iraq Caucus to pressure the Bush administration into telling the truth about what is going on in Iraq, to admit their mistakes, and to admit their misjudgments, and to force them to devise a plan to bring our troops home.

   The Bush administration cannot deny that they misled the world about the reasons we invaded Iraq. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. There was no connection between the unfortunate destruction of 9/11 and Saddam Hussein. We have not been welcomed with open arms in Iraq. We have no substantial support for this war by other countries. Yet, Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, Mr. Rumsfeld, Ms. Rice, Mr. Wolfowitz, and Mr. Karl Rove continue to squander the American taxpayers' dollars on a war that cannot be won with a military solution.

   Here we are 3 years later, 2,500 American soldiers dead, 18,498 U.S. soldiers seriously injured, and Congress has appropriated over $320 billion for this war, and the costs will only continue to rise. Even Condoleezza Rice admitted there have been thousands of missteps. The American people are increasingly aware of this mismanaged, corrupt, and bungled war.

   The company that Vice President Cheney served as CEO of, Halliburton, has been awarded no-bid contracts for billions of dollars, and they have had over $400 million in unsupported costs and another $1 billion in questioned costs. In simple words, they are cheating the American people. Yet they are not being held accountable for their criminal actions, and the administration has facilitated these illegal actions.

   However, Congress has done virtually no oversight of this war, no hearing, no acknowledging the generals that are trying to tell us about Mr. Rumsfeld's mismanagement of this war. We have not done the oversight, and today, we find that we have this debate. It is not sufficient, nor has it been properly characterized. This resolution we are debating is a sham.

   As a matter of fact, it is a trap. It is an attempt to force Democrats to sign on to a resolution that will do nothing to bring our troops home. Oh, they want to make us sound as if we are unpatriotic. They want to make us sound as if we do not support our troops. We love our troops. We are as patriotic as anybody, and so I would implore my colleagues not to get caught into this trap.

   This resolution is not intended to solve any problems or chart a new course that will permit us to preserve the lives of our troops or to be successful in Iraq.

   I know what is happening. My friends on the opposite side of the aisle are getting frightened. They went home on the break, and they heard the American people. They saw the polls, and they came back with a Karl Rove-constructed resolution to try and make it seem as if now they get it. But this resolution does nothing. It will only continue to mislead.

   We formed the Out of Iraq Caucus to oppose any permanent bases in Iraq. We support H.J. Res. 73 to redeploy U.S. forces from Iraq, commonly referred to as the Murtha resolution.

   There are a lot of misconceptions about what the Murtha resolution is. So let us take a minute and explain clearly what the resolution says.

   Section 1 says: ``The deployment of United States forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date.'' They would have you believe this is meant to withdraw immediately. That is not what it says, and let us get that straight today. What that means is there will be no more U.S. troops sent to Iraq and that the troops in Iraq will be redeployed as soon as possible, a judgment that should be made by military officials on the ground. So stop misrepresenting what this resolution is all about.

   Section 2 says that ``a quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S. Marines shall be deployed in the region.'' That means a group of marines will remain in the Middle East to respond to threats that destabilize our allies in the region or the national security of the United States.

   Section 3 says: ``The United States of America shall pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy.'' This war cannot be won through military means alone. We must put the full weight of the United States behind diplomacy in order to end bloodshed in Iraq.

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   The Murtha resolution endorses these principles, and there is no reason why the entire Congress of the United States cannot get behind this resolution.

   Mr. Speaker, the Out of Iraq Caucus supports the Murtha resolution as the clear plan for America. We support bringing our troops home, and stop saying we do not have a plan. We have a plan. It is a good plan. It is the Murtha resolution.

   Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

   Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to be able to control the remainder of the Intelligence Committee's time on this side of the aisle.

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Texas?

   There was no objection.

   Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Delaware (Mr. Castle).

   Mr. CASTLE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished gentleman for yielding.

   Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the resolution, and I commend the brave American and coalition soldiers who have risked their lives to fight terror and promote freedom around the world, including the 14 courageous Delawareans who have lost their lives while honorably serving their State and this Nation.

   Despite weeks of significant progress, we are now facing a critical stage in the war on terrorism. I believe an immediate withdrawal or the establishment of a hard deadline to withdraw will be comparable to an abandonment of the new Iraqi Government and would encourage the terrorists and violent factions to bide their time, inviting mayhem and guaranteeing chaos.

   Such a decision may also embolden our enemies to, once again, attack our homeland and interests abroad, thus further endangering American citizens. The future of the Middle East and the security of free nations around the world depend upon the development of a strong and stable democracy in Iraq.

   Therefore, in order to reach an acceptable level of stability in Iraq, it is extremely important that we, as an international community, intensify our efforts to reduce the influence of militias, restore electricity, rebuild schools, and assemble a modern and sustainable economy for the benefit of all Iraq's citizens. A greater emphasis on the development of the Iraqi security forces, with a focus on the selection and education of effective military officers, is absolutely imperative so that we may begin supplanting our forces in the region with Iraqi troops at the earliest date possible.

   Mr. Speaker, it is essential that we honor our brave soldiers by continuing to work with our international partners to promote democracy and protect freedom around the world.

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   Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the resolution and I commend the brave American and coalition soldiers and all other personnel who have risked their lives to fight terror and promote freedom both at home and abroad. These courageous men and women have made tremendous sacrifices to ensure our security, and they deserve our utmost respect and appreciation.

   There have been three successful elections held in Iraq since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime, and in recent weeks significant progress, both politically and militarily, has been made in the region. As a former member of the House Intelligence Committee, I firmly believe that the elimination of al-Zarqawi will prove to be a key psychological and organizational blow to al Qaeda's terrorist network.

   Still, the facts are undeniable--progress in Iraq and Afghanistan has come at a tremendous cost. My small State of Delaware alone has lost fourteen brave soldiers, each of whom honorably served their State and Nation. My heart goes out to these noble Delawareans and their families.

   And while elections and military victories are crucial, many challenges still lie ahead. We are now facing a critical stage in the war on terrorism, and it is essential that the international community come together to support Iraq's efforts to build a strong, unified government capable of steering the country toward a path of peace and democracy.

   Although, several of my colleagues have suggested that the U.S. should set a hard deadline for withdrawal from the region, I believe such a course would be unwise. An immediate withdrawal, or the establishment of a hard deadline to withdraw, would be comparable to an abandonment of the new Iraqi government and would encourage the terrorists and violent factions to bide their time, inviting mayhem and guaranteeing chaos. Such a decision may also embolden our enemies to once again attack our homeland and interests abroad, thus further endangering American citizens. The future of the Middle East, and the security of free nations around the world, depends upon the development of a strong and stable democracy in Iraq.

   Therefore, in order to reach an acceptable level of stability in Iraq, it is extremely important that we intensify our efforts to reduce the influence of militias, restore electricity, rebuild schools, and assemble a modem and sustainable economy for the benefit of all Iraq's citizens. A greater emphasis on the development of the Iraqi security forces--with a focus on the selection and education of effective military officers, is absolutely imperative. Over the last few years, we have trained and equipped thousands of Iraqi soldiers and police officers and it is now crucial that we do more to improve this process, so that we may begin supplanting our forces in the region with Iraqi troops at the earliest date possible.

   Mr. Speaker, the thousands of Americans who have served in the war on terrorism exemplify the very courage and honor on which our Nation was formed. It is essential that we recognize their service by continuing to work with our international partners to promote democracy and protect freedom around the world.

  • [End Insert]

     

   Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Lee).

   Ms. LEE. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentlewoman for yielding and for her leadership and her strong voice over the years on so many issues, especially with regard to this unnecessary war.

   It has been almost 4 years since Congress authorized this unnecessary war, and we are really still not having a debate on Iraq policy. So, quite frankly, this debate is a sham. It attempts to, and you have heard this before and you will hear it again, it attempts to link the war on terror with the bloodshed and violence and killing in Iraq. How deceptive can you be?

   As a founding member of the Out of Iraq Caucus, I believe that we should be debating and passing the Murtha resolution today. The Murtha resolution would redeploy our troops from Iraq at the earliest practicable date and pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy.

   Instead, the Republicans continue to play political games at the expense of our brave troops.

   This resolution is a disingenuous attempt by the Republicans to really rewrite history by claiming that Iraq is linked to the terrible tragedy of 9/11. This is deplorable. We all know that Iraq had nothing to do with the tragic attacks of 9/11. Yet, the President misled the American people into a war of choice, with no end in sight.

   We could have avoided this, and you remember Congressman Spratt and myself, we introduced substitutes to the use of force back in 2002, which would have allowed the United Nations' inspectors to ensure that Iraq was not developing weapons of mass destruction.

   And what is the cost of finding out that there are no weapons of mass destruction? Today, we reached the sad milestone of 2,500 American brave troops who have given their lives; and by the end of the year, we will have committed close to $400 billion.

   Are we any safer as a result of this purposeless war in Iraq? Not according to the 9/11 Commission, whose report card gave the administration a failing grade in virtually every category relating to terrorism preparedness.

   The Republicans try to claim that Iraq is the central front on the global war on terror, but the fact is that it has undermined our ability to protect our Nation. National security professionals recognize this, Mr. Speaker, and let us be clear: we are spending billions of dollars to occupy a country that did not have weapons of mass destruction or terrorist ties. At the same time, we are cutting programs to secure our ports and keep nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists. There is something really wrong.

   Worse still, this President and the Republican majority really refuse to level with the American people about when our troops are coming home, also really if they are coming home.

   While we are debating this very bogus resolution, the most substantive

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decision on Iraq policy in very recent days was taken out by the Republican majority behind closed doors. They stripped from the war supplemental an amendment that we offered to prevent the establishment of permanent military bases in Iraq.

   The American people do not want an open-ended war and occupation. Quietly removing a measure that was approved by both the House and the Senate is a gross abuse of the democratic process and is further evidence that Republicans are afraid to level with the American people about their real plans for Iraq.

   Let me tell you, there will be a day of reckoning. The American people are demanding answers. They deserve a truthful accounting of how we got into this unnecessary war, how the billions of dollars have been misspent and when our troops are coming home, and also, they really deserve to know if our troops are coming home, given recent reports that the administration is considering leaving a permanent force of 50,000 troops in Iraq and indications that establishing permanent military bases are not off the table.

   So, Mr. Speaker, the American people will not forget that, instead of answers to their questions, the Republican majority keeps giving them rhetoric and posturing like they are doing today, and the American people deserve better.

   This sham resolution, it really should be rejected. We should support the Murtha resolution. That is what we should talk about today. That will take steps to end this war. It would take steps to bring our young men and women home; and I tell you, if we do not debate this, we do not know when the opportunity to debate or to have a real debate will take place.

   It should have been a real debate today. Unfortunately, this has deteriorated into posturing into rhetoric and into misrepresenting what the facts are.

   I thank the gentlewoman for her leadership.

   Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Speaker, before yielding to the gentleman from Maryland, I yield myself 30 seconds to read a quote we mentioned earlier in this debate from Osama bin Laden. He said, ``This Third World war is raging in Iraq. The whole world is watching this war. It will end in victory and glory, or misery and humiliation.'' That is not this side of the aisle. That is Osama bin Laden.

   Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Gilchrest).

   Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

   As we debate the war in Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on terrorism, there will be strong, heartfelt feelings and expressions on this House floor. Let us, however, as we debate have a powerful sense of resolution, a powerful sense of urgency, a powerful sense of urgency to end the war and to end the war successfully.

   A stable, free Iraq, a stable, free Afghanistan will be a blessing to the Iraqis, a blessings to the Afghanis and a blessing to the region and the world at large.

   The war on terrorism is the next stage of the Cold War. Civilized people who believe in the rule of law, justice, equality and freedom cannot allow self-anointed fanatics to rape, pillage and murder at will around the globe.

   A great Islamic theologian once said, ``One hour of justice is equal to a hundred-year prayer.'' The world wants to hear from us. It is our job to end the war in Iraq successfully. The United States, with the assistance of and for the good of the civilized world, can and will defeat terrorism. This debate is our hour of justice.

   

[Time: 16:00]

   General Eisenhower said, ``The emphasis of the military is on authority and obedience; the emphasis on public office is communication and consent.'' As we craft this resolution, I urge you to keep these themes in mind.

   And as we will eventually walk across the graves in Arlington Cemetery, listen to these words: ``We are the dead. Short days ago we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, loved and were loved. And now we lie in Flanders Field.'' Let us work together through this debate to figure out how to end the war.

   Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from California, Representative Woolsey, 5 minutes.

   Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, many of us voted against this war from the very beginning. In fact, 60 percent of the Democrats voted ``no'' to the war in Iraq. Since then, we have hosted informal hearings, we have founded the Out of Iraq Caucus, we forced a debate and vote on the House floor, Mr. Murtha offered his intelligent proposal to redeploy our troops, and last night I gave my 151st 5-minute speech on Iraq.

   Mr. Speaker, it has been almost 39 months since our troops were sent to Iraq, and today, more than 37 months after the President declared ``Mission Accomplished,'' our troops are still there.

   Just this week, the President of the United States said this about Iraq, and I quote: ``My message to the enemy is don't count on us leaving before we succeed. Don't bet on American politics forcing my hand, because it is not going to happen.'' Except, Mr. Speaker, it is completely unclear what constitutes success or when the mission will be accomplished under these circumstances. Saying we will stand down when the Iraqis stand up? Well, that is just talking points that give the American people no clear guide as to when they can expect this war to end.

   By leaving this question vague, by defining success entirely on his own terms, the President is allowing himself an open-ended commitment and a blank check in Iraq. As for his hand being forced by American politics, what the President calls American politics is actually a majority of our citizens outraged at the loss of life, the hundreds of billions spent, and the global credibility we have squandered.

   The American people, as of this morning, see 2,500 U.S. troops killed, more than 18,000 U.S. soldiers gravely wounded, and thousands more mentally and physically traumatized from their experience in the war. They see the United States losing an equivalent of one battalion every month in Iraq, and the American people want answers. They do not want partisan resolutions like the one before us today, a resolution that does nothing to end this war.

   They see all the sacrifices, Mr. Speaker, and they ask, for what? They know none of it is making Americans in Iraqi safer. In fact, the presence of nearly 150,000 American troops in Iraq has become a rallying point for anti-American extremists in the Arab world. The people of this country support our troops. They see nothing inconsistent about having the deepest contempt for this war while expressing the utmost admiration for the soldiers on the front lines.

   Last fall, I traveled to Iraq and I visited with our troops. My conversations with them confirmed what I already knew: These are uniquely loyal, intelligent, and courageous Americans. If only those civilians who are running this war had half the honor and integrity of the men and women who are fighting it.

   It is time, Mr. Speaker, this Congress caught up to the American people. It is time that the Commander in Chief stepped up by offering a solution, instead of dismissing American anxiety as just politics. It is time to establish a multilateral security force to keep the peace in Iraq while shifting the U.S. role from military occupier to reconstruction partner. It is time to give Iraq back to the Iraqis, not continuing to occupy the bases, not attempting to control their oil.

   This is what the American people want, Mr. Speaker. They want an end to this war. They are not certain exactly how or when, but that is our job to execute those details. They are looking to us for leadership. It is time this Congress and the President of the United States provided the leadership to bring our troops home.

   Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Mississippi, a leader on national defense affairs, Mr. Wicker.

   Mr. WICKER. Mr. Speaker, what is the status of our effort in Iraq today, and where do we go from here?

   Some of my friends on the other side of the aisle see the situation getting worse and worse. I see real progress. I see three successful elections, I see the completion of a national unity government, and I see the elimination of Abu Musab al Zarqawi. But more than anything else, Mr. Speaker, it is the returning troops I talk to who convince

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me that our mission is succeeding and that their sacrifice is accomplishing a valuable service for our effort and for our people. I haven't surveyed many seventh graders, but the soldiers I see express support for what we are doing and frustration over the coverage they see in the media.

   Now, as to the question of where we go from here, two things are certain: Iraq is ground zero in our global war on terror. And the decisions we make will affect U.S. credibility for decades to come.

   Al Qaeda attacked our homeland unprovoked on 9/11, and it is that same al Qaeda we fight today in Iraq. We must defeat them there and anywhere else until their terrorist threat has ended. But make no mistake, this is the same enemy that demolished the World Trade Center and attacked the Pentagon.

   Another argument we have heard today is that this war was a mistake to begin with; that it was unnecessary; that it was in fact based on a lie. This view, of course, ignores the fact that intelligence agencies not only in the U.S. but from Israel, Great Britain, Germany, and France, to name a few, were unanimous in their conclusions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright cautioned that it was a real possibility Saddam would use these weapons or share them with terrorists intent on attacking the U.S. again.

   But if you think about it, Mr. Speaker, what such an argument really advocates is a present day Iraq with Saddam Hussein still in power. That would have been the logical result of their point of view. An Iraq still ruled by intimidation, humiliation, rape, and torture. A Saddam Hussein still free to continue his proven network of chemical and biological weapons research. A Saddam Hussein with plans and advanced designs for long-range missiles to threaten our allies and our interests.

   To some, this may be an acceptable alternative. But it is not to me. The world is a better place because Iraq is free of Saddam Hussein, and the world will be safer if we maintain our resolve. The administration has embarked on a sound plan for freedom and stability in the region and for better security for our citizens. Stay the course.

   Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from the State of Washington, Representative McDermott, 5 minutes.

   (Mr. McDERMOTT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. McDERMOTT. Mr. Speaker, this debate begins with one fundamental truth. We are in Iraq and our leaders have no plan to get us out of Iraq.

   The President says U.S. soldiers will stay in harm's way for as long as he says so. ``We will stand down,'' our leaders say, ``when the Iraqis stand up.'' In other words, Iraqi clerics and the factions they control and the decisions they make about whether to cooperate with the Iraqi government will determine what we can do. The extent of our involvement, the length of our stay, the number of our dead is controlled by religious clerics in Iraq because we have no strategy except to wait for the Iraqis to stand up.

   Republican leaders in this Chamber say we will stay because Iraq is a model of success and it is helping us win the war on terror, as if a resolution they alone write will somehow make Iraq the role model for projecting U.S. influence around the world.

   Today, the American people say with a growing voice that Iraq was a mistake, and staying with no plan or timetable is the wrong course for our soldiers and our Nation. The unending war, the permanent bases, the fortress embassy we are building all make a powerful argument that our involvement in Iraq is more an occupation than a liberation. This promotes terrorism. This helps recruit terrorists. It doesn't help end the terrorism.

   U.S. soldiers in Iraq are doing an heroic job, but we are not doing ours. It is not partisan politics to insist that a nation at war have a plan to achieve the peace. The resolution and its backers seem to think it is unpatriotic to ask questions and to demand a plan. That is not true. Our foreign policy fails when we fail to ask enough questions, not too many.

   American soldiers are falling every day, and there is no one, not a single person in this House who does not respect and support our soldiers. But this resolution is intended to paper over the truth about the Iraq war and it does not support our soldiers and will not make a difference in winning the war. Our soldiers need and the American people expect their leaders to develop a battle plan that will work in the field because it is based on military intelligence, not political expediency.

   We are in a war and we need a battle plan from the President, not a message memo from the House majority leader. War isn't waged by a political party nor is it won by political ideology. Iraq needs a credible battle plan. There is only one at the moment, and we should be debating it.

   John Murtha put forward a plan 6 months ago and only today are we able to discuss it at all, with no ability to alter the resolution before us. This is not an honest debate, an honest attempt to seek answers for our problems in Iraq. It is a debate about a letter of endorsement for the President, not an examination of our options.

   Jack Murtha has emerged with a battle plan, and it is no surprise. He is a decorated combat soldier who reflects what the best military minds believe. As a veteran myself of the Vietnam era, I must say that Jack is a soldier's soldier, a combat hero who has one and only one goal: To defend our Nation with the finest military and the best plan.

   Jack has a plan: Strategic redeployment. It is smart, proud, honest and effective. You can't win a war with rhetoric and resolutions. You win with a thoughtful plan. I support the Murtha resolution that puts in place a plan to protect our soldiers, protect American interests in the Middle East, and protects American people here at home. It is a battle plan that resolves to bring our troops home on a timetable driven by the United States, not subject to the approval of Iraqi clerics. It is a commitment to secure the peace by being smart about the war.

   The American soldiers need a battle plan, not a resolution that reflects a bunker mentality of the Republican Party losing its grip on political control.

   Two grim things came out of the Pentagon today. When the President declared ``mission accomplished,'' 141 people had died. Today, the 2,500th person died. The other thing that came out was a 74-page booklet to help Republicans manage spin control during the Iraq debate on the floor. It is called ``The Iraq War Debate Prep Book.''

   The Defense Department is putting out PR pieces. That is an affront to the American people. It is not a front on the war. The American people want change because the Pentagon under this administration distributes PR plans. Debate talking points. What is the military doing with that kind of stuff up here on the Hill in this body? We see no military plan.

   Support U.S. soldiers by passing Jack Murtha's plan to get out of Iraq.

   Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Murphy).

   Mr. MURPHY. After September 11th, Mr. Speaker, bin Laden's deputies said, ``People of America, your government is leading you into a losing battle. Remember, your government was defeated in Vietnam, fled in panic from Lebanon, rushed out of Somalia, and slapped across the face in Aden. Your government today is leading you into a losing war.''

   And no wonder. Look at our past. November 1979: 52 Americans taken hostage at the U.S. embassy in Iran. We had a failed response. April 1983: 17 Americans killed at our embassy in Beirut. We took no action. October 1983: 241 Marines killed, 100 wounded. Our Marines were redeployed. April 1988: 259 killed in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. We sought indictments. February 1993: Six killed and a thousand injured after the explosion of the first World Trade Center bombing. We took them to court. October 1993: 18 U.S. servicemen were killed and 84 wounded in Somalia. We withdrew our troops. August 1998: 224 killed at U.S. embassies. We fired cruise missiles in Afghanistan and Sudan.

   

[Time: 16:15]

   October 2000, 17 U.S. killed and 30 wounded in the USS Cole attack. We took no action.

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   However, since September 11 we have been much different. We fought the Taliban in Afghanistan, and now we are fighting al Qaeda in Iraq, and the U.S. is sending a message to the terrorists and the world, and we are different and we will respond.

   Now, there will be disagreements between leaders who are retired and current ones. This is part of history. Witness the disagreements between Lincoln and McClellan, Patton and Montgomery, MacArthur and Truman.

   But now we are having success. Our troops are being redeployed outside of the cities of Iraq. We are transferring the battle to Iraqi security forces and their police, and now they have a government where they must face the scourge of al Qaeda, and we cannot let them face it alone.

   I wish we could finish quickly, but I know we cannot finish hastily. I think one wounded soldier said it to me, summed it up best, he said, I want to go back and finish the job, I want to fight them there, not in our suburbs.

   I know we cannot fight them in our courts. I know we cannot fight terrorists with our police in our streets. I know surely we cannot fight terrorist murderers with diplomacy. Let's finish the job of terrorism, then we bring them home.

   Ms. WATERS. I yield 5 minutes to the gentlewoman from Illinois (Ms. Schakowsky).

   Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Mr. Speaker, as a founding member of the Out of Iraq Caucus, I rise in strong support of our brave troops and in strong support of Congressman Murtha's plan for a responsible redeployment from Iraq.

   Americans want the truth about the Iraq war. Americans deserve the truth, and despite all the talk from those who declared this war, ineptly pursued this war, and still today justify this war, the American people in overwhelming numbers have determined for themselves the truth about this war.

   Polls taken even after the killing of al Zarqawi show that only 33 percent of American adults think that the results of the war were worth the loss of life and other costs. Only 33 percent approve of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation in Iraq. Only 26 percent of Americans feel that the United States is better off because of the war.

   The American people in their wisdom have been able to distinguish reality from rhetoric. The truth has been a major casualty in the war of Iraq.

   It is worth reviewing just a few of the statements presented as truth that have been proven to be not true, never true, and still today not true:

   Dick Cheney said in August 2002, ``Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.''

   In March 2003, Donald Rumsfeld said, ``We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.''

   The President said in May 2003, ``We found the weapons of mass destruction.''

   And Donald Rumsfeld on the cost, ``Well the Office of Management and Budget has come up with a number that is something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that will be the U.S. burden and how much will be other countries is an open question.''

   Dick Cheney said May 30, 2005, ``I think they are in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.''

   And what happens to those experts who tell the truth? Are they heeded and embraced by the Bush administration? Hardly. Although it is now universally agreed we didn't have enough troops to avoid the chaos and violence after the initial invasion, when the Army's top general, Eric Shinseki, testified in February 2003 ``something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers'' would be necessary to achieve victory in Iraq,'' he was immediately and publicly repudiated by Secretary Rumsfeld who said that ``the idea it would take several hundred thousand U.S. forces I think is far off the mark.'' Shinseki was quietly ushered into retirement, and Secretary Rumsfeld remains in place leading the failed Bush administration policy in Iraq.

   When Dr. Lawrence Lindsey, former assistant for economic policy to the President, told the Wall Street Journal in September 2002 that the war's cost could reach $200 billion, he was fired by the President.

   Yet by the end of this year we will have spend $450 billion in Iraq. Some say at the end of the day the war will cost $1 trillion taxpayer dollars.

   Since the time the President announced on May 1, 2003 that ``major combat operations in Iraq have ended,'' more than 2,350 U.S. soldiers have lost their lives, and the President has not attended a single one of their funerals. And the United States is spending in excess of $8 billion a month to wage the war. That is $266 million a day, $11 million an hour, $185,000 a minute and $3,100 a second, every second for this war. Certainly we could have afforded body armor and proper Humvees for our soldiers.

   We could have insured 165 million children for 1 year, provided more than 13 million American students with 4-year scholarships at public universities, fully funded global anti-hunger efforts for 11 years, give basic immunization to every child in the world for 92 years, and I believe that would have bought us more security than invading Iraq has done.

   Our military men and women have done a magnificent job in the Iraq theater and deserve better. The civilian leadership in the White House and the civilian leadership in the Pentagon have failed. Time after time they have been wrong. They projected the cost of the war and got it wrong. They predicted the length of the war: wrong. They predicted the existence of weapons of mass destruction: wrong. They predicted the Iraqi reaction to our occupation: wrong. They got the reconstruction of Iraq wrong. When it came to providing needed equipment, they got it wrong.

   And who will pay the price for those mistakes? None of the architects of this war. No one of them has been held accountable. The only ones paying the price are dead and wounded soldiers, our men and women in uniform.

   We need a new direction in Iraq. The majority has nothing to offer in terms of a plan, just more political ploys, more talk, more mistakes like those cited today.

   It is time to redeploy our troops from Iraq. There is a plan, the Murtha plan; and we should make sure that we are not establishing a permanent military presence there.

   PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY

   Mr. SNYDER. Mr. Speaker, parliamentary inquiry.

   Mr. Speaker, a while ago one of the members of the Armed Services Committee said under the rules of the debate today that we can discuss anything we want to, debate anything we want to.

   It occurs to me while this is not a proposal for statutory change, it is a sense of the House resolution. Under the rules of this debate, may I present my amendment to reestablish the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in the House Armed Services Committee so we may properly provide oversight? Is that allowed under the rules of this debate today?

   The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Rehberg). Under House Resolution 868, the previous question has been ordered on adoption of the resolution without intervening amendment.

   Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Shadegg).

   Mr. SHADEGG. Mr. Speaker, I welcome this debate, and I thank the gentleman for yielding.

   I rise in opposition to terrorism and in support of honoring our commitments. I rise in support of this resolution.

   It is clear that one-half of those engaged in this debate believe we need to get out of Iraq and believe we need to get out soon. In support of their position, they cite mistakes that were made leading to the war and mistakes that have been made in conducting the war, and they cite the recent increase in terrorist attacks and incidents.

   Let me make it clear, Mr. Speaker, reneging on our commitment to defeat terrorism in Iraq now would be a mistake of monumental proportions for which future generations would pay and pay deeply.

   Of course mistakes have been made. In every human endeavor, mistakes are made. That is the nature of human endeavors.

   I personally am convinced we had too few troops in Iraq when Baghdad fell. I joined my colleague JOHN MCCAIN in visiting Iraq. I have been there multiple times, and it was obvious to me

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we needed more troops there. I have joined his call for sending more troops repeatedly, and I join those who call for sending temporarily more troops now to take advantage of the death of Zarqawi as an opportunity to crush the insurgents. And no doubt, other mistakes have been made. But whatever mistakes have been made, they do not justify cutting and running.

   Recently, a constituent of mine, a Vietnam War helicopter pilot, approached me in Phoenix and said, This war is unlike Vietnam. It is unlike Vietnam, he explained, because were we to abandon this effort without succeeding, make no mistake about it, the consequences would be far reaching and disastrous.

   Let's talk about some of those.

   First, it would be a humiliating defeat for the United States. Look no further than the words of Osama bin Laden. He said: ``The whole world is watching this war and the two adversaries. It's either victory and glory, or misery and humiliation.''

   Future commitments by the United States could be scoffed at by our allies and by our enemies around the world for generations to come. It would shatter the trust we have built amongst our allies in the region. The newly elected Iraqi Government, and I find it ironic that we are having this debate within days of its selection, would collapse and we would have the creation of a radical, oil-funded terrorist state. But sadly and most importantly, to fail now would establish beyond a shadow of a doubt that our brave soldiers, men and women, who gave of their lives or who suffered grave injuries that will be with them for the remainder of their lives did so in vain.

   Most importantly, it is not necessary. We can succeed, but the path to defeating terrorism in Iraq is not surrender; it is resolve. The opponents argue that we have suffered recent increases in violence and insurgent attacks. The increase in those attacks is not proof that we are losing, and it is certainly not proof that we cannot prevail. Rather, I submit to you it is proof that the insurgents understood that the period leading up to the election of a permanent representative government in Iraq was their best chance, and they took their best shot. And they failed.

   For all that is rational, for that is honorable, we must not now within days of the election of that new permanent government cut and run. No, indeed, we must give it an opportunity to do its job, an opportunity to succeed.

   Now, those who say that we are losing ignore that by their own admission al Qaeda is acknowledging that it is failing in Baghdad. I urge us not to cut and run now for our children and for our grandchildren.

   Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Frank).

   Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, first let's note what a degradation of democracy is taking place here.

   The majority party has put forward a resolution that allows no amendment. There will be a debate in which those of us who think some things are good and some are bad, contrary to every reasonable democratic procedure, will have no opportunity to say so.

   Here is the tactic that is being used: they take a number of things that people agree with, they mix in with them things which are quite controversial. They treat them as if they were not separable.

   Let me say what I have said again before. The majority party thinks the way to legislate is the way you feed a pill to a dog: you take the unpalatable with the popular.

   Now I will have to say this: one of the things we are trying to do is to persuade the people in Iraq to be able to work together and make democracy work. We are trying to persuade, we are told, the Shiia and the Sunni to work together. We are trying to tell the majority Shiia to share power.

   Mr. Speaker, how can you and your party believe that we inspire people to share power by giving the example of its monopolization in an abusive fashion?

   I just hope that the members of parliament in Iraq who may hear about this will remember a very important point: please do not try this at home.

   Now let's get to the substance.

   This war in Iraq came after September 11. It was not the response to terrorism the war in Afghanistan was. I am struck in listening to the Members on the other side of the aisle that Afghanistan appears to have too many syllables for them to pronounce. What is in fact happening is that the war in Afghanistan, which was the response to the terrorist attack, which was almost unanimously supported here and by Democrats in the Senate, is in fact not going as well as it should.

   One of the prices we are paying for the war in Iraq is the deterioration in Afghanistan. Now, the war in Iraq was launched based on a couple of lies we were told. And I am struck to hear people still defending the arguments about the weapons of mass destruction. It seems my colleagues on the other side have decided to adopt a Marxist idea. The Marx in question, of course, is Chico, and the mantra is: Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes? Having been repudiated overwhelmingly by the facts, they stick to the rhetoric.

   Here is the price we are paying. We shouldn't have gone in. Of course having gone in, we are victimized by one of the most incompetently administered examples in American national security history. But here is the price we pay: the war in Afghanistan deteriorates our ability to protect ourselves at home. Every time you hear that we can't afford communications, we can't afford more people at the border, we can't afford port security, every time people hear that we can't afford something that would enhance our security at home, understand that it is the war in Iraq that makes it impossible for this Nation to afford it.

   

[Time: 16:30]

   If we did not have these hundreds of billions being drained there, we could take care of the agenda.

   Finally, it constrains us elsewhere in the world. It has led to an increase in anti-Americanism which I deplore, with which I disagree, but it is a fact.

   Our ability to deal with the potential Iranian nuclear weaponry is constrained by the fact that we are in Iraq. In fact, the Iranians have been among the major beneficiaries of what we have done in Iraq.

   So you went into a war on the basis of two lies. You have handled it incompetently. We are now at the point, well, does that mean you pull out? And here is the point. You tell us on the one hand that there is great success. We have built a government, et cetera, et cetera. But also, you tell us simultaneously that if we withdrew American troops the house of cards falls. Well, which is it? Have you built a successful entity in Iraq? If you have, why can't we pull out? Why can't 28 million people in Iraq, with a couple of hundred thousand Iraqis under arms deal with 15 or 18,000 terrorists?

   The fact is that this is a failed policy that gets worse every day.

   Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Florida, Dr. Weldon.

   Mr. WELDON of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this resolution, the President's plan, and our troops.

   In recent days U.S. and Iraqi forces have dealt terrorists in Iraq a decisive blow. The brutal leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu al Zarqawi, responsible for untold deaths and inciting widespread unrest has met his end, and none too soon, thanks, mainly to our troops, courageous men and women in the field who got the job done.

   And let us not forget, Ramzi Yousef, the man who plotted and attempted the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center that could have led then to tens of thousands of deaths, was an Iraqi intelligence agent.

   And let us remember the great accomplishments of our troops in the field. For too long U.S. news media has focused only on the negative and has chosen only to report bad stories, stories of terrorist attacks. Indeed, for every story that reports heroism and accomplishment of our troops in the field, our American news media focuses 9 or 10 stories on terrorist attacks and the failings of our military. Where our military can accomplish great things over and over again, the American news media ignores it and instead looks for a negative story to report.

   Well, I want to report on one good story, a great story that shows that we are getting the job done and the Iraqi people are with us. And indeed, this

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was reported by our news media. 60 Minutes in March reported about our efforts in a town called Tal Afar. In 2005, al Qaeda ran the town of Tal Afar in Iraq. It is a great example of how our U.S. troops can get the job done. Prior to the U.S. victory there, al Qaeda had unleashed a reign of terror on Iraqis that defies adequate description. Decapitated heads were left in the streets to intimidate residents. Decapitated children were often left in the streets by terrorists to bait their parents to come in so they could kill them. Terrorists roamed the streets, kidnapping and publicly executing people.

   For 3 days in 2005, U.S. troops led the successful assault on Tal Afar to liberate innocent men, women and children from their terrorist captors. Thanks to our brave soldiers, schools in Tal Afar are now open. And once terrified Iraqi citizens are now able to shop, travel the streets openly, go outside their homes.

   And as 60 Minutes noted, some of our American soldiers involved in the liberation of that town now have throngs of Iraqi children follow them admiringly in the streets.

   Mr. Speaker, Tal Afar is just one example of the great job we are doing there. There are many, many more. We need to stay the course, not cut and run.

   I support the resolution.

   Ms. WATERS. I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Owens).

   (Mr. OWENS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. OWENS. Mr. Speaker, I am a member of the Out of Iraq Caucus, and I agree with most of what has been said.

   I support the Murtha proposal for an immediate and orderly redeployment. There is one subject I would like to raise which has not been discussed very much here, however, and that is the role of the American oil barons who have contributed greatly to the colossal mess of the war in Iraq.

   Our troops today are as good as they were when they were labeled the greatest generation and defeated Hitler. But in Iraq, today's counterparts of Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, the Colin Powells, the John Murthas, they were not allowed to take charge. Lust for control of the oil made the oil barons push everyone capable of carrying out a reasonable destruction of Saddam Hussein aside. This administration encouraged the oil barons to overrule the military professionals.

   Lust for oil is still the problem. Seldom discussed in America, but very much on the minds of the people of Iraq. We cannot succeed as long as the ordinary Iraqi people see us as oil thieves responsible for the terror and their day-to-day misery.

   We went into Iraq fighting fanatics, fighting Saddam Hussein and his oligarchy of brutal, decadent killers. No great crowds greeted our troops with flowers. But there is good reason to believe that the masses of citizens were hoping for some real improvements. But we guarded only the oil wells, while the water systems and the electricity grids collapsed.

   As the people observed our preoccupation with oil, the insurgency began to grow. The leadership of the oil barons could not run a country, and they could not manage an occupation.

   Oil revenues must be addressed in order to regain the confidence of the Iraqi masses. We need a transparent, open, full discussion of what are the arrangements that have been proposed, what is being proposed or what contracts are already in place.

   Chevron, BP, Exxon, they are there. Contracts have been written. Is there a committee in this House or a subcommittee that knows what kinds of contracts have been written? What will the Iraqi people have left after these contracts are executed? They were executed before the government was in place.

   Oil is the greatest resource that Iraq has, of course. They are number four among the nations of the world. To what degree is Halliburton going to control the revenues as their payment for reconstruction of some of the oil wells? To what degree are the foreign oil companies going to control revenue because of their arrangements for the pipelines and the shipping and retail outlets? What is going to happen to the oil? These are the questions that the Iraqi people are asking. Everybody in every section of the country wants to know how are the oil revenues going to be distributed? If I live in a province where there is no oil, will my area benefit?

   These questions need to be answered honestly. Congress must seize the initiative from the American oil barons and demand justice for the Iraqi citizens. The oil belongs to them.

   We must win their trust and separate the masses of the Iraqi people from the fanatical murderers. Follow the logic of the Murtha resolution. Give the people control of their oil revenues and get out of Iraq. We can do that when we have the trust of the Iraqi people.

   When the Iraqi people have their own revenues, they can equip their own police forces. They can take charge of their government in a competent way. They don't need us, and they will be less likely to join hands with the insurgents and protect the fanatical murderers that have now found greater receptivity in the population than ever before.

   Get out of the Iraq. Give the people control of their oil revenues.

   Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to a distinguished member of the defense appropriations subcommittee, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Frelinghuysen).

   (Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the resolution. I am convinced, Mr. Speaker, especially after my recent visit, that progress is being made in Iraq. But much of that would be lost if we prematurely remove our troops before the Iraqi people are fully capable of governing and securing their own country.

   Success in the global war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan is the defining challenge of our generation, whether some war opponents like it or not.

   Bin Laden's deputy has declared Iraq to be the place for the greatest battle, where he hopes to expel the Americans and then spread the jihad wave to secular countries neighboring Iraq. Such statements reaffirm why withdrawing our troops would be a disaster for the future of Iraq.

   Our own national security can actually embolden those who hate our way of life to further harm us. A premature withdrawal or premature deployment home would represent a clear defeat for American interests, not just in Iraq, but in the wider region around the globe. Terrorists everywhere would take heart at this serious blow to our credibility.

   Frankly, if we were to abandon the Iraqis now, who in the world would openly assist us in the global war on terror? What country would allow our military to deploy and operate on its territory? Worse yet, who would dare to be seen as our partner, ally or friend?

   As even the Washington Post said yesterday, Mr. Speaker, in its lead editorial, Iraq's new democratic government deserves a chance to succeed. And yes, this is the time to support our brave young warfighters, who are truly doing the work of freedom, and not undercut their service and sacrifice.

   Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from Texas, Ms. SHEILA JACKSON-LEE.

   (Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas asked and was given permission to revise and extend her remarks.)

   Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I might offer that I am proudly a member of the Out of Iraq Caucus out of a duty and a sense of patriotism and love of my country. And so this is a very somber debate.

   And I remind my colleagues of the very tense moments of the presentation of Secretary Powell before the United Nations. All of us were in a sense of awe, listening to the devastating evidence of why we should go to Iraq. So I come to this podium today with a very heavy heart because we are constrained, not Members of Congress, we are of no relevance, but the American people are constrained in not allowing a debate or dissent. That is what we are showing here today, that we can have no dissent, we can have no recognition that Democrats and others, we do have a plan.

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   And so, on the birthday of the Army, I want to salute the Army. Mr. Murtha, I want to salute you for your service and your plan. And I want to salute all of the United States military. And might I say that our soldiers are doing their job. They have done their job. And out of doing their job, the casualties are some 19,000, and today, I am very sad to say that 2,500 of them are now dead.

   And so I come with a heavy heart to suggest that there are myths that we need to overcome. And one of them is that there is something called ``cut and run.'' It is not ``cut and run.'' It is the opportunity of involvement, debate and patriotism, a belief that we can put forward a plan that the American people will believe in.

   The Bush Iraq policy has harmed the United States military, and I might say that I am glad to stand with a retired Marine Lieutenant General, Gregory Newbold, who says, ``my sincere view is that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and a swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions or bury the results.''

   And so I come again to suggest that no, there is no ``cut and run.'' There is reality. A Pentagon commission study concluded that the Army cannot maintain its current pace of operation in Iraq without doing permanent damage to the quality of the force.

   We realize that the large and extended deployment of the National Guard units overseas has undermined the ability of the United States to deal with terrorist attacks or natural disasters. We realize that resources are being diverted and, therefore, we are not able to fight the global war on terror.

   I don't want my friends to pigeonhole us. We want a debate and a plan to save lives, and we want a free, independent and democratic Iraq. That can happen with a new change, a new day, Democrats and others, who believe in leading this country to a new future.

   I don't want the same old plan, and I am not ashamed of saying so. That is why I am here to open the doors to dissent, tell the American people to come marching into the United States Congress. Don't let us talk for you. You want redeployment. You want the troops out. You don't believe the Democrats believe in ``cut and run.'' You understand that the General, Lieutenant General, has said we are careful about this war. Come home.

   Murtha plan, the Out of Iraq Caucus is proud of our patriotic stand.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   Thank you Mr. Chairman. I thank the gentlelady for yielding. I rise to speak on H.R. 861, a resolution which declares that the ``United States will prevail in the Global War on Terrorism.'' I believe that it is the resolve of all Members of this House and of all Americans. But to prevail in the global war on terrorism, we must remain focused on the global war on terrorism, and not allow ourselves to be diverted or distracted.

   Unfortunately, we have been distracted from waging a full-scale, all-out global war on terrorism by the President's fateful decision to go to war in Iraq. Before and after 9/11, Iraq was not a part of the global war on terror, much less the central front. It only became so when the President launched his ill-advised preemptive attack.

   I am proud to be among the majority of House Democrats who voted against the Resolution Authorizing the Use of Military Force, AUMF, in 2002, which authorized the President to use military force to disarm Iraq of its alleged weapons of mass destruction, WMD. I voted against going to war in Iraq because I thought it a diversion from the important task facing the Nation and that was winning the global war on terror. History has shown that we were right. The ill-advised rush to war in Iraq has not only been a diversion from the war on terror but a strategic disaster of epic proportions. As Thomas Jefferson would say, to prove this let facts be submitted to a candid world.

   (I) The Bush Iraq Policy Has Harmed the U.S. Military

   We just learned today the sad news that the 2,500th soldier has been killed in Iraq. More than 19,000 others have been wounded. The Bush administration's open-ended commitment of U.S. troops to Iraq has weakened the U.S. Army, the Army National Guard, and the Army Reserves. The extended deployments in Iraq have eroded U.S. ground forces and overall military strength. A Pentagon-commissioned study concluded that the Army cannot maintain its current pace of operations in Iraq without doing permanent damage to the quality of the force. So more than 3 years of a continuous deployment of U.S. troops to Iraq has:

   Contributed to serious problems with recruitment, with the U.S. Army missing its recruitment targets last year;

   Forced the Army to lower its standards for military recruits; and

   Led to military equipment shortages that hamper the ability of U.S. ground forces to do their job in Iraq and around the world.

   The large and extended deployment of National Guard units overseas has undermined the ability of the United States to deal with terrorist attacks or natural disasters. For example, State officials in Louisiana and Mississippi struggled to overcome the absence of National Guard members from their States in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. In Louisiana, about 100 of the National Guard's high-water vehicles remain abroad--even as the State continues to rebuild from Hurricane Katrina. Coastal North Carolina is missing nearly half its Humvee fleet, and Guard officials there say shortages have forced the State to pool equipment from different units into one pot of hurricane supplies.

   In addition, the equipment the Guard needs to help in the aftermath of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina is in shorter supply because the gear is in use in combat zones, is battle-damaged, or has been loaned to cover gaps in other units.

   (1) War in Iraq has diverted resources and attention from other fronts in the fight against global terrorist networks.

   The killing of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi last week was a major success for U.S. troops, but it is not likely to diminish Iraq's insurgency. Iraqis make up 90 percent of Iraq's insurgency, unlike foreign fighters like Zarqawi, and a primary motivation for Iraq's insurgency is the U.S. troop presence. Even after the Samarra shrine attack in February threatened to push Iraq into all-out sectarian civil war, the vast majority of attacks still target U.S. forces.

   Outside of Iraq, the Bush administration has failed to present a realistic strategy for countering the threat posed by the global terror networks. In a recent survey of more than 100 of America's leading foreign policy experts conducted by Foreign Policy magazine and the Center for American Progress, eight in 10--84 percent--do not think that the United States is winning the war on terror. The war in Iraq has not helped America win the broader fight against global terrorists. Instead:

   By invading Iraq without a realistic plan to stabilize the country, thei Bush administration created a new terrorist haven where none had previously existed.

   By maintaining an open-ended military presence in Iraq, the Bush administration is presenting U.S. terrorist enemies with a recruitment tool and rallying cry for organizing attacks against the U.S. and its allies.

   According to the National Counter-Terrorism Center, the number of large-scale terrorist attacks in Iraq increased by over 100 between 2004 and 2005, with a total 8,299 civilians killed in 2005.

   Osama bin Laden remains at large and Al Qaeda offshoots proliferate.

   By diverting resources and attention from Afghanistan to an unnecessary war of choice in Iraq in 2003, the Bush administration has left Afghanistan exposed to a resurgence of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The United States needs to complete the mission in Afghanistan and cannot do it with so many troops bogged down in Iraq.

   By focusing so many U.S. resources on Iraq, the Bush administration has taken its eye off the ball in places like Somalia, which was overrun by Islamist militias tied to Al Qaeda last week.

   (2) The War in Iraq has increased the burden on U.S. taxpayers without stabilizing Iraq or making Americans safer.

   Over the last 3 years, the United States has spent more than $300 billion in Iraq, yet the investment has failed to stabilize Iraq or improve the overall quality of life for most Iraqis. According to the Congressional Research Service, total assistance to Iraq thus far is roughly equivalent to total assistance, adjusted for inflation, provided to Germany--and almost double that provided to Japan from 1946 to 1952. Yet on key metrics like oil production, Iraq has failed to advance beyond pre-war levels, and quality of life indicators remain dismal:

   Oil production is below pre-war levels--2.6 million barrels per day in 2003 vs. 2.1 million barrels per day in May 2006;

   The majority of water sector projects and health care clinics planned in 2003 remain not completed, despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars;

   One in three Iraqi children is malnourished and underweight, according to the United Nations Children's Fund.

   Rather than a record of progress and achievement, the Bush administration's record is one of corruption and waste:

   $8.8 billion given to Iraqi ministries by the Coalition Provisional Authority, CPA, remains unaccounted for, according to the Congressional Research Service;

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   Iraqi Defense Ministry officials spent $1 billion on questionable arms purchases;

   The Interior Ministry has at least 1,100 ghost employees, costing $1.3 million a month.

   In short, we have no strategy, no support from allies or friends in the region, a nascent civil war in the country we are supposed to be helping, an overstretched military, a misdirected counterterrorism effort, and a massive diversion of funds in support of a failed effort.

   (II) Responding to Administration Myths and Fantasies

   The Bush administration and its rubber-stamp Republican allies in the House have politicized national security in the past. They have used national security as a wedge issue to divide the country and push for policies that have not made Americans safer. But today a majority of Americans are now skeptical about the Bush administration's Iraq policy.

   Myth 1: Democrats want to quit while we are ahead and the Iraqis are just getting started.

   Conservatives argue that Democrats who criticize and offer alternatives are snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, retreating just as the Iraqi Government needs the most help.

   Fact: The time has come for the United States to give Iraqis the incentive to stand on their own two feet and take control of their own affairs. In a few short months, the U.S. military involvement in Iraq will be longer than it took the United States to win World War II. The open-ended commitment of U.S. troops fuels as much as it retards the insurgency and civil conflict in Iraq. Nearly 9 in 10 Iraqis approve a time line for U.S. withdrawal, and 70 percent of the Iraqi public supports the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces by the end of 2007. A growing number of Iraqis, including the new prime minister, are saying that Americans must begin to leave.

   U.S. troops have done their share. By getting rid of Saddam Hussein, they have given Iraqis an historic opportunity to take charge of their destiny.

   By fostering the birth of the constitution and the holding of elections, they

   have assisted in the building of a new democracy. They have trained more than a quarter of a million Iraqi security forces. It would be self-defeating for the United States to want Iraq to succeed more than Iraqis do.

   Myth 2: Democrats offer only ``cut and run'' and ``retreat and defeat.''

   Facts: Belittling opponents will not divert attention from a failed policy. Staying the course and offering a vague and open-ended commitment of U.S. troops gives Iraqis a blank check and a veto of America's national security.

   The future of Iraq cannot be more sacred to Americans than to Iraqis. Responsible redeployment offers Iraqis a chance to take responsibility for their political and security future after we have already aided in the creation of a new constitution, the staging of two elections, and the training of a quarter of a million security forces.

   Myth 3: Democrats who raise questions and oppose the Bush Iraq policy are unpatriotic.

   Over the past 3 years, the Bush administration has questioned the patriotism of its critics.

   Facts: Our country's democratic system requires the active involvement of Congress on key policy questions--particularly at a time of war. The United States has a strong tradition of its Congress asking tough questions. During a time of war, including the hearings organized by Democratic Senators like Senator Harry Truman during World War II and Senator William Fulbright during Vietnam, even though the White House was controlled by Democrats.

   It is the patriotic duty of Members of Congress to hold the executive branch accountable, especially during a time of war. Two prominent Vietnam war veterans, Republican CHUCK HAGEL and Democrat JOHN MURTHA, have recently argued that it is unpatriotic not to raise questions in a time of war. America suffers when Congress and the public are silent.

   Myth 4: Democrats reject the Bush administration's efforts to advance freedom.

   Facts: The Bush plan for Iraq is solidly grounded in a flawed view of combating terrorism, arguing that promoting a narrow vision of democracy will crowd out and defeat terrorists.

   The United States must and should support real democratic transitions around the world. But the Bush administration's naive approach to democracy promotion--narrowly focused on elections--has failed by giving terrorist organizations an opening to seize the reins of power, as seen by the Hamas victory in the Palestinian elections earlier this year. Terrorists have been exploiting the Bush administration's flawed and narrow strategy focused on the most ostensible images of democracy, like purple fingers in elections.

   Despite impressive gains in Iraq's political transition, the country remains in the very early and fragile stages of a long-term process of building a real democracy. Contrary to the rhetoric put forth by the Bush administration, Iraqis do not live in freedom, according to Freedom House, which measures trends in political rights and civil liberties over the past three decades. The rights of women and minorities are not protected; the rule of law is honored more in the breach than the observance; and political violence remains rampant. Despite much work left undone, the Bush administration has cut funding for programs to support freedom and democracy in Iraq this year.

   Myth 5: Democrats who criticize the Bush policy hurt the morale of the troops.

   The Bush administration and its conservative allies have said that offering criticisms and concrete policy alternatives on Iraq hurts the morale of U.S. troops.

   Facts: There is no evidence that debate at home has any effect at all on the morale of troops. But other factors directly impact the lives of U.S. troops and morale--including going to war without the equipment and armor, not having a realistic strategy for Iraq and not taking care of the troops after they come home.

   Not equipping the troops. When asked by a soldier in the field why U.S. troops did not have the right armor for their vehicles, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said, ``As you know, you have to go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want.'' Iraq was a war of choice, and the Bush administration had time to get ready.

   Not taking care of the troops when they come home. The Bush administration has not developed policies to take care of the troops when they return from battle. Health care has proven inadequate, and wounded veterans have been hounded by debt collectors because of inefficiencies in the Pentagon's administrative systems.

   Myth 6: Democrats who oppose the Bush Iraq policy are ignoring and not listening to the generals.

   Facts:

   It is the Bush administration that has failed to listen to top U.S. generals before and during the invasion by not sending enough troops to stabilize the country. It is Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld who has constrained free expression in the military by firing or forcing out those who disagree.

   Nonetheless, even the current commanding officers argue that the United States needs to take realistic steps to reduce its military presence to remove the fuel that fires the insurgency. For example, in October 2005, GEN John Abizaid, the commander of Central Command Forces, argued that the United States must reduce its ``military footprint'' in Iraq and the region as a means to create more stability, but President Bush has continued to stick with a ``stay the course'' message.

   Myth 7: Democrats who criticize the Bush Iraq policy are helping the terrorists and giving them what they want.

   The Bush administration has argued that questioning its plan emboldens America's terrorist enemies, an unconstitutional argument aimed solely at shutting off real debate at home. Harkening back to 2002, when Bush officials warned that people should ``watch what they say,'' President Bush and top officials in his administration have warned against ``irresponsible'' debate to limit and control democratic political debate at home, even while the Bush administration purports to advance democracy abroad.

   Facts: Bush policies at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib do more to undermine our place in the world than any words spoken by administration critics. The Bush administration policies that coerce rather than create cooperation through dialogue and common purpose undermine how others view us. A new poll by the Pew Research Center finds that America's image has slipped further, and global support has declined for the U.S.-led war on terrorism.

   Myth 8: Democrats prefer a world with Saddam Hussein still in charge of Iraq.

   Facts: Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator, and it is a good thing that he is no longer in power. But that is not the key question today. The key question is: Where is Iraq now, and where does it go from here? And the many mistakes made by the Bush administration--including sending in too few troops to secure the country and invading without a clear and realistic plan for Iraq's reconstruction--have made the situation in Iraq much worse off than it should have been.

   Iraq has become a failing state and is suffering from several major internal conflicts--in large part the consequence of the Bush administration's failure to plan for the post-war situation. And moving forward requires Iraqis, not Americans, to be in charge of the future.

   Myth 9: Democrats just want to criticize and politicize Iraq and do not have plans about what to do.

   Facts: This is simply not true. A growing number of leading Democrats and other progressive leaders have offered sensible alternative visions about what the United States should do next to set the right course in Iraq. Nearly all progressive plans recognize that the United States must intensify its political and

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diplomatic efforts in Iraq and that the commitment of U.S. troops to Iraq should not be permanent or open-ended.

   Conclusion

   Mr. Chairman, I close by quoting from the Declaration of Independence and the motto of the U.S. Army, which marks its 231st anniversary today. It may seem odd to quote the two together. But I do so because real patriots have courage--courage to face the truth and the courage to speak truth even when it is unpopular. The Declaration of Independence, with its affirmation of the inalienable human rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness gave patriots the courage to fight for a cause that was just but at the time thought by most to be unattainable. A motto of the U.S. Army is ``We will not falter, we will not fail.''

   The war in Iraq does not help us in the global war on terror. There are only two directions to take in Iraq: President Bush's plan of staying the course and letting a future President clean up the mess, or the Murtha plan to change the direction of that course. I stand with Representative MURTHA in calling for the redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq to make our country safer, our military stronger, and the region more stable. I support the Murtha plan. It is the only plan for success in Iraq that is worthy of the sacrifices made by our troops. And I support a plan for greater coalition support for Iraq as it moves to protecting itself as a soverign nation.

   Our troops in Iraq have never faltered and they have never failed. They were never defeated in battle. They won the war they were sent to fight. They completed their mission. They performed magnificently. Well done. Well done. Well done.

   Our troops have earned the right to return home and be reunited with their families and loved ones. Now is not the time for us in Congress to falter or fail. Now is the time to embrace a plan for our troops in Iraq that offers a chance of success. We need a plan that will work. There is only one such plan. It is the Murtha plan that allows for redeployment of our troops as soon as practicable and allows for redeployment of troops at the perimeter of Iraq to be used in time of crisis. This is a plan that will work.

  • [End Insert]

     

   ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE

   The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Rehberg). Members are reminded to address their remarks to the Chair.

   Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Brown).

   Mr. BROWN of South Carolina. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the resolution. In my capacity as chairman of the Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health, I was fortunate enough to visit the American cemetery in Normandy, France that is located overlooking Omaha Beach. Our brave soldiers during World War II were in France not to fight the French, but to fight the Nazis that had occupied France.

   Today our soldiers are not in Iraq and Afghanistan to fight the citizens of those countries, but we are there to fight the insurgents and the Taliban. In listening to the debate today, it reminded me of my visit and reading some of the names of the brave soldiers that fought for our Nation during World War II.

   Mr. Speaker, there are over 9,300 patriots buried in Normandy today. Those brave souls fought in a war against the forces of evil then, just as our soldiers in Iraq are fighting against the forces of evil today.

   

[Time: 16:45]

   What would have happened back then if America had pulled out of the World War II before the mission was accomplished? What kind of world would we be living in today?

   As many of my colleagues have done, I have personally visited Iraq. I have seen the progress, and I have seen the good job that our brave men and women are doing for us and for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. I was proud to sit down and share a meal with many soldiers from South Carolina's First District. And the question that many of our soldiers kept asking me was ``Why are none of the good stories making it back to the folks back home?''

   Mr. Speaker, I think many of us today are trying to share some of the good stories and recognize all of the positive things that our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are doing for us.

   The good news is that now women in Afghanistan are able to vote in democratic elections for the first time in their lives. The good news is that Iraqi citizens are now able to protest and let their opinions be heard in public.

   Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Watson).

   Ms. WATSON. Mr. Speaker, I represent the Out of Iraq Caucus, and I support the Murtha resolution.

   This war of choice so far has cost us the lives of close to 2,500 American men and women, let alone tens of thousands of Iraqi lives, and has cost us $320 billion and has weakened the United States' prestige and brought our interests and our values into question to a degree not seen since the Berlin Wall divided Europe.

   It is our failure here in Congress to perform our duty of oversight which has cost America most. From the beginning of the march to war, the President and his advisers blundered into failure after failure. False claims about African uranium and mobile anthrax labs. Unlikely claims of Saddam's leaks to al Qaeda. Stubbornly ignoring the advice of the uniformed military about troop levels. Turning a blind eye to the venal corruption that swallowed $9 billion of Iraqi money, U.N. Oil-for-Food money, without a trace. Shame on us.

   Mr. Speaker, our Founding Fathers in their wisdom gave us a mechanism, a defense against tyranny called congressional oversight, and it is about time we start doing our duty to the American people by performing that oversight. While I welcome this debate, it is a poor substitute for what we really should have been doing.

   I call upon you to withdraw this empty resolution, this meaningless, self-congratulatory, fraudulent scam and let us work together to examine our mistakes, fix them, and bring our troops home. Let Iraqis rebuild their own nation.

   The President says we need to stay in Iraq until the mission is complete, but the President cannot explain to the American people exactly what the mission is, let alone tell us when he expects to complete it.

   Let us take credit towards victory by sighting the completion of a democratic government in Iraq and killing the biggest terrorist there, claim these as a victory, and keep our word by honorably deploying our forces. Three and a half years is hardly cutting and running.

   We all share the same dream that the Iraqi people do. We want them to live in peace in a secure and prosperous society where they are free to choose their government. But the presence of our troops and our occupation of Iraq has become such an obstacle to that future that we can no longer ignore reality. How can we win a war against terrorism when terrorism is a concept? You must change the hearts and the minds to succeed.

   So let us work together to bring our courageous troops home and put an end to this devastating war of choice.

   Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the gentleman from Alaska (Mr. Young).

   (Mr. YOUNG of Alaska asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. YOUNG of Alaska. Mr. Speaker, it is rare that I would speak on this issue. I do support this resolution, but more than that, I would like to remind people why we are here.

   There are not many in this room, but there are a few that remember 1939. I lived in that era and I listened to people speak about ``Hitler's really not a bad guy. He's just minding his own business. He's taking care of his people. We shouldn't be involved.'' Fifty-two million people later, we won World War II. We should have knocked him in the head when we had a chance instead of listening to Chamberlain, the Prime Minister of Britain. We should have aggressively pursued him as we did Saddam Hussein. In my heart of hearts, I believe that we would be, in fact, in a nuclear war if we had allowed him to continue his trek.

   But this President stood up and he was a leader and he stopped it. Now we have done that deed and we are in a place where we should continue and finish this job.

   Someone said this is not a cut and run, that we have been there 3 1/2 years. But I ask you to ask your military people, ask those people out at Walter Reed, as I have. Most of them are proud of their service and their duty. And I salute each one of them, him or her,

[Page: H4058]
and the commanding officers who fulfilled their duty.

   If you believe in democracy and believe in peace, we must continue this trip that we started. We must finish it and make sure that democracy reigns in the Middle East. If we do not do so, we would a do a great disservice to our armed services and America as a whole. Remember, ``He's really not a bad guy. He's just minding his own business. It's his country.'' Fifty-two million people later, the war was ended. Our people, their people. And I do not want to have that happen again.

   Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from California, Representative Solis.

   Ms. SOLIS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of our troops and in opposition to the President's stay the course in Iraq.

   The war in Iraq was under taken with too few troops, not enough of the right equipment, and no plan for peace. Without a plan to secure the peace, 2,500 servicemen and women have been killed, including 10 in my district: Private First Class Jose Casanova, Jr., age 23; Lance Corporal Manuel Ceniceros, age 23; Lance Corporal Francisco Martinez Flores, age 21; Lance Corporal Benjamin Gonzalez, age 23; Corporal Jorge Gonzalez, age 20; Sergeant Atanacio Haromarin, age 27; Specialist Leroy Harris-Kelly III, age 20; Corporal Stephen Johnson, age 24; Corporal Rudy Salas, age 20; Marine Corporal Carlos Arellano, age 22.

   I have celebrated their sacrifices and mourned their passing with their families: with their parents, with their spouses, and with their children.

   Eighteen thousand four hundred and ninety servicemen and women have been injured during the war in Iraq, 8,501 so badly they will be permanently damaged from their injuries. I have visited with many of them at the Walter Reed Hospital.

   And even with more veterans returning from Iraq, President Bush refuses to provide adequate funding for their health care. At a time when more than 17 percent of the troops returning from Iraq suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, this is the wrong course of action.

   No one can question the commitment of our troops, especially our green card soldiers like Lance Corporal Francisco Martinez Flores, who was granted posthumous citizenship but could not realize the beauty of our citizenship because he was not granted that before he died.

   Since 9/11, 25,000 servicemembers have become U.S. citizens. Despite the commitment and sacrifices of thousands of green card soldiers and their families, many in this House are not willing to provide them with support because they lack documentation.

   Mr. Speaker, amid the doubt and anger I have expressed about the war, I have never ever questioned the commitment of our troops to this Nation. They deserve a real plan to secure the peace so that they can be redeployed, and I wholeheartedly support the Murtha plan.

   American taxpayers, Members, deserve accountability for the $17 billion in no-bid contracts for Halliburton and real measures to protect the homeland and our port security. The Bush administration has failed to fulfill its responsibilities to our troops, veterans, and all Americans. This resolution fails them.

   It is a sad day when this resolution is the only thing that can be offered for our servicemen and women. Francisco Martinez Flores did not die in vain. He deserves the very best. The American people deserve a real debate.

   Bring our troops home and no permanent bases in Iraq.

   Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Brady).

   Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the families of East Texas, especially those with loved ones serving overseas, I strongly support this resolution.

   Despite what the national media portray, the inconvenient truth is this: Terrorists have been attacking America freely for more than two decades. We should have learned we cannot push America's security forward by retreating from terrorism. We cannot strengthen the world by weakening our resolve, and we cannot support our troops by belittling them at every turn.

   It is clear to all but perhaps us that the terrorists' strategy is not to defeat America in Iraq. They cannot do that. Their strategy is to defeat America in America. They are counting on the American public to lose its will and for Washington politicians to undermine the morale and support of our troops overseas.

   The truth is if America quits, if America turns back now, no nation, no community will be safe from terrorism again. Terrorists will learn that they can wait us out one public opinion poll at a time. And the next time America is attacked, the next time innocent people die and we vow justice, who will believe us then? Who will support us then?

   I stand with the President. We must persist in Iraq and Afghanistan until these nations are no longer safe havens for terrorism. We have ``taken the hill'' against the terrorists. Too many Americans have sacrificed their lives for us to give it back now. Americans like Chief Warrant Officer Chuck Fortenberry of Woodville, Lance Corporal Shane Goodman of Orange, Staff Sergeant Christopher Everett of Huntsville, Specialist Michael Weger of Spring, and Specialist Hoby Bradfield of The Woodlands, among many.

   Our troops have proven they will not quit. The question is will we? Our troops know what is at stake. The question is do we?

   Let us not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Let us put aside our partisan politics and unite until terrorism is truly and soundly defeated.

   Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from Ohio, Representative Kaptur.

   Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from California for yielding and for her leadership on a real strategy against terrorism.

   Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this resolution. It contains no plan, no solution, no way forward. I support the Murtha plan, which clearly aims to more strategically engage U.S. forces to redeploy and be ready.

   Indeed, the invasion in Iraq has diverted our Nation from the war on terrorism and created a new terrorist training platform. Across the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, and the Pacific, United States policy has engendered more hatred, yielding a counter-reaction of more radicalism and protest.

   In Egypt, the most populous Arab nation and a key ally in the Middle East and Africa, recent parliamentary elections yielded a quantum leap in representatives from the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical anti-Western party. This group now comprises 88 members of their parliament, up nearly 25 percent from 17 in the 2000 election.

   In the Palestinian Authority, the peace process with Israel is dead. Rather than parties moving toward peace with Israel, we witness another tragic breakdown as Fatah and Hamas mass in the streets and Israelis and Palestinians shoot and kill with abandon.

   Mogadishu, Somalia has just fallen into the hands of Muslim extremists. That failed state is another breeding ground for terrorism.

   In Afghanistan more loss of life has resulted this year than at any time since the U.S.-led invasion and President Karzai remains a prisoner of circumstance, unable to move freely without heavily armed guards.

   Mr. Speaker, we are not winning the war on terrorism. The situation in Iraq teeters on all-out civil war between the Sunnis and the Shiias.

   

[Time: 17:00]

   To win the war on terrorism, the United States must use our military assets wisely, not just robustly. We must transfer policing to Iraqi forces and remove ourselves as a source of friction.

   Secondly, we must decouple ourselves from the repressive oil dictatorships that create regional antagonisms there and become energy independent here at home.

   And, thirdly, the Palestinian-Israeli standoff must be elbowed to the peace table, because it is a primary lightning rod for unrest across the region.

   Our current presence in Iraq is counterproductive in the broader war on terrorism. Meanwhile, diplomatic channels are totally frozen by this administration. Unfortunately, this resolution offers no plan. It offers no solution. It offers no way forward.

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   This Congress should support the Murtha plan for our military forces, redeploy and be ready.

   Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Speaker, I would yield myself the remainder of the time allocated to the Intelligence Committee.

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman has 2 1/2 minutes.

   Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Speaker, I have listened to the first 5 hours of this debate, trying to listen carefully to each speaker. And it seems to me that some people try, as best they can, to isolate Iraq from the rest of the war on terror.

   Now, that may be politically convenient for them to do, but it is not what the real world is like. As a matter of fact, it was not long ago that we found a letter from Zawahari, Osama's number two, to Zarqawi in Iraq talking about tactics.

   Just as the Cold War had several battles across the globe, the war on terrorism has several battlefields across the globe. And I believe that it is clear from their own words, the terrorists see Iraq as the central front in our war against them now and into the future.

   Secondly, we seem to have a lot of armchair strategists who want to redeploy this way or redeploy that way, because they say nothing is going right. I would recommend they read the document found this morning, or released this morning, that was found in Zarqawi's house.

   It says that things are going pretty well for us, and not so well for them. I think it is a little early to give up.

   Thirdly, there are a lot of people who want to debate the procedures or debate Congress's job or debate past decisions. And it is true, history will have to pass judgment on decisions that the military commanders and the President and the Congress have made in the past. They will do so when the air of partisanship has faded.

   But the truth is, however you feel about where we are, we are where we are. And the question is, do we leave a job half done? Do we leave early, and leave those Iraqis who are willing to put their lives on the line by being part of the government or part of the police force or part of the military, do we abandon them when they are trying to build a country? I think that would be a mistake.

   In fact, I think to retreat at this point, whether you call it a strategic retreat, a strategic redeployment, or whatever word you want to use to back up now, will only embolden the terrorists. We have seen time after time, when they sense political vacillation, they strike. They struck in Istanbul in 2003, in Madrid in 2004, in London in 2005.

   Where they sense weakness, it is like an animal. Where they sense fear, they attack. We have got to do better and make sure we win this war.

   Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. DeFazio).

   Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Speaker, despite the rhetoric on the other side of the aisle, ground zero on the global war on terror is not, never was Iraq. It was Afghanistan; 9/11, it was planned in Afghanistan by Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda, with the complicit help of the Taliban.

   In a near-unanimous vote on the floor of this House, we voted to go in there and root them out and end that threat once and forever. But something bad happened on the road to victory, and the eradication of the Taliban and al Qaeda, and the capture, dead or alive, dead or alive, of Osama bin Laden. Remember that.

   We got mired in Iraq. And today the Taliban, al Qaeda, and Osama bin Laden are still at large and they are resurgent. I just saw 800 Oregonians off to Afghanistan. We need more troops there. We need to finish the job we abandoned to go into Iraq.

   But 1,093 days ago, a complicit, compliant Republican-dominated Congress acceded to the Presidential demand to divert our energy into an unnecessary war in Iraq. I was one of the 60 percent of the Democrats to vote ``no.''

   Here we are, 2,497 troops have died, 18,490 seriously wounded. We all honor those troops and do not question that. But we disagree, not on the noble service of the troops, but the competence of the leadership of President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Secretary Rumsfeld in initiating an unnecessary war in Iraq and insisting on an open-ended, indefinite commitment of U.S. troops in the middle of a civil war.

   The President has said, ``Bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq will be decided by future Presidents.'' That means after 2009. That is what George Bush is talking about. That is not acceptable.

   At its core, this resolution says stay the course indefinitely. We should be debating a real policy on Iraq, not a nonbinding politically motivated resolution. We should be debating the Murtha resolution, a real plan.

   As a member of the Out of Iraq Caucus, I resent the fact that we have here a meaningless, nonbinding Karl Rove-politically inspired resolution on the floor, not amendable, no substitutes allowed; and they call that a debate on the policy in Iraq.

   They say they are honoring the troops. That is a dishonor to the people of America and those who serve us. And they talk about cut and run. We have won. Saddam Hussein, he is on trial. They have a Constitution. They have a government. They have succeeded. We have succeeded.

   But they have a sectarian problem. They have been fighting for 1,400 years. And they are going to continue fighting. We need to negotiate a timetable with their legitimate government to get the U.S. troops redeployed, out of Iraq, to other hot spots and bring the remainder home.

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

   Mr. Speaker, as Chair of the Middle East and Central Asia Subcommittee, I have traveled to Iraq, having led a delegation just this last January. And I met with officials again and received a wealth of congressional testimony here in DC. All confirmed that the U.S.-led liberation of the Iraqi people is having a positive reverberation throughout the broader Middle East.

   Iraq is a catalyst for hope, a vivid example that the future of the broader Middle East belongs to freedom and democracy. To fully comprehend just how far Iraq has come with the assistance of U.S. and coalition forces, we must consider the horror that was Iraq under Saddam Hussein: chemical attacks resulting in scores of innocent deaths; a gruesome campaign to exterminate Iraqi Kurds; the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees who fled Saddam's persecution; the deaths of 400,000 Iraqi children in his regime's final years killed by malnutrition and disease due to the failed policies of his regime; the use of rape and the beheading of women as tools of coercion and intimidation as part of their regime opposition.

   Mr. Speaker, now let us consider what has been accomplished thus far since we removed Saddam Hussein from power. The progress achieved serves to honor all of our men and women as this chart shows. They have fought, and some have fallen for the fulfillment of our noble, our just, and our necessary mission in Iraq.

   Some of the highlights of progress, Mr. Speaker: Iraqis participated in elections three times since 2005, with ever-increasing voter participation each time. The Iraqi press is free and it is growing. Iraqi women are playing an increasingly pivotal role in their society.

   A market-based economy is being established as Iraq emerges from three decades of Saddam's neglect. Over 260,000 Iraqi police and security forces have been trained and have been equipped. Iraq now has a democratically elected government for the first time in its history that includes all ethnic groups.

   We should therefore focus on what we need to do to help ensure a free and secure Iraq and not on how soon we can leave it, ignoring that it is in our national security interest to succeed there.

   The jihadists are determined and they have declared Iraq to be the central front of their campaign of terror. Are we to waver in front of these challenges? Absolutely not. Terrorist mastermind al Zarqawi, now dead, acknowledged in a February 2004 letter to al Qaeda the threat that success in Iraq posed to the extremist effort.

   He said, Our enemy is growing stronger by the day, by God, this is suffocation. One of Osama bin Laden's closest associates wrote about Iraq a couple of years ago. And he said, a far more dangerous threat is secularist democracy, because it drives Muslims to refuse to take part in jihad.

[Page: H4060]

   Mr. Speaker, this clearly demonstrates that our efforts in Iraq are serving long-term efforts of spreading democracy as an antidote to Islamic terrorism and extremism.

   Mr. Speaker, it reminds me of President Ronald Reagan's words in his first inaugural address when he said, ``Above all we must realize that no arsenal or no weapon in the arsenal of the world is so formidable as the will and the moral courage of free men and women.''

   Every day the Iraqi people are proving how true that statement is. We too must demonstrate the will to press ahead. Leaders from the Arab world have confided their views on how important it is for their own efforts to have the U.S. in Iraq. However, the best evidence that we are on the right path comes from those closest to me, including my stepson, Dougie, and his fiance, Lindsay, both marine officers, both who have served as fighter pilots in Iraq.

   And I hear it from one of my subcommittee staffers, Matt Zweig, who is currently deployed in Iraq. Their unwavering belief that success in Iraq will make us safer at home confirms that our strategy is correct and that our goals are sound.

   They remind me that we must heed the advice issued by Winston Churchill when he said, ``One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half.''

   Mr. Speaker, we must not, we will not flinch in Iraq.

   Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

   Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Nadler).

   Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this resolution because we should not be echoing the lies we have been fed to justify this cruel and deceitful war. We should not continue pretending that by fighting the war in Iraq we are advancing the war on terrorism.

   Our intelligence tells us that only 7 to 8 percent of those we are fighting in Iraq are Islamic terrorists. The other 92 to 93 percent are fighting a war for power between contending religious groups.

   There is no compelling reason to send our young people to die to determine how to divide the spoils between the Sunnis and the Shiites. We should be redeploying our resources to fight the real war on terrorism, going after Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, fighting jihadist ideas all over the Muslim world, getting the loose nuclear material out of the former Soviet Union before it is smuggled to al Qaeda to make nuclear weapons, screening all of the shipping containers before they enter our ports, and protecting our chemical and nuclear plants against sabotage that could kill tens of thousands of Americans.

   But the Bush administration and this Congress will not vote the funds to fight the real war against terrorism. And every reason we were given for invading Iraq has been shown to be false. Weapons of mass destruction. Not there. Saddam Hussein working hand in glove with al Qaeda. Not true. And the more information that leaks out, the more apparent it becomes that these were not mistakes, but deliberate lies.

   But does this Congress get to the bottom of this? Not this Republican Congress. This Republican Congress sees no evil, hears no evil, and speaks no evil when it comes to a war that has already killed 2,500 of our young men and women and promises to kill thousands more.

   This Republican Congress asks no questions about what we can possibly achieve that can justify the continuing slaughter.

   

[Time: 17:15]

   I ask you, if the President had gone to the American people and said, we must invade a country that poses no imminent threat to us, we must sacrifice thousands of lives in order to create a democratic government in Iraq, would we have agreed? I think not.

   As the President now says to us that we should continue indefinitely to expend American blood and treasure to support one side in a sectarian civil war, a side, moreover, that is increasingly cozying up to the mullahs in Iran who do pose a threat to us, should Congress continue to consent? I think not. This Congress should agree with the Out of Iraq Caucus. We should say enough already. Enough with the lies and the deceit and the evasions. Enough with the useless bloodshed. We should ensure the Iraqi people that we desire no U.S. military bases in Iraq.

   This Congress should adopt the Murtha resolution. We should adopt a swift timetable to redeploy our troops out of Iraq and bring them home and let the Iraqi oligarchs know they cannot depend on the United States forever.

   It is our crucial moment in American history to concentrate our resources on the real threats that face us around the world and at home and put an end to this bloody, senseless and diversionary war.

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Pryce).

   Ms. PRYCE of Ohio. I thank the gentlewoman for yielding. The gentlewoman has been a leader for freedom all around the globe, and this country should appreciate her for that.

   Mr. Speaker, I had the privilege to lead a bipartisan all-female Congressional delegation to Iraq. It was one of the most emotionally overwhelming experiences of my professional life. We met women of enormous courage and hope.

   They told us that they want to work, they want to vote. They want to be a part of their society, a democratic society. But we also heard about what life was like before the coalition came. We heard about the treatment of women under Saddam Hussein and during torture, oppression, that most of us could not imagine.

   We were told of the heart wrenching stories of husbands torn from their homes in the middle of the night by brutal, secret police, and the women left behind, usually with children, faced with the impossible burden of providing for their families in a society that doesn't even allow women to work. Some were raped, some were tortured, but that was before liberation.

   The road to liberation has been a rocky one. But our troops are doing good work every day in Iraq. We saw soldiers building schools and hospitals, vaccinating hundreds of children. They coach soccer. They tutor. They make a difference. They risk their lives every day to protect the newly acquired rights of Iraqis, but especially the women.

   If I were asked to give one good reason why we should stay in Iraq, I would tell you to stay. We need to stay for the women.

   Well, I saw women of diverse ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic classes. They were empowering each other with education, with hope, with friendship, just like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Another courageous woman I met, Nasreen Barwari, the Minister of Public Works, was later the target of an assassination attempt. Her crime, being an outspoken woman in a important position. Thankfully she survived, but her bodyguard was killed. Her female colleague, Dr. Al-Hashimi of the Iraqi Governing Counsel, was not so lucky. She was tragically gunned down.

   Ladies and gentlemen, if we stay in Iraq, one of the major reasons is to stay for the women.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   Just over two years ago, I was privileged to lead a bipartisan, all-female congressional delegation to Iraq.

   It was one of the most emotionally overwhelming experiences of my official life. We met women of enormous courage and hope. They told us they want to vote, to work, to be a part of the democratic process.

   Some said they wanted to run for office and help create the laws that will build a new Iraq.

   But we also heard about life before the coalition came.

   We heard about the treatment of women under the Saddam regime--enduring torture and oppression that most of us could not imagine.

   We were told heart-wrenching stories of husbands torn from their homes in the middle of the night by a brutal secret police.

   The women left behind, usually with children, faced the impossible burden of providing for their families in a society that didn't allow women to work or remarry.

   Some were themselves raped and tortured.

   But that was before liberation.

   The road since liberation has been a rocky one.

   But our troops are doing good work every day in Iraq.

[Page: H4061]

   We saw the soldiers building schools and hospitals, vaccinating thousands of children, and putting an archaic infrastructure back in operation.

   They coach soccer, they tutor--they make a difference! And they are risking their lives to protect the newly acquired rights of all Iraqis--but especially women.

   If I were asked to give you one good reason why we should stay in Iraq, I would tell you we should stay for the women.

   If we can make the values of a free society--the rule of law--work for the women of Iraq, we create the conditions for these new democratic values to take root and spread.

   While there I saw women of diverse ethnicities, religions, and socio-economic classes empowering one another with education, hope and friendship--much like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.

   In Mosul, we met with the Women's Social and Cultural Society. They had been meeting secretly, but now felt safe enough to be public and actually welcome our delegation.

   These women, accompanied by their wide-eyed daughters, are creating a new Iraq as they promote social, political and educational equality for all Iraqis. But they're not alone.

   One of my favorite stories of the trip was of two Iraqi women who arrived one day at a fountain in the town center of Hillah dressed in traditional Muslim women's clothes but with a decidedly non-traditional mission.

   A courageous woman I met, Nasreen Barwari, the Minister of Public Works later was the target of an assassination attempt.

   Her crime? Being an outspoken woman in an important public position. Thankfully, she survived, though her bodyguard was killed.

   Her female colleague, Dr. Al-Hashimi, of the Iraqi Governing Council, was not so lucky.

   She was tragically gunned down outside her home.

   The dangers Iraqi women face can't be underestimated nor can the obstacles put in their path to liberation. But these women remain undaunted!

   We also visited the police academy in Baghdad where 29 women were training to be the first female police officers ever in Iraq.

   These wonderful women told us how excited they were to be learning skills to hold their first job. Many had barely been out of the home setting before. Their exuberance was infectious.

   We also went to a residential area in Mosul to talk with a group of neighborhood women--some educated, but many not. We met in the crowded living room of one of the members. All the rooms were packed. The electricity was only on for half of our afternoon together. But that was more than they had had in years. The curiosity of the men on the street outside was so thick you could cut it with a knife.

   The women's group had many questions for us.

   ``How do we find our voice?'' they asked. ``How do we organize other women to make an impact? How can we affect the direction of this country?''

   They were asking the most fundamental and basic questions of civic involvement--how to construct the foundation of the democratic process. As we left, their children came forward with flowers for us.

   I think it's fair to say that U.S. soldiers have liberated more women in the last 4 years than anyone or anything else in the last 20--maybe longer.

   Still, changing 2,000 years of tradition isn't going to happen with stroke of a pen. It will take time and patience.

   This is not the time for us to abandon these courageous women--not when they have come so far.

  • [End Insert]

     

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from California (Mrs. Capps).

   Mrs. CAPPS. I thank my colleague, whose resolution I support, for yielding me time.

   Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to the resolution before us. Let us be clear from the outset that those who have opposed the Iraq war stand solidly and proudly in support of our troops and their families. To suggest that calling for the return home of our brave troops somehow denigrates their service and their sacrifice is absurd. We can best support our troops by bringing them home.

   Mr. Speaker, the terrible numbers we have bandied about here are not mere statistics. Each one represents the tragic story of a ruined life and a shattered family, 2,500 troops dead, more than 18,000 wounded, many so grievously. The average tour for National Guard members has been 342 days, turning the lives of countless American families upside down.

   The material cost of the Iraq war is about $320 billion. But you can never put a price on its toll in human suffering, nor can you realistically argue, Mr. Speaker, that the war in Iraq has made our country safer or advanced our effort to combat global terror.

   Those that come to the floor and link Iraq to 9/11 are certainly wrong. They are factually wrong, because there remains no evidence that Saddam was involved in the al Qaeda attacks on our Nation, and they are morally wrong to invoke the memories of the victims of September 11th to justify this indefensible war of choice.

   I am pleased that al Zarqawi is dead, but his death does not change the fact that Iraq has become a haven for terrorists and the best recruitment tool we could have handed our enemy. No, Mr. Speaker, those who oppose this war are not soft on security. We believe strongly and passionately that keeping the troops in the middle of this increasingly bloody civil war only weakens our security.

   It is a disgrace it has taken so long for Congress to spend a few hours of this day debating the Iraq war, but the American people will not be fooled. They recognize that a debate on a cynical and politically motivated resolution is no substitute for a thoughtful Iraq policy that advances our national interests and listens to the voices. Let us vote ``no'' on this resolution.

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg), the chairman of the Subcommittee on Treasury, Transportation and HUD Appropriations.

   Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the resolution before us. I want to convey a very simple message. We must stay the course. At this crucial point in our history, it is unacceptable to enact a policy of passivity, resignation or defeatism in the face of terror.

   Some say that we should surrender and pull out. They may think that this will win them votes and that it is good politics, but it is terrible policy, devastating policy. It is essential that we continue to fight in Iraq so that the fight does not come into our backyards.

   Make no mistake, we do not choose Iraq as a front line on the war on terror. Al Qaeda has done that. But we must have that fight over there so we don't have it back here.

   Like many of my colleagues, I have visited Iraq and seen firsthand the revitalization of country. The men and women our Armed Forces are fighting terrorists who are trying to claim Iraq for their own. Without their valor and dedication, the progress made in Iraq would not be possible. It takes time, will, patience and perseverance to transition a country once ruled by a tyrannical despot.

   Terrorists who seek to eliminate anyone who provides hope for the future have infested Iraq, but they will not succeed. The Iraqi people are committed to freeing their country from these fanatical invaders, and we are too. The Iraqi people's future is in their hands, and right now they want U.S. help.

   Just this week, Iraqi army and police forces backed by U.S. troops launched Operation Forward together. This operation was created by Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki and his parliament, and it is their first major security action since a new government of national unity was sworn in on May 20.

   Mr. Speaker, the resolve of the United States should never be questioned. The world must know that the United States finishes what it starts.

   We will win the fight against global terrorism, including in Iraq.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I recognize the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Pastor) for a unanimous consent request.

   Mr. PASTOR. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks and submit a statement for the RECORD in opposition to the resolution.

   The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Rehberg). Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Arizona?

   There was no objection.

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   Mr. PASTOR. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to stand in opposition to this resolution. As illustrated by the House Majority Leader's memo establishing this debate as ``a portrait of contrasts between Republicans and Democrats,'' the primary intent of this resolution is political--shifting attention from the real issues behind the slow progress in Iraq. In this election year, just 4 months shy from the polls, Republicans are using this resolution as a divisive strategy rather than holding a substantive debate on Iraq.

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   Today's debate, which should have been an opportunity for Members of Congress to have a serious discussion on the war and to pose tough questions to the Administration on Iraq, has regrettably become nothing more than a partisan ploy. While I do not hesitate to applaud certain aspects of the resolution honoring the sacrifices of our courageous soldiers who are risking their lives in Iraq, I cannot be supportive of capitalizing on these very sacrifices for political gain.

   I also disagree with the dangerous analogy made in this resolution between Iraq and the Administration's ``war on terror'' policy. There is not, and never has been, any credible intelligence linking Iraq to 9/11 and Al Qaeda. Focusing the discussion on the war on terror and victories won, rather than on workable policies to bring our troops home, reduces this debate to no more than a justification for maintaining the Administration's status quo agenda in Iraq.

   Seizing the political momentum after the killing of Zarqawi, Republicans are offering a resolution which does little more than tout recent ``impressive victories'' in Iraq. While the death of Zarqawi is reassuring, we must be careful not to pat ourselves on the back prematurely for another ``Mission Accomplished.'' Terrorist cells are still numerous and active, violence is still prevalent, and our brave men and women still continue to fight.

   Although I voted against the initial resolution approving the war in Iraq, I have consistently voted to support our troops with much-needed armor and supplies. However, this should not be construed as favoring continued occupation. Today the Pentagon's report confirming the overall U.S. death toll at nearly 2,500, underscores the grave and violent situation that our troops face every day. I believe it is our responsibility as Members of Congress to devise a responsible exit strategy. We must ensure that we do not lose sight of our real end goal in this debate: to bring our troops back home as quickly as possible.

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   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Kucinich).

   Mr. KUCINICH. Thank you, Mr. Murtha, and the Out of Iraq Caucus.

   The President will not bring an end to this war. He says it is a decision for the next President. But he is building permanent bases in Iraq, and he is determined to keep 50,000 troops in Iraq into the distant future.

   This Congress may not bring an end to this war because the real power to end the war is in a cutoff of funds. Congress keeps appropriating funds in the name of the troops, and the troops will stay in Iraq instead of coming home. Only the American people can bring an end to this war as they brought an end to the Vietnam War. Let this be a time of stirring of civic soul.

   It is a time for a reawakening of civic conscience. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but there are WMDs in D.C. Lies are weapons of mass destruction. 2,500 soldiers dead. Over 10,000 Iraqis, innocent Iraqis have died. It is time for an end to our national sleepwalk to the graveyard of the Iraq war.

   It is a time for truth, a time for clarity, a time for action, a time for teach-ins, for meet-ups, for marches, for rallies about the war to begin at college campuses, at churches, at labor halls, at libraries. It is time to gather in civic centers, in town halls, to discuss the truth about this war and to plan civic action to end it, time for the American people to exercise their first amendment right to stand up and speak out, time to redirect the policies of this country, time to learn and practice peaceful, nonviolent conflict resolution, time to believe in our capacity to evolve beyond war, to believe and act under the belief that war is not inevitable and peace is inevitable if we are ready to commit to the daily work of peace building everywhere.

   The global war on terror has become a global war of error: attacking or threatening countries which did not attack us, bombing neighborhoods to save neighborhoods, committing atrocities in the name of stopping atrocities, losing our vision, losing our way in the world, sacrificing our children and their future, giving up their future resources for education, for health care, for housing, piling it all high on the altar of war and worshipping a false god of destruction.

   When we begin these proceedings with this remembrance, Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, we are not talking about any nation. We are talking about a force which is above all of us. The world is not ours to conquer. There is no glory in the abuse of power. This President will not bring an end to this war after the Murtha resolution, this Congress may not bring an end to this war, but the American people certainly will bring an end to this war. They will do it in the streets, and they will do it at the ballot box, and the American people will become the Out of Iraq Caucus.

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Wolf), the chairman of the subcommittee on State, Justice and Commerce appropriations.

   (Mr. WOLF asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. WOLF. The war on terror and this whole thing began really in 1980 when our embassy was taken over in Iran and the bombing of the Marine barracks in 1983, Lebanon, embassy in 1983, USS Cole, Khobar Towers, Nairobi, Tanzania.

   I have so much that I want to say. I will just say this. If we were to set a date, the Mujahedin would say we defeated the Russians in Afghanistan, we defeated America in Iraq and the jihad would take place all over this world. This would be a very, very dangerous thing to say.

   So I rise in strong, strong support of this resolution and say we can and will win this war. I remember when I read the book by Whittaker Chambers. He was a witness. He said when I left the Communist Party, I believed I was leaving the winning side and joining the losing side. Whittaker Chambers was wrong because of people like Ronald Reagan. We must be resolute. I rise in support of the resolution.

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   Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H. Res. 861 and to show my support for our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan who are on the front lines in the global war on terrorism. I commend our forces for the recent actions in targeting Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the insurgent leader killed in an airstrike June 7. I also commend President Bush for his visit earlier this week to Iraq to meet with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and encourage the work of the new Iraqi government.

   I share the deep concerns about the continuing violence in post-war Iraq, which is taking the lives of U.S. military personnel and civilians. I continue to pray for the protection of the men and women who are putting their lives on the line every day to help the Iraqi people as they build their own government, and also for their families here at home who continue to make tremendous sacrifices.

   I recognize there were good and reasonable people on both sides of the decision to send U.S. armed forces to Iraq. But whether or not you agreed with that decision, we are there now and cannot just walk away. Too much is at stake. The success of our efforts in Iraq and the success of the Iraqi people in establishing their own government are critical to the overall war against terror and to the security of our country and the world.

   Our efforts in Iraq, many believe, are an important campaign in the global war on terrorism. Our world is a dangerous place, and as we learned on September 11, 2001, terrorism is not something in a far away land. We did not seek this war. We were attacked on our own soil, and this war is a different kind than any our Nation has ever fought. But it is one we are fighting to make our own nation and the world more secure. It is critical that we remain resolute in this fight.

   I believe a case can be made that the war on terrorism really began more than 20 years ago with the attacks against America at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. The bombing there in the spring of 1983 killed 63 and wounded 120. Later that year, 241 U.S. servicemen--220 Marines, 18 Navy members and three Army members--were killed when a truck bomb exploded at their barracks in Beirut. Those attacks were followed in 1993 by the first World Trade Center bombing in New York City, in 1996 by the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, in 1998 by the U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, and in 2000 in the attack in Yemen on the USS Cole.

   After the attacks on the two embassies in Africa in 1998, I became very concerned about the U.S. response to terrorism and authored the legislation creating the National Commission on Terrorism. On the cover of that report is a photo of the twin towers in New York on fire after the

   1993 attack. The foreboding nature of that photo is now all too real as we relive the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

   Late last summer I returned to Iraq for a third time. I have now visited all but the Kurdish areas in northern Iraq. With each successive trip, I have seen improvements--renovated schools, cleaner water systems, new Iraqi army constituted. I also have seen the continuing and serious security problems and other challenges facing a liberated Iraq, and I

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have heard caution from varied sources about the potentially cataclysmic consequences of America withdrawing before our mission is complete. I had the opportunity to speak with our troops who are performing their duties with professionalism and dedication. They are positive about their mission and are doing an outstanding job in fulfilling it.

   One interesting comment I heard on that trip is that we can't expect to rebuild Iraq on our timetable, but rather it must be on Iraq's timetable. Life--and timetables--in Iraq are not the same as in the United States. This is a very key point, and one the Bush administration needs to do a better job of explaining.

   It also is important to remember that the United States had its share of growing pains. While our revolution was in 1776 it was 11 years before our forefathers began to draft a constitution and it wasn't ratified until 1789. Few remember that our constitution was debated in complete secrecy. Delegates knew that they would generate heated differences and did not want to advertise their own dissensions or put crippling arguments into the mouths of the opposition. We also had leaders like George Washington, Ben Franklin, George Mason and James Madison who had the benefit of understanding British history in addition to being exposed to the workings of the House of Commons. Democracy and an elected government is truly a foreign concept to the Iraqi people.

   The Bush administration also needs to do a better job of explaining what the consequences of ``failing'' in Iraq would mean to the average person in Chantilly, VA, Topeka, KS, or Portland, OR. I repeatedly asked people I met during the trip--from generals, to State Department officials, to members of the Iraqi government--what they thought ``failure'' would mean. The responses were frightening.

   I heard references to Somalia--think of the movie ``Black Hawk Down''--and the former Yugoslavia with all its ethnic cleansing. The images that flashed in my mind when I heard these countries were disturbing. I was in Somalia during the crisis in 1993. I traveled to Sarajevo and the Yugoslavia region several times in the early to mid-1990s where so many were killed. In fact, all the people I met with in Vukovar, Croatia, in 1991 were killed several months later and are now buried in mass graves.

   Many speculated that civil war would break out in Iraq and even more foreign fighters from across the region would pour into Iraq in hopes of influencing the outcome. I was told almost all of the insurgents carrying out the suicide attacks are foreigners, most coming across the Syrian border from places like Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan and Afghanistan. I was told militias continue to fight each other on a regular basis in some parts of the country.

   If our mission fails and civil war comes, the country would almost certainly break into three parts: the Kurds in the north, the Sunnis in central Iraq, and the Shias in the south. It is believed the Kurds would most likely be able to keep from being drawn into the fighting and govern themselves. In the central region of the Sunni Triangle, warring factions would fight for control and most agree that there would be sheer chaos. Iran's presence was felt in the south as it tried to influence the recent elections and if civil war were to break out, elements in Iran may well involve themselves in the south.

   With civil war, almost everyone I asked said that Iraq would become a haven from which terrorist groups could launch attacks against the United States and other countries. No one has to be reminded of what happened on 9/11. Thirty people from my congressional district died that day among the 3,000 who perished.

   Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups would like nothing more than to have a new ``base'' from which to operate, much like Afghanistan in the 1990s after the Soviets were defeated. There is no denying that the terrorists have designs on the United States and, as one officer told me, ``We must win the war so we don't fight the next war in America.''

   Terrorists are doing everything in their power to prevent the United States and its coalition partners from being successful in Iraq. They believe time is on their side and that they can ``wait out'' the United States. They will do anything--including blowing themselves up in busy marketplaces--to disrupt our progress and turn the Iraqi people against us. They believe that the war being fought in Iraq is not a ``military'' war but rather a ``political'' war and American public opinion will dictate when the United States leaves, not military success.

   There is a general belief among terrorism experts that the top priority of terrorists is to seek chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons. The video of two commercial airliners being flown into the World Trade Center is ingrained in every American's mind. I shudder to think what terrorists would do if they obtained a biological or chemical weapon.

   Many I spoke with also said failure in Iraq could destabilize the entire Gulf region and possibly lead to the downfall of the governments of Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

   Failure also could have serious impact on the world's economy. Japan gets more than 75 percent of its oil from the region, Western Europe, 30 percent, and the United States, 22 percent. We saw what happened in the wake of Hurricane Katrina as consumers feared gas shortages. Failure in Iraq would make oil costs even higher and have a major negative impact throughout our entire economy.

   Others said they believe the United States has a moral obligation to the people of Iraq to successfully complete what it started. They asked how the American public would feel if civil war were to break out and thousands upon thousands of innocent Iraqis were slaughtered in the subsequent fighting?

   Finally, many believe the United States's credibility is at stake. In a piece in the Washington Post's Outlook section last September, Victor Davis Hanson, a military historian at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and the author of ``A War Like No Other,'' wrote:

 

   ..... If we fled precipitously, moderates in the Middle East could never again believe American assurances of support for reform and would have to retreat into the shadows--or find themselves at the mercy of fascist killers. Jihadists would swell their ranks as they hyped their defeat of the American infidels. Our forward strategy of hitting terrorists hard abroad would be discredited and replaced by a return to the pre-9/11 tactics of a few cruise missiles and writs. And loyal allies in Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan, along with new friends in India and the former Soviet republics, would find themselves leaderless in the global struggle against Islamic radicalism.

 

   Failure cannot be an option in Iraq nor can creating an arbitrary deadline for pulling out U.S. troops. The ramifications on our country and other countries in the West would be huge. Our withdrawal must be event driven and not artificially tied to a calendar. Many I talked to said we must set conditions for victory, not dates for withdrawal.

   The Bush administration needs to do a better job articulating just what is at stake and the potentially catastrophic consequences. No one believes we will lose the war on the ground in Iraq; it's here at home that there is a concern. I had one general officer say point blank that the ``center of gravity'' for our success in Iraq is the American public.

   That said, I strongly believe that it would be of great value to have an independent review of ongoing operations in Iraq. I call this effort ``fresh eyes on the target'' and offered this suggestion following my latest trip to Iraq. On March 15, I was pleased to attend the announcement of the formation of the 10-member bipartisan Iraq Study Group, being led by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Congressman Lee Hamilton, who co-chaired the 9/11 Commission. The members, as are their co-leaders, are among America's most honorable and venerable citizens: former CIA Director Robert Gates, former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese, former Clinton adviser Vernon Jordan, former Clinton Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, former Defense Secretary William Perry, former Virginia Senator Chuck Robb, former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson, and former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

   The study group was launched in partnership with the United States Institute of Peace, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Center for the Study of the Presidency, and the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. Its mission is to undertake a bipartisan, forward-looking assessment of the current and prospective situation on the ground in Iraq, its impact on the surrounding region, and its consequences on U.S. interests and it will focus on political, military, security and reconstruction in Iraq. The group will travel to Iraq and report to the American people. I understand they will meet with President Bush this week.

   It will assess what is working and what changes should be made in helping the Iraqi people to establish their own government and stop the terrorist insurgency which is continuing to foment the violence of the Saddam Hussein regime. One of the most critical jobs of this panel is to determine the ramifications of failure to accomplish our country's mission in Iraq and to explain that to the American people.

   In the 1930s, the world failed to stand up to fascism. When we--with our allies--did stand up and fight, we defeated fascism. It also took some time for the world to stand up to communism. But when we did, we defeated communism. Now we face al Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden, who in his own words has said he will use chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons against us. We must continue the determined effort now that we have had in the wars over the years as we fight terrorism. Standing together, I believe we can defeat this threat to the freedoms and liberties and way of life we have fought to maintain for well over two centuries.

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   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Hinchey).

   Mr. HINCHEY. Mr. Speaker, this resolution before us, House Resolution 861, is an unfortunate farce. It is part of an extension of the political propaganda, which has come from the Republican Party in defense of their so-called war on terror. It is not the first example. We have had many others.

   Some of the highest-ranking members of this administration have purposefully and intentionally misled this Congress and the American people by providing them with wrong information. We saw it right here in the House of Representatives when the President himself talked about how the British had learned that Iraq was importing enriched uranium from Niger.

   He was told before he delivered that speech that there was no evidence that that was true. Yet he came here and said it and put the responsibility on Great Britain knowing that what he was saying was untrue. It is a criminal violation of Federal law, two criminal violations of Federal law to consciously, purposefully, intentionally, mislead the Congress, particularly when you are trying to obtain actions from the Congress which result from that purposeful and intentional misleading.

   

[Time: 17:30]

   What has been the cost? So far, 2,500 American service men and women killed in Iraq. We hear today from the Republicans how they honor the servicemen, but they continue to have them killed, wounded, continue to have them suffer on the basis of false information, deceit and lies.

   They claim that this is continuing the war on terror. Well, what happened to the real war on terror? We were attacked by the al Qaeda. The al Qaeda had nothing to do with Iraq. We know that to be the case. We know that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We know that to be the case.

   Yet, after we went into Afghanistan, which was providing solace and security for the al Qaeda network, and chased Osama bin Laden up into the Tora Bora Mountains, the administration decided and the Defense Department decided that they were going to abandon the search. Why did they not pursue the person who was responsible for this attack?

   Well, there is one logical answer to that question, and the answer is if they had found Osama bin Laden, the rationale for the attack on Iraq would disappear. That is why we need to get out. That is why we need to pass the Murtha resolution.

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Iowa (Mr. Leach) who is the chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific of the Committee on International Relations.

   (Mr. LEACH asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. LEACH. Mr. Speaker, there are few certitudes in these complicated times. Anyone who was not conflicted in the original decision to invade Iraq or who does not see a downside to all courses of action today is not thinking. But I am hard pressed to believe anything except that the case for a steady, measured drawdown of troops in Iraq is compelling. The neocon desire to establish a semi-permanent presence in a divided Muslim country is foolhardy.

   It is true that there are circumstances where it is better to fight over there than here at home. Afghanistan is a case in point. But we should not be so naive as to fail to recognize that there are also circumstances where fighting over there can increase the likelihood that conflict will spread to our shores. A decision to prolong unnecessarily our intervention in Iraq could be a case in point, as could a military confrontation with Iran.

   There are tipping points in all struggles. The signs are evident that we are close today to a calamity if we do not recalibrate our policies. The irony is that our troops have lost no battles and shown great heroism, but Western occupation is intolerable for Muslims. It is also not the American way. The longer we stay, the greater the prospect that anarchistic acts will multiply and spread, perhaps to our shores.

   The issue is no longer, as is so frequently asserted, the need to stay the course. It is to avoid overstaying our presence.

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   Sometimes it is harder to know how to end a war than to start one. Just as important to think through the ``why and how''' of committing troops to conflict, we must also think through the ``why and how'' of ending an engagement. Timing is a key element of both considerations.

   For many Americans, including me, the war in Iraq has been difficult to justify. But all Americans, except perhaps a few who may be partisanly vindictive, should want as positive a result as possible, given the circumstances we now face. The decision to go to war may have been misguided and strategies involved in conducting it mistake-ridden; nonetheless there should be clarity of purpose in ending the conflict, with the goal neither to ``cut and run,'' nor simply to cut losses. At this junction of involvement we should define cogently our purposes and by so doing create a basis both for a viable future for Iraq and for a U.S. disengagement that respects the sacrifices of those who have served so valiantly in our armed forces and those of our coalition allies.

   Americans understand that three rationales were given at successive stages for the war. The first involved Iraq's complicity in 9/11; the second was the imminent threat of Iraqi WMD; and the third was the desire to replace the despotic regime of Saddam Hussein with a free, democratic government. The first two arguments have proven frail. The third has some legitimacy, but to many of us it never seemed compelling, particularly in relation to the costs of the conflict.

   In any regard, whether or not democracy provided a compelling rationale for starting the war, it offers the most appropriate rationale for ending it. If we do not prepare to leave Iraq on our terms, stating clearly that now that a Constitution has been adopted, elections held, and a government formed, we are prepared to proceed with a comprehensive and orderly draw-down of our troops, we will be viewed as an occupying power lacking credible motivations. When we eventually leave, the other side will claim they forced us out. That is why it is as critical to define the rationale for our disengagement as the reason for going to war. And democracy is the only rationale I know that can be used as a basis for ending our involvement in this conflict with any hope of suggesting a partial measure of success. The key is that we must control and be seen as controlling our own fate.

   All Americans should be respectful of the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. They have been placed in an untenable situation. If they had not been so heroic and in many cases so helpful in rebuilding neighborhoods and schools, the U.S. would face a far more difficult dilemma today.

   But we have no choice except to assess whether Osama Bin Laden and his movement have not been given added momentum by our intervention in Iraq, and whether the ideologically advocated policy of establishing long-term bases or one of returning our troops home is likely to be the more effective strategy in prevailing in the world-wide war on terror.

   Here, it should not be hard to understand that prolonged occupation of a country which encompasses an area of land where one of the world's oldest civilizations prospered is humiliating to a proud people and those elsewhere who share its great religion. It should also not be hard to understand that the neo-con strategy of establishing a long-term military presence in Iraq with semi-permanent bases raises the risk of retaliatory terrorist attacks at home and abroad.

   Indeed, according to the University of Chicago scholar, Robert Pape, in his definitive book on suicide bombers, Dying to Win, the principal reason anarchists choose to wrap themselves in explosives and kill innocent civilians is to register martyred objection to the occupation of countries or territories by the armed forces of Western or other Democratic governments. Suicide bombing, by implication, will exist as long as occupations continue.

   In this regard, a note about al Qaeda is in order. Just as neither Iraq with its secular leanings nor any Iraqis were responsible for 9/11, so Saddam Hussein apparently considered Osama Bin Laden as much a rival as a soul brother. It is Western military intervention that has precipitated al Qaeda's rapid growth in Iraq and elsewhere, creating a ``cause celebre'' for its singularly malevolent actions. If American withdrawal policy comes to turn on the question of anarchy--i.e., troops can't be drawn down as long as IEA attacks continue--we place ourselves in a catch-22 and, in effect, hand over decision-making discretion to those who wantonly kill. We allow the radical few to use our presence as the reason for their actions and at the same time cause our involvement to be held hostage to their villainy.

   On the other hand, if we proceed with a turn-over of responsibilities to the new, freely elected Iraqi government, Sunni dissidents will confront a critical choice: to pursue the insurgency or join the political process. Pursuing the insurgency would be a risky gamble; if it fails, Sunnis may fall under Shiite domination

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for years to come, and the demise of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi makes prospects of expanding influence through terrorist tactics less likely. Joining the political process, on the other hand, would guarantee Sunnis a role in governing the country.

   Though the prudential and civilized choice may seem obvious to us, a continued American military presence in Iraq gives Sunni radicals a popular cause--ridding the country of the occupier--for rallying popular sentiment in Iraq and elsewhere and justifying continued violence. Announcing the commencement of an orderly drawdown of our troops, and trumpeting it widely, would rob radicals of this powerful cause, allowing moderate Sunnis to join the government and pursue sectarian interests through the constitutional process.

   In the realm of policy timing can often be as important as substance. Just as Senator Dirksen once noted that a billion dollars here and a billion dollars there and pretty soon you're talking about real money, in foreign affairs a week here and a week there can soon add up to a policy dilemma.

   It is possible, of course that civil strife will ensue when we withdraw, but this is just as likely to be the case in 2026 as 2006. In any regard, civil union is for the Iraqi people to manage. It's not for American troops to sustain. The authorization this Congress gave to the Executive to use force contemplated the clear prospect of military intervention in Iraq. It did not, however, contemplate prolonged occupation. If this is not understood by the Executive branch, the current overwhelming Iraqi polling sentiment favoring American troop withdrawal will be more than matched by shared American sentiment. And in a democracy no one can be a leader without followers.

   The older I get, the more central I consider the human factor to be in international relations. Logic is never totally dominant. No one knows the exact origins of the seven deadly sins, but to the degree human nature is the least changed aspect of the human condition, it is relevant to today's debate to contrast two human foibles: avarice and pride. Let me suggest that avarice, the weakness of business classes, is fundamentally more pragmatic than pride, the weakness of politicians, and pride is fundamentally more dangerous than avarice.

   For example, if a bookstore owner were to read two books and strongly prefer one to the other, he might inventory half a dozen of the one he prefers and one of the other. But if his customers buy the one he likes least, he will not reorder the one he likes. He will put it on the discount shelf and re-order the public's choice. His pride isn't hurt. In politics, on the other hand, the tendency is to avoid embarrassment, never acknowledge error. Mistakes are often repeated to avoid political inconsistency.

   An anecdote comes to mind. In one of my early terms in Congress I was invited to the Library of Congress to a seminar Henry Kissinger was asked to give on the 1973 Paris Peace Accords. Before going, I perused one of his autobiographical tomes and was struck by a singular paragraph. In December 1968, Kissinger as the National Security Council Advisor-designate met with Richard Nixon, then the President-elect. They agreed, he wrote, that their policy would be to disengage from Vietnam. After Kissinger had delivered his lecture, I asked him about his pre-Presidency strategy talk with Nixon. Why, I inquired, didn't the Nixon administration immediately do what he said they had decided in December 1968, to do? Kissinger looked at me and responded: ``We meant with honor.'' I asked him if honor required escalation. ``Absolutely,'' he replied.

   ``Honor'' and ``pride'' do not have the same meaning. But in some circumstances they are clearly first cousins.

   I mention this incident as a reflection of human nature and the psychology of decision-making. LBJ was too much of a Texan to reverse gear on his own policies; Nixon was too much a product of the Cold War to risk being perceived as less tough than his Democratic predecessor.

   All wars evoke analogies to prior conflicts; Vietnam is on everyone's mind. My sense is that references to our Southeast Asian experience are somewhat oblique, but important to ponder. Of particular relevance is the advice of a former Vermont Senator, George Aiken, who suggested we just declare victory and get out of Vietnam. Aiken's advice was rooted in frustration, but wise as it was, represented more spin than reality. Given the strategies then in play, victory wasn't close at hand. Today, on the other hand, despite the escalation of world-wide violence and the precipitation of widespread mistrust of the United States, particularly in Muslim societies, the Administration can point to positive political change in Iraq. An Aiken approach might not be historically compelling, but it would have more currency now than when originally suggested.

   In governance, judgment to be good must be timely. If we maintain a heavy presence much longer our president could find himself in a dilemma of the kind Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon came to know too well. Despite the overwhelming nature of our military capacities and the courageous commitment and sacrifice of our armed forces, well-intentioned policies can fail if they are inadequately justified, poorly executed, or pursued too long. The timing and explication of disengagement can be as consequential as the decision to intervene.

   This is why clarity of purpose and flexibility of response are so crucial. Hasty withdrawal is problemsome; orderly, philosophically cogent decisions to wind down the military dimension of our presence in Iraq should, however, be our highest national interest priority.

   It would be a mistake of historical proportions if respectful relations not only between America and the Moslem world but between America and its traditional allies were to rupture. We are obligated to see that they don't.

   In a broader historical and philosophical context, the American intervention in Iraq underscores the need to probe the question of the limits of power of a superpower and the possible anomaly that there are liabilities of power, particularly for a superpower.

   Does, for instance, overwhelming military might alone protect us from terrorism, or if wielded unwisely, does it escalate our vulnerability to terrorism?

   Likewise, does overwhelming economic power ensure loyalty and buy friendship even from countries most indebted to the United States, or does it inspire resentment?

   With each lED explosion and suicide bomb attack it becomes clearer that America and the world community are in a strategic pickle. In an era of anger, of divisions in the world based on economics, on color of skin, on ethnicity, on religious upbringing, on happenstance of family and place of birth, those who have causes--good and bad--have new globalized techniques of being heard and felt. Great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King appealed to the higher angels of our nature and achieved revolutionary change with non-violence. More mendacious leaders like Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden have sought to impose their wills on others through appeals of hate and reliance on increasingly wanton instruments of oppression.

   The policy question Americans must think through is whether great powers may be more effective with policies of restraint rather than intervention. Just as Gandhi and King led non-violent revolutions which have proved more lasting than the barbarism of Stalin and Pol Pot, maintenance and embellishment of the American model of governance may itself be more intrusively revolutionary in oppressed societies than interventionist policies.

   Caution and restraint are better models for 21st Century statecraft than nai 4ve adventurism.

   With this admonition in mind, it is critical that Members of the Executive Branch must understand that how and what they say to justify various policies determines how others respond.

   Anyone who ever studied physics may recall that Sir Isaac Newton set forth three fundamental laws, the second of which was that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. A decade ago when the Congress was led by an extraordinary upstart whose first name was Newt, I suggested, at first as a pun, the existence of a fourth ``Newt-onian'' law, this one of social physics: reaction is greater than action. My thoughts at the time related to the partisan bickering within Congress. But with the passage of time I have come to the conclusion that international slights have graver consequences than domestic.

   When, for instance, we use words like ``evil,'' reference events like the Crusades, and employ tactics designed expressly to ``shock and awe,'' should we not expect others to think and respond in like or escalated terms, although the methods employed might in the current vogue be described as asymmetric?

   This brings me to several broad precepts, one of which is seemingly trite, and others of which are intended to form a theoretical and practical framework for a recalibrated foreign policy.

   First, the trite. Every society has a sage who cautions that wise leaders should put themselves in the shoes of their adversaries before reaching self-centered judgments. The profoundest illustration of this comes from literature rather than Clausewitz or Tsun Tsu.

   When speaking to constituents of the rationale for and against the Iraq War, I have over the past couple of years referenced a set of books that provides more geo-political wisdom than balance of power strategists: the Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell.

   Set in inter-war Egypt, each of Durrell's four books chronicles the same series of events through the eyes of a different participant. While the events repeat, the stories are profoundly different. The implicit moral is that one set of eyes, one set of interactions, is insufficient to gain a full grasp of what is happening around us. Likewise, in world politics one

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country's perspective is not enough. The views of others matter. If we are to manage prudently the affairs of state, we have to use more than just our own eyes, rely on more than just our own experience, and reference more than our own historical circumstance.

   The Muslim experience, for instance, gives substantially less weight than the Western experience to the two cataclysmic wars of the 20th century. Despite Lawrence's involvement in Arabia and the battles between Allied forces and Rommel's tanks, the engagements in the Middle East and North Africa were skirmishes compared with the struggles in Europe and the Far East. Not only do Muslims see the 20th century differently from Westerners, but Europeans and Americans have drawn different strategic parallels in the application of common experience to current challenges in the Middle East.

   In the immediate aftermath of the First World War, historians and political strategists in Europe rightly concluded that the European alliance system had been too rigid and the assassination of a relatively minor figure, an archduke, should not have precipitated a war of such devastating consequences. Hence European leaders in the 1930's falsely concluded that historical wisdom necessitated initial accommodation with Hitler's adventurism. Too little flexibility caused one war; too little spine led to Munich. In the current context, President Bush sees himself as Churchill rather than Chamberlain, but Europeans see 9/11 as more analogous to the shots fired at Archduke Ferdinand than as a cause for a doctrine of preemption or war with Iraq, a war that could too easily spring into a clash of civilizations.

   If we're ever going to have a chance to shape or deter the actions of others, we must understand their reasoning. Failing to understand or respect Muslim culture, for instance, resulted in the greatest intelligence failure of our era. It is, however, not the sole intelligence failure. In one of the

   greatest judgmental errors of our time, we appear to have attempted to combat the ideological posturing of others by ideologizing our own intelligence. Based on what is known today, policymakers wrongly implied Iraq played a role in the 9/11 attack and not only erred in assessing Saddam Hussein's WMD capacities but put too much faith in a narrow cadre of policymakers who suggested the United States would be welcomed as a liberating rather than conquering or, worse yet, colonizing force in Iraq. Estimates of the costs of war, of the ramifications of our involvement, of the expected reaction of the population and of the likelihood of foreign respect and support were dead wrong.

   Now, given the anarchy that has mushroomed in the country, Washington is swept by occupation analogies of World War II. Japan and Germany, it is noted, were occupied for more than five years after hostilities ceased. Hence, many are suggesting, we must be prepared to stay at least this long in Iraq.

   I have seldom been more apprehensive about an historical analogy. Japan and Germany were the instigators of war; their citizens understood this. The Muslim population throughout the world does not see it this way. They see the U.S. as the aggressor. Images from Al-Jazeera portray a country under siege. In the Moslem world Iraq looks more like a police-cordoned West Bank than a great and ancient society on the move to a better life. Outsiders are viewed as unwanted intruders acting out of great power self-interest, disrespectful of the culture and values of the country being occupied.

   Yet if we take the most difficult geo-strategic issues of the day, it is impressive how we seem to misunderstand the fundamentals of human nature. Publics in many parts of the world are crying out for two aspirations: respect and hope. But our policy response is an entirely parochial one, rooted in the so-called doctrine of American Exceptionalism, which neo-cons do not define as refining a shining City on a Hill but as the right of a superpower to place itself above the legal and institutional restraints applied to others.

   In the Neo-con world, values are synonymous with power. The implicit assumption is that American security can be bought and managed alone, without allies, without consideration of contrasting international views or the effect of our policies on others. Treaties like a Comprehensive Test Ban, which every President since Eisenhower has propounded, have been rejected, as have negotiations to strengthen the verification provisions of the Biological Weapons Convention.

   Legitimacy is critical for all countries. There may be times and circumstances in which the U.S. national interest requires action without the support of our allies or without United Nations sanction. But the U.N., in particular, is ignored at great risk, especially when the international community is largely at odds with American policies. In this context, recent rhetorical attacks by ideologues in and out of government on the U.N. and other multilateral institutions would appear to particularly ill-serve the American national interest.

   The diplomatic issue our government has to come to grips with today is the problem of sequencing. Which comes first--the chicken or the egg--is the most cheerful and abstract philosophical discussion Americans engage in. But which precedes the other--talk or war--is neither cheerful nor abstract. Experience would seem to indicate that while war may not be averted by negotiations, it is less likely to break out if direct dialogue occurs beforehand. In adversarial situations pacific results can seldom be achieved without human interaction. That is why our founders clearly contemplated that the new American Republic would have diplomatic relations with undemocratic states. It is why Prime Minister Rabin, when faulted for talking to Arafat, noted that you don't make peace with friends.

   There are few examples in history where empty chair diplomacy has proved effective. Indeed, it is next to impossible to reach mutual accommodation if there is not mutual understanding and a modicum of trust and respect which only personal relationships can provide.

   The sequencing dilemma is particularly evident with regard to Iran. Not only should we not fear to negotiate, we must understand that as the stronger party, we can afford to put on the table steps, particularly related to process, that weaker parties are less able to initiate without seeming to capitulate. Unfortunately, we have over a number of Administrations chosen to isolate rather than engage Iran. The question is whether isolationist policies drive a proud people to greater extremes. A stigmatic refusal to interact has characterized our policy toward Iran for a generation and, just as haplessly, Cuba for two.

   Some of us have fretted for a long time that a more forthcoming U.S. diplomatic approach might have produced a more stable Persian Gulf. Five years ago Senator Specter and I invited to Capitol Hill the Iranian Ambassador to the U.N. In a long meeting over dinner in a small room on the Senate side of the Capitol, I indicated that while many of us would like to see more direct contact between the U.S. and Iran, normalization of relations was inconceivable unless Iran ceased supporting Hamas and Hezbollah. The ambassador responded with frankness. He chillingly acknowledged Iranian support of Hezbollah but then asserted that such support would cease the moment a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians was reached in a framework acceptable to the Palestinians.

   The slight hope implicit in this position may or may not have reflected Tehran's real position at the time, but it is apparent that Ahmedinajad is far more radical today than Khatami was yesterday. While neither has nor had the power of the Ayatollahs, the hardening of Iranian public attitudes toward us and Israel makes questions about the effectiveness of our strategic and psychological isolation of Iran important to ponder.

   Last week the administration suggested a possible policy shift. We indicated a willingness to join the Europeans in talks with Iran if Iran first agrees to freeze uranium enrichment activities. This approach might presage a nuanced new American flexibility. But much depends on the Iranian response. Our position appears to be that we will proceed with sanctions and contemplate sterner actions if Iran does not capitulate on the uranium issue, but we will not talk to the government unless it first acquiesces. In other words, the goal of negotiations must be achieved before we will negotiate. Conditional approaches like this are needlessly ``high wire''; nevertheless, in contrast with prior diplomatic intransigence they may represent the best hope yet of yielding a conflict-averting break-through on the NPT issue.

   Yet policymakers in Washington appear to underestimate a series of strategic phenomena. Hezbollah is far larger, more sophisticated and experienced in terrorist undertakings than Al Qaeda. A preemptive strike on Iranian nuclear facilities would unleash a level of anarchy in world affairs that would be unprecedented. It would slow but not stop its ability to develop nuclear weapons. It would have little effect on Iran's ability to obtain such weapons elsewhere. The ``loose nuke'' phenomenon is real. A rich country has as good a chance to purchase or steal weapons of mass destruction as it does to develop them on its own. And if that country is attacked as part of an effort to block nuclear development, it has to be assumed it will have new incentives to seek and use such weapons. This prospect could presumably be heightened if bunker busting bombs tipped with small nuclear warheads are employed.

   The U.S. thus faces a double catch-22: embargoing Iran hurts our economy more than theirs and attacking militarily the Iranian infrastructure ensures immediate asymmetric violent responses as well as the greater likelihood that weapons of mass destruction once obtained will be used against us and our allies at a later point.

   This brings us to the last underestimation by Washington. We may be considering a conflict

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of a few weeks duration--one to three weeks of intensive bombing. The Iranians may be thinking of a multi-decade or multi-century response. Western history has known a 30-year war. Eastern peoples carry in their hearts the burden of centuries of crusades, and many Islamic radicals today would like the 21st century to be a continuation of what they consider to be a struggle against Judeo-Christian intervention. Sequencing is a historical as well as diplomatic term of concern.

   The Iranians, too, are in a quandary. They recognize that no American President can take the force option completely off the table. They suspect DOD has made extensive contingency plans and they see a President who has little hesitancy to take difficult, unpopular decisions. They know he is in his last term and does not want to pass on strategic problems to his successor. They may reason that a U.S. decision to attack is irrational because it would solidify a radical reaction in Iran, in other Muslim countries, and perhaps even within the U.S., but the government of Iran cannot be certain that the President will conclude that he would be passing on a bigger mess if he attacked rather than engaged.

   The Iranian challenge is stickier than many Americans assume. The President may see himself in a position analogous to that of John Kennedy in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Kennedy was dealing with Khrushchev and a Soviet system that had many despotic dimensions. But while communism was manipulated in such a manner as to become a quasi-state religion, it is fundamentally about political and economic rather than spiritual relationships. Iran, on the other hand, is a theocracy in a region where religion and, too frequently, its perversion are dominant themes. Just as the Iranian government must understand the strong will of the President, Washington has to come to grips with the pride and principles of an adversary which is the inheritor of one of the oldest civilizations on earth. Each side may understand the consequences of individual actions, but that does not mean that decisions in one or the other country will not unfold domino-like in a manner that could be catastrophic for all. That is why human interrelationship--diplomacy--is so key.

   Let me suggest a corollary to Lord Acton's maxim that power corrupts and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely. The Leach corollary is that military power tempts and excessive power tends to tempt excessively. America's enormous military strength is critical at this stage in history. But while we are obligated to recognize that its maintenance is imperative, we must also realize that its utilization may not fit, and may indeed be counter-productive, in certain strategic settings.

   Analogies between all wars exist, but comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam are frail. What must be understood is not that Iraq could be as bad as Vietnam; rather, that it is becoming far worse. Vietnam, after all, involved no WMD issues; and while the North was predominantly Buddhist

   and the South Catholic, there were no implications of a world-wide religious struggle; nor of a conflict that might last many decades, if not centuries. The issue at the time was Communism and fears that if Vietnam fell, neighboring governments would topple like dominoes. In retrospect, the real domino lesson of Vietnam was about political decision-making. Once the patriotic flag was raised, stands taken, words uttered, one doubtful decision precipitated another, and the pride of politicians did not allow a change of course until the people demanded common-sense reconsideration.

   Interestingly, in the 19th century, two obscure Italian political theorists, Vito and Pareto, noted that for all the differences in political systems, one person alone at the top had the power to make critical decisions for a nation. While these decisions might be of a social magnitude, they are personal in the making.

   Our Founders were moral as well as political thinkers. They feared kingly powers and wanted shared decision-making, especially when it came to war. But as we all have come to understand, modern times have produced wars without formal declarations approved by Congress. In response to Vietnam, Congress fashioned the War Powers Act to establish new constraints on the Executive. While most Constitutional scholars are convinced the Act would be declared unconstitutional if it were ever tested, it stands today as the law of the land. What is often overlooked, however, is that the Act also empowers the Executive wide-ranging options to commit American forces for a period of several months. Hence, there is little doubt that the administration assumes it has no need to come to Congress if it decides to launch an air assault on Iran, as long as it is only of multi-week duration.

   Let me conclude with an observation about priorities, contrasts, and principles.

   First, priorities. The Iraqi war has had the unfortunate effect of decreasing American attention on both Afghanistan and the Israeli-Palestinian dilemma, both of which have extraordinary consequences for U.S. national security. In addition, while I have assumed for most of my adult life that war and peace is the biggest issue in the world, the bigger challenge to life itself may be disease control. We have lost nearly 2,500 American troops in Iraq and 20 to 40 times as many Iraqis have been killed. But over the past two decades more than 20 million people have died of AIDS, and this number will double or triple in the next decade or two. Likewise, a new flu epidemic might match or exceed these numbers. Yet we are spending less on these problems than the cost of one month's fighting in Iraq.

   Second, contrasts. Educated Americans are well aware of the ideas that Samuel Huntington and Joe Nye of Harvard have propounded about the dangers of a clash of civilizations and of the importance of soft as contrasted with hard power in diplomacy. These are important frameworks of thought for the American public to dwell upon. But I would add to those considerations the elements of individual judgment and the contrasting model of realism vs. pseudo-realism in policymaking. Realists look to effect, not to appearance. But Washington today has come under the sway of the grim neo-con notion that diplomacy, particularly multi-lateral diplomacy, is soft-headed. Is this not pseudo-realism? What is more realistic and more consistent with the American heritage than attempting to advance the rule of law? An earlier excess of pseudo-realism caused the Senate to reject Wilsonian idealism and ignore the League of Nations. Nevertheless, it approved U.S. participation in the World Court. Americans want law and order. Americans also prefer to work in alliances. It is neo-con nonsense, realism inverted, to press a foreign policy rooted in snubbing the concerns of others.

   One of the myths of our time is that realism is principally about might. Actually, realism is about the human condition. A great power must maintain a strong military capacity, but it is the human condition that must be improved if national security is truly to be secured. Impoverished nations are breeding grounds for radicalism. Where there is no hope, there is nothing to lose. When life, as Hobbs described, becomes nasty, brutish, and short in a jungle of hopelessness, and humiliation, it becomes easily expendable, sometimes by martyred self-choice.

   Finally, a note about principle. Never has it been more important to return to the basics. Whether it be tax policy or foreign policy, the concern must be for justice and the common good, what the 19th century British utilitarians described as concern for the greatest good of the greatest number.

   The public wants its leaders to unify and uplift. Elections are about whether political leadership is up to the task. Democracies provide continual verdicts. This fall will be one measure.

  • [End Insert]

     

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from Ohio (Mrs. Jones).

   Mrs. JONES of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I would like to thank all the members of the Out of Iraq Caucus who have spoken so eloquently this afternoon.

   I rise in opposition to H. Res. 861 and in support of Representative Murtha's proposal to redeploy our troops.

   Since this war began, we have seen nearly 2,500 casualties. This number does not include the nearly 20,000 who have been wounded. I would like to take a moment to talk about the significance of those casualties and wounded because I often feel that we gloss over those numbers and forget that each one is or was an actual person. They were somebody's son or daughter, somebody's mother or father, somebody's brother or sister.

   They are real people, as real as 19-year-old Private Brandon Sloan and First Sergeant Robert Dowdy, who were the first soldiers from my congressional district to become casualties in the 507th Maintenance Group incident. They are as real as the 325th Marine Regiment of Brookpark, Ohio, who suffered multiple casualties. I attended those funerals and those memorials.

   They are as real as Sergeant Shurvon Phillip, an East Cleveland resident and Shaw High School graduate, who recently returned to Cleveland after suffering serious injuries in Iraq and enduring weeks of recovery. Shurvon is now paralyzed, and because of a brain injury, he cannot talk. We welcomed him home last Saturday at the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center.

   Shurvon's mother, Gail, had this to say: ``That Jack Murtha, he came to see my son three times and each time he treated Shurvon as his own son.'' Shurvon's mother, Gail Ulerie, had this to say about President Bush when he came to see him to give the Purple Heart to her son while he has at Bethesda Naval Hospital: ``I am glad for

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my son to receive a Purple Heart, but he was in no condition to appreciate it. He was in bad shape. I also said some things to President Bush that he, President Bush, did not like. I basically told him he should end this war and bring our troops, like my son, back home. He did not answer, just walked away.''

   I say we should not walk away from the young men and women who are left over in Iraq and Afghanistan. We should remember what Shurvon's mother said. Bring our troops home. Bring our troops home. Bring our troops home. She said she did not want to see any more young men or women laying back like this, and if you saw Shurvon you would know what I meant. He is in a chair, where he is sat up like this. His lips are swollen, sticking out. He can hardly say a word. We are saying to him, you know, Shurvon, we are sorry you are a casualty; you stood up for your family; you stood up for the United States of America. But he cannot stand up for himself.

   Let us stand up for the young men and women of America. Bring our troops home, redeploy them, and let us think of America first.

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Smith) who is the chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations, of our International Relations Committee.

   Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.

   Mr. Speaker, the overwhelming majority of U.S. forces have performed their mission in an exemplary, professional fashion and deserve both our praise and profound thanks.

   Mr. Speaker, we all know that Iraq remains a dangerous place today because hate-filled fanatic, perhaps even psychotic, mass murderers bomb and shoot innocent men, women, and children. The terrorists have a morbid fascination with all things violent. There is nothing whatsoever benign or noble or praiseworthy about these people. They are mass murderers.

   If left unchecked, the terrorists would impose dictatorship once again on Iraq and Afghanistan, which would result in more mass killings, systematic torture, rampant fear, political prisoners, and an end to freedom and liberty.

   While I respect the right of those who criticize our Iraq policy and our solidarity with the Iraqi people, I do remain deeply disappointed that those who protest U.S. policy outside of this Chamber seldom, if ever, criticize the terrorists. No harsh, mocking words of condemnation of George W. Bush is left unspoken. You hear it on TV, talk shows, and at war protests; but no such righteous anger is directed at the mass murderers who blow up our soldiers or incinerate pious worshippers in prayer or kidnap, torture and kill humanitarian workers.

   American coalition soldiers in Iraq are peacemakers who have the toughest job in the world. They are peacemakers who put their own lives at risk to create sufficient space and order so that democracy and respect for human rights can grow and peace can be established.

   I want our soldiers to come home and to come home soon, but that fervent hope must be tempered with reality on the ground and what our commanders on the ground think best. To leave prematurely or pursuant to an arbitrarily arrived at deadline established by Members of Congress may unwittingly put more lives at risk and strengthen the fanaticism and hope of the terrorists.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H. Res. 861.

   The Hyde resolution honors--and profoundly thanks--all those American, Iraqi, Afghan, and coalition forces who have so courageously fought the war on terror, especially those who have lost their lives in the defense of freedom.

   Our war dead--and wounded--define anew what it means to be brave and honorable and good.

   And our condolences and prayers go to the families of the fallen.

   The overwhelming majority of U.S. forces have performed their missions in an exemplary, professional fashion--and deserve both our praise and profound thanks.

   We all know that Iraq remains a dangerous place today because hate-filled, fanatic--perhaps even psychotic--mass murderers bomb and shoot innocent men, women, and children. In the past their thugs were in the government suites and Hussein's opulent palaces--now some remain in the streets--hopefully not for long.

   The terrorists have a morbid fascination with all things violent. There is nothing whatsoever benign or noble or praiseworthy about these people.

   They are mass murderers.

   If left unchecked, the terrorists would impose dictatorship once again on Iraq and Afghanistan, which would result in more mass killing, systematic torture, rampant fear, political prisoners and an end to freedom and liberty.

   While I respect the right of those who criticize American policy and our solidarity with the Iraqi people, I remain deeply disappointed that many of those who protest U.S. policy outside of this chamber seldom--if ever--criticize the terrorists.

   No harsh, mocking thoughts of condemnation of President George W. Bush are left unspoken. You hear it on TV and radio talk shows and at war protests, but no such angst is directed at the mass murderers who blow up our soldiers or incinerate pious worshipers at prayer in Mosques or who kidnap, torture, and kill humanitarian workers trying to save and enhance the lives of the vulnerable.

   American and coalition soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are peacemakers and they have the toughest assignment in the world. They are peacemakers who put their own lives at risk to create sufficient space and order so that democracy, respect for human rights, and peace can be established and grow.

   I want our soldiers to come home--and soon.

   But that fervent hope must be tempered with realities on the ground. What do our military commanders on the ground think? To leave prematurely or pursuant to an arbitrarily arrived at deadline established by members of Congress may unwittingly put more lives at risk and strengthen the fanaticism and hopes of the terrorists.

   Still, public debate on exit strategy is important--even necessary--because it puts pressure on us all to figure out how to prudently accomplish redeployment and it puts constructive pressure on Iraqi leaders to move more quickly to take ownership of their own security.

  • [End Insert]

     

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 6 minutes to the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer).

   Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from Pennsylvania for yielding.

   Mr. Speaker, every Member of this House wants our Nation and our coalition partners to succeed in helping the Iraqis establish a democratic government that respects human rights and abides by the rule of law and to succeed in standing up Iraqi security forces that can maintain order and protect their citizens.

   We pray, of course, for the safe return of our brave servicemen and -women who are fighting for freedom half a world away, and we applaud their success last week in eliminating the terrorist murderer Zarqawi. The professionalism, bravery, and sacrifice of our Armed Forces are indeed awe-inspiring.

   This year, Mr. Speaker, 2006, should be a year of transition in Iraq; and it is my expectation that the United States will be able to reduce the American troop deployment over the ensuing months and transfer the risks and responsibilities to the duly elected government of Iraq. That is what has been proposed.

   Today, it is regrettable that this Republican majority seeks to exploit this critical issue of national security for political advantage. The resolution before us, like the Hunter resolution that was debated last December, was drafted, in my view, for political reasons.

   As Majority Leader Boehner explained, its purpose is an opportunity to create ``a portrait of contrasts between Republicans and Democrats.''

   For our country's sake, for our troops' sake, the majority should have offered a resolution that sought unity, rather than division.

   There are provisions in this resolution, of course, with which all of us agree. I, for one, strongly share the resolve to prevail in the war on terror. However, this resolution misstates, in my opinion, the facts about why the Bush administration instigated our military action against the Hussein regime in 2003. It paints a picture of Iraq today that does not comport with the reality on the ground, and it ignores the fundamental responsibility of this Congress to conduct meaningful oversight of the administration's conduct of this war.

   The political motivations underlying this resolution have been laid bare; and, thus, I will be forced to vote ``no.''

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   The American people will not be deceived by this exercise today which our Republican colleague of North Carolina (Mr. Jones) labeled a charade.

   The American people know, as Lieutenant General Gregory Newbold, the former commanding general of the 1st Marine Division, said, ``What we are living with now is the consequences of successive policy failures.''

   The administration manipulated intelligence on weapons of mass destruction. It ignored the advice of top military commanders and sent too few troops to accomplish the task; and, consequently, we failed to stabilize Iraq after Hussein was rightfully removed from power.

   It fired police and security forces and oil workers, which fueled the instability and initiated war before making alternative plans to shut off escape routes to the north when the Turks would not let us come in.

   It had no effective plan to quickly get infrastructure repaired and rebuilt. It failed to properly equip our own troops, as Mr. Murtha has observed, 2,500 of whom have given the ultimate measure of sacrifice in this war.

   It grossly underestimated the costs of the war at about $60 billion, which now stands six times larger and more.

   And when confronted with concrete evidence of widespread mistreatment of detainees in American custody, the President failed to hold anyone in his administration accountable.

   Sadly, and dangerously, according to the Pew Research Center, the global credibility of the United States has sharply declined.

   The record of the Republican Congress is, in my opinion, no less disturbing. This proud body, the people's House, has abdicated its oversight role and failed to root out waste, fraud and corruption so prevalent in Iraq today.

   Nearly $9 billion in reconstruction funds are unaccounted for. No-bid contracts have been awarded to private contractors such as Halliburton. Detainees in American custody have been abused and, in some instances, killed, and still, still, there is no effective oversight on these matters in the Congress of the United States.

   In the face of one of the most important issues before our country, we have been presented with politics as usual.

   

[Time: 17:45]

   It is an effort to divide, when an effort to unite was in our country's and our Armed Forces' best interest.

   I regret that I have to vote ``no.'' I believe success in our efforts in Iraq is important to achieve, but partisanship only impedes the attainment of that objective; an objective, hopefully, that we all share.

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. Rohrabacher), who chairs the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation for our International Relations Committee.

   Mr. ROHRABACHER. It is good that the American people are able to hear this debate and judge for themselves who should be making the policies and which policies are best for our country.

   I have been through this before. I worked in the White House with Ronald Reagan for 7 years, and I heard some of the same shrill voices that we hear today in those days. I heard the same gutting of the President of the United States for political purposes, but also for idealistic reasons during those days. I heard Ronald Reagan called a warmonger. I heard all of the charges that we hear today aimed at our President aimed at Ronald Reagan, and by some of the same people, I might add.

   We have voices who are idealistically opposed to war and are in fact affected in their heart, perhaps more than others, when war does come, as it comes to all free people because without strength of purpose and willingness to fight there will be no freedom in this world. But when we fought communism, President Reagan stood firm when the shrill voices of defeatism and retreat attacked him personally and attacked our effort and tried to undermine that effort in the same way our effort today is being undermined by nitpicking, backbiting, and defeatism. Yet, he stood firm and, guess what? The world was amazed when the evil of communism collapsed.

   Well, today we are in a war with radical Islam, which is every bit as much a threat and hates Western democracy every bit as much as the Communists did. We have made a stand in Iraq, and I would hope that people understand that had Ronald Reagan backed down, we would still be in the middle of the Cold War. And if we back down today, as is being advocated, what I consider to be a cowardly retreat, it will have consequences. It will not end the war.

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield to Mr. Buyer for the purposes of a unanimous consent request.

   (Mr. BUYER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. BUYER. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the resolution.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   Immediately following the attacks on September 11, 2001, this Nation's focus was on countering the fundamental ideals of terrorism that spawned the attack on our homeland. Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network, Saddam Hussein, and the Taliban, connected together through the terror they inflicted, had shared ambitions to destroy our way of life. Five years later, we have witnessed successes of historical proportions. Saddam--imprisoned and on trial for acts against humanity; Osama is on the run and we captured his number two; the Taliban no longer exists--for the first time in Afghanistan, their citizens are free to hope and dream; women are receiving an education. Al Qaeda is demonstrating what comes from the crushing pains of defeat, left only with cowardly acts of desperation in a weakening effort to survive the blows that we have dealt it.

   Today in Iraq we are on the verge of the blossoming of a successful new republic, accomplished by the perseverance of its citizens, and the sacrifices of many. Yet, some of our own countrymen are showing a dangerous tendency to waiver, their faith shaken by the drive-through mentality of our society. They are verbalizing their doubts at a time when we need them to stand strong. The peace-doves who turned hawks of circumstance after September 11 were predicted to not have the intestinal fortitude to see this fight through to its necessary resolution. They are living up to that prediction despite the threat of terrorism still lurking around the world.

   We cannot forget that the goals of Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden are to destroy western culture in all of its forms and manifestations. All across America, our constituents live their lives--take their kids to school, go to work, earn a living--and this is the strength of our Nation. However, we still live in the shadow of a real and looming threat to our way of life. We must remain vigilant of that threat and stand firm in our vow to dismantle it. While we have not been attacked on our own soil since September 11, we cannot afford the ramifications of complacency. The recent arrest of bomb-building terrorists across the border in Canada is clear evidence of that. We have forced the terrorists into making this an ``away game,'' the battlefield pushed from our homeland, but nonetheless the outcome must be in our favor. Yes, the victories in this battle are many, but we must have the resolve and determination to defeat terrorism here at home and abroad. To succeed we must be absolute and have constancy of purpose.

   For decades Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq with an iron fist of repression. In the midst of that oppression was the intense yearning of the Iraqi people to taste freedom. They were forced to keep their hopes hidden, wrapped in a cocoon that they could one day blossom into the living principles from which they could rebuild their nation. They have emerged from that cocoon and are attempting to fly. The elements that were forming in it have manifested themselves in the formation of their new government, two successful national elections, and a successful national constitutional referendum.

   Iraq cannot continue to succeed in the transition from war to building their Nation without our continued help. The people of Iraq have appealed to us in this critically important period. We have pledged our commitment to them and we need to see it through. The Iraqi people are proud of their accomplishments thus far, but they have asked for a steady hand of reassurance from us to help guide them in this transition.

   The pride and motivation that the Iraqi population has demonstrated to this point are key elements to making their young government a success. We must continue to nurture their growth of confidence so that they can effectively govern, defend, and sustain themselves. The motivation to man a completely volunteer Iraqi army is one point of evidence that these people have pride and faith in their new republic. We cannot fail the security of our own Nation and the people of Iraq in a time of such dire need. The consequences of walking away at this point are too great to fathom. We must maintain our resolve to follow through with our commitment to the people of Iraq and in the global fight to free ourselves from the grip and fear of terrorism.

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   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 minutes to the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton), and I ask unanimous consent that he be allowed to control the time and yield the time.

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the gentleman is recognized for 30 minutes.

   There was no objection.

   Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, at this time I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Spratt).

   Mr. SPRATT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for his indulgence and for the recognition, and I want to focus on something that has been little discussed in this debate, and that is how much this war is costing us.

   Cost is not the ultimate determinant. When we have troops in the field, we should be unstinting in their support. But when the cost runs into hundreds of billions of dollars, it has to be a consideration. The greatest cost, of course, is counted in human lives: 2,514 killed so far, 17,774 wounded so far. The dollar cost is not nearly so precious, but it is substantial.

   First, for comparison, here is what the first Persian Gulf War cost us: $61 billion. But our allies contributed $10.6 in kind, $48.4 billion in cash contributions, and so out-of-pocket we were $2.1 billion. That, my friends, is the benefit of having allies.

   Now, look at the annual cost of the war we are fighting. Notice that it has increased by almost 100 percent from 2003 when the war itself was fully going on, to this year, 2006, an increase from $51 billion to $104 billion a year, annually.

   The next chart then sums up the expenditures year by year, and you can see the bottom line. Thus far through this year, the cost is $318 billion. Thus far. Iraqi Freedom alone is $318 billion. To express that in monthly terms, something the Pentagon calls the ``burn rate,'' the average expenditure per month for the troops we are maintaining there, 130,000 strong, is running at $8.4 billion a month. That is $8.4 billion a month.

   Now, we have asked CBO, and CBO itself decided to set up a model to estimate what the outyear cost of this deployment would be, assuming that after this year there is a substantial drawdown to the point where 50,000 troops remain in theater, Afghanistan and Iraq. This covers both. The total cost of this, over a period of 10 years, is $371 billion, assuming a modest increment in our deployment to that theater of 50,000 additional troops. This is CBO speaking.

   Now, if you add $371 billion to $318 billion, you get $689 billion. That is what this war could cost us if its goes on at its current level. And we have not reflected in this number the accrued costs we are incurring daily due to the harsh environmental conditions in the desert. The Army says it will cost $24 billion alone over the next 2 years to restore and repair and replace equipment.

   Now, as I said, cost is not the ultimate determinant, but it has to be a consideration when it reaches this magnitude. I do not think we can debate the deployment in Iraq in existing troop levels in a vacuum, as if the cost does not matter, as if we had infinite resources. Cost matters if we are ever to balance our budget. Cost matters in meeting other military needs for operations elsewhere in the world, for transformation, and for modernization.

   It is too bad we cannot have a full debate where we could express fully all of the grave issues facing us due to the deployment in Iran.

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. Royce), who is the chairman of the Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Nonproliferation of our International Relations Committee.

   Mr. ROYCE. It becomes clearer by the day, Mr. Speaker, that we are confronting a brutal, determined, and resourceful enemy: Islamist terrorism, as the 9/11 Commission identified it.

   We have seen messianic, violent ideologies before, but al Qaeda and its ilk represent a more severe threat. In today's world, terrorists could acquire weapons of mass destruction. Bin Laden has made clear his intention to do so. It was such a concern that led President Bush to remove Saddam Hussein from power, and Iraqis are better off for it.

   We have heard legitimate debate of choices made in Iraq: Disbanding the Iraqi army, troop levels, and we have heard other critiques. Looking back, it is clear that this mission's difficulty and expense were underestimated. Hopefully, we have improved our intelligence. But dwelling on past choices does not get us ahead.

   Looking ahead, I don't see how we succeed by immediately withdrawing, as some are calling for. The position that our troops should stay longer in Iraq makes us all uncomfortable. But an alternative, an immediate withdrawal, concedes that Iraq will fall into chaos, because there is no way that the Iraqi security forces could stand alone yet. That is the judgment of our military professionals. So if you are going to argue that the costs of staying are too high, you are obligated to calculate the cost of withdrawing or the cost of what most certainly would be our defeat.

   The real world is dangerous, and unpleasant choices must be made. An honest appraisal is that we don't know Iraq's future, but we know with far greater certainty that an American withdrawal would spin Iraq into chaos. Bedlam in the region would likely follow. This outcome would be a stunning boost for jihadists, the forces determined to deliver as big a blow as they can against the American people. We owe our Nation and the Iraqi people our continued effort.

   We know Iraq today is a central front in our struggle against terrorism. Al Qaeda has said it, and last week's killing of al Zarqawi in Iraq made it clear that our success there and our success in the high stakes fight against terrorism go hand in hand.

   Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Ortiz).

   (Mr. ORTIZ asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. ORTIZ. Mr. Speaker, you know, this resolution before us today commends our troops, and we realize that our troops are the greatest in the world. This Nation must never forget that. And, of course, we all agree that Saddam should have been removed. The problem was our tactics, our planning. But this resolution nowhere addresses the central issue that the American people are crying out for us to discuss: Where do we go from here?

   I think that the American people want an honest discussion about where this Nation stands in the two wars that we are prosecuting today, and in particular Iraq. I think that we owe this to the American people who are risking their lives on a daily basis. We owe it to their families, to the American people, and to our allies.

   Supporting our troops means more than bumper stickers on trucks, though of course we appreciate those people that put on the bumper stickers. We appreciate that. But it is time to talk about the bottom line in terms of soldiers, their blood, their future, their hopes, hopes for the young people of this great country and the people in Iraq, their young people.

   I wish the resolution before us provided the context for this debate. Honest discussion must include the nuts and bolts of this policy, literally what we are expending daily in Iraq. You know, when we talk about the policy, are we going to allow for us to conduct another preemptive attack? Was this the wise thing to do? Was the planning correct? Do we need to correct our mistakes? Do we need to change the training? These are the things we need to look at.

   If we truly want the Iraqis to stand up and protect their country, and if we are ever ready to stand down, to stand down, are we ready to put the money in the budget? I just came from a hearing a few moments ago and we are having problems buying helmets to protect our soldiers. We don't have a uniform policy on what helmets will protect the soldiers. Our soldiers don't have the equipment that they need, and for us to stand down, we need to provide the Iraqi army what they need, the equipment. And we wonder, because we haven't been able to do that for our troops.

   Our military is the best. It has been feared throughout the ages for our ability to respond immediately anywhere in the world, to be ready to defend our freedom. I do support our troops.

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to recognize for 2 minutes

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the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. McCotter), who has been to Iraq three times.

   Mr. McCOTTER. Mr. Speaker, recently, I attended my oldest son's eighth grade graduation, and graduating with him was Jennifer Davis, the daughter of Karen and Major Miles Davis, who could not attend because he was deployed to Iraq.

   Mr. Speaker, this is why I believe we owe Americans an account of our progress in the world war on terror, an assessment of the situation, the stakes, and the strategy for victory in the battle for Iraq, as well as an affirmation that we will defend our country, defeat the enemy, and win this unsought struggle for survival. Unfortunately, this resolution fails to do so, for it is strategically nebulous, morally obtuse, and woefully inadequate.

   This resolution sanitizes the hard truth that the enemy is trying not only to intimidate us but to kill us. It provides an abashed defense of our Nation's sovereign right to preemptively eradicate the terrorists and their state sponsors before they kill us. It implies our preemption of this threat must meet a global test for legitimacy.

   It further fails to affirm the battle for Iraq was waged because Saddam Hussein's regime was a direct threat to the United States of America and was in violation of mandatory treaty obligations of said United States of America.

   It fails to stress our mission is to ensure a sovereign, free, secure and united Iraq at peace with the United States, its coalition partners and all other peaceable nations.

   It fails to stress that terrorists seek to destroy the new unity government because it threatens the terrorists' aspirations for the United States of America, Iraq, our coalition partners and the broader Middle East.

   It asserts how despite the enemy having declared Iraq a central front in the war on terror, the United States and its coalition partners will continue to support Iraq as only a part of the war on terror.

   It omits any mention of the battle for Iraq's difficulties and does not offer a comprehensive strategy on how to conquer them. It overlooks the fact our troops' return home hinges upon creating Iraqi security forces and destroying the enemy's insurgency.

   

[Time: 18:00]

   Finally, this resolution calls the terrorists our adversary, not our enemy.

   Mr. Speaker, at the graduation I did not try to comfort Karen Davis by declaring her husband, Major Miles Davis, was in Iraq defending global peace and security or enforcing United Nations resolutions. No, I thanked Karen for her family's sacrifice because Miles was in Iraq honoring his solemn pledge to God and to us to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies.

   So in this time of war when we ask the best of our troops and we ask the best of their families, we must ask the best of ourselves. We have not done so with this resolution, and that is why I will be voting ``present,'' because I am committed to victory in the war on terror.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   Mr. Speaker, recently, I attended my oldest son's eighth grade graduation. Graduating with him was Jennifer Davis, the daughter of my childhood friend, Major Miles Davis, who could not attend. That night, I talked with Miles' wife, Karen, who told me how painful it was for their family to have Miles so abruptly deployed to Iraq.

   Such heart rending scenes throughout our land are why I believe we owe Americans more in this resolution than a simple declaration of our resolve in Iraq. We owe them an account of our progress in the world War on Terror; an assessment of the situation, the stakes, and the strategy for victory in the battle for Iraq; and an affirmation we will defend our country, defeat the enemy, and win this unsought struggle for survival.

   Thus, I rise to express my profound disappointment with this resolution before us, because it is strategically nebulous; morally obtuse; and woefully inadequate.

   To begin, this resolution's purpose is limited to ``Declaring the United States will complete the mission in Iraq and prevail in the Global War on Terror, the struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary.''

   This is patently inadequate to the task at hand; and, unfortunately, under continued examination the resolution fares no better. To wit, the first ``Whereas'' clause informs us: ``..... the United States and its allies are engaged in a Global War on Terror, a long and demanding struggle against an adversary that is driven by hatred of American values and that is committed to imposing, by the use of terror, its repressive ideology throughout the world.''

   This clause elicits elementary questions: what ``values'' of ours cause our enemy to hate us; and what, precisely, is the enemy's ideology? Sadly, this clause provides no clues.

   The second clause recounts how: ``..... for the past two decades, terrorists have used violence in a futile attempt to intimidate the United States.''

   This clause is too sanitized. The hard truth is the enemy has not tried to intimidate us. The enemy has tried to kill us and too often succeeded. The enemy does so because our very existence as sovereign citizens of a free Republic constitutes a beacon of hope for all

   who are--and all who yearn to be--free; thus, we are our enemy's paramount obstacle to world dominion.

   Next the third clause right asserts: ``..... it is essential to the security of the American people and to world security that the United States, together with its allies, take the battle to the terrorists and to those who provide them assistance.''

   Agreed. But this clause must stress both a philosophic principle and a strategic tenet.

   Philosophically, any state-sponsor of terror is a threat to the United States, because terrorism is an attack upon the self-evident, inalienable human rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

   Strategically, this clause falters as an oblique and abashed defense of our Nation's sovereign right to preemptively eradicate terrorists and their state-sponsors before they kill us. Instead, the clause must reaffirm our Nation's full right of self-defense.

   The seventh clause decries how: ``..... by early 2003 Saddam Hussein and his criminal, Ba'athist regime in Iraq, which had supported terrorists, constituted a threat against global peace and security and was in violation of mandatory United Nations Security Council Resolutions.''

   Bluntly, this clause omits the obvious: By early 2003 Saddam Hussein and his criminal Ba'athist regime in Iraq, which had supported terrorists, constituted a threat against the United States of America and was in violation of mandatory treaty obligations to the United States of America.

   By omitting the fact Hussein's regime deemed the United States not as just a part of the global community, but as a mortal enemy, this clause wrongly implies our preemption of his threat must and does meet a ``global test'' for legitimacy.

   The eighth clause reiterates: ``..... the mission of the United States and its Coalition partners, having removed Saddam Hussein and his regime from power, is to establish a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq at peace with its neighbors.''

   Again, the point is missed. Our mission is to transform Iraq from a rogue dictatorship aiding terrorists into a representative democracy eradicating terrorists; and into a sovereign, free, secure, and united nation at peace with the United States, its Coalition partners, and all other peaceable nations.

   Next, clause eleven's belief: ``..... the terrorists seek to destroy the new unity government because it threatens the terrorists' aspirations for Iraq and the broader Middle East,'' also misses the point. As an American, I believe the clause should read: ``the terrorists seek to destroy the new unity government because it threatens the terrorists' aspirations for the United States of America, Iraq, our Coalition partners, and the broader Middle East.''

   Now, at last, we reach the resolution's three lethal failings:

   To start with, taken together, the ninth and fifteenth clauses raise a stark conundrum. Ignoring that the United States, in word and deed, first targeted Iraq as a ``central front'' in our War on Terror, clause nine notes: ``the terrorists have declared Iraq to be a central front in their war against all who oppose their ideology.''

   Later, clause fifteen asserts: ``..... the United States and its Coalition partners will continue to support Iraq as part of the Global War on Terrorism.''

   These clauses' collective conundrum is this: if, after we militarily deposed Hussein, the terrorist enemy now deems Iraq a central front in its ``war against all those who oppose their ideology,'' why do we now view Iraq as but ``part of the Global War on Terror''? Upon this critical question and its ramifications, the resolution is silent.

   The resolution's second lethal failing is found, interestingly enough, in clause twelve, which offers hopeful news of how we, our Coalition partners, and the Iraqis have: ``..... scored impressive victories in Iraq, including finding and killing the terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.''

   Well said. But nowhere does this resolution explain the battle for Iraq's past, present, and future difficulties, or proffer any concrete or comprehensive strategy as to how U.S., Coalition, and Iraqi forces will confront and conquer

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these challenges. One irony proves the point. My allotted time to speak on this amendment is under the section dedicated to Iraqi reconstruction. Yet nowhere in this resolution appears the word ``reconstruction.''

   The resolution's final, and paramount, failing occurs in clause thirteen, which assures us: ``..... Iraqi security forces are, over time, taking over from the United States and Coalition forces a growing proportion of independent operations and increasingly lead the fight against terror in Iraq.''

   This clause's logic implies the enemy will remain operationally active in Iraq when our military leaves the battlefield. This implication stems from the incessant lack of emphasis accorded the concomitant and equal pillar of the administration's military

   strategy in Iraq. Specifically, the time required to win and bring our troops home hinges upon creating Iraqi security forces and destroying the enemy's insurgency. Continuing to emphasize the creation of security forces while de-emphasizing the destruction of the terrorists' insurgency, will only lengthen the time required to accomplish the mission in Iraq and welcome our troops back.

   Mr. Speaker, my time grows short, so, in conclusion, I will focus on the one word in the resolved clause which, in fact, inexplicably permeates the resolution; and, inexorably, precludes my support of this resolution. The offending word is ``adversary.''

   Starkly and sanely understood, within Iraq and the overarching world War on Terror we do not have an adversary. We have an enemy. Thus, because words have meaning, even if I could ignore the fact this resolution is strategically nebulous, I will not overlook the fact it lacks the moral clarity to call the terrorists our enemy.

   Mr. Speaker, at St. Edith's eighth grade graduation, I did not try to comfort Karen by declaring her husband Major Miles Davis was in Iraq defending global peace and security; I did not try to comfort Karen by proclaiming Miles was in Iraq to enforce violated U.N. resolutions; no, I thanked Karen for her family's sacrifice, because Miles was in Iraq honoring his solemn pledge to God and to us to ``support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies.''

   Mr. Speaker, amidst an anguished era ennobled by our sacrifices in the unsought struggle against a bloodthirsty enemy, we ask our troops to do their best; we ask their families to do their best; and we ask our fellow citizens to do their best But we, in ``the people's house,'' have not done our best; and upon this resolution I will be voting ``present.''

   I submit for the Record President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Ninth Annual Message to Congress, January 6, 1942.

 

  • [End Insert]

     

   In fulfilling my duty to report upon the state of the Union, I am proud to say to you that the spirit of the American people was never higher than it is today--the Union was never more closely knit together--this country was never more deeply determined to face the solemn tasks before it.

   The response of the American people has been instantaneous, and it will be sustained until our security is assured.

   Exactly one year ago today I said to this Congress: ``When the dictators ..... are ready to make war upon us, they will not wait for an act of war on our part ..... They--not we--will choose the time and the place and the method of their attack.''

   We now know their choice of the time: a peaceful Sunday morning--December 7, 1941.

   We know their choice of the place: an American outpost in the Pacific.

   We know their choice of the method: the method of Hitler himself.

   Japan's scheme of conquest goes back half a century. It was not merely a policy of seeking living room--it was a plan which included the subjugation of all the peoples in the Far East and in the islands of the Pacific, and the domination of that ocean by Japanese military and naval control of the western coasts of North, Central, and South America.

   The development of this ambitious conspiracy was marked by the war against China in 1894; the subsequent occupation of Korea; the war against Russia in 1904; the illegal fortification of the mandated Pacific islands following 1920; the seizure of Manchuria in 1931; and the invasion of China in 1937.

   A similar policy of criminal conquest was adopted by Italy. The Fascists first revealed their imperial designs in Libya and Tripoli. In 1935 they seized Abyssinia. Their goal was the domination of all North Africa, Egypt, parts of France, and the entire Mediterranean world.

   But the dreams of empire of the Japanese and Fascist leaders were modest in comparison with the gargantuan aspirations of Hitler and his Nazis. Even before they came to power in 1933, their plans for that conquest had been drawn. Those plans provided for ultimate domination, not of anyone section of the world, but of the whole earth and all the oceans on it.

   When Hitler organized his Berlin-Rome-Tokyo alliance, all these plans of conquest became a single plan. Under this, in addition to her own schemes of conquest, Japan's role was obviously to cut off our supply of weapons of war to Britain and Russia and China--weapons which increasingly were speeding the day of Hitler's doom. The act of Japan at Pearl Harbor was intended to stun us--to terrify us to such an extent that we would divert our industrial and military strength to the Pacific area, or even to our own continental defense.

   The plan has failed in its purpose. We have not been stunned. We have not been terrified or confused. This very reassembling of the Seventy-seventh Congress today is proof of that; for the mood of quiet, grim resolution which here prevails bodes ill for those who conspired and collaborated to murder world peace.

   That mood is stronger than any mere desire for revenge. It expresses the will of the American people to make very certain that the world will never so suffer again.

   Admittedly, we have been faced with hard choices. It was bitter, for example, not to be able to relieve the heroic and historic defenders of Wake Island. It was bitter for us not to be able to land a million men in a thousand ships in the Philippine Islands.

   But this adds only to our determination to see to it that the Stars and Stripes will fly again over Wake and Guam. Yes, see to it that the brave people of the Philippines will be rid of Japanese imperialism, and will live in freedom, security, and independence.

   Powerful and offensive actions must and will be taken in proper time. The consolidation of the United Nations' total war effort against our common enemies is being achieved.

   That was and is the purpose of conferences which have been held during the past two weeks in Washington and Moscow and Chungking. That is the primary objective of the declaration of solidarity signed in Washington on January 1, 1942, by twenty-six nations united against the Axis powers.......

   Plans have been laid here and in the other capitals for coordinated and cooperative action by all the United Nations--military action and economic action. Already we have established, as you know, unified command of land, sea, and air forces in the southwestern Pacific theater of war. There will be a continuation of conferences and consultations among military staffs, so that the plans and operations of each will fit into the general strategy designed to crush the enemy. We shall not fight isolated wars--each nation going its own way. These twenty-six nations are united--not in spirit and determination alone, but in the broad conduct of the war in all its phases.

   For the first time since the Japanese and the Fascists and the Nazis started along their blood-stained course of conquest they now face the fact that superior forces are assembling against them. Gone forever are the days when the aggressors could attack and destroy their victims one by one without unity of resistance. We of the United Nations will so dispose our forces that we can strike at the common enemy wherever the greatest damage can be done him.

   The militarists of Berlin and Tokyo started this war. But the massed, angered forces of common humanity will finish it.

   Destruction of the material and spiritual centers of civilization--this has been and still is the purpose of Hitler and his Italian and Japanese chessmen. They would wreck the power of the British Commonwealth and Russia and China and the Netherlands--and then combine all their forces to achieve their ultimate goal, the conquest of the United States.

   They know that victory for us means victory for freedom.

   They know that victory for us means victory for the institution of democracy--the ideal of the family, the simple principles of common decency and humanity.

   They know that victory for us means victory for religion.

   And they could not tolerate that. The world is too small to provide adequate ``living room'' for both Hitler and God. In proof of that, the Nazis have now announced their plan for enforcing their new German, pagan religion all over the world--a plan by which the Holy Bible and the Cross of Mercy would be displaced by Mein Kampf and the swastika and the naked sword.

   Our own objectives are clear; the objective of smashing the militarism imposed by warlords upon their enslaved peoples--the objective of liberating the subjugated nations--the objective of establishing and securing freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear everywhere in the world.

   We shall not stop short of these objectives, nor shall we be satisfied merely to gain them and then call it a day. I know that I speak for the American people--and I have good reason to believe that I speak also for all the other peoples who fight with us--when I say that this time we are determined not only to win the war, but also to maintain the security of the peace that will follow.......

   The superiority of the United Nations in munitions and ships must be overwhelming--so overwhelming that the Axis nations can never hope to catch up with it. And so, in order to attain this overwhelming superiority the United States must build planes and tanks and guns and ships to the utmost limit of our national capacity. We have the ability and capacity to produce arms not only for our own forces, but also for the armies, navies, and air forces fighting on our side.

   And our overwhelming superiority of armament must be adequate to put weapons of war at the proper time into the hands of those men in the conquered nations who stand ready to seize the first opportunity to

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revolt against their German and Japanese oppressors, and against the traitors in their own ranks, known by the already infamous name of Quislings. And I think that it is a fair prophecy to say that, as we get guns to the patriots in those lands, they too will fire shots heard 'round the world.

   This production of ours in the United States must be raised far above present levels, even though it will mean the dislocation of the lives and occupations of millions of our own people. We must raise our sights all along the production line. Let no man say it cannot be done. It must be done--and we have undertaken to do it. . . .

   Our task is hard--our task is unprecedented--and the time is short. We must strain every existing armament-producing facility to the utmost. We must convert every available plant and tool to war production. That goes all the way from the greatest plants to the smallest--from the huge automobile industry to the village machine shop.

   Production for war is based on men and women--the human hands and brains which collectively we call Labor. Our workers stand ready to work long hours; to turn out more in a day's work; to keep the wheels turning and the fires burning twenty-four hours a day, and seven days a week. They realize well that on the speed and efficiency of their work depend the lives of their sons and their brothers on the fighting fronts.

   Production for war is based on metals and raw materials--steel, copper, rubber, aluminum, zinc, tin. Greater and greater quantities of them will have to be diverted to war purposes: Civilian use of them will have to be cut further and still further--and, in many cases, completely eliminated.

   War costs money. So far, we have hardly even begun to pay for it. We have devoted only 15 percent of our national income to national defense. As will appear in my Budget Message tomorrow, our war program for the coming fiscal year will cost $56 billion or, in other words, more than half of the estimated annual national income. That means taxes and bonds and bonds and taxes. It means cutting luxuries and other nonessentials. In a word, it means an ``all-out'' war by individual effort and family effort in a united country.

   Only this all-out scale of production will hasten the ultimate all-out victory. Speed will count. Lost ground can always be regained--lost time never. Speed will save lives; speed will save this nation which is in peril; speed will save our freedom and our civilization--and slowness has never been an American characteristic. . . .

   We cannot wage this war in a defensive spirit. As our power and our resources are fully mobilized, we shall carry the attack against the enemy--we shall hit him and hit him again wherever and whenever we can reach him.

   We must keep him far from our shores, for we intend to bring this battle to him on his own home grounds.

   American armed forces must be used at any place in all the world where it seems advisable to engage the forces of the enemy. In some cases these operations will be defensive, in order to protect key positions. In other cases, these operations will be offensive, in order to strike at the common enemy, with a view to his complete encirclement and eventual total defeat.

   American armed forces will operate at many points in the Far East.

   American armed forces will be on all the oceans--helping to guard the essential communications which are vital to the United Nations.

   American land and air and sea forces will take stations in the British Isles--which constitute an essential fortress in this great world struggle.

   American armed forces will help to protect this hemisphere--and also help to protect bases outside this hemisphere, which could be used for an attack on the Americas.

   If any of our enemies, from Europe or from Asia, attempt long-range raids by ``suicide'' squadrons of bombing planes, they will do so only in the hope of terrorizing our people and disrupting our morale. Our people are not afraid of that. We know that we may have to pay a heavy price for freedom. We will pay this price with a will. Whatever the price, it is a thousand times worth it. No matter what our enemies, in their desperation, may attempt to do to us--we will say, as the people of London have said, ``We can take it.'' And what's more we can give it back--and we will give it back--with compound interest. . . .

   Many people ask, ``When will this war end?'' There is only one answer to that. It will end just as soon as we make it end, by our combined efforts, our combined strength, our combined determination to fight through and work through until the end--the end of militarism in Germany and Italy and Japan. Most certainly we shall not settle for less.

   That is the spirit in which discussions have been conducted during the visit of the British prime minister to Washington. Mr. Churchill and I understand each other, our motives, and our purposes. Together, during the past two weeks, we have faced squarely the major military and economic problems of this greatest world war.

   All in our nation have been cheered by Mr. Churchill's visit. We have been deeply stirred by his great message to us. He is welcome in our midst, and we unite in wishing him a safe return to his home.

   For we are fighting on the same side with the British people, who fought alone for long, terrible months, and withstood the enemy with fortitude and tenacity and skill.

   We are fighting on the same side with the Russian people who have seen the Nazi hordes swarm up to the very gates of Moscow, and who with almost superhuman will and courage have forced the invaders back into retreat.

   We are fighting on the same side as the brave people of China--those millions who for four and a half long years have withstood bombs and starvation and have whipped the invaders time and again in spite of the superior Japanese equipment and arms.

   Yes, we are fighting on the same side as the indomitable Dutch.

   We are fighting on the same side as all the other governments in exile, whom Hitler and all his armies and all his Gestapo have not been able to conquer.

   But we of the United Nations are not making all this sacrifice of human effort and human lives to return to the kind of world we had after the last world war.

   We are fighting today for security, for progress, and for peace, not only for ourselves but for all men, not only for one generation but for all generations. Weare fighting to cleanse the world of ancient evils, ancient ills.

   Our enemies are guided by brutal cynicism, by unholy contempt for the human race. Weare inspired by a faith that goes back through all the years to the first chapter of the book of Genesis: ``God created man in His own image.''

   We on our side are striving to be true to that divine heritage. We are fighting, as our fathers have fought, to uphold the doctrine that all men are equal in the sight of God. Those on the other side are striving to destroy this deep belief and to create a world in their own image--a world of tyranny and cruelty and serfdom.

   That is the conflict that day and night now pervades our lives. No compromise can end that conflict. There never has been--there never can be--successful compromise between good and evil. Only total victory can reward the champions of tolerance, and decency, and freedom, and faith.

 

   Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Meehan).

   Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding and thank him for his leadership and for making sure that our men and women in uniform get everything that they need.

   This is an unfortunate day in the House of Representatives, the people's House, where Members of this body were told we could have a debate on Iraq. Surely it is time to have a discussion of our misguided policy in Iraq. But rather than give us a debate on Iraq, we see a resolution that comes from the Republican leadership that was drafted by political experts on spin.

   We all support our troops. We merge the war on terror with the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq so that we can cloud the debate and make the debate about whether and who supports the troops.

   Surely we can do better than that. 2,500 Americans have been killed; 19,000 brave men and women have been injured. And there is no accountability on the part of this Congress to the mistakes that have been made.

   ``They will welcome us when we get there.'' We had a window of opportunity, and we missed it. We didn't send enough troops in to secure the peace in Iraq. General Shinseki warned us, and they ignored him and sent him out to pasture.

   We didn't vet Saddam's army so we could secure Baghdad. Mistake. Mistake. We have less oil production now than we did when Saddam was in power. The Iraqi people have lost their opportunity. They have 3.9 hours of electricity in Baghdad and we are talking about things getting better? In a time of war, this administration and this Congress has an obligation to tell the truth about what is happening in Iraq.

   We also have a responsibility to provide the oversight so we correct mistakes, we get our troops into the background because we are sitting ducks up there because we have an occupation that our own State Department polls say is unpopular by 85 to 90 percent of the Iraqis.

   I hear them talk about the terrorists and how we are fighting al Qaeda. Al Qaeda was not in Iraq until this President stood before the world and said, ``Bring it on. Bring it on.'' Well, they brought it on and now 10 percent of the insurgency are actually terrorists. When we leave Iraq, they will leave Iraq.

   We ought to listen to what the State Department told us in advance. We should look at our own investigations and analysis by the State Department that tell us we cannot win this war militarily. You don't beat an insurgency with military conflict; you beat

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an insurgency through making the right planning decisions, by making the right decisions to give the Iraqis what they need to be upfront to keep their own security in that country. You give the Iraqis what they need to make their own determination of what their future is. The time has come for the United States to move into the background and bring our men and women home.

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 3 1/4 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. McCaul), a member of the International Relations Committee.

   Mr. McCAUL of Texas. Mr. Speaker, September 11 changed our lives forever. But the war on terror started long before that. The year 1979 changed the world. When Iran took our embassy hostage, the seeds of Islamic jihad were spread all over the Middle East.

   These seeds planted hatred and contempt for freedom in the souls of men like Osama bin Laden. In 1983, they murdered our marines in Beirut. In 1993, Ramzi Yousef and his al Qaeda associates bombed the World Trade Center. They were supposed to fall that day, but that day would come later.

   They struck the Khobar Towers in 1996. They bombed our embassies in Africa. They defeated us in Somalia. And they deliberately attacked the USS Cole.

   Each time we failed to respond. And then came September 11. It was as if the United States was a sleeping giant. And not until the bloodiest alarm of 9/11 did the giant finally awake. America cannot afford to go back to sleep again.

   We are fighting this war in distant lands, and we are winning. Our struggle in Iraq and Afghanistan is the great stand in this war on terror. The terrorists are there. Zarqawi was there before, and we are there. And if we fail, the terrorists will prevail just as they have over the last 30 years.

   Behind me is a picture of Sergeant Byron Norwood taken moments before he died for his country in this global war on terror. In Fallujah, Sergeant Norwood helped save seven of his fellow marines in a gun battle with insurgents and gave his own life in the process. Simply put, Byron was a hero.

   His story reminds me of the Bible verse found in the Gospel of John: ``Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.''

   Some say we should retreat in this war on terror, but to them I say to cut and run now would not only be an insult to those waging this liberating battle but a dishonor to those like Byron who made the ultimate sacrifice because few causes are as worthy, few prices are as great.

   I received a letter from Byron's mother expressing her concern that the American people would soon forget about Byron and his sacrifice for freedom. To Janet and all of the other Gold Star Mothers, I say we will never forget Byron, and we will never forget about the other fallen heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

   Whether it is Bill and Janet Norwood or the wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital or the soldiers I met with in Iraq, they all tell me the same thing, Congressman, finish the job. And finish the job we will.

   I would like to close with a message that Byron's father gave to me to deliver to this Chamber. Byron's father said, ``Byron understood the meaning of Semper Fidelis, always faithful, as do all marines who were there that day in Fallujah. He willingly gave his life, and others were seriously and permanently wounded as they sacrificed for their band of brothers and their country. He would never have traded honor for political advantage.''

   Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from Hawaii (Mr. Abercrombie).

   (Mr. ABERCROMBIE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Speaker, I come to the floor to indicate to one and all who cannot be here today that our legislative hands are tied. We have no opportunity, even though we pleaded with the Rules Committee to give us an opportunity to be able to speak on alternatives to this resolution.

   You have heard that this resolution is in support of the troops. It is not. You have heard that this resolution is in support of the war on terrorism. It is not. And I will tell you why it is not, and I will tell you why we have to have an alternative and why we need to vote ``no'' on this resolution, because it doesn't support the troops, and it does not support the war on terrorism.

   The people in this resolution that are referred to, the honored sacrifice that has been made by the Armed Forces of the United States, is supposedly on behalf of somebody called Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, a man who today said he was going to engage in conversations with terrorists who have murdered Americans to give them amnesty. This is the amnesty resolution.

   To vote for this resolution is to vote for those who support amnesty for those who kill American troops. This is the government we are supposed to be standing up and defending, the very freedom that gives that prime minister the possibility of speaking to the terrorists has been won by the blood and sacrifice of American troops. This is the amnesty bill. This is the amnesty resolution.

   There are people on this floor who will not grant amnesty to people who cut their lawns, who wash the dishes in the restaurants they eat in; but they are willing to vote for a resolution that says that they support a government that is willing to give amnesty to people who murder the men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States.

   I am not going to do that. And if you disagree with that interpretation, give me the right to put it on the floor for a vote and let's see who wins the hearts and minds of the American people, not the Iraqi people, as to who is really supporting the troops and who is really willing to fight a war on terror.

   This is nothing but a resolution confirming the existing administration policies. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, you deserve the opportunity on the floor of the people's House to have a real debate, not a discussion, not to echo sentiments, but to have substantive words on the floor that allow the American people to understand what direction do we want to take this country.

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume to clarify for the record that this resolution honors all those Americans who have taken an active part in the global war on terror, whether as first responders, protecting the homeland, as servicemembers overseas, as diplomats and intelligence officers, and in other roles.

   And further, it honors the sacrifice of the United States Armed Forces and of partners in the coalition, and of the Iraqis and Afghans who fight alongside them, especially those who have fallen or have been wounded in the struggle, and honors as well the sacrifices of their families and of others who risk their lives to help defend freedom. This is a resolution to honor their sacrifice.

   Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Harris), a member of the House International Relations Committees.

   Ms. HARRIS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this strong, proactive defense of our liberties and freedoms from the preying forces of Islamic radicals in their jihad against the core values of our Western Civilization.

   We did not choose this war. They picked the fight. The events of September 11 represented the final moment of spending our days as bystanders.

   Mr. Speaker, this debate is not about the choices which precipitated the war in Iraq. The choice we face today, and Americans will face in November, is between two visions: full commitment to protect our Nation and prosecute the global war against terrorists, or complete surrender to Islamic extremists who want to destroy us. There is no middle ground.

   Without maintaining pressure upon this global war, we face the grave risk of producing homegrown terrorism. These radical Islamists would rather take their fight to our streets, our communities, our neighborhoods.

   The necessity of a proactive, robust strategy recently was reiterated by an ally too well-acquainted with the threat posed by radicalized forces.

   British Prime Minister Tony Blair said: ``We have to act, not react; we have to do so on the basis of prediction, not certainty; and such an action will often, usually indeed, be outside our own territory.''

   America has acted. Our troops have responded honorably and successfully.

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Are we safe for today? Absolutely. Should we cut and run from Iraq? Never.

   As Winston Churchill said: ``We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle nor the long-drawn trial of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools and we will finish the job.''

   Mr. SKELTON. I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Reyes).

   Mr. REYES. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.

   This afternoon, regrettably, we are talking about the cost of this war, the cost of the commitment of the American people: the cost in money, and the cost in lives, over 2,500 to date; the cost in wounded, over 18,000, with very little or no oversight, very little or no accountability, and certainly very little or no shared sacrifice in this country.

   

[Time: 18:15]

   This resolution that we are discussing, because it is not even a debate, is more about politics than about practical solutions. Anyone that doubts that, all you have got to do is read the article in today's paper that sets out the political strategy by the majority leader in terms of this resolution.

   Oversight, oversight, oversight. Where was our armor, both body armor and vehicle armor? What was our plan post ``Mission Accomplished'' press conference? Where were we during the issue of Abu Ghraib rendition and so many other things that have come up?

   In fact, last night I went home and I switched on the TV and I just happened, by chance, to catch the program on HBO, Last Letters Home: The Families. And it occurs to me this afternoon that we owe those families from that HBO program, and the 2,500 other families, an apology, because they have made the sacrifice. They understand the cost of this war. And they must be wondering where the accountability and where the oversight is. We need to apologize to them and to the American people for not doing our job.

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Barrett), who has traveled to Iraq and has witnessed the progress firsthand.

   Mr. BARRETT of South Carolina. Mr. Speaker, we have talked about facts and figures tonight. We have talked about whether we have got the right number of forces and how much money we are spending. But we can talk about facts and figures all the time. This is more than that.

   This is about faces. This is about faces in the fight on global terror. This is about the faces of leaders like Maliki and Karzai, guys that are worried whether the United States is going to keep its pledge and its word to be with them to the bitter end.

   This is about the faces of citizens who want to raise their families, who want to live and worship in a country that is free, where they can walk down the street without the fear of being blown up.

   This is about the faces of families who are concerned about whether we are going to do everything we need to do to make sure our soldiers, sailors and airmen have everything they need in this fight.

   This is about the faces of the enemy, cold blooded murderers with red eyes who have only one mission in life, death or victory.

   And this is about the faces of soldiers, dirty, tired, hungry, scared sometimes, but soldiers with a resolute mission, a mission of victory.

   Mr. Speaker, every day I thank God that we have men and women worldwide willing to do something bigger than any of us here today, willing to fight for freedom and justice and to keep America safe and strong.

   Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from Arkansas (Mr. Snyder).

   Mr. SNYDER. Mr. Speaker, this resolution contains phrases such as ``we will prevail,'' words like ``determination,'' ``resolve,'' ``we are committed to the completion of the mission.'' It is a good, well written pep talk. But where is the discussion of how?

   As Mr. Gilchrest, our colleague from Maryland and a decorated Vietnam war veteran said, where is the urgency in figuring out how we are going to do those things?

   We should be having a debate and a discussion on how we will prevail, not just that want to prevail.

   Specifically, how are we going to equip a very poorly equipped Iraqi army? How are we going to set up a system of support and supply and repair for the Iraqi army? How are we going to ensure that more Iraqis are employed and develop the economy? How are we going to increase electricity production, which is below prewar levels? How are we going to increase access to potable water and sanitation, which is below prewar levels? How are we going to increase oil production and the oil production sector, which is below prewar levels? How are we going to finish putting together the provincial reconstruction teams? How are we going to increase and improve the training of police? How are we going to help create and improve local courts and the judicial system? How are we going to improve the refining capacity? Iraq is an importer of gasoline. How are we going to improve the accountability for contractors? That means how are we going to quit wasting billions of U.S. tax dollars? How are we going to find more allies to share in this burden? How are we going to keep our Army, our military from breaking down? How are we going to strengthen our Reserve component, our blessed Guard and Reserve people? How are we going to preserve our all volunteer Army? How are we going to increase our public diplomacy, so that people will quit hating America all around the world? How are we going to make our troops safer?

   Those are the kinds of discussions we should be having. But what are we doing? We are rehashing the past. We are talking about the 1990s. We are talking about the war resolution. Let us look ahead. How are we going to prevail? How are we going to keep this commitment to the completion of this mission?

   Specifically, I think we need to do far better oversight. I am a member of the House Arms Services Committee. We are abysmal in our oversight, abysmal.

   Years ago when the Republicans took over, and maybe it was a good move at that time, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations was eliminated. It has not worked to do that.

   I see friends over here. Ladies and gentlemen, we need to bring back the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations so we can ask these kind of questions. How are we going to do the things? How are we going to achieve this pep talk that is going to be voted on today or tomorrow?

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Poe), a member of the International Relations Committee, who has traveled to Iraq, has met with our U.S. coalition, and Iraqi troops.

   Mr. POE. Mr. Speaker, I went to Iraq in 2005. I was one of two Members of this Congress to view the first free elections in their history, and I watched in awe and admiration as more than 8 million people went to the polls and elected a government. Men and women, young and old, courageously cast their ballots in the face of the violent terrorists.

   I spoke to many Iraqis and they showed great defiance against those outlaws that wished to disrupt those elections. Despite facing 300 attacks across the nation that day, more than 60 percent of the Iraqis went out to vote. Not even 44 murders by the terrorists could remove the resolve of those people.

   Men and women waited in line to cast their vote. They took the historic ballots, entered a cardboard booth and made their choice. With that simple but noble action, they pushed tyrants and terrorists aside and set Iraq on a path to freedom. Then they marched down the street holding their ink stained finger up high in defiance of those terrorists.

   I talked to Iraqis. And I talked to a woman who came up to me with tears in her eyes after she voted and said how grateful she and her family were for the America that we live in, for giving their sons for her family's freedom.

   She went on to relate to me how her husband and her brother had been murdered by the devil of the desert, Saddam Hussein.

   There have been more successful elections since the first, and the skeptics and the critics get it wrong with each new free and successful election.

   Democracy is the enemy of terrorists. They hate democracies as much as

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they hate the human life of the innocents that they murder.

   We cannot give in to these madmen. The insurgents have discovered that the United States and her allies cannot be defeated on the battlefield. They have also found that the steely resolve of the Iraqi people to create a free and fair and inclusive government cannot be broken. Liberty and freedom are overcoming treachery and tyranny and violence. We will not fear nor flee nor flinch in this absolute resolve.

   And our mission statement was stated 40 years ago by President John F. Kennedy when he said, ``Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we will pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe in order to assure the survival and success of liberty.''

   And that's just the way it is.

   Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity, in light of the gentleman from Arkansas' comments, Dr. Snyder, to remind the body, Mr. Speaker, that it was the Investigation Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee that produced the all important legislation we now call Goldwater-Nickels, which brought about jointness within the armed services.

   And I also might mention that all 29 Democrats sent a letter to the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, from which we have not received an answer, recommending and asking that the Investigations Or Oversight Subcommittee be reestablished.

   Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Smith).

   (Mr. SMITH of Washington asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. SMITH of Washington. Mr. Speaker, this debate on this resolution, and the resolution itself, continues two very dangerous patterns that have sort of governed all of our actions in Iraq for far, far too long.

   First of all, there are no specifics, as Congressman Snyder said quite articulately, as to how we are going to achieve this victory.

   When this debate was billed, we were told this was going to be the floor of the House, the People's House talking about how to deal with the very tough challenges that now present themselves in Iraq. Even the President admits that things have not gone the way we had planned, and we need to step up and figure out how to fix the problems.

   And yet, this resolution doesn't say a thing about that. It says, terrorism is bad, our troops are good, and we want to win.

   This House is failing in its mission with such an open statement that does not get at the how of winning. How are we going to deal with an open-ended commitment to Iraq? How are we going to pay the price for that? Is it even in the best interest of our goal of a stable and peaceful Iraq to say that our troops will stay there for as long as is necessary?

   Those questions are not answered. Unless we in this House are willing to step up and put policy forward, we shouldn't say that this is a debate about the future of Iraq. It is not. We have many hard questions that need to be answered. This resolution does not do that.

   And the second dangerous trend is the pattern of the President and the majority in this Congress to say anyone who disagrees with them is somehow unpatriotic and defeatist, which to my mind means that we all need a refresher course on why democracy is important. We are all very good at saying that it is important. It is important so that we hear all the voices, not just those who disagree with us. That way we can learn from our mistakes, which we desperately need to do in Iraq.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   Mr. Speaker, I rise in disappointment--though I must say, not in surprise--about the exercise the House is engaged in today. This is not a true debate about our policy in Iraq. A real debate on Iraq would allow us to consider alternative proposals and vote on meaningful amendments that could help us improve the very difficult situation there. Instead we have before us an un-amendable, rhetorical document about the war on terrorism that barely focuses on Iraq itself, and certainly doesn't deal with the real challenges we face there. This process is an offense to our democracy.

   What is even more troubling, Mr. Speaker, is that this kind of undemocratic approach is precisely what led to the Bush administration's many costly mistakes in Iraq. Americans have seen how the administration's stubborn single-mindedness and refusal to consider alternative views and dissenting opinions have cost us dearly in Iraq. The facts are all-too-well-known:

   When General Shinseki said that far more troops would be needed to secure the peace in Iraq, he was ignored and soon retired--and the result was that the troops we did send struggled unnecessarily to prevent and control a massive insurgency.

   When advisors warned the administration not to de-Baathify and disband the Iraqi military and security forces, they were ignored. As Prime Minister Tony Blair has publicly admitted, this was a grave mistake that effectively pushed thousands of military-trained, disempowered Sunnis into the streets, fueling the post-war insurgency.

   And the administration's refusal to heed dissenting views on Iraq continues to this day. Now that the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction has brought to light massive amounts of waste, fraud, and abuse in the reconstruction contracting, I understand that the administration and the Republicans in Congress are trying to prematurely end his mandate.

   This is a clear pattern, Mr. Speaker, and the consequences of this arrogant, undemocratic approach are real. It has cost us dearly in American lives and resources, undermined our efforts to build peace and stability in Iraq, and delayed our departure from the country.

   Mr. Speaker, I supported the use-of-force authorization in October 2002 in order to give the President the leverage to hold Saddam Hussein accountable for his threatening behavior and refusal to submit to weapons inspections. And that is what makes it all the more frustrating that the President misused that authority by rushing to war and committing so many grave and costly mistakes in Iraq.

   So no, Mr. Speaker, this is not a real debate. A real debate would allow us to consider the important questions in Iraq: Can we afford to make an open-ended commitment to staying in Iraq? Has our troop presence there reached the point where it is inhibiting a successful transition to full Iraqi sovereignty? Can our strained military and ballooning national deficit handle it?

   How can we accelerate the transition to Iraqi sovereignty and responsibility for their own country? How best can we engage in more robust diplomacy with our allies and key regional players who can help bolster the new Iraqi government and contribute to its reconstruction?

   How can we improve Congressional oversight so that we can identify and rectify the enormous mistakes the administration has made in Iraq?

   These are the questions we should be debating, Mr. Speaker, because they directly affect our ability to achieve success in Iraq. We owe it to our brave men and women in uniform and to the American people to ask these questions. But instead, we have a resolution before us today that is basically irrelevant when it comes to the real issues in Iraq. It says, essentially, that we support fighting terrorism and that we are committed to achieving success in Iraq. I agree with that, but that doesn't say anything about how we get there. That is the important question.

   Mr. Speaker, today Congress is continuing to utterly abdicate its oversight responsibility. Since the outbreak of war, this Congress has done little more than endorse the administration's policy in Iraq, instead of asking the tough questions and scrutinizing that policy, as the Constitution requires us to do.

   Mr. Speaker, I hope, despite this Congress' refusal to conduct oversight, that we can be honest today as we look ahead in Iraq. We all want to see an Iraq that is stable, secure, and free. Our troops are doing an outstanding job, and they deserve our full support and respect. But the fact is that success or failure in Iraq increasingly depends on the decisions of Iraqi leaders, and they must understand that. In order to achieve success in Iraq we must accelerate the transition to Iraqi sovereignty.

   I believe that significantly reducing our military footprint is critical for making that happen. While we cannot simply abandon Iraq at this point, drawing down our forces levels in a responsible way in the coming months will force the Iraqis to take greater responsibility for their own security and reduce their dependence on U.S. forces. It will also send an important message to the Iraqi people that Americans are not there to occupy the country, but rather seek to begin leaving as Iraqis take control of their own country.

   Finally, Mr. Speaker, as we move forward in Iraq, both the future and the past matter. We must make the best of a difficult situation by working diligently to help Iraqis take full responsibility for running their country so that our overburdened troops can come home. And we must do so in a manner that does not give the violent Islamic terrorists in the world any greater strength. Yet we must also be willing to acknowledge and learn from our mistakes

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so that we can chart a new path forward. That requires holding the Bush administration and this rubber-stamp Congress accountable for their failures.''
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   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, before I yield to the gentlewoman from Connecticut, I would like to give myself such time right now as I might consume.

   We have a strategy, and it is a strategy for success, Mr. Speaker. Every day in Iraq and in Afghanistan is proof positive that we are making progress and that we will prevail.

   My colleagues on the other side of the aisle say we need to have a debate on how to win. And I would point them to the Intelligence, to the Armed Services Committee, our own International Relations Committee, the countless hearings and meetings we have held to address the issues that have been raised here. And while I will let Armed Services discuss their oversight, I would like to read just briefly some of the sessions held by our International Relations Committee on Oversight.

   Full committee hearings in the 109th Congress, in the 108th Congress, full committee Members only meeting, subcommittee hearings in the 109th Congress, subcommittee hearings in the 108th Congress, classified briefings in the 108th and 109th Congresses, as well as a total of 9 resolutions of inquiry on Iraq referred to our committee.

   Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Connecticut (Mrs. Johnson).

   Mrs. JOHNSON of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. Terrorism, as a method of achieving political goals and settling political differences, is intolerable to the civilized world. Inevitably, terrorists will gain access to chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons. Never has a non-government organization been able to deliver weapons of mass destruction. That will be unprecedented, and it is truly intolerable. So terrorism, as an organized system of political action, must be defeated.

   Within the Palestinian Authority, for the first time, the issue of terrorism as a means of political action is now the issue between Mr. Abbas and the Prime Minister. And in Iraq, the same issue is being joined. The new Prime Minister recognizes that there can be no government if political organizations are to each have their own armies.

   Iraqis had the courage to vote for the adoption of an interim government, for a constitution, for a permanent government, and the Prime Minister, as well as communities throughout Iraq, get it, that governing themselves is what they want.

   Our forces have distinguished themselves in Iraq, both as skilled military units and model citizens, and I salute them. They have won the war we had to win, and are now training thousands of Iraqis and transferring authorities to Iraqi units to win the war only they can win.

   

[Time: 18:30]

   Our impatience to leave is matched by their impatience to take the reins of their destiny. The reins are being transferred. Patience, hope, perseverance. Our children will inherit a safer world.

   My heartfelt gratitude for those who have given their lives to our Nation, and for their families.

   America salutes you.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   I have a picture on my desk and letters in my files from families of talented young men and women killed in Iraq. I am proud of their commitment to our country of their service of the values they held dear. But I am unendingly sad--for the sacrifice they and their families have had to make.

   Let us be clear--terrorism as a method of achieving political goals and settling political differences is intolerable to the civilized world.

   Terrorism maximizes the killing of the innocent. Terrorism glorifies the brutality of torture and murder. Terrorism knows no diplomats and rejects negotiations as a means of resolving differences.

   In our world, weapons of mass destruction--chemical, biological, and nuclear--will be increasingly available to terrorist organizations espousing terrorism as a means of political action.

   That is unprecedented. Never has a non-nation organization been able to deliver weapons of mass destruction. That is unprecedented, unacceptable and intolerable.

   Yet terrorism as an organized system of political action has developed to new heights in the Middle East and it is there that it must be defeated.

   Within the Palestinian Authority, for the first time, the issue of terrorism as a method of political action is now the issue between Mr. Abbas and the Prime Minister. Very specifically, they are debating not the legitimacy of a national army or diplomacy, but the legitimacy of political armies, factional armies and terrorist action--that is, violence ungoverned by national interest or law.

   And in Iraq, the same issue is being joined. The new Prime Minister recognizes that there can be no government if political organizations (even if reflecting religious and ethnic differences) are to each have their own armies governed only by the unlimited rights of terrorists to kill others and terrorize those committed to public service.

   Iraqis had the courage to vote to adopt an interim government, to adopt a constitution, and to elect their first democratic government. The prime minister, as well as communities throughout Iraq, get it, that governing themselves is what they want, and they are in varying degrees.

   We as a people know the power of freedom under law. And our forces have distinguished themselves in Iraq, both as skilled military units and as model citizens respecting others and supporting and encouraging the local processes of governance.

   I salute our men and women of the U.S. military. They have won the war we had to win and are now training thousands of Iraqis and transferring authority to Iraqi units, to win the war only they can win.

   Ultimately, the Iraqi units will defeat terrorism as a method of political action and the people all over the world will triumph. Our impatience to leave is matched by their impatience to take the reins of their destiny.

   The reins are being transferred. Patience. Hope. Perseverance. Our children will inherit a safer world as a consequence of our success.

  • [End Insert]

     

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Boustany).

   Mr. BOUSTANY. Mr. Speaker, I come to the floor today to commend our friends, the Iraqi people, for their success in forming a unity government and, most importantly, to send a message that the United States does not back down from its commitments.

   Six months ago I visited Iraq following their national elections which set up a truly representative and united government. Since then, the Iraqi Government has made significant advances. Just last week we saw the completion of the prime minister's cabinet, most notably the key positions of the ministers of defense and interior. It is important for the new Iraqi Government to fully understand our level of commitment to them during this time of transition.

   Let it never be said that the United States backed away from its commitment to peace, security, and stability of this region.

   A half century ago, Winston Churchill addressed this body to urge the United States to not lose patience and not lose hope in our commitment to rebuild a stronger, united Europe following World War II facing the specter of communism. Mr. Speaker, Churchill's words still ring true today. From the Berlin Airlift to the rebuilding of Japan, from the DMZ in Korea to the mountains of Afghanistan, and now to the streets of Baghdad, the world has come to learn that America does not back down from its commitments.

   Today we affirm our commitment not only to the Iraqi people but to the cause of liberty throughout the world.

   Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Loretta Sanchez).

   Ms. LORETTA SANCHEZ of California. Mr. Speaker, as a member of the Armed Services Committee, I rise today to give voice to a few of those outside views about Iraq, those of several former general officers who have the courage to speak out about how this war has been mishandled by the President and this Republican Congress.

   Take, for example, General Anthony Zinni, former commander of the U.S. Central Command. He says, ``We are paying the price for the lack of credible planning, or the lack of a plan. Ten years' worth of planning were thrown away, troop levels dismissed out of hand ..... these were strategic mistakes, mistake of policy.''

   Or how about Major General Paul Eaton, who led the initial effort to create the Iraqi Army. He says that the ``failure to build coalitions with our allies ..... has imposed far greater demands and risks on our soldiers in Iraq than necessary.''

   The list goes on and on. These generals have served our country with

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honor and distinction, and we would be foolish not to heed their counsel. But this administration and this majority refuse to listen to any views other than their own.

   I agree with many of my colleagues who say that the failure in Iraq is not an option. But unless we take a long, honest look at how we got where we are right now and demand some kind of accountability for the mistakes that were made and learn from those mistakes, there can be no success.

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Lewis).

   (Mr. LEWIS of Kentucky asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. LEWIS of Kentucky. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to voice my strong support for House Resolution 861.

   Answering questions at a September 27 Pentagon press conference, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, said, ``If we are not successful in the global war on terrorism, then our way of life is, indeed, at stake. My view is, if terrorism wins in Iraq, the next 9/11 is right around the corner. It's just that simple,'' he said.

   This is the sober reality we face. Our safety at home and the cause of freedom abroad is largely contingent upon our success in Iraq. Our enemies would like nothing better than to seize upon the unrest in Iraq, drive coalition forces away, and take refuge in another autocratic regime like the former Taliban and Baathist Parties, from which they could have greater wherewithal to kill Americans and our allies. We must fight and win the battle against terror overseas so we never have to fight it here at home.

   As we have moved to restore order and stability to the region, our temporary presence has drawn thousands of al Qaeda disciples to Iraq to capitalize on what began as a small and anticipated homegrown insurgency by Saddam Hussein's fiercest loyalists. Now Iraq is al Qaeda's center of gravity, and we must do all that we can to secure and stabilize Iraq and its promising new government, defeating agents of terror on fronts abroad so they never again strike us here at home.

   We must also remember that it is not a war of our choosing. al Qaeda declared war against the United States more than a decade ago and launched tactical strikes against Americans and our interests throughout the 1990s. Whether or not Iraq was directly involved in the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, our operations in that nation have become a war against terrorists who have already attacked this country.

   It is essential to the security of the American people and to the world's security that the United States together with its allies take the battle to the terrorists and to those who provide them assistance.

   Therefore, I do not believe it is in our national interest to arbitrarily set a date for withdrawal until our mission is complete. House Resolution 861 makes it clear that the American people are determined to prevail in Iraq and other fronts to protect our freedom and defeat terrorist enemies. To achieve this goal, we must remain engaged, patient, and persistent.

   Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from California (Mrs. Davis).

   Mrs. DAVIS of California. Mr. Speaker, our men and women in uniform have shouldered the enormous tasks we have asked of them; and they should be commended for it, especially considering the careless way this war was planned and conducted.

   Our soldiers would never complain about the mistakes of their Commander in Chief. The military just does not work that way. We all know that. Without any second guessing, they will always do the jobs assigned to them.

   But we are the Congress. It is our job to raise questions about how our troops are used and cared for. It is our job to identify and to look into mistakes that are made by the executive branch. It is our job to consider and learn from the lessons of Iraq. But what have we learned today? Recycling words and we are not fixing problems.

   This resolution, Mr. Speaker, just does not cut it. Our soldiers are doing their jobs. They have earned and deserve a Congress that does its job.

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I am so pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Platts), who has been to Iraq four times, to Afghanistan twice, and I had the honor of traveling to both places with him as well.

   (Mr. PLATTS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. PLATTS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of House Resolution 861.

   The debate we are having today serves as an important reminder to all Americans that we are a nation at war. This war is against an enemy that embraces hate and intolerance over liberty and justice. Like other wars in our history, the human and financial costs are high. We mourn the loss of each and every American who has made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our Nation. All Americans are forever indebted to these courageous citizens and their families.

   It is understandable that Americans worry for the safety of our troops and have doubts as reports of suicide bombings and other attacks air regularly on television. But as in the war against fascism in the 20th century and as demonstrated by the tragic attacks of 9/11, the stakes for our Nation and our democratic allies throughout the world could not be higher.

   In place of the regimes of terror and torture in Iraq and Afghanistan, we now have duly elected constitutional governments, governments that are working to promote democracy in a region of the world that has rarely embraced it. The citizens of these nations have demonstrated their intense desire for freedom through their willingness to face down threats of violence and death in casting their votes in numerous national elections in both countries.

   The global war on terrorism in the broad sense and the specific battles in Iraq and Afghanistan will not be won according to a specified timetable, and our enemy cannot be appeased. But we can and we will win this war because our cause is just and right. And winning this war will ensure that the democratic gains made in Iraq and Afghanistan are not lost.

   The security of our Nation and its citizens, along with the defense of the ideals of freedom, democracy, and justice, is what is at stake in this global struggle of good over evil. This struggle requires us to go beyond Democrat and Republican, liberal and conservative, just as previous generations did to defeat the totalitarian ideologies of the 20th century. And in the words of President Roosevelt at the beginning of World War II, it means going forward with ``confidence in our Armed Forces, with the unbounding determination of our people'' in order to ``gain the inevitable triumph.''

   May God watch over our troops serving in harm's way, and may God continue to bless our great Nation, the United States of America.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of House Resolution 861 and ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks.

   The debate we are having today serves as an important reminder to all Americans that we are a nation at war. This war is against an enemy that embraces hate and intolerance over life and liberty. Like other wars in our history, the human and financial costs are high. We mourn the loss of each and every American who has made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation. All Americans are forever indebted to these courageous citizens and their families.

   It is understandable that Americans worry for the safety of our troops and have doubts as reports of suicide bombings and other attacks air regularly on television. But, as in the war against fascism in the 20th century, and as demonstrated by the tragic attacks of 9-11, the stakes for our nation and our democratic allies throughout the world could not be higher.

   I have traveled to Afghanistan twice and Iraq four times over the past four and one-half years. During these visits, there have been two constants that have instilled confidence in me about our mission and progress in these countries.

   First is the professionalism, courage, and sense of duty displayed by our men and women in uniform. Whenever you thank our soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen for their service, they humbly reply, ``I'm just doing my job.''

   Their job, of course, is to protect our way of life. To protect the lives of our nation's citizens and the principles for which our great nation stands.

   Our troops have removed truly brutal regimes from power in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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They have denied terrorists two safe havens. They have eliminated the threat that a murderous dictator who used weapons of mass destruction on his own people--a dictator who continued to defy United Nations resolutions and shoot at American planes enforcing the no-fly zones in northern and southern Iraq--would again produce and brandish such weapons once international support for sanctions broke down.

   Our men and women in uniform are building schools and roads, training police and soldiers, and hunting down terrorists. They are fighting al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Iraq so we don't have to fight them here at home. They are helping the Iraqi security forces stand up so we can stand down.

   In place of the regimes of terror and torture in Iraq and Afghanistan, we now have duly elected constitutional governments. Governments that are working to promote democracy in a region of the world that has rarely embraced it. The citizens of these nations have demonstrated their intense desire for freedom through their willingness to face down threats of violence and death in casting their votes in numerous national elections in both countries.

   The devotion to duty of our men and women in uniform is truly inspiring. The sacrifices of these patriotic Americans on the front lines of the Global War on Terrorism, as well as the sacrifices of their family members on the home front, have earned the respect, admiration, and eternal gratitude of all Americans, as well as that of 50 million Afghani and Iraqi citizens who are free today because of the troops' successes.

   The second constant in my visits to Afghanistan and Iraq is the genuine gratefulness expressed by the Iraqi and Afghani people for our nation's actions in liberating them and giving them a chance at freedom. Again and again, what I heard was simply: ``Thank you for liberating our citizens.''

   On my first visit to Iraq, I met with the Mayor of Kirkuk, Abdul Rehman Mustafa, and other Kirkuk city leaders. Mayor Mustafa specifically asked my colleagues and me, upon our return home, to thank our nation's mothers and fathers for their willingness to support their children, our troops, in going into harm's way to defeat Saddam Hussein and thus liberate Iraq and its citizens. In the words of Dr. Kemal Kirkuki, one of Mayor Mustafa's colleagues on the Kirkuk City Council, ``This was not a war against Iraq. It was a war to liberate Iraq.''

   On another trip, I met with a group of Iraqi women leaders, including Safia Taleb al-Suhail. This group of female government and private sector leaders exemplifies the transformation of Iraq from a nation ruled by terror and torture to one in which men and women alike have constitutional rights and opportunities. Safia shared with me how her late father, an opponent of Saddam Hussein, was killed in 1994 while living in exile in Lebanon by Saddam's intelligence service. Ten years later, Safia was named Iraq's Ambassador to Egypt.

   The general consensus of these Iraqi women leaders was that they couldn't wait for the day when our and all Coalition troops could return home and Iraq did not need the military assistance of other nations. These Iraqi women leaders emphasized, however, how glad they were that our and the other Coalition troops were there ensuring the freedom of all Iraqis.

   On my most recent trip to Iraq, I observed and met with Iraqi soldiers undergoing basic training. There are now over 260,000 Iraqis trained and equipped to fight the insurgency. Iraqis like those I met with at the East Fallujah training camp continue to stand in line and volunteer for service in Iraqi military and police units, even though they know that said service makes them a likely target for the insurgents. The Iraqi soldiers I met expressed their deep thanks for what our troops have done in their country.

   The Global War on Terrorism in the broad sense and the specific battles in Iraq and Afghanistan will not be won according to a specified timetable, and our enemy cannot be appeased. But we can and will win this war because our cause is just and right. And winning this war will ensure the democratic gains made in Afghanistan and Iraq are not lost. Winning this war will also have a far-reaching and critically important impact in other Middle East countries.

   The security of our nation and its citizens, along with the defense of the ideals of freedom, democracy, and justice, is what is at stake in this global struggle of good over evil. This struggle requires us to go beyond Democrat and Republican, Liberal and Conservative--just as previous generations did to defeat the totalitarian ideologies of the 20th century. And, in the words of President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the beginning of the Second World War, it means going forward, ``with confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people,'' in order to ``gain the inevitable triumph.''

   May God watch over our troops serving in harm's way, and may God continue to bless our great nation--the United States of America.

  • [End Insert]

     

   Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from Rhode Island (Mr. Langevin).

   (Mr. LANGEVIN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. LANGEVIN. Mr. Speaker, as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I know that it is Congress's responsibility to give our troops the resources needed to accomplish their mission. It is a responsibility that I take very seriously. It is precisely that support for the troops that motivates me to warn that we may be doing irreparable harm to our military if we do not alter our mission in Iraq quickly.

   General Barry McCaffrey recently shared his frank assessment of operations in Iraq. He said we should know by year's end whether the new Iraqi Government can effectively control the insurgency. He has argued that we cannot sustain our current level of operations beyond Christmas without breaking our military and endangering our ability to fight future missions. In other words, we are quite possibly 6 months away from a point of no return that could have long-ranging effects on our military and the stability of the Middle East and on our ability to defend this Nation.

   So what is our strategy to prevent the worst case scenario? Where is the oversight and accountability? Well, Mr. Speaker, I will tell you one thing. It is not in the resolution that we are debating today. The Republican leadership prefers to embrace the status quo and ignore the very difficult decisions this Congress needs to make.

   We deserve better. Our men and women in uniform deserve better, and the American people deserve better.

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Michigan (Mrs. Miller).

   Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, this resolution declares to the world the resolve of America to fight and to win the global war on terror, including in its central front in Iraq.

   We have heard a great deal during this debate about mistakes that may have been made in the lead up to the war and during its execution, and they may be somewhat correct.

   But the facts that cannot be debated are that Saddam Hussein had brutally repressed his own people, that he had used chemical weapons against his own people, that he had sanctioned the rape and murder of his own citizens with rape rooms and mass graves standing as a testament to that fact, that he had harbored terrorists within his borders and supported terrorist organizations throughout the region and the entire world, that he defied the world continually by violating 17 United Nations Security Council resolutions. Saddam Hussein was a threat to world peace and security, and it was a correct decision to go in and remove him from power.

   And now we must complete the mission to bring freedom to the Iraqi people. And freedom is taking root. We have seen recently the completion of the freely elected Iraqi unity government serving under a Constitution written by the Iraqi people and approved by the Iraqi people. And last week American forces, with the cooperation of Iraqi citizens and security forces, eliminated al Zarqawi, the terrorist leader. And according to the Iraqi national security advisor, the elimination of Zarqawi has delivered his government, he said, a huge treasure of information on the terrorist operation. And we have already seen the results with raids across Iraq where hundreds of terrorists have been killed or captured. The Iraqi national security advisor also said that he thought the security situation in the country was improving enough to allow a large number of U.S. forces to leave Iraq by the end of this year.

   Mr. Speaker, everyone in this House, every American, we all want our troops to come home. Lord knows our troops have performed brilliantly and have sacrificed greatly, as American soldiers have done throughout our history when defending our freedom. But they do not want to come home before their mission is complete.

   And simply put, you cannot say that you support the troops without allowing them to complete their mission.

   This resolution declares the United States is committed to the completion

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of that mission to create a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq.

   I urge my colleagues to support the resolution.

   

[Time: 18:45]

   Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

   Mr. Speaker, in light of the comments made by the gentleman from Hawaii (Mr. Abercrombie), I reflect on an article from The Washington Post. And it is sad and disturbing that on the very day that we announced and learned that 2,500 American troops have been killed in Iraq, that the prime minister, Maliki, proposes a limited amnesty, a plan likely to include pardons for those who had attacked only U.S. troops. That is very disturbing.

   Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Cooper).

   (Mr. COOPER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. COOPER. Mr. Speaker, as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I have the privilege of working closely with our troops, the best fighting force the world has ever known.

   And I am proud to support this resolution, because if people will just sit down and read it calmly, you will see that it expresses the strong support for our troops and for victory. Now, it is being used here today as some sort of political Rorschach test. I regret that, because the great leaders in American history have used our times of war to unite our country instead of divide our country.

   Mr. Speaker, our troops are probably wondering why we are debating the Iraq war now 3 years after the beginning of that conflict. We should have had a good debate at the start of the war. I was not serving in Congress then. But it has gone down in history as one of the worst debates in American history.

   There are many other flaws in the process. But today all Members of this body support our troops. All Members of this body support our troops. Democrat, Republican, Independent, you name it, we support our troops.

   Now we should all question how the war is being run because that is our patriotic duty. I for one trust our military. I wish our Republican friends trusted our military before, because few times in American history has military wisdom been overridden as with this administration.

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Nebraska (Mr. Osborne) who has been to Iraq four times to visit with our troops.

   Mr. OSBORNE. Mr. Speaker, I spent many years in coaching. Every Monday morning after a Saturday game, I got lots of mail telling me what I should have done. None of those letters helped me very much, because the game was over; hindsight was always perfect. And the was not what we should have done, but rather, what do we do now.

   And the same is true I think in regard to Iraq. We need to be proactive, not reactive. Like many Members of Congress, I have traveled to Iraq multiple times, and I met on one of these visits a young captain from Nebraska. This is what he said. He said that if we pull out prematurely, if we do not see this thing through, three things are going to happen.

   Number one, every soldier we have lost will have died in vain. I think what he says is true. I called a mother this morning whose son had just been killed. She was proud of her son. She was proud of the sense of mission he had. And I really hate to tell her that we are leaving, that he died in vain.

   Number two, tens of thousands of Iraqis will die as the nation implodes. This is what he said. And there may be hundreds of thousands. We will have broken our promise. We told them we would not pull out until we were ready and they were ready. And we cannot break our promise.

   And, third, we will put a huge bulls eye on our backs, because as terrorists feel that terrorism works, and that we will retreat in the face of terrorism, only more terrorism will result.

   We have seen many examples, Beirut, Kenya, USS Cole, World Trade Center bombing number one, and Bali. One of my All-American football players was killed in that bombing. Three hundred people lost their lives. And so inaction has led to only more terrorism, including 9/11.

   The lack of resolve and willingness to see this through will only result in the spread of terrorism and greater loss of life than anything we have experienced so far.

   Many of the soldiers I have met in Iraq are on their third and fourth tours of duty. They volunteered because they see progress. They have a sense of mission and purpose. And the one thing they ask me and tell me is that they are committed to completion of their mission. We should allow them to do so.

   Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman who has been to Iraq some nine times, former Army Ranger, the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Marshall).

   (Mr. MARSHALL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. MARSHALL. Mr. Speaker, as I thought about today's debate, Tom Paine's words in the crisis came to mind: these are the times that try men's souls.

   It is not that the Army is in tatters. Our Army in the Revolutionary War was in tatters at the time; it was just before the Battle of Princeton and Trenton, which were successful and pulled us back together.

   It is that we seem to be in tatters. I am extremely disappointed that this resolution, the process for the resolution, and some of the whereases in the resolution have invited Members of this House to become angry and to oppose the resolution.

   The resolution is something that we all should be supporting. I support the resolution. The ``resolved'' part of the resolution is quite reasonable. And it expresses the sense of this Congress and this country that we will be resolved with regard to this engagement. We cannot afford to do otherwise.

   Mr. Speaker, it is with disappointment that I participate in the debate today, a debate that is designed intentionally to divide us, when in fact we ought to be showing a great deal of unity as a country in support of our troops and in support of the effort in Iraq.

   We are making progress there. It is a slow go. These kinds of insurgencies typically take 9 to 14 years to deal with. If we hang in there, the Iraqi people ultimately will get control of the security situation in that country.

   If we fail, our security situation gets worse. Theirs is awful. It is a huge threat to Israel. It is a threat to Europe, and a threat to the world. I encourage all of my colleagues to support the resolution, even though they may be disappointed in the process that has been offered us today, in the ``whereas'' clauses in the resolution.

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the previous speaker for the vote of confidence. I am sure that the troops are very happy with that support as well.

   Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 1/2 minutes to my good friend, my Florida colleague, Mr. Diaz-Balart, who has been to both Iraq and Afghanistan and has spent Thanksgiving with our troops and our coalition forces.

   Mr. MARIO DIAZ-BALART of Florida. Mr. Speaker, our Nation is fighting bloodthirsty monsters like al Zarqawi, monsters that behead civilian hostages and that blow up innocent women and children.

   And if many of our Democratic colleagues across the aisle have their way, we would already have cut and run from Iraq and Zarqawi would still be alive beheading innocent people. Thankfully, our brave troops understood the kind of enemy that we are facing.

   This is an enemy, Mr. Speaker, that kidnaps and beheads hostages. This is an enemy that walks into a mall full of innocent people and explodes bombs. This is an enemy that declared war on the United States decades ago, Mr. Speaker, and refuses to stop until liberty has been snuffed out.

   But the United States cannot and will not allow that to happen. Hard work remains in Afghanistan and Iraq. The stakes are high. The Afghani people understand that. The Iraqi people understand this as well. So do the terrorists who murder on a daily basis.

   But we are steadily working towards success, not defeat. Because, you see, this is more than just about helping people over there. This is about protecting our country from rogue states and terrorists over here.

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   This resolution, Mr. Speaker, makes it clear that the American people are determined to prevail in protecting our freedom from terrorist. We will not cower to these thugs. We will continue to support our honorable troops and prevail over this evil, Mr. Speaker.

   As long as we maintain our resolve, Mr. Speaker, and do not cut and run, we will win, we will defeat the terrorists.

   Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Udall).

   (Mr. UDALL of Colorado asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.

   Mr. Speaker, a few months ago, in response to pressure from both sides of the aisle, the Republican leadership promised a full debate on Iraq. What we are getting today is certainly a long debate, but it is far from full.

   A full debate would mean that Members would be able to offer alternatives to this resolution. We would then be able to debate the merits of all of the resolutions offered. I had hoped to offer a bipartisan resolution I had introduced with my colleague, Joe Schwarz of Michigan, that recognizes political progress in Iraq, including the establishment of a national unity government, but also recognizes that more progress is needed, and that the Iraqis must meet their own deadlines for modifications to their Constitution.

   As it is, today's debate has been tightly controlled, and our only choice is to vote up or down on a ``status quo'' resolution that does not focus on Iraq and does not reflect reality on the ground. This resolution does not bring us together, Mr. Speaker. And I regret that this debate is driving us further apart.

   We were led into war as a divided Nation, and today we are even more divided. A successful conclusion in Iraq can only happen, it can only happen if Congress and the Bush administration work to bring unity at home.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   If this were a real debate on Iraq, we would focus on where we are versus where we thought we would be, and look at the options from here. Just last year, Congress called for 2006 to be a year of transition in Iraq that would allow U.S. forces to begin to redeploy. But we're into the middle of June, and we are actually adding troops.

   A real debate would admit that Iraq is a distinct issue, only part of the ``global war on terror'' insofar as the security vacuum in Iraq has attracted terrorists. But as the gentleman from Missouri, Mr. SKELTON, has said--Iraq is a separate conflict, an insurgency with terrorist elements and sectarian violence.

   A real debate would be honest about how continuous deployment in Iraq hurts our military personnel and their families, strains recruiting and retention, and damages readiness.

   This resolution talks about how much we honor our troops and the sacrifices they and their families have made to help defend freedom. No matter how each Member chooses to vote today, there's no question that we all honor and support our troops.

   But I would argue that if we really cared for our troops, we would make sure they had the equipment and training they need. We wouldn't make it less possible for them to meet some future mission. No one wants a new mission for our troops, but if we had to fight somewhere else, we wouldn't have the equipment or forces to do it.

   These are the themes that we should be debating in a resolution today, not the ``feel good'' messages included in the Republican resolution. We all want to feel good about Iraq and believe that progress is possible. But we can't want progress so much that we blind ourselves to the reality on the ground.

   This debate is driving us further apart.

  • [End Insert]

     

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman, my colleague from Florida (Mr. Crenshaw), who has traveled multiple times to Iraq to meet with our forces.

   Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Speaker, in the days after 9/11, the United States took the last action that our enemies thought we would take, we took the fight to them. They believed that our partisan bickering would provide them with the protection they needed to continue to operate. But they were dead wrong.

   Today, we have them on the run. Saddam Hussein has been captured, and Zarqawi is dead. In their place stands the very thing our enemies fear the most, democracy. Instead of a fascist dictator is a newly elected prime minister. And fear and oppression have been replaced with an emerging economy.

   But our enemies continue to fight. Why is that? Does their resolve stem from some military, political, or strategic error on our part? No. To the contrary, it is our doubt that gives them strength. al Qaeda has declared Iraq as the battleground between democracy and their hatred of our way of life.

   But they know that their war cannot be won on the battlefield. And I look forward to the day when our friends in the Middle East can stand on their own. They have already proven to be allies, and the future of our friendship still hangs in the balance.

   Some would rather abandon our friends and everything we have accomplished, hoping this act of good faith would somehow appease a foe proven to be without mercy. But I know our borders and our communities should not be our front lines. It is our job to keep our Nation safe, and we will.

   The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Terry). The gentleman from Missouri has 4 minutes left, and the gentlewoman from Florida has 8 minutes left.

   Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from Georgia (Ms. McKinney).

   Ms. McKINNEY. Mr. Speaker, this administration speaks of patriotism, yet cuts health care for wounded soldiers, now numbering over 18,000. It wraps itself in the flag, the same flag draping the coffins of our dead, numbering over 2,500 as of today.

   Yet now there are revelations of $12 billion missing from the Treasury, shipped to Iraq in $100 bills and distributed in ways we may never learn, bringing a total of unaccounted funds from the Iraq Rebuilding Fund to $21 billion.

   Yet the Bush administration has launched no investigation, has imposed no penalties on the corporations involved. The American people have been defrauded of our money, our morality, and the precious lives of our soldiers.

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, how much time do we have remaining in our segment?

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman has 8 minutes.

   Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

   Mr. Speaker, I can think of no better person to close our segment of the International Relations Committee, and I yield the remaining time to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Sam Johnson), who served in the United States Air Force from 1951 to 1979, decorated combat veteran with two silver stars, and as all of us know is a living hero, a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. We welcome him and we thank him for closing up our segment of the debate.

   

[Time: 19:00]

   Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, the question of the day is this, do you support the war against terrorism or don't you? You know, our enemy brutally attacked the World Trade Center in 1993, and we did nothing. In 1998, they attacked two American embassies in East Africa killing 80 people. We did nothing. We were attacked again on USS Cole. We did nothing.

   Well, now we have a strong President with courage and conviction who is bold enough to say enough is enough. If you are going to attack the United States, then we are going to fight back, and we will not tolerate terror.

   You know, I devoted 29 years of my life to the Air Force, flew 62 missions in the Korean War, 25 in Vietnam, and spent 7 years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, more than half of that in solitary confinement. When I say I revere freedom, I mean that with my whole heart. I know what it is like not to have it. Every single day, since I left that God forsaken place, I thank God for my freedom.

   Sometimes people here in America take the countless blessings of this Nation for granted. However, freedom is the touchstone of democracy, and America means business when we say we want to help people in Iraq experience the rich taste of freedom. When we say we are with you, our word is golden. It is through the lens of a lifelong fighter pilot that I step back today and marvel at some of the tremendous accomplishments of the last several years in the promising democracy of Iraq. It gives me hope and provides just a glimpse of how the best is yet to come.

[Page: H4082]

   Mr. Speaker, we are making great progress in Iraq. I have been there, and I have seen it. What a difference a few years makes. For generations, the people of Iraq only knew hate, fear and death. The former leader of Iraq gassed his own people by the thousands and hanged people in his very own death chambers.

   Remember just days ago looking at the image on the television of Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq? He was cornered and killed. Better yet, from that raid, came a slew of information. We are hunting down terrorists, and they are going to pay.

   According to the Associated Press, American and Iraqi forces have carried out 452 raids just since last week's killing of al Zarqawi and 104 insurgents were killed during those raids. They also resulted in the capture of 759 anti-Iraqi elements. As a result, we discovered a treasure trove of al Zarqawi's information, almost ensuring a defeat against the evil forces of al Qaeda.

   Americans are training and working with Iraqi forces nationwide. There is over 260,000 Iraqi security forces serving their country. Another exciting facet of the development in Iraq is the budding democracy.

   Remember last January we saw the pictures from the first election? The news media predicted gloom and doom. What did we see? We saw bold images of people patiently waiting in lines for hours, defying death threats just to cast a vote.

   Today, people are working tirelessly to guarantee their freedoms. Participation in many Sunni areas of Iraq went from as little as 25 percent in January 2005 election to 75 percent in December. That is tremendous. Wouldn't we like that here in the United States?

   The people of Iraq have created a framework for their own future, their very own constitution. They have announced a new unity government, and the people of Iraq refused to allow those who rule by hate and fear to stop them from forging ahead for the future.

   They are already tasting the fruits of our freedom. Their strong resolve will pay off in the long run. They know what a difference several years of budding democracy makes. This is what democracy looks like in Iraq today.

   Schools and hospitals have been renovated, over 3,700 schools. In May, oil production was over 2.1 million barrels a day. In 2003, barely anyone had a cell phone. In Iraq today there are 6.4 million telephone users, and 1 million land-line connections. There are over 100 privately owned newspapers and magazines and more than two dozen radio and television stations. That is just the beginning.

   Our men and women in uniform are doing a tremendous job bolstering this new democracy and planting the tree of freedom in tyranny's backyard. Our men and women are making a difference, and making progress. They are lifting up the people of Iraq, so ultimately the people of Iraq can help themselves. We must stay the course and see this through. We must be patient and persevere. I think President Bush said it best, quote, this is going to be freedom's century.

   God bless you. God bless America. I salute you one and all and praise the people of Iraq.

   Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 1/2 minutes at this time to the gentleman from California (Mr. Schiff).

   (Mr. SCHIFF asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. SCHIFF. With all due respect to my colleagues in the majority, Mr. Speaker, I think the question posed by this resolution is whether you support accountability and oversight by this body of the war in Iraq or whether you do not. This resolution is not a substitute for oversight and accountability.

   Our brave men and women in Iraq deserve more than this rhetorical pompom. Even as we celebrate the killing of Abu Musab al Zarqawi and the completion of the Iraqi cabinet, we cannot turn away from the grim reality that the war President Bush declared over in the spring of 2003 has been bloodier, costlier, longer and more difficult than the administration anticipated or planned for.

   We need a new way forward in Iraq, a fact that seems glaringly obvious to everybody but the President, his advisers and the majority in this House. Last fall the Senate voted 79-19 for a resolution sponsored by Senator JOHN WARNER, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which stated that 2006, quote, should be a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with full Iraqi security forces taking the lead for the security of a free and sovereign Iraq, thereby creating the conditions for the phased redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq.

   At a time when Congress needs to inject itself forcefully into the process of determining what our course of action in Iraq should be, the Republican majority is again prepared to rubber stamp a policy that national security experts across the spectrum recognize as plagued with misjudgment and malfeasance.

   We owe our men and women more, and more than any other variable under the control of Congress, our failure to perform oversight has been a major contributing factor to these failures and to the difficult situation we find ourselves in.

   Regrettably, I must vote ``no'' on this resolution.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   Mr. Speaker, even as we celebrate the killing of Abu Musab al Zarqawi and the completion of the new Iraqi cabinet we cannot turn away from the grim reality that the war that President Bush declared over in the spring of 2003 has been bloodier, costlier, longer and more difficult than the Administration anticipated or planned for.

   We need a new way forward in Iraq--a fact that seems glaringly obvious to everybody but the President, his advisors and the majority in this House. Last fall the Senate voted 79-19 for a resolution sponsored by JOHN WARNER, the Republican Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which stated that 2006 ``should be a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with Iraqi security forces taking the lead for the security of a free and sovereign Iraq, thereby creating the conditions for the phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq.''

   Earlier this year, House and Senate Democrats unveiled our ``Real Security'' agenda that lays out a blueprint for protecting our nation in the 21st Century. Our plan calls for the establishment of full Iraqi sovereignty during 2006, provides for responsible redeployment of our forces to better protect our troops and facilitates the transfer of authority, and holds the Administration accountable for the terrible mistakes that have been made in the prosecution of the war and the reconstruction of Iraq. In response to our plan and the overwhelming bipartisan majority of our colleagues in the Senate, the Republican majority in the House has tabled a blank-check resolution that endorses the President's ``stay the course'' policy in Iraq--a policy that he has reiterated in recent days.

   At a time when Congress needs to inject itself--forcefully--into the process of determining what our course of action in Iraq should be, the Republican majority is again prepared to rubber-stamp a policy that national security experts across the political spectrum recognize as plagued with misjudgment and malfeasance.

   I have been to Iraq three times to visit with our troops there and I have spent time with our wounded here and in Germany. They have done everything that we have asked of them and they have done it magnificently. Whatever success we have had in Iraq--every village that is secured, every public works project that is completed, every school that is reopened--is due to the efforts of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines.

   We owe our men and women serving in Iraq lot more than this rhetorical pom-pom.

   Most glaringly, this resolution does nothing to hold the administration accountable for its conduct of the war. Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Lieutenant General Greg Newbold, the former commander of the 1st Marine Division. General Newbold is one of a growing number of general officers who have courageously voiced their concerns about Iraq. General Newbold told me what he told Time Magazine in April when he said, ``What we are living with now [in Iraq] is the consequence of successive policy failures.''

   More than any other variable under the control of Congress, our failure to perform oversight has been a major contributing factor to these failures and to the difficult situation in which we now find ourselves.

   That failure of oversight and the need to hold people accountable has plagued the Iraq war from the beginning. And because this Congress--this Republican-controlled Congress--refuses to hold the President to account, we keep making the same mistakes over and over.

   For years the administration and the majority have tried to cow into silence anybody who dared to question the conduct of the war by calling them unpatriotic. That's the subtext of the resolution that we are debating today. It is

[Page: H4083]
not disloyal to ask these questions; oversight is a core responsibility of Congress. The great strength of a democratic system with built-in checks and balances is that mistakes are caught and corrected.

   Every member of this House, Republicans and Democrats, wants a stable and representative Iraqi government. But, Mr. Speaker, we cannot hope to change course in Iraq until and unless we are willing to acknowledge mistakes and until the administration is held to account and forced to change.

   Devising and implementing a successful endgame in Iraq will be difficult, but the President's open-ended commitment to remain in the country is untenable and unwise. The American people want Iraq to succeed, and for representative government there to survive and lead to a better future for the Iraqi people, but that success requires a new direction. This empty resolution fails to provide that and, accordingly, I will oppose it.

  • [End Insert]

     

   Mr. SKELTON. Can the Chair advise the time I have left, please.

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman has 1 1/2 minutes remaining.

   Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, it goes without saying how proud I am of those young men and women in uniform. I know every Member in this body joins me in saying how pleased and proud we are of them.

   A sad moment earlier today was when it was announced that 2,500 had given their lives in Iraq. But what concerns me, Mr. Speaker, more than anything is the request that we made for discussion on Iraq and this resolution that before us today was the result. Trying to blend and fudge together the war in Iraq, which is separate and distinct from the war on terrorism, is disingenuous.

   Mr. Schiff, the gentleman from California, a moment ago, referred to an amendment by Senator Warner, Armed Services chairman in the Senate. That amendment stayed in the law last year. This is what we should be discussing today about Iraq, as we were told we would.

   Calendar year 2006 should be a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with Iraqi security forces taking the lead for the security of a free and sovereign Iraq, thereby creating the conditions for the phased redeployment of the United States forces from Iraq. That is where we should be today.

   Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

   Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 2 minutes.

   I think it is important to remember the two major provisions in this resolution, one that there is not going to be an arbitrary cutoff, that that would disserve the security interests of the United States to have an arbitrary exit date from Iraq; and, secondly, that we are going to finish the mission, we are going to fulfill this mission, and that we support the mission that is being undertaken by those 130,000 plus troops who are in Iraq right now.

   Mr. Speaker, I was thinking about this question of who should determine when we leave Iraq. Over the last week, we have talked about the bringing to justice of Mr. Zarqawi, and everyone, Democrats and Republicans, have been talking about the extreme competence of the American military.

   We have talked about the fact that they are extremely effective, that they know what they are doing, that they may be the best military we have had in decades, that we have great leadership. That is why their judgment on the ground as they stand up and train this Iraqi military should be the determinant of when that Iraqi military is able to carry that load and take that handoff from the American military and handle those security duties themselves. It shouldn't be a Congressman from California, it shouldn't be a Senator from Minnesota, it shouldn't be subject to a committee vote by those of us in Washington, D.C. It should be a function of the collaboration and the discussion and the analysis of the combat commanders on the ground listening to their captains and their majors and their colonels who are training up this Iraqi force. When they say they are ready, that is when we make that handoff.

   Mr. Speaker, I would reserve the balance of my time.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I recognize the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Maloney) for 30 seconds.

   (Mrs. MALONEY asked and was given permission to revise and extend her remarks.)

   Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Speaker, instead of finding, capturing or killing the man who viciously attacked our country almost 5 years ago, the administration misled our country and sent 150,000 troops to war with a country without any credible link to 9/11.

   Mr. Speaker, the resolution before us mentions Iraq 18 times, but it does not mention Osama bin Laden even once. Not only can we not find bin Laden in Afghanistan, we cannot find him in this resolution.

   If the other side of the aisle is serious about a resolution on the global war on terror, they would be better served to get their target correct.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. Lantos) and ask unanimous consent that he control the time.

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Pennsylvania?

   There was no objection.

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from California is recognized for 30 minutes.

   Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my friend from Pennsylvania for yielding.

   Mr. Speaker, our country is at war. Men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, Republicans and Democrats, are making the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq to defend our freedom with 2,500 men and women having lost their lives in Iraq alone. They deserve our respect, our gratitude and our admiration, but we do not honor them with this debate today.

   Instead of discussing ideas and long overdue course corrections, we are being confronted with slogans. My colleagues on the other side of the aisle would like this country to believe that their party will stay the course in Iraq, while we want to cut and run. That kind of gross distortion may resonate on right-wing talk radio, but nothing could be further from the truth. We need to make sure the job is done right in Iraq and leave as soon as possible. Our men and women in uniform are striving, sometimes without the necessary troop strength and without adequate equipment to make the effort in Iraq a success. Here the House majority is undermining the democratic process and the very principles that these brave servicemen and women have gone abroad to defend.

   

[Time: 19:15]

   The actions of the Republican leadership in the run-up to today would make the Kremlin blush. Having made a decision to conduct a debate, the majority should have enabled full participation, allowing amendments to the proposed resolution on the House floor, and Democrats should have been afforded the opportunity to offer a substitute resolution.

   Instead, the resolution before us is a shameless, one-party manifesto. If the debate today were about substance rather than this one-party manifesto, we would focus on what staying the course means. The misguided and mistake-ridden effort in Iraq up to now is absolutely not the course to follow.

   I am deeply disturbed by critical issues concerning our efforts in Iraq that this resolution does not address: human rights violations; appalling shortcomings in planning for the post-conflict period; pathetically weak congressional oversight.

   Just consider the waste, fraud and abuse of reconstruction efforts in Iraq. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, Mr. Stuart Bowen, testified before our committee last week. I would like to pay tribute to the exceptional work that Mr. Bowen has done in this area. After serving as a senior member of George Bush's gubernatorial campaign team, as general counsel to then-Governor Bush, deputy counsel to the Bush transition team in 2000, and then associate counsel in the Bush White House, he left for the private sector, only to be brought back into service by the White House to oversee an investigation into mismanagement of funds in Iraq.

   The facts from the President's handpicked special Inspector General, Mr. Bowen, are shocking. Billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars have been wasted in Iraq. The executive branch should not have allowed such slipshod management. This Congress should have done its utmost to expose it but it has not, and the American people should not and will not tolerate it.

[Page: H4084]

   During the first year of the war, $9 billion, that is $9 billion with a B, moved through Iraqi ministries with little or no accounting for results.

   More than 75 percent of oil and gas reconstruction projects, begun with our assistance, remain incomplete. Over half of the electricity reconstruction projects are unfinished. Some 40 percent of water and sanitation reconstruction is incomplete.

   Mr. Speaker, the international coalition's ability to exit Iraq responsibly, leaving the Iraqi people in charge of a stable country, is directly related to the success of our reconstruction efforts. These efforts have been severely undermined by waste, fraud and abuse. Our troops have been needlessly exposed to far greater risk because of these failures. We cannot stay the course when it is riddled with mismanagement.

   If this debate were about substance, rather than slogans, we would also be talking about the unconscionable punishment that many members of the National Guard and Reserve suffer because of their patriotism. Legislation that I have been advocating for over 3 years to address the gap between these volunteers' salary in their civilian jobs and the often far lower active duty pay in the Guard and the Reserves has met with repeated roadblocks thrown up by the Department of Defense and the Republican leadership of this House, for no legitimate reason.

   This pay gap not only affects the soldier but also thousands of families who now have to make ends meet on a significantly reduced income. In addition to their concerns for the safety of a loved one far away, tens of thousands of American families have to worry about meeting mortgage payments or even losing their homes because this House has not responded to their needs.

   If we truly cared about our fighting forces in Iraq, we would not merely wile away the hours in a debating society over a symbolic resolution lauding them in the abstract. We would take concrete action to ensure that they and their families are treated fairly. Rather than taking up legislation that would fix this problem, we are debating a divisive political resolution.

   Mr. Speaker, let nobody, not in this Chamber and not in this country, let nobody be fooled by the picture that the Republican leadership tries to paint with a debate over this resolution. There is no need to make a choice between ``cut and run'' and ``stay the course.'' What is called for is a long overdue course correction in the way the executive branch manages our country's efforts in Iraq and in the way Congress fulfills its critical constitutional role of oversight.

   Since I deeply favor a course correction, I will vote against this resolution, and I urge all of my colleagues to do so as well.

   Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

   Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Hefley).

   Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

   You know, we have been at this for about 6 hours, I guess, and I think everything that has been said on the subject has been said. Not everybody has said it, and so we will continue for another 6 hours on it.

   But I have seen many people today who seem to have used this as an opportunity to insist that the mission in Iraq has been a failure, and that our presence in Iraq has not been properly run, and that we are not winning the peace. Frankly, Mr. Speaker, I think this is absolutely a wrong assertion and only serves to lower the morale of the men and women fighting in Iraq, while encouraging the terrorists who aim to harm both America and Iraq.

   The other day I was rushing to Chair a meeting in the Armed Services Committee. I was running a little late so I was kind of frustrated and in a hurry. Someone stopped me out in the hall and said, Congressman Hefley, Congressman Hefley, would you like to meet a marine from your district? And, of course, I would like to meet a marine from my district, but I was in a hurry. I did stop, and I went over to this young marine. They introduced him to me, and there he stood in his starched shirt and red and blue striped pants, straight as a string, and strong as could be.

   I introduced myself and he introduced himself, and then someone said, Sergeant So and So lost both legs in Iraq. I would never know it from looking at him, but he lost both legs in Iraq. I said, oh, I am sorry to hear that, but thank you. He said oh, no, no, no, since then I have gone to jump school. I would not go to jump school with two good legs. Since then, I have gone to jump school and I am going back to Iraq. The job's not done.

   I have been to Germany, as many of you have, to see where we bring the wounded into Germany. There was one young man laying on his bed, and I said, well, when were you wounded? He said about 4:30 this morning. About 4:30 this morning, we had gotten him off the battlefield. We had stabilized him and had him in an airplane and had him to Germany where he had already had successful surgery before the end of the day. The main desire of his heart was to get back with his unit in Iraq. That is good morale.

   I talked to another young man that was just coming out of the operating room, and he had his arm up in a cast. I asked him, well, soldier, do you plan to stay in the service? He said, oh, I plan to stay in if they will let me. He said the job is not done.

   And the point I make with these stories is that they see that they are doing something important. They see that they are doing something meaningful. They see they are doing something that helps America and they want to continue to do it.

   We are fighting the war on terror on our terms, and we are winning.

   Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve my time.

   Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Saxton), the chairman of the Terrorism Subcommittee.

   (Mr. SAXTON asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the resolution.

   Mr. Speaker, when I was a freshman, Ronald Reagan was President and I was invited to the White House with a group of people to talk to Ronald Reagan about things we thought were important. We talked for a long time about many issues, and when we finished, the President leaned forward in his chair and said: Let me say something to each of you. All of those things are important. They are all about America but nothing is more important than a system of national security that will protect our right to deal with those issues.

   I wish more people had been with me that day because I think of that every morning on my way to work. It appears that there are some who question the sacrifices of the United States Armed Forces and our coalition partners in Iraq who make every effort to advance the global war on terror, to combat the al Qaeda and the affiliate organizations that work with them.

   How misguided. Nothing could be further from the truth. Iraq is a critical front in the global war on terror. Separating Iraq from the global war on terror, in my opinion, is a recipe for disaster.

   Do not take my word for it. Listen to the enemy. These are the enemy's words. The leadership of al Qaeda has made Iraq an important part of its goal of spreading and imposing its ideology around the world. According to al Qaeda, defeating the coalition forces in Iraq is the first phase of its stated strategic goal of establishing a Taliban-like rule throughout the Middle East.

   In a July 2005 communication from Ayman al Zawahiri, al Qaeda's second-in-command right behind bin Laden, to the now-deceased leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, Zawarhiri explicitly states the centrality of the war in Iraq with a global jihad. Bin Laden's right-hand man laid it out like this. Here are the goals: expel the Americans from Iraq; establish an Islamic authority in Iraq; extend the jihad to the countries neighboring Iraq; and destroy Israel. Those are the goals stated by al Qaeda.

   We must not lose sight of the fact that a successful prosecution of the global war on terrorism and defeating al Qaeda and its affiliates require us to pay attention to multiple locations in the world, including Iraq. Though we have made progress, the threat remains global in nature.

   Since September 11, al Qaeda has planned, supported, or executed attacks leading to the deaths of innocent

[Page: H4085]
civilians around the world. According to the Defense Intelligence Agency, there are active jihadists, radical terrorist organizations with the goal of taking control of governments and territories in countries across the globe, including Iraq and Afghanistan, of course; Israel; Saudi Arabia; Pakistan; Somalia; Algeria; Chechnya; Kashmir; and the Philippines and others.

   The same report states that al Qaeda maintains and plans to expand safe havens throughout the world, throughout the Middle East, in Asia, in central Asia and Europe, in many countries in Africa, and we know of the terrorist presence today in Canada and right here in the U.S.A.

   I have spent a career, Mr. Speaker, in Congress studying the threat posed by terrorism. Long before September 11, I came to learn the dangers of ideologically inspired terrorist organizations. As a result of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, we have made great strides in combating this enemy, but we must remember that this is a long war, and although the challenge is great, our commitment to security and human freedom will ultimately defeat the oppressive ideology that fuels our terrorist enemies.

   

[Time: 19:30]

   Let me just close by listing some terrorists acts which occurred and some plots which were uncovered, and then by simply asking my colleagues a question.

   In 1993, the first World Trade Center bombing occurred. In 1995, a plot to bomb 11 U.S. airlines was uncovered. In 1996, the Khobar Towers bombing took place. In 1998, the embassies in Tanzania and Kenya were hit. In 2000, the USS Cole. In 2001, the 9/11 attack, killing 3,000 Americans and others. In 2002, the Bali bombing. In 2003, the Marriott hotel attack in Jakarta. In 2004, the railroad bombing in Spain. In 2005, the subway bombings in London, and the bombings of the resorts in Egypt. And in 2006, 17 jihadists were arrested in Canada.

   The question to those who plan to vote against this resolution, and I will conclude with this: Can we really afford to belittle this threat and question the criticality of our mission in Iraq?

   Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 3 minutes to the ranking member of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia on the Democratic side, Mr. Ackerman of New York.

   (Mr. ACKERMAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. ACKERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of our troops in the field and the belief that the United States will ultimately prevail in the global war on terror and against this partisan, transparent, cynical, and divisive resolution.

   Mr. Speaker, what we are engaged in today is not a serious debate about the progress of the war in Iraq or alternatives to achieve the victory there that we all seek. If it were not a sham, Members would be able to offer amendments. We would be able to vote up and down on our future course in Iraq. What we have here, instead, is more unamendable, arrogant, Republican take-it-or-leave-it attitude.

   Mr. Speaker, our soldiers are fighting and dying, and the American people are spending hundreds of billions of dollars, and we are here patting ourselves on the back instead of doing effective oversight. This Republican Congress has abdicated that responsibility and continues to whitewash an incompetent, dysfunctional Republican administration.

   I would like to be clear, Mr. Speaker. Just because I am for oversight doesn't mean that I hate freedom. Just because I am for tracking how billions of dollars have been wasted and misspent or stolen doesn't mean I don't support our troops. And just because people question the competence of the President and his administration doesn't mean that they are not patriots.

   On the contrary, Mr. Speaker, I don't think you can be a patriot if you just rubber stamp, if you turn a blind eye and bury your head in the sand as war profiteers run off with the money needed to protect the troops and to reconstruct a broken country.

   Instead of discussing the difficult and costly work necessary to achieve that victory, our Republican friends have simply decided to move directly to this victory party and 10 hours of cheerleading. This resolution begins and ends declaring our ultimate victory against terrorists, and in between we sing our own praises. This is actually a prayer. Prayer is good. But what we need is a plan. All we are doing here is whistling past a growing graveyard.

   What is more notable about the resolution, Mr. Speaker, is what it doesn't say. There is no mention of the world class bait-and-switch lie that got us into this mess in the first place. No mention of the lie of the stockpiles of weapons that the Vice President swore were absolutely there. No mention about the lie that the stockpiles of weapons of which Secretary Rumsfeld knew the exact location. No mention of oil. No mention of the intelligence either.

   In fact, there is not even the words ``weapons of mass destruction.'' How can you have such a resolution without that? And Osama bin Laden. Not only can't we find him in the region but we can't even find his name hinted at in this resolution.

   The debate is a whitewash, and this resolution is a coverup. Vote against this charade. Vote against the premature victory party. Vote against this resolution and let us have a real debate about our policy options and our future course and involvement in Iraq.

   Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, the reenlistment rate for the soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division, the 4th Infantry Division, the 1st Marine Division, and the 10th Mountain Division exceeds 130 percent in this last quarter. And a lot of that is the result of the great work by the gentleman of New York (Mr. McHugh), who has been the chairman of the Total Force and the Personnel Subcommittee and has presided over a major part of the 41 percent pay increase that we have passed over the last several years.

   I yield 6 minutes to the gentleman from New York (Mr. McHugh).

   Mr. McHUGH. I thank the distinguished chairman for yielding.

   Mr. Speaker, I happen to think this is a good debate, even when I vigorously disagree with some of the statements being said. This is the hall where discussions, concerns, where analysis and counterpoints need to be expressed.

   I wanted to start, if I may, Mr. Speaker, with a couple of counterpoints. I have heard my good friends on the other side of the aisle repeatedly refer today to comments and observations made by clearly one of the greatest fighting generals this Nation has known in recent era, General Barry McCaffrey; things he has said about our current involvement and engagement in Iraq. Perhaps as a mere oversight, perhaps conveniently, those good folks omitted the following, and I am quoting directly. I noticed most of those folks quoted from their own notes.

   These are from General McCaffrey's own reports after his return, in this case to Iraq. He did similar analysis in Afghanistan. Under the bottom line observations from Iraqi Freedom, written in April of 2006, before Zarqawi, before the appointment and the filling out of the entire permanent government. ``The morale, fighting effectiveness, and confidence of U.S. combat forces continue to be simply awe inspiring. In every sensing session and interaction, I probed for weakness and found courage, belief in the mission. Belief in the mission. Enormous confidence in their sergeants and company-grade commanders, and understanding of the larger mission, a commitment to creating an effective Iraqi army and police, unabashed patriotism, and even a sense of humor.''

   He goes on to say, ``Many have reenlisted to stay with their unit on its return to a second Iraq deployment. Many planned to reenlist regardless of how long the war went on.''

   He then went on to observe, ``The Iraqi army is real, is growing, and is willing to fight.''

   And then on the last page of his analysis, Mr. Speaker, he said, and I quote, ``There is no reason why the United States cannot achieve our objectives in Iraq. Our aim must be to create a viable federal state under the rule of law which does not enslave its own people, threaten its neighbors, or produce weapons of mass destruction.''

   The last sentence of General McCaffrey that my friends also failed to

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quote: ``The American people are far safer today than we were in the 18 months following the initial intervention.''

   I think, in fairness to General McCaffrey, if we are going to quote from him we should quote the entirety.

   I heard also some comments about how we are not doing right by our forces in very recent debate. I would refer again to General McCaffrey's observations, but I have here a listing, five pages, bullet points of what this committee and this House and this Congress has done for our men and women in uniform in just the last four National Defense Authorization Acts. There are 51 points, and I won't read all of them, but let me account for some.

   In 2001, we provided $500 a month to assist the most economically challenged members, to take them off food stamps. A national disgrace, and we did it. We did it. This Congress.

   In 2002, we improved permanent change of station requirements to reduce out-of-cost moving expenses for military families. There is now no out-of-cost expense.

   In 2003, we gave them assignment incentive pay, and in 2006 increased that maximum from $1,500 to $3,000 a month. We increased hostile fire and imminent danger pay from $150 to $225 a month. Family separation allowance from $100 to $250 a month. We completed, as I said, that 5-year program to eliminate out-of-cost housing expenses.

   We have eliminated the requirement to pay subsistence charges for those brave members of the military who are hospitalized. We now pay an allowance to reimburse for the cost of life insurance. And in the bill we passed this year, that cost will be totally paid for by the Federal Government for the first time in our Nation's history. We authorized a new payment of $430 a month to combat wounded servicemembers who are hospitalized, and on and on and on.

   The chairman mentioned that in each of the last 8 years we have increased pay to our military men and women in uniform by more than half a percent over what the civilian sector in this country has received, whether it is TRICARE for every Guard and Reserve member; hospitalization, better coverage. We have cared for these troops.

   The chairman noted, and the figures show it, though I have heard about a strained force, and we are concerned about them. We worry about them every day. I know I have in my six trips to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan. But let me read you the recruitment figures we have thus far this year.

   The Army, 104.3 percent of goal. The Navy, 100 percent of goal. The Marines, 101.5 percent. The Air Force, 100.5 percent. A DOD total of 102.1 percent. Lastly, retention. Those brave members that General McCaffery talked about. Retention in the Army, 113 percent; Navy, 106 percent; Marines, 145 percent; and Air Force, 109 percent.

   My friends on the other side say they support the troops, and I believe them. They are all patriots, some extraordinary patriots on the other side that I have the honor of serving with. But I don't think they are serving the troops in some of this debate tonight like the troops want to be served. They want to see this mission through, because they understand the terrorists believe this is the real deal. This is where they have drawn the line in the sand, and the troops understand if we don't take the commitment they have made there and win this war on terror in Iraq, where will we fight next? It will be right here at home.

   It is a proud Army, we have a proud Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. We are doing right by them and we need to do better because they are doing so right by us. I hope all my colleagues will support this resolution.

   Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to my friend from Ohio (Mr. Brown).

   Mr. BROWN of Ohio. Thank you, Mr. Lantos and Mr. Murtha.

   Prior to the 2003 invasion, I introduced legislation that would have required the President to report to Congress on the possible consequences. It would have required the administration to provide a full accounting of the implications for homeland security, the war on terrorism, and regional stability in the Middle East. It would have required the administration to tell us the steps that our country and our allies would take to protect United States soldiers, including providing them adequate body armor. It would have required the President to estimate the full cost associated with military action against Iraq. And it would have required the President to provide an exit strategy, a plan for achieving long-term social, economic, and political stabilization of a postwar Iraq so that we and the troops could tell when we had crossed the finish line.

   The administration has still not provided answers to the questions many of us asked before the war. Three years later, the Iraq war has cost more than 2,500 American lives and nearly $300 billion, with no end and no plan in sight. Secretary Condoleezza Rice said this war could last for 10 more years.

   Today's resolution presents a false choice: Support the administration's flawed war policies or concede defeat on the war on terror. We are asked to support Iraq's new Prime Minister in the amnesty, the amnesty he will offer to the insurgents who have attacked and killed U.S. troops.

   Our troops have done everything, everything we have asked them to do in Iraq and more. They have acted heroically. They have done their job and we should honor them today and every day. But this is the second time that a congressional debate on the handling of the war has been replaced with a political stunt. The troops and the American people deserve much better.

   Our troops deserve more than a round of applause. They deserve a realistic and forward-thinking plan. They deserve a plan that will bring a successful end to this mission so that they can come home. They deserve what many of us asked the President to give us 3 years ago: An exit strategy for Iraq. An exit strategy in Iraq is a crucial step toward declaring victory on the global war on terror.

   

[Time: 19:45]

   Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 minute to clear up a point.

   There are 340,000 sets of advanced body armor produced and fielded. That is more than two sets for every single person serving in uniform in Iraq.

   I have made this statement for the last year, but if anybody has a relative who is serving in Iraq without body armor, please call me personally. I have not yet received a single phone call.

   Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 1/2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Virginia (Mrs. Drake) who does so much for the troops.

   Mrs. DRAKE. Mr. Speaker, we can't talk about the global war on terror without talking about the 922,000 heroes who have voluntarily served our Nation, going to a land that most have never been to, to liberate a people most have never met.

   Before 9/11, I worried if America needed our young people, would they go. And we all know they did. I believe history will remember their courage and name them. But until it does, I call them Freedom Believers.

   On my first trip to Iraq, I met a young man on the crew of our C-130. He told me he had a small daughter, yet defending freedom was so important that when he finished his enlistment, he would join his Reserve unit. He said there were so many from that unit who volunteered to go to Iraq; he knew he would not be back soon.

   Another soldier said to me: Let me make this simple. In a football game, you want to play at home. But this is not football. This is not a game. This is war. And war must always be played away. We played at home on September 11, and we lost.

   My proudest moments in Iraq have been the ones spent seeing their smiles when I told them about the support that they have here at home. Many that I met were on their second and third tours. Their feelings are summed up in a recent letter to the editor, a returning soldier said: ``If the choices are pull out or I go back, I'm going back.''

   On the way home from Iraq in Shannon, Ireland, as a Marine unit walked through that terminal, everyone stood and clapped for them. On both of my trips to Iraq, I was asked repeatedly by our troops: When are we going to tell America what they are doing in Iraq, explain the threat to America and the world, and share the successes that they have achieved? The saddest moments were when they quietly asked me: What are Americans thinking and saying?

[Page: H4087]

   These are people who show no fear on the battlefield, but it was like they were afraid to ask that question and hear my reply. They are probably referring to stories such as the one from the New York Times, October 26, 2005. They quoted Corporal Jeffrey Starr, who lost his life defending freedom. Here is their quote: ``I kind of predicted this. A third time just seemed like I'm pushing my luck.''

   And here's the real quote: ``Obviously if you are reading this, then I have died in Iraq. I kind of predicted this, that's why I am writing this in November. A third time just seemed like I'm pushing my chances. I don't regret going. Everybody dies, but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are here in Iraq. It's not to me. I'm here helping these people so they can live the way we live, not to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators, to do what they want to do with their lives. To me, that is why I died. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark.''

   Our military is the most lethal fighting force in the world, not solely because of their training, not solely because of their technology, but because they engage the enemy, our enemy, with the most unequivocal support of the American people. That is the most effective tool in their arsenal and one they cannot afford to lose.

   Mr. Speaker, they watch our news. They watch C-SPAN. They are watching us right now.

   This is your time. What do you want to say to them? Do you want to tell them, you're doing a terrible thing, but we support you?

   Well, I want to say: you're doing an honorable and noble thing. We support you and we love you.

   There is only one option for Iraq, that's victory. Thank you to our brave American heroes. Thank you to their families. God bless America, and God bless the men and women who keep us free.

   Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Engel).

   Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.

   Mr. Speaker, I believe in fighting the war on terror. I believe America must stay engaged in the world, but what we have in Iraq today is a quagmire, and what we have on the floor today is a resolution that essentially says stay the course.

   You know, sometimes the American people are smarter than the politicians. This resolution would have us believe that everything is hunky-dory in Iraq and everything would be wonderful if we only stayed the course. The American people don't believe that; and, Mr. Speaker, neither do I any more.

   We need a new strategy in Iraq, not an open-ended rubber stamp and more of the same. At what point do we reassess our strategy and come to the conclusion that it is not working? But what do we get here from our Republicans friends, a resolution that is a farce, a political document that by the majority leader's own admission was designed to embarrass Democrats and put Democrats in a box.

   All of the problems we see in Iraq today, the daily deadly attacks by insurgents, the rise of ethnic militias, the shortage of gas and electricity, the weakness of the economy, can be tied to the complete lack of planning by the administration. It seems they didn't have a clue as to what they would get when they came into Iraq.

   Our intelligence was faulty, but what really makes me mad was this war was mishandled from the get-go. First, we didn't send in enough troops. Secondly, we didn't secure the borders. We fired the Baath leaders and created all kinds of antagonisms and unemployed people. We fired the security forces so our people would have to do security, and we fired our own generals that disagreed with the administration.

   A former commander of U.S. Central Command, General Zinni, said: ``10 years' worth of planning were thrown away; troop levels were dismissed out of hand. These were not tactical mistakes; these were strategic mistakes, mistakes of policy made back here.''

   But what do we have here from our Republican friends? A resolution that is not bipartisan. We could have had a resolution that all of us could have supported. We treasure our troops. I want us to succeed in Iraq, but what do we have: partisan, political drivel. Democrats had no input. Democrats were not allowed a substitute. Democrats were not consulted so our men and women serving in the military are being reduced to pawns in the Republican's election game.

   Shame on this resolution. I wish we could have a resolution that I could vote for, but we do not have one on the floor today.

   Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I would like to yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Franks), a Member who is a leader not only in supporting the troops but in humanitarian efforts in Iraq.

   Mr. FRANKS of Arizona. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

   Mr. Speaker, America is first and foremost an ideal. It is an ideal that holds that all of us are created equal, endowed by that Creator with unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Truly, that is what our troops fight for in Iraq.

   For their efforts, we now see a country that, although it has been in bondage since it was called Babylon, has a freestanding constitution and hope for freedom. And there is hope that freedom may take root in the Middle East and turn the whole of humanity in a better direction.

   But, Mr. Speaker, I would suggest to you that there are other ideals in the world besides America's noble ones, and they have great consequences. I am concerned that this Nation does not understand that we are now at war with an evil ideology. It is an ideology that has the most profound human implications and consequences.

   On September 11, terrorists murdered on our own soil 3,000 American citizens. But this ideological war did not begin on 9/11. It began many years ago when certain Muslim extremists embraced a divergent Islamist dogma that dictates that all infidels must die.

   Not so long ago, al Zarqawi himself said of America's leaders: ``They are aware that if the Islamic giant wakes up, it will not be satisfied with less than the gates of Rome, Washington, Paris and London.''

   Mr. Speaker, we cannot deny that we are fighting a war against an ideology that is bent on the destruction of the Western world. They are committed to killing us and would like nothing better than to decapitate this country by detonating a nuclear yield weapon 100 yards from here. To allow Islamist extremists to declare victory in Iraq will only hasten such a day.

   These are moments when we must hear the voice of history and remember the words of Winston Churchill when he said in part: ``If you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, there may come a moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse moment. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory because it is still better to perish than to live as slaves.''

   Mr. Speaker, if freedom is to survive, to allow Islamist terrorists to declare victory in Iraq is not an option. We must win. The world has changed since Mr. Churchill warned us all. We are 60 years now into a nuclear age. We must not let terrorists have even the slightest hope of victory ever.

   Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my time.

   Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Conaway), a great member of the Armed Services Committee.

   (Mr. CONAWAY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. CONAWAY. Mr. Speaker, this resolution that we are debating, I would like to focus on point four of the resolution that declares that the United States is committed to the completion of the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq.

   I think it is helpful for us to look back at some milestones over the last year or so to help us understand how far we have actually come.

   We went there to take Saddam Hussein out of power. He is now in jail and on trial for his life. We got that done.

   In January of 2005 we held the first election for a transitional government. That got done.

   Their job was to write a Constitution. At each and every one of these

[Page: H4088]
steps there was great anxiety that the Iraqi people couldn't get it done. They got their Constitution written in August of 2005.

   The next step was a referendum on that Constitution. They got that done.

   Then we held national elections under that Constitution in December of 2005. Again, ahead of that election there was grave concern that the Iraqis couldn't do it. But they went to the polls and elected that government.

   When I was there in April, the concern at that point in time was that they couldn't pick a prime minister, the next big step to the road to democracy in Iraq. That got done.

   Two weeks ago when I was there, the final point was they couldn't find a minister of defense or a minister of interior to lead those very important ministries, but they have gotten that done.

   By any evaluation, we have a long stretch of historic milestones that are proof that the Iraqi people are up to the task.

   A CODEL I participated in, our job was to go over there and get a sense of whether the Iraqi Army was standing up to the task. We met with a General Bashir at his base at Tajik and found a very professional individual. He was very candid in his remarks on where the Iraqi Army was up to that point in time. As I watched the staffers, his staff in the room, I tried to assess them as best I could. I found professionals with a quiet sense of confidence that they could lead, fight and defend their country.

   We are making this happen, and we are completing this mission in Iraq. I support this resolution and I ask that each of my colleagues all support it because a free, sovereign, united Iraq will make the Middle East a safer place to be, and by extension it will make America a safer place to be.

   So I rise in support of this resolution and ask my colleagues to vote for it. I, too, like Mrs. Drake ask God's blessings on our country and in particular on our fine young men and women who are fighting this fight.

   Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Delahunt).

   

[Time: 20:00]

   Mr. DELAHUNT. Mr. Speaker, Colin Powell thought Vice President Cheney was so obsessed with attacking Iraq that he suffered from war fever. The problem is that fever can make you delusional and you can see things that aren't really there, no matter how much you want them to be true.

   The Vice President said that we would be greeted as liberators. False. Secretary Rumsfeld said that the war would not last more than 6 weeks. False. Secretary Wolfowitz said that Iraq could pay for its own reconstruction from oil revenues. Again, false. We were told that the administration had a coherent plan for postwar Iraq. False.

   The truth is that this administration's incompetence has set back the effort against global terrorism. Don't take my word for it. Simply come to this floor and read the statements of these generals, patriots all.

   The administration claimed that there was a link between Iraq and al Qaeda. Again, false. But they are not talking about a link that does exist and should cause us all profound concern. That is the relationship between the new government in Iraq and Iran. The new Iraqi government is full of Iranian allies. They have signed a military cooperation agreement. And the Iraqi Foreign Minister just recently said, Iran has a right to develop nuclear technology and the international community should drop its demands that Iran should prove that it is not trying to build a nuclear weapon.

   And we are supposed to believe that our national security has been strengthened, and that we are making progress on the war on terrorism?

   The truth is that the war in Iraq has not just simply been a distraction from the global war on terror, it has actually increased the power and influence of the number one state sponsor of terrorism, according to our own Department of State, an original charter member of the axis of evil club, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

   Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Shuster), a very fine member of the Armed Services Committee.

   Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I want to first rise tonight to thank the men and women of our military for their efforts in Iraq, in Afghanistan and other places around the world in the war on terror. Their sacrifice, their families' sacrifice, has value and will never, never be forgotten.

   Mr. Speaker, there are many members of the minority that have forgotten an important lesson of history, and that is you cannot appease tyrants and evil. We need to remember the 1930s, the voice of Winston Churchill that said we must confront Hitler and the Nazis as they began to build up the German military machine. Well, we waited and we waited until they invaded their neighbors. And it was the blood and lives of hundreds of thousands of Europeans and Americans that defeated that evil.

   In the 1960s and the 1970s, we failed to confront the growing Soviet threat. We waited and we waited until Ronald Reagan inspired this Nation to have the will to stand up to the Soviets and engage them in an arms buildup that cost Americans billions of dollars, but bankrupted the Soviets, and we defeated that evil.

   In the 1990s the terrorists attacked us over and over again. We failed to respond, as President Clinton dismantled our intelligence capabilities. Appeasement does not work. History shows us that over and over again.

   President Bush learned this lesson, and he and this Congress did not wait until Saddam had nuclear weapons. We acted on intelligence, not just our intelligence, but intelligence from agencies around the world. We thought it was accurate. Unfortunately, it was wrong. But it took us going into Iraq to find out that he did not have the biological, chemical and nuclear capabilities we thought he might be building. But we removed a tyrant. We freed a people and we focused the war on terror in Iraq. And today we are helping to build a democracy in an Arab world which can be a model to other nations to create liberty, justice and, most importantly, hope, hope for a better tomorrow for millions of Arabs.

   We must stay the course, as this resolution states, until Iraq can secure its nation and we defeat terror. This struggle will be as long as it is hard. But in the end, the lesson of history will be reaffirmed that appeasement is a failed strategy, and that sacrifice for freedom is always worthwhile.

   Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to our colleague from Florida (Mr. Wexler).

   Mr. WEXLER. Mr. Speaker, I oppose this resolution because it represents an unrealistic and disingenuous portrayal of the situation in Iraq. The rhetoric on the other side of the aisle is filled with erroneous assertions of impending victory reminiscent of President Bush's premature ``mission accomplished'' claim.

   Mr. Speaker, after 3 1/2 years, it is clear that the Iraq war has become an exercise in futility that can no longer be justified with pipe dreams and good intentions. Americans were egregiously misled going into this war without a plan to win the peace. They have been misled about America's progress in Iraq, and today they deserve the truth.

   The truth is that President Bush took his eye off the ball in the war on terror, diverted necessary resources from Afghanistan to Iraq, and today Osama bin Laden remains free.

   The truth is that victory is not around the corner in Iraq, that the insurgency and sectarian violence continue unabated, and that the death of Zarqawi, while very significant, will not bring security to Iraq.

   The truth is that on the day Zarqawi was killed there were five bombings in Baghdad, and the violence continues irrespective of his death.

   The truth is that while 265,000 Iraqi security forces have been trained and armed, nearly one-third of the force does not show up for work.

   The truth is that our policies have failed to stabilize Iraq, and we must not stay the course. We must change the course.

   Mr. Speaker, this resolution blurs the line between reality and fiction by painting a rosy picture of Iraq and ignoring the ongoing insurgency on the ground.

   To paraphrase Secretary Rumsfeld, in a war we must deal with the reality we have and not the reality we want.

   Please join me in opposing this charade.

[Page: H4089]

   Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentlewoman from North Carolina (Ms. Foxx).

   Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H. Res. 861. I am proud of the progress being made in the global war on terror every day. While there is no quick path to victory, it is absolutely necessary for us to maintain our resolve. Many people forget that terrorists have long waged war against the United States, well before the 9/11 attacks. Americans were bombed in Lebanon in 1983, at the World Trade Center in 1993, at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996, at the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and on board the USS Cole in 2000. Over the years, terrorists have made it their mission to strip us of our freedoms, thinking they could kill innocent Americans unprovoked, without paying a price. It is vital that we continue to stand up to these murderers and show them that the United States will not sit back and tolerate their savage acts. We can either win this global war on terror now, or we can let the terrorists bring the war to us like they did on 9/11. The right choice is clear.

   Thanks to the hard work and perseverance of our troops, Abu Musab al Zarqawi was killed last week. Yet, as President Bush said, we must continue to prosecute this global war on terror until our mission is accomplished and until Iraq can defend and govern itself fully.

   I am very proud of our troops for their service, selfless attitude and sacrifice. They are making great strides. They are freeing people from oppression so they may enjoy the same freedoms that all Americans cherish. Today our military has liberated the people of Afghanistan from the brutal Taliban regime, and has denied al Qaeda its safe haven of operations. They have crushed Saddam's Hussein's brutal dictatorship and captured thousands of terrorists and terrorist operations. Children in Iraq are returning to school and Iraqi businesses are prospering. Iraq has had several successful elections and has formed their government under a new prime minister. There is undeniable progress and hope in Iraq every day.

   Mr. Speaker, I close with a story about a constituent, Sergeant Dale Beatty of Statesville, North Carolina. Sergeant Beatty was severely injured while fighting the global war on terror and lost both legs. Yet Sergeant Beatty is not angry. In fact, his resolve is even stronger today. He knows that he made a great sacrifice for a noble cause. Sergeant Beatty came to visit me while he was at Walter Reed and told me he would gladly go back to the Middle East to fight alongside his comrades if he could. That is a true American hero. Sergeant Beatty's morale and the morale of our troops I have spoken with demonstrate we are doing the right thing.

   Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

   Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Hayes), a very fine member of the committee.

   Mr. HAYES. Mr. Chairman, thank you for yielding time. Your commitment to our troops is unmatched.

   Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Mr. Speaker, said we are all entitled to our own opinions, but he went on to say we are not entitled to our own facts.

   Facts have been badly set aside today. Oversight? 92 hearings, 42 full committee, 52 subcommittee and others. Anyone that did not have oversight or was not fully informed simply had other priorities. And that is an option in the People's House. But the information was there, publicly exposed. And other information was readily available.

   Generals? Six generals have spoken out. In America we are free. We can speak out. But the facts are that in the Army alone there are 11 4-stars, 53 3-stars, in the Air Force 11 4-stars, 38 3-stars and numerous others who take exception to the quotes that have been misstated here tonight.

   This is a war against terrorists. Terror is a tactic. Here are 27 pages and 191 incidents since 1961 where Americans have died at the hands, the bombs or other devices of terrorists. Make no mistake about it. Terrorists have a goal, and it is to destroy freedom, America, all of us who live free. That is their goal. This is not about territory. This is not about negotiation.

   Our men and women have served us admirably, courageously and well. The progress was well documented by a release from Zarqawi himself this morning. The war for terrorists is going poorly, an incredible sign of progress.

   And I have been to Iraq and Afghanistan many, times Mr. Speaker. But on the floor of this House, just last week, I looked into the gallery, right there, and there sat seven members of Parliament from Afghanistan. I went up to speak to them, and as I walked down the steps, they saw me coming and they said, we had dinner with you in Afghanistan last week. Members of Parliament here in America looking at the People's House seeing how freedom, liberty, justice and the rule of law is made and administered. Remarkable, remarkable progress, Mr. Speaker.

   I am so proud of the men and women who are making this possible around the world. And I guess I should close by saying redeployment? What is that? It is cut and run. It is snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Sam Adams, several hundred years ago, spoke to this when he said, ``if you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsel or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you, and may posterity forget that you were our countryman.''

   Mr. Speaker, God has blessed this country with men and women who wear the uniform, make us proud and make us free. Our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to them and their families.

   Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. Sherman).

   

[Time: 20:15]

   Mr. SHERMAN. Mr. Speaker, by this point just about every point has been made. But believe it or not, I would like to make a point that has not yet been stated on this floor.

   I think we all realize that the development of Iraq, its ability to provide water and electricity to its people, will influence the level of casualties that we suffer, may even influence the result of success or failure of this mission. But what is not stated is how the debts of Saddam Hussein now crushing the existing regime in Baghdad are playing a role in preventing that development, a role in killing our soldiers.

   Now, most oil rich countries borrow for development. They do not rely chiefly upon aid. Why can't Iraq with enormous oil wealth borrow? The answer is the huge debts incurred during the years of Saddam Hussein. In fact, on this floor many of us thought that half of that $19 billion of aid we gave in 2003 should be a loan, and we were told no, Iraq can't borrow, they have too many debts already.

   Now, the well-known debts to Europe and Russia have been 80 percent forgiven. The secret debts, the ones that are never talked about, are the enormous debts claimed by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and other Gulf States detailed on this chart, totaling over $64 billion.

   Now, much of the European money that was lent to Iraq was used for roads and oil wells, things of continuing value to the Iraqi people. But what did Saudi Arabia and Kuwait lend Saddam money for? To finance his war of aggression and death against Iran. So why does the State Department not have the courage to stand by the new Iraqi government in its declaration that these debts are odious, null and void, and need to be wiped off the balance sheet?

   The question before us is whether the blood of Americans will be shed in order to pay the debts Saddam Hussein incurred.

   Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I would like to yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from Idaho (Mr. Otter), who has just welcomed home his old unit, the 116th Armored Cav.

   Mr. OTTER. Mr. Speaker, it is my hope that we pause long enough during this important debate tonight to remember back to another time in a place not too far from this place.

   During the heated debate and many times rancorous discussions on their efforts to establish a government that would elevate the individual above the crown, above the prince, above the king, and above the head of state, much was said about the doubtfulness of victory and the certainty of failure. Caution was urged, voted on, and rejected. The hope and the promise, the

[Page: H4090]
value for the chance at being free was so strong that our Founding Fathers measured well that the risk was worth the reward.

   Now is our opportunity once again to revive that spirit. And in doing so, we demonstrate to ourselves, the people of the United States, indeed, Mr. Speaker, the people of the world that we are worthy of the suggestion that we are the beacon of freedom for the world and we share that light with pride, with honor, and hope.

   The Iraqi people who yearn for freedom, I am confident, do so with no less courage and resolve than those who so boldly signed the Declaration of Independence and at that time set this Nation on a destiny of freedom envied by all peoples of the world who suffer under the burden of tyranny.

   Our allies throughout the war for independence did not pack up and go home when the going got tough. They believed in us, as I believe that we should believe in the Iraqi people. They stayed the course, as I believe we should.

   Mr. Speaker, in his book ``The Glorious Quest,'' James R. Evans gives us all a thought that we should ponder as we approach this freedom-rendering vote. He said, ``No historian of the future will ever be able to prove that the ideas of individual liberty practiced in the United States were a failure. He may be able to prove that we were not yet worthy of them. The choice is ours.''

   By our actions here today, we are deciding whether or not the Iraqi people are worthy of living in freedom. This choice is ours. Those of us who will favor or deny this resolution surely decide the worth of the Iraqi people.

   Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I would like to yield to the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Ginny Brown-Waite) for 2 1/2 minutes.

   Ms. GINNY BROWN-WAITE of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

   Mr. Speaker, even those of us on this side of the aisle sometimes wonder if after 3 years we should still be in Iraq.

   I recently traveled there, and like many of my colleagues, we met with soldiers from Florida. We each asked to meet with soldiers from our home State. I will never ever forget this young man. He was not from my district. He actually was from south Florida. And I asked each of them where they were from and if they were married. This young man's name was Joe. And I said to him, ``Joe, are you married?''

   He said, Yes, ma'am. I am married and I have five children.''

   So right away I said, ``Your wife must be a saint to be home with five children.''

   And he looked at me with all of the conviction that you would ever ask for in a soldier, and he said, ``Ma'am, he said, ``my wife who's home with my five children feel exactly the way that I do, and that is until the children in Iraq are safe on the streets, our children won't be safe in Florida or in America.''

   Obviously we are very proud of what our soldiers are doing, as are their families. As Members of the Congress, I believe that we have an obligation to honor every person's service to our country. Using words like ``quagmire'' and ``mistaken war'' do not honor our military's service. We can do this by providing our soldiers with the support that they need and the recognition that they deserve. The negacrats and the media do nothing to make our children safer on the streets in America like Joe and his buddies do. This kind of rhetoric not only impacts our soldiers, but as I sat here tonight, I could not help but think about the families of the soldiers who are watching this at home, the children of our very, very brave soldiers who are in harm's way.

   In closing, I want to thank Joe and all of our troops and those families, and I want to convey my eternal gratitude for everything that they do. May God bless them all. May God bless our troops, who, together with God, will keep our country safe.

   Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Blumenauer).

   Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, it is sad that the greatest deliberative body of the world's democracies cannot provide an opportunity to give voice to the concerns that are shared by Americans. Instead, we are given a White House press release against terror and for staying the course. That is not a plan. It is a bumper sticker.

   Our troops won the war against Saddam Hussein over a thousand days ago, and they have been paying the price ever since their victory because they were not properly managed, staffed, trained, or equipped. Of course, nobody is in favor of an arbitrary cutoff. On my Web site I detailed an approach that I think ought to be taken to focus our priorities and stop short-changing, for instance, our battle in Afghanistan, slowly spinning outside of control. But it is sad that the Republicans can only think of two choices: stay the course, cut and run.

   If the White House and the Republican leadership believed in democracy in America as much as they say they do in Iraq, we would be debating the resolution of Mr. Murtha's, for example, here. Americans could see their hopes and their concerns not just debated but acted upon.

   But, sadly, it is going to take another day and different leadership to give Americans that type of democracy here in Congress. And in the meantime every day our troops will continue to pay the price in Iraq as American prestige is assaulted around the world.

   It is sad and it is unnecessary, but it is the hand that we have been dealt.

   Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I would like to yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman who represents Dyess Air Force Base, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Neugebauer).

   Mr. NEUGEBAUER. Mr. Speaker, I have been amused at some of the rhetoric tonight, but one of the questions that has been asked is what is our strategy?

   We have a strategy. The strategy is to win. The strategy is to keep America safe.

   We are winning the war on terrorism. We have gotten Saddam Hussein. We have gotten Zarqawi. But the problem is are there other Saddams, other Zarqawis out there that would threaten the very fabric of the life that we live in America?

   We have a choice. We can fight that war on terrorism in other places around the world or we can fight it here in America. The right choice is to fight those terrorists where they are, where they are beginning to thrive, and keep them contained where they are.

   If we get out too quickly, what are we going to tell those families of those young soldiers that paid the ultimate price for the freedom and democracy that we are sewing the seeds for in Iraq today? What are we going to tell the young men and women that are over there today that have volunteered, I repeat, volunteered, to come and serve a noble purpose?

   I got a letter from a young marine named Kevin Hester. And Kevin enlisted, Mr. Speaker. He knew exactly what he was getting into when he enlisted in the Marines. And Kevin is in Iraq today. And Kevin wrote me a letter the other day, and he said, The Iraqi people trust us, and they trust us now and they are trying to help us help them by telling us who the bad guys are in their country.

   We have been fighting the cause for America and keeping America safe for over 230 years coming this July 4. This is a war on terrorism. This is a different war than we have fought before. This is like the war on drugs. This is like the war on crime. The war on terrorism is a war that we will be fighting for many years to come, but it is a war that we cannot afford to lose. We cannot disgrace those young men and women that are representing and defending our country so greatly.

   And so, Mr. Speaker, I encourage people to support this resolution in order to say to the young men and women around the world that are defending freedom and democracy, we love you, we appreciate you.

   God bless them and God bless America.

   Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my time.

   Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 1/2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Kansas (Mr. Ryun), a very distinguished member of the Armed Services Committee.

   Mr. RYUN of Kansas. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding.

   I rise today in strong support of our servicemembers who have worked hard during the global war on terrorism. They are keeping us safe by defeating a very destructive enemy.

[Page: H4091]

   I am disappointed, however, that many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have lost sight of what our servicemembers are doing and have turned the global war on terror into a cheap political issue. They have forgotten that instead of defeating terrorists on their home turf we could be allowing our citizens to be attacked here at home. I prefer to keep the terrorists outside our borders.

   Right now al Qaeda and the insurgents in Iraq are busy attacking our servicemembers and our allies, and they would like nothing better than to bring these attacks to America. Even the terrorists themselves admit Iraq is the front line of the global war on terror. Why should we not continue this fight and keep it from coming to our own backyard?

   Fortunately, we are fighting this battle in Iraq and our servicemembers are making real progress in the global war on terror. Not only are we capturing, destroying, and eliminating al Qaeda's most brutal leaders, but we are training law abiding Iraqi citizens to defend their own freedom. In fact, over 250,000 Iraqi citizens have stepped forward and responded to the call of duty to defend their country.

   I think there are several obvious reasons why so many Iraqi soldiers and citizens are willing to join the Iraqi security forces. First, they know the enemy they are fighting against because they have endured hardship under this enemy for most of their lives. For years they and their families have been brutalized by ruthless dictators. Many of them have been separated from their families and had not seen them for many years.

   Second, they have seen the pain that al Qaeda has inflicted on America and other democracies around the world. They know that what al Qaeda did on 9/11 is just a hint of what could happen. Because of this, Iraqi security forces are seizing this opportunity to root out evil.

   Third, they can taste freedom and they want to hold on to it. After being liberated from tyranny and introduced to democracy they cherish the freedom and are willing to fight for it just as our servicemembers have fought for our freedom.

   

[Time: 20:30]

   Fourth, they are inspired by the work servicemembers are doing in Iraq. As a result, they are joining the Iraqi security forces in the fight for freedom. Not only are their servicemembers fighting against terrorism, but they are also working alongside our members and the Iraqi security forces to train them how to effectively defeat the enemy.

   I want to encourage all of our colleagues today to support our outstanding men and women in uniform. May God continue to bless them and their families. Our prayers are with them. I urge my colleagues to support House Resolution 861.

   Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Meeks).

   Mr. MEEKS of New York. Mr. Speaker, I rise to share with the American people the truth about the war in Iraq. For truly it had nothing to do with 9/11 or the war on terrorism.

   We invaded Iraq because Vice President Cheney erroneously claimed, there is overwhelming evidence that there was a connection between al Qaeda and the Iraq Government.

   The fact is, Mr. Speaker, that Secretary of State Colin Powell conceded that he had no smoking gun proof of a link between the Government of Iraq, President Saddam Hussein, and the terrorists of al Qaeda.

   We know there were no weapons of mass destruction. The prewar costs estimates were as incorrect as our intelligence on WMDs. The postwar planning was nonexistent. The laundry list of things we did wrong and the deceptions surrounding this war are never-ending, and we continue to make mistakes even now.

   No, Mr. Speaker, the mission was not accomplished. Instead of invading Iraq, we should have mobilized all of our forces to pursue and apprehend Osama bin Laden, the terrorist who in fact orchestrated 9/11 while we had him pinned down in Tora Bora, in Afghanistan.

   At that time we had an opportunity to unite the world and bring people together when we had a true coalition of nations. American families can tell that things are not going well in Iraq.

   However, a leader, a true leader, a real leader, needs to have a plan. A plan of engagement. A plan of how to exit. We went into war with neither.

   The American people, the families who have lost the loved ones, deserve more than that. They deserve to know that there is indeed a plan, an exit strategy. This Congress, this Congress, must stand up for our troops, for their families, for America, and for the sake of refocusing, to wage a real struggle against terrorism.

   No, Mr. Speaker, we must not stay our failed course. We must not be stubborn, because stubbornness does not win wars. Stubbornness really and actually causes us to lose. I tell my children not to be stubborn, because stubborn does not win. Let's do the right thing for the American people and tell them the truth.

   Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Akin), a distinguished member of the committee.

   Mr. AKIN. Mr. Speaker, I think that this debate is helpful. I think that whenever you get into a complicated project, even if you are solving a physics problem, many times it is helpful to just stop, stop right where you are and say to yourself, just using common sense, are we on the right track?

   I think we should stand back from the war for just a moment tonight and ask that simple question: Are we on the right track? And we can think about this country that we love so dearly, the flag that we have just celebrated, and all that makes America special.

   But what happens if you were to try to condense the goodness that we love in America into a formula, which is, which really states what Americans have been for all time?

   If you were like an onion to peel off the outer things of hot dogs and baseball, what would be the core that makes America what we love? I would suggest that the answer to that question is found in your birthday document, the Declaration, that says, we hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, life, liberty, pursuit of happiness.

   And it goes on to say the job of government is to protect those rights. And that is what we have fought wars all through history, to support that basic idea. And so should it surprise us this evening to find ourselves on the battlefield against terrorists?

   Let's see. Terrorists blow up innocent people. We say, innocent people have a life that is given them by God. They say they want to terrorize so that people cannot be free, to compel you to do what you do not want to do.

   We say, liberty is a gift of God. And so it should be no surprise, just as we have found ourselves in the War of Independence and the wars against Hitler and the other wars of our history, that we are arrayed against people who have no respect for the formula that has made America so great.

   And just as in the past, there is a cost. You know, my own son just came back from Fallujah. They say that the cost of freedom is not free. And the parents all across our country, just as my wife and I did, would look at the local paper in the morning. We would say, oh, three marines killed in Fallujah. I wonder if my son is one of them.

   No, freedom is not free. But we were proud that our son, just as other families are proud of their children, can carry on that same tradition that the patriots did. That is what makes us feel so good when we see the flag flying, the heart and soul of America, that there is indeed a God that gives basic rights to people and government should protect those rights. And the terrorists will not stand, because that formula does not apply just to Americans; it applies to people all over the world.

   Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Corrine Brown).

   Ms. CORRINE BROWN of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by saying that I support the troops. Yet the debate about the Iraqi war is not about supporting the troops. I knew from the very beginning that there were no weapons of mass destruction. Well, how did I know that? Well, I am from Florida. And I knew back in 2000

[Page: H4092]
that the Bush administration that we were dealing with would say anything and do anything. They were full of lies. Let's look at the evidence.

   Since the beginning, the Republican leadership in Congress has outright refused to investigate Vice President Cheney involving the billions of dollars awarded to Iraq for reconstruction contracts to Halliburton. $9 billion in reconstruction funds have been unaccounted for. I repeat, $9 billion in reconstruction funds have been unaccounted for.

   The amount of taxpayers' money spent by Halliburton and the defense contractors audit agents have deemed either excessive or insufficient documentation is $1.7 billion.

   Halliburton has received more than $17 billion in no-bid cost-plus contracts for Iraq reconstruction. Folks, I am talking about billions with a B. That is billions and billions of dollars. It amazes me now that these figures contrast with the attention that the media has given to the Katrina mismanagement, while the billions and billions of dollars in unaccounted funds to Halliburton are still largely ignored by the media.

   You know, we need checks and balances. The House, the Senate and the administration are all Republicans. There are no checks and balances. No checks, no balances. No checks, zero balance.

   ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE

   The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Putnam). The Chair will remind Members that although remarks in debate may include criticisms of the President's or the Vice President's official actions or policies, it is a breach of order to question the personal character of the President or the Vice President, whether by actual accusation or by mere insinuation.

   Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Weldon), the chairman of the Air Land Subcommittee.

   (Mr. WELDON of Pennsylvania asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. WELDON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I thank my distinguished chairman for yielding me time.

   I heard one of our colleagues on the other side say that we have two choices tonight: we could stay the course, or we can cut and run. Well, those are not the only choices we have. They were not the choices that we used in the 38 deployments in the 1990s when I supported our Democrat President when we sent troops to Somalia, Haiti, East Timor, Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia. You name it we were there.

   The decision of when we left those countries was made by our military leaders. It was made by the generals and the commanders, not arm-chair politicians back here who try to do what was done by the Congress during the Vietnam War.

   Believe me, I want our troops back home. But there is a process that we can use that I think is very logical. You know, when I have been to the theater, the generals talk about the way that they assess the capability and the readiness of the Iraqi brigades.

   They categorize them into four levels. They know how to assess the readiness of the Iraqi brigades. They have perfected it. What we should be doing is what is already happening. We do not tie the removal of our troops to an artificial date. We tie it into the assessment that our generals make of the capability of the readiness of the Iraqi brigades.

   Mr Speaker, this morning I went back to my district. I was at the Boeing plant where we rolled out the newest model of the CH-47F, the cutting-edge platform for our Army for the next 50 years. It is a great aircraft.

   The speaker there, the keynote speaker for this rollout was an Army colonel. In fact, he was the airwing commander of the 101st Airborne Division. He oversees 167 aircraft in theater right now. He is home for two weeks of R&R. He oversees 3,200 of our troops that are on the cutting edge. He wants to be home with his family. He has been in the service 24 years. This was his second deployment. He is from Edgewater, Maryland; he is not my constituent.

   And I said to Colonial Warren Phipps, Colonel, we are debating today in Congress whether or not we should set a date certain. What do you think? You are there. Is that the right thing for us to do? He said, With all due respect, sir, that is the worst thing that our Congress could do for my troops under my command.

   That is the worst thing we can do, because it would telegraph and signal the enemy when they can plan their attacks, and when they can do harm to my colleagues.

   Well, I will be honest with you, Mr. Speaker. I did not support artificial dates under President Clinton, and I do not support artificial dates under President Bush.

   I want the ultimate decision of when the troops come home not to be done by us, but by the field generals in the command situation, command leadership in Iraq, who understand that the safety and security of the troops is their number one priority as well as ours.

   What this young colonel said was, Congressman, we are making great success. Today the Iraqis are handling more and more of their own security. That should be the determining criteria on when our troops come home.

   As this colonel sees with his own eyes that the Iraqis are engaged and are handling more and more of their own defense. He said, Today, Congressman, they are going out on their own missions. He said, when I have meetings and we are doing planning sessions, if I close my eyes, when I hear the Iraqis planning, it is just as though it were American generals planning for our operations.

   He said, Now is not the time to cut and run. Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this resolution and not cut and run.

   Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time to the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Murtha).

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. Farr).

   (Mr. FARR asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. FARR. Mr. Speaker, I am here tonight, I have been watching this on TV and listening all day long. I am really kind of saddened by the fact that it seems to be an issue between making excuses for why we are in Iraq, and the other side is cut and run.

   I remember being in the Congress before we voted on this resolution. I remember being summoned into a hearing with all of the intelligence agencies there. I remember a colleague asking these intelligence agencies, is Iraq an immediate threat to the United States, yes or no? Every single one of those intelligence agencies represented, every one said no.

   And here we are 3 years later with all of the loss of life. Some say, just stay the course. Stay the course for what? There is not even a plan. Mr. Weldon was right, we had a plan in Kosovo, we had a plan in Bosnia, we had plans. Where is the plan?

   We have a plan by Mr. Murtha. There is no cut and run date in it. There are no specifics on it. But it is a plan. Why are we not debating a plan?

   

[Time: 20:45]

   It is embarrassing that we are here this far into the war, people watching us and having Congress without the ability to exercise democracy, without the ability to have a vote on the only resolution that is ready for a vote, which is Mr. Murtha's. I associate myself with the remarks he made about what he saw and what we experienced going into Iraq.

   I wish the majority in this House would have allowed a debate on Mr. Murtha's resolution.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   I rise to associate myself with the remarks of Mr. MURTHA and to everyone who supports our men and women in uniform. We all support the troops and the sacrifices they and their families have made. But, that's not what this debate is about.

   I've been listening all day to this debate and find Members are still making excuses for why we got into Iraq in the first place.

   You are not hearing what the intelligence community really told this house.

   Before the vote on authorization of the war all the intelligence agencies were gathered together for a Congressional briefing. One of my colleagues asked the question:

   ``Is Iraq an immediate threat to the United States, tell us Yes ..... or No?''

   It was surprising to me that each intelligence community representative said--``No, Iraq is not a threat to our national security.''

[Page: H4093]

   And even more shocking to see was that so few of my colleagues were listening.

   So, why have we been sucked into a war that was not necessary to protect our national security?

   And here we are 3 years later. Over 20,000 U.S. military personnel have been killed or wounded in Iraq.

   The loss of American lives is tragic and unnecessary.

   Especially because Iraq never was a threat to the United States, nor is it now.

   So, today, why aren't we discussing an end to wasteful spending, to unnecessary loss of lives and building a stronger America?

   We can't because, as you have heard so often today, the majority has stopped listening.

   They have made up their minds. They are just as wrong today as they were 3 years ago.

   Look--we need a plan. Congressman MURTHA is the only one with a plan. Congressman MURTHA's bill, H.J. Res 73, is doable and its implementation would be respected by the rest of the world.

   Mr. Speaker, I hope the President is listening to this debate. And more importantly I hope he implements the Murtha plan.

   The world would be better off for it.

  • [End Insert]

     

   Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I would like to yield 2 1/2 minutes to a very distinguished member of the Armed Services Committee, Mr. Calvert.

   Mr. CALVERT. Mr. Speaker, just last week we witnessed American, coalition and Iraqi forces taking the fight to the enemy by eliminating the terrorist leader of al Qaeda in Iraq. During the very same week the Iraqi people looked as their first democratically elected Prime Minister finalized his cabinet by selecting a new Minister of Defense, a new Minister of Interior, a new member of the state for national security.

   The two events are clear evidence that Iraqi forces are making progress on two major fronts in the ongoing war. On one front the coalition and Iraqi forces remain in the hunt for insurgents and other groups that threaten a free and democratic Iraq. On the other front the Iraqi government continues to show encouraging signs into developing a much needed stabilizing body the country is longing for.

   During my three trips to Iraq I have observed our military engaging the enemy, protecting the innocent citizens, training the Iraqi forces to make and control and support the new elected government. Despite the positive developments on the ground, we continue to hear naysayers around the world questioning the importance of the outcome in Iraq.

   On the other hand, al Qaeda leadership and its terrorist network fully understand the consequences of war, calling Iraq the place for the greatest battle of the modern era.

   I have a copy of a document captured from the safe House where al Zarqawi met his end. In it al Qaeda leaders lament the fact that their strategy for undermining America's resolve in Iraq is failing. They know that time, time to undermine America's resolve, time to foment a civil war, time to get media on their side, time to spread death and destruction to Iraq's neighbors is running out for them.

   Ironically the document notes that al Qaeda originally saw time as being on their side in Iraq. It states time has been an element in affecting negatively the forces of occupying countries due to losses they sustain economically and in human lives which are increasing with time. However, here in Iraq, time is now beginning to be a service of the American forces and harmful to the resistance.

   Winston Churchill understood the importance of resolve when a nation's interests are on the line. Winston Churchill, quote, I was only the servant of my country and had I, at any moment, failed to express her unflinching resolve to fight and conquer, I should at once have been rightly cast aside.

   This body recognized that necessity when we passed the authorization of the use of military force against Iraq. While five pages long, the really vital 10 words are, ``be it resolved by the Senate and the House of Representatives.''

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the combat veteran from the 173rd who preceded the gentleman from California in the 173rd, 15 1/2 minutes, and ask unanimous consent that he may yield time to other Members of the Veterans Caucus.

   The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Putnam). Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Pennsylvania?

   There was no objection.

   Mr. THOMPSON of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

   Mr. Speaker, this resolution will not secure any success in Iraq. It will not bring our troops home. It will only signal the death of true, honest debate within the walls of this great Chamber.

   Today's so-called debate is politics at its worst. We are playing politics while U.S. men and women are being killed, wounded and kept away from their families. I remember laying in an Army hospital bed just home from Vietnam while another Congress played politics.

   He was disdainful then, and when I think of those brave men and women I visited at Walter Reed, Bethesda, Ramstein, it makes me sick today. Let's do our job and bring our troops home as soon as possible.

   For weeks we have been told, and the American people have been promised by the Republican majority, that there would be a debate on this floor on the Iraq war. Instead we get what the news is calling today Republican election year strategy. This resolution ignores the issues most important to the men and women serving in Iraq, their families and the taxpayers who have already been billed nearly a half trillion dollars.

   It ignores the issues raised by some of our most respected generals, and it ignores the lack of accountability and oversight that has led to some of the most egregious and embarrassing examples of waste, fraud and abuse on record. We need to be working nonstop to bring our troops home as soon as possible, not trying to score political points while they are fighting a war.

   We need to be working to keep them safe, as safe as possible, until they are home. For starters, we should send a strong, loud message to the insurgents who will not occupy Iraq and will not control Iraq's oil, a message that we want to leave, as bad as they want us to leave.

   On my last visit to Iraq, everyone I spoke with said that they want the Iraqis to assume more security responsibility faster. Our military has done its job, often in two, three or four deployments, an unconscionable demand on our troops, an unconscionable demand on their families, and an unconscionable demand on their communities. Make no mistake, it has taken a toll on our military. Stay the course is not a strategy for success, and we are not doing our job by being a rubber stamp for this administration.

   Mr. Speaker, this isn't honest debate. While the majority plays politics, our men and women serving in Iraq are in terrible danger.

   Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Dingell), a veteran of the Second World War.

   (Mr. DINGELL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. DINGELL. ``To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but it is morally treasonable to the American public.'' Teddy Roosevelt.

   I remember how proud I was to serve my country in World War II, and I remember how proud I was of the support of Americans, and I remember how proud I am now to be a Member of this body. I know how important it is that we support the troops, and I remind my colleagues over here, we all, everyone in this room, supports our troops without exception. We have honest differences about the policies or how we got where we are. We are not permitted to discuss those under this gag rule.

   What this body should do, and I remember how proud I was of the different meaningful debates which we had here, where there was opportunity to amend, to discuss, to have a 5-minute rule, to have a motion to recommit, so that a national policy bringing us together could be forged in a proper legislative forum and a proper legislative fashion.

   We are told, either expressly or implicitly, by the administration, and by people on that side of the aisle, that there is something unpatriotic about questioning the behavior of this administration or the policies or the way they are being conducted. Let me not answer that yet. But let me give you

[Page: H4094]
the answer that Teddy Roosevelt, a great patriot, a Republican, a wonderful President, had to say: ``To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but it is morally treasonable to the American people.'' Listen to that. That is what we are supposed to do.

   We are not supposed to be a congregation of yes men and lickspittles. We are supposed to be the voice of the people and to hammer out the policies of this Nation in an honorable and open fashion. That is not happening today.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   Mr. Speaker, this is not a fair and proper procedure nor is it a debate.

   H. Res. 861 comes before us under a closed rule, no amendments are allowed. This body is told by the rule, no amendments are allowed. Take it or leave it, we are told.

   I say shame. What is there to fear from an open debate and what is there to cause us to lose the right to amend this legislation?

   There is much which we can approve in H. Res. 861 and much on which we can arrive at agreement and consensus.

   There are things in this resolution which are controversial, and these require, more than ever, honest and frank discussion.

   I find the language of paragraph 3 to be a particular problem. We should not foreclose our options on redeployment.

   It may well become that there is such a need and such an interest in the United States, and arbitrary pronouncements such as this will actually haunt us.

   Like many other Members of this body, I supported the President's father when he came to Congress seeking authorization to liberate Kuwait.

   There the process was honest, open, and truthful. The intelligence was clear, the mission was finite, and the world was united. Here the process is closed, the debate filled with hyperbole and half-truths, the world is alienated, and our mission is murky and indefinite.

   Here the reasons given for invasion of Iraq were that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, chemical weapons, and nuclear weapons.

   Like many others, I did not believe the evidence supported the administration.

   I believed we had careless use of intelligence: honest mistake, careless with use of the facts, or willful deceit.

   History tells us one or all of these unflattering conclusions are supported by the unfortunate facts of the administration's behavior.

   Now for my own position: Like all of us, I support our troops. I consistently vote for more money, more equipment, and more resources to support them in every way I can to win and to bring them home safe and well.

   I have not called for withdrawal of our troops. I have suggested no tactics or strategy, but then neither has the administration, which seems to have for its purpose and tactics more of the same, stay the course.

   Our failures and mistakes are many, leaving weapons and munitions everywhere uncollected and available to criminals, insurgents, jihadists, and al-Qaeda members.

   We disbanded the army police and security services, necessary to keeping order and assisting in husbanding victory and peace.

   I am outraged at the fact that this exercise appears to be politically motivated. Charges verging on disloyalty are directed at loyal Americans who criticize the administration failures or suggest better tactics or strategies.

   Listen to Republican leadership instructions to their members: ``Democrats on the other hand are prone to waver endlessly about the use of force to protect American ideals. Capitol Hill Democrats' only specific policy proposals are to concede defeat on the battlefield.''

   These words are false, deceitful, dishonest, outrageous, and vicious. So here we have today's proceedings: Political attacks on Democrats. Disregard of truth. Disregard of facts, and most importantly, disregard of the need to correct failed policies. I cannot, and will not, support such a phony and arrogant process.

   We must deal more fairly with one of the great issues of our day, which has cost us over $450 billion, 2,500 dead Americans, 20,000 casualties, the trust of our people and the respect of the people of the world.

   We are losing the equivalent of a battalion a month and spending $1 1/4 billion a week.

   Our troops are performing magnificently, but the administration is functioning without any adequate plans.

   The results are disastrous consequenes for our troops, for our country, for our relatIons with our friends and allies, particularly people in the Arab world.

   We need a real opportunity to discuss these matters and to provide real congressional input into this situation. That is being denied to the Congress and the country here.

   I cannot support this process and I express the thoughts of the people on this war and on a strange, foolish, and irresponsible process.

  • [End Insert]

     

   Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 minute to say earlier the gentleman from Arkansas (Mr. Snyder) rose and talked about what he called a lack of oversight on the Armed Services Committee with respect to Iraq. I want to enter into the RECORD, if I might, the fact of 41 full committee hearings, 21 on the war on terror, two on reconstruction, two on troop rotation, three on the Iraqi forces, four on force protection, four on detainees and five markups on that issue.

   I would just point out that the most extensive investigation in the history of detainees was completed by General Taguba, who gave us a voluminous report with something like 116 annexes. I made that available to everybody, Democratic, Republican, on the Armed Services Committee, including Mr. Snyder, and a total of three members from the Democrat side of the aisle on our committee looked at that the report. It is still available for Mr. Snyder. When he gets finished reading it we will have more hearings for him.

   HASC Breakdown of Iraq/GWOT Activities

   TOTAL COMMITTEE EVENTS--93

   Detainees--17

   Force Protection--10

   ISF--6

   FULL COMMITTEE HEARINGS--41

   General GWOT/Iraq--21

   Reconstruction--2

   Troop Rotation--2

   ISF--3

   Force Protection--4

   Detainees--4

   Mark-Ups--5

   Full Committee Briefings, Subcommittee Hearings, and CDR Hearings on Iraq and GWOT

   10/21/2003:

   Readiness Subcommittee

   Resetting and Reconstituting the Forces

   2/2/2004:

   Members Only Force Protection Briefing

   3/9/2004:

   Full Committee Briefing

   Top Secret Codeword on Operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Evolving Situation in Haiti

   3/31/2004:

   Full Committee Briefing

   Top Secret Codeword on Activities of the Iraq Survey Group

   4/1/2004:

   Tactical Air and Land Subcommittee Hearing

   Land Component Request for FY05--included Force Protection

   4/2/2004:

   Full Committee Briefing

   Top Secret Codeword on GWOT

   4/28/2004:

   Full Committee Briefing

   Top Secret Codeword on Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan

   5/4/2004:

   Full Committee Briefing

   Secret brief on Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Investigation

   5/17/2004:

   Issue Forum

   Stability Operations by the Iraq Coalition

   5/18/2004:

   Full Committee Briefing

   Secret on Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Investigation

   5/18/2004:

   Full Committee Briefing

   Top Secret/SCI on Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Investigation

   6/2/2004:

   Full Committee Briefing

   Secret on DOD Detainee Interrogation Program at GTMO

   6/10/2004:

   Members only Force Protection Briefing

   6/24/2004:

   Full Committee Briefing

   Members Only on ICRC Review of U.S. Detainee Operations

   6/24/2004:

   Full Committee Briefing

   Top Secret Codeword on Iranian Nuclear Weapons Deployment Program and Involvement in Iraq

   7/8/2004:

   Full Committee Briefing

   Secret on Army Force Protection Programs in Iraq and Afghanistan

   7/14/2004:

   Member Session

   Members Only review of copies of reports from ICRC related to the Iraq Theater of Operations' Detention Facilities

   7/21/2004:

   Member Session

   Members Only review of detainee operations in Iraq and photographs related to a new investigation of Iraqi detainees while in the custody of U.S. forces

   9/26/2004:

   Full Committee Briefing

   Top Secret Codeword on Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan

   11/18/2004:

   Full Committee Briefing

   Top Secret Codeword/SCI on Operations in Iraq

   1/25/2005:

   Full Committee Briefing

   Top Secret Codeword on Ops and Intel in Support of Tsunami Relief, Iraq, and Afghanistan

[Page: H4095]

   1/26/2005:

   Full Committee Briefing

   Secret on Efforts to Train Iraqi Security Forces and the Up-coming Elections

   2/2/2005:

   Readiness/Tactical Air Land Subcommittees

   Ground force vehicle and personnel protection and rotary wing safety of flight issues

   2/2/2005:

   Full Committee Briefing

   Secret on OIF and OEF Force Protection Initiative

   2/15/2005:

   Strategic Forces/TUTC

   Able Danger Program

   *Followed by a closed briefing

   3/16/2005:

   Tactical Air and Land Subcommittee Hearing

   Future Combat System, Modularity, and Force Protection

   6/8/2005:

   Full Committee Briefing

   TS on Metrics, Trends, and the Iraqi Security Forces

   6/16/2005:

   Member Session

   Members Only review of copies of reports from ICRC related to the Iraq Theater of Operations' Detention Facilities

   6/23/2005:

   Full Committee Briefing

   Members only from Gen. Barry McCaffrey (Ret.) on his experiences and observations in Iraq

   6/23/2005:

   Full Committee Briefing

   Secret on Iraqi Security Forces

   7/14/2005:

   Full Committee Briefing

   Secret on the Schmidt/Furlow Detainee Investigation Report

   7/19/2005:

   Full Committee Briefing

   From TYCO Corp. on Rapid Fielding of the low-cost Warlock Blue Jammer for IED Force Protection

   7/21/2005:

   Full Committee Briefing

   DOD's work in developing and tracking metrics for OIF

   7/28/2005:

   TUTC/Oversight and Investigation of the Financial Services

   Committee Hearing

   Financing of the Iraqi Insurgency

   10/26/2005:

   Radical Islam Gap Panel

   Alternative Views on U.S. Counterterrorism Policy--Roles, Missions, and Capabilities

   10/27/2005:

   Full Committee Briefing

   Secret on Activities involving the ICRC and enemy combatants detained by American Forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and GTMO

   11/1/2005:

   Terrorism and Radical Islam Gap Panel

   DOD Roles, Missions, and Capabilities in Counter-Terrorism

   11/13/2005:

   Radical Islam Gap Panel

   Understanding Aspirations of Radical Islam: Why Mainstream Islam is Radically Different

   11/9/2005:

   Terrorism and Radical Islam Gap Panel

   TS Brief on Counter-Terrorism Intelligence

   11/10/2005:

   Terrorism and Radical Islam Gap Panel

   S Brief from State on Counter-Terrorism Policy

   11/17/2005:

   Terrorism and Radical Islam Gap Panel

   S Brief from DIA on Counter-Terrorism Policy

   2/1/2006:

   Joint Subcommittee Hearing and Brief on Force Protection

   2/16/2006:

   TUTC Hearing

   Combating al Qaeda and the Militant Jihadist Threat

   3/1/2006:

   Mark-up for H. Res. 645

   Requesting the President and directing the Secretary of Defense to transmit to the House of Representatives all information in the possession of the President or the Secretary of Defense relating to the collection of intelligence information pertaining to persons inside the United States without obtaining court-ordered warrants authorizing the collection of such information and relating to the policy of the United States with respect to the gathering of counterterrorism intelligence within the United States.

   3/2006:

   Full Committee Brief

   TS Brief on Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO)

   3/8/2006:

   Full Committee Briefing

   Secret Brief from General George Casey, U.S. Forces Commander in Iraq

   3/8/2006:

   TUTC Hearing

   Special Operations Command: Transforming for the Long War

   3/15/2006:

   TUTC Hearing

   Implementing the GWOT Strategy: Overcoming Interagency Problems

   3/30/2006:

   Readiness/Tactical Air Land Subcommittees

   Army and Marine Corps Reset Strategies for Ground Equipment and Rotorcraft

   4/4/2006:

   Tactical Air and Land Subcommittee Hearing on Force Protection Initiative

   4/6/2006:

   Tactical Air and Land Forces Briefing

   TS on Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Activities are being used in theater to counter IEDs.

   House Armed Services Committee Hearings on Iraq and GWOT

   Sept. 10, 2002:

   The State of the Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction Program and the History of the United Nations Inspections Efforts in Iraq

   Sept. 18, 2002:

   U.S. Policy Towards Iraq

   Sept. 19, 2002:

   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction Program and Technology Exports

   Sept. 26, 2002:

   U.S. Policy Towards Iraq

   Oct. 2, 2002:

   U.S. Policy Towards Iraq

   Apr. 4, 2003:

   Operation Iraqi Freedom: Operations and Reconstruction: Iraq Violations of the Law of Armed Conflict

   June 12, 2003:

   The State of Reconstruction and Stabilization Operations in Iraq

   July 10, 2003:

   Operation Iraqi Freedom: Operations and Reconstruction--Operation Iraqi Freedom: The Commander's Perspective.

   Sept. 25, 2003:

   Operation Iraqi Freedom: Operations and Reconstruction--U.S. Policy and Operations in Iraq

   Oct. 2, 2003:

   Operation Iraqi Freedom: Operations and Reconstruction--Operational Lessons Learned from Operation Iraqi Freedom

   Oct. 8, 2003:

   Operation Iraqi Freedom: Operations and Reconstruction--Iraq: Reconstruction and Rehabilitation

   Oct. 21, 2003:

   Operation Iraqi Freedom: Operations and Reconstruction--Operation Iraqi Freedom: Outside Perspectives

   Oct. 29, 2003:

   Operation Iraqi Freedom: Operations and Reconstruction--Iraq Reconstruction and Stability Operations: The Way Forward

   Jan. 28, 2004:

   Operations and Reconstruction Efforts in Iraq--Operation Iraqi Freedom Force Rotation Plan

   Apr. 21, 2004:

   Operations and Reconstruction Efforts in Iraq--Iraq's Transition to Sovereignty

   Apr. 21, 2004:

   Performance of the DOD Acquisition Process in Support of Force Protection for Combat Forces

   May 7, 2004:

   Operations and Reconstruction Efforts in Iraq--The On-Going Investigation into the Abuse of Prisoners within the Central Command Area of Responsibility

   May 21, 2004:

   Operations and Reconstruction Efforts in Iraq--Conduct and Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom

   June 14, 2004:

   Mark-up of H. Res. 640--Resolution of Inquiry requesting that the SECDEF transmit to the House any picture, photograph, video, etc. produced in conjunction w/ any completed DOD investigation conducted by MG Taguba relating to allegations of torture or violations of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq or any completed DOD investigation relating to abuse of a prisoner of war or detainee by civilian contractors working for DOD.

   June 16, 2004:

   Operations and Reconstruction Efforts in Iraq--Status of U.S. Forces in Iraq after June 30, 2004

   June 17, 2004:

   Operations and Reconstruction Efforts in Iraq--Training of Iraq Security Forces

   June 22, 2004:

   Operations and Reconstruction Efforts in Iraq--Progress in Iraq

   July 7, 2004:

   Operations and Reconstruction Efforts in Iraq--Army and Marine Corps Troop Rotations for Operation Iraqi Freedom 3 Operation Enduring Reserve

   July 15, 2004:

   Mark-up on H. Con. Res. 472--SOC on apprehension, detention, and interrogation of terrorists are fundamental in successful prosecution of GWOT and protection of lives of U.S. citizens at home and abroad.

   July 15, 2004:

   Mark up of H. Res. 869--Requesting POTUS and directing other federal official to transmit to HOR docs relating to treatment of prisoners or detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan, and GTMO.

   Aug. 10, 2004:

   Final Report of the National commission on terrorist attacks upon the U.S.

   Aug. 10, 2004:

   Denying terrorist sanctuaries: policy and operational implications for the U.S. military

   Aug. 11, 2004:

   Operations and Reconstruction Efforts in Iraq--Implications of the Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission on the Department of Defense

   Sept. 8, 2004:

   Operations and Reconstruction Efforts in Iraq--The Performance of U.S. Military Servicemembers in Iraq and Afghanistan

   Sept. 9, 2004:

   Operations and Reconstruction Efforts in Iraq--Report of the Independent Panel to Review Department of Defense Detention Operations

[Page: H4096]

   Sept. 9, 2004:

   Operations and Reconstruction Efforts in Iraq--Investigations of Military Activities at Abu Ghraib Prison Facilities

   Mar. 17, 2005:

   Current Operations and the Political Transition in Iraq

   Apr. 6, 2005:

   Iraq's Past, Present and Future

   May 5, 2005:

   Status of Tactical Wheeled Vehicle Armoring Initiatives and IED Jammer Initiatives in OIF

   June 21, 2005:

   Marine Corps Underbody Armor Kits

   June 23, 2005:

   Progress of the Iraqi Security Forces

   June 29, 2005:

   Detainee Operations at GTMO

   Sept. 29, 2005:

   Operations in Iraq

   Oct. 20, 2005:

   Army's 4th ID Up-Armor HMMWV Distribution Strategy

   Nov. 3, 2005:

   Your Troops: Their Story

   March 14, 2006:

   Mark-up for H. Res. 685

   Requesting the President and directing the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense provide to the House of Representatives certain documents in their possession relating to any entity with which the United States has contracted for public relations purposes concerning Iraq.

   April 4, 2006:

   Improving Interagency Coordination for GWOT and Beyond

 

   Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

   Mr. THOMPSON of California. Mr. Speaker, we reserve the balance of our time. We have a lot less time than on the other side.

   Mr. HUNTER. We have reserved the balance of our time. I think we have got a transition here, Mr. Speaker, with the next committee coming up.

   Mr. THOMPSON of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from California for the purpose of putting a statement in the RECORD.

   (Ms. ZOE LOFGREN of California asked and was given permission to revise and extend her remarks.)

   Ms. ZOE LOFGREN of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the resolution.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   Mr. Speaker, When we made the decision to invade Iraq I said this:

 

   The President is asking us to pass this resolution now, but he has not yet made the case for war.

   I cannot support the President's request that we authorize military force against Iraq. I make this very difficult decision for three important reasons: The United States is not acting in self-defense or from an imminent threat from Iraq, the United States should not be pursuing unilateral action without international support, and the President has not stated an exit strategy.

   I believe there are times when countries must resort to war, and indeed international law recognizes the rights of nations to defend themselves. I strongly support our campaign against terrorism. But are we voting this week on a case of self-defense? It would certainly be self-defense if Iraq supported the al Qaeda attack on September 11, but the evidence of such support is lacking.

   I have listened to the administration and met with top officials. I have yet to see any credible evidence that Iraq is connected with al Qaeda. The experts readily admit that there is no real connection.

   I can believe that Iraq is a threat to the region and to some American interests overseas, but I do not believe the threat is imminent or must be handled with a unilateral military strike.

   This resolution is an unwise step for America that will in the end weaken America.

 

   How unsatisfactory are the words ``I told you so''.

   We invaded Iraq even though it was not involved with al Queda and, when we diverted our gaze from the War on Terror, we let Osama Bin Laden get away and now his organization has metastasized so that his capture would no longer be the disruptive blow to al Queda that it could have been then. Our soldiers have served bravely but their courage has not been matched by adequate leadership by the brass starting with the Commander in Chief. The problems that face us now in Iraq are not primarily military ones but we are expecting our military to accomplish them anyway.

   This entire venture was a mistake, but the question is what do we do now? I think the answer is that it's time for the Iraqi's to take responsibility for their own country. Our American soldiers signed up to defend America. Let the Iraqi's do the same for their country.

   We have spent American lives and treasure in Iraq. It is now the obligation of the Commander in Chief to present a strategy for a successful completion of American activities there so that our troops can be removed from Iraq as soon as is practicable.

   Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. It is time for leadership from the Commander in Chief that is more than ``stay the course'' and more of the same.

   The war in Iraq is not the war on terror and never has been. I voted to authorize the use of force in Afghanistan because it was necessary that we disrupt that terrorist hotbed that had helped breed the terrorists who attacked us on September 11th. Now even that necessary endeavor in Afghanistan is faltering because of the diversion into Iraq.

   If we are to win the war on terror, we must focus our efforts on the terrorists and not on Iraq. We are spending $8 billion or more a month in Iraq and need to utilize those funds instead effectively in the fight against terrorists and also to protect the United States from the potential of terrorist attacks.

   We have other threats around the world and have, tragically, damaged our military readiness to face them through our miscalculations in Iraq. To maintain the strong military might that America needs we need to bring the Iraq misadventure to an end as soon as is practical.

  • [End Insert]

     

   Mr. THOMPSON of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from New York for the same purpose.

   (Mr. McNULTY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. McNULTY. Mr. Speaker, in accordance with my statement on Tuesday, I rise in opposition to the resolution.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   Mr. Speaker, I am in agreement with much of the content of House Resolution 861, particularly the expressions of gratitude for the service and sacrifice of our troops.

   The language of the resolution, however, includes a commitment to keep our troops in Iraq indefinitely and an outright refusal to set a date for withdrawal. For these reasons, I strongly oppose the resolution.

   Eighty-two percent of the Iraqi people want us out of their country, and 47 percent say it is justified to attack American troops. It is simply unacceptable to keep our troops in Iraq indefinitely under these conditions. I continue to call for the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq, and challenge the Iraqi people to stand up and defend their own country.

   Mr. Speaker, when we debated the original Iraq war resolution, the administration told us that Iraq was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction, that there were ties between Saddam Hussein and 9/11, and that Iraq was within a year of having a nuclear capability.

   Fast-forward to the deliberations of the 9/11 Commission. They concluded that there were no weapons of mass destruction, no ties between Saddam Hussein and 9/11, and no nuclear capability.

   Mr. Speaker, these votes weren't 8-4 or 7-5, they were all 12-0 that the very basis for the war did not exist.

   When I go back home, Mr. Speaker, and my constituents ask me to summarize where we are in the war on terror, I tell them this: As we approach the fifth anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in the history of our country, we have committed hundreds of billions of dollars in Iraq. More important, over 20,000 young Americans have either been killed or seriously wounded going after Saddam Hussein, who did not attack us, while Osama bin Laden, who did attack us, is still alive, free, planning another attack on our country.

   That, Mr. Speaker, is the very definition of failure in the war on terror.

   We went after the wrong guy.

   But after the invasion, did we have a responsibility to help the Iraqi people build a new government and a new way of life? The answer to that question is yes. And we have fulfilled that obligation. We have helped them through not one, not two, but three elections. It is now time for the Iraqi people to stand up and defend themselves.

   There is a general rule of military engagement that says that you do not signal to your enemy what you are going to do in advance. But there are exceptions to every rule, and there are two exceptions to this rule.

   Number one is that the insurgents in Iraq are using as a recruitment tool the argument that we have no intention of leaving their country, and that we're going to steal their oil--and it is working. It is fueling the insurgency.

   As for our friends in Iraq, those who want this new government and new way of life, they seem perfectly content to let our soldiers take all of the enemy fire. The problem with security in Iraq is not the system of training; it's the fact that the Iraqis are not stepping forward to defend their own government.

   So, today, Mr. Speaker, my basic disagreement with the President is this: He says that we should stay in Iraq until the Iraqis declare that they are ready to defend their own country; and I propose that we announce a timetable for withdrawal, start withdrawing our troops, and make our position very clear to the Iraqis: If they want this new government and this new way of life, they have to come forward, volunteer, stand up, and defend it.

[Page: H4097]

   Mr. Speaker, it is time to bring our troops home.

  • [End Insert]

     

   Mr. THOMPSON of California. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I am manager of the bill for the Judiciary Committee for our side.

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from North Carolina is recognized.

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

   I want to initially present an update as to where we have been and where we are in Iraq. Many months ago an Iraqi citizen said to me, you all must remove Saddam. We can't do it, he said, because we know what he is capable of doing to us in retaliation. I said to him if we do remove him, will you embrace us or will you kick us? He said, I don't know.

   I responded, that is my concern. I don't know either. I believe his anti-Saddam remarks at that time represented a majority view in Iraq, but my concern proved prophetic. Our exercise in Iraq, Mr. Speaker, and colleagues, has not been without mistakes. Our entry strategy was superb. Our post-entry strategy was tentative at best, inept at worst.

   A better response to the looting that ensued in the early days should have been in place. The disestablishment of the Army, without an alternative plan, in my opinion, was premature. Some would blame the United States for the delayed political development, but after all, our forefathers were deliberate in forming our country's operational apparatus, so I think the political complaint is probably unfounded.

   Was Saddam an evil, brutal murderer, a flagrant violator of human rights? You bet. Was he involved in international terrorism? You bet. Was he directly or indirectly involved in the 9/11 attack? I don't know. I can neither confirm nor reject that theory. My point, Mr. Speaker, is that intelligence was flawed. Mistakes were made. But the cause for freedom is a noble one, and progress has, indeed, been realized.

   I am concerned, Mr. Speaker, and colleagues, about the lack of objectivity in reporting the war on terrorism. Some liberal talk show host reports imply that no good has been accomplished. Conversely, some conservative talk show hosts portray Baghdad as moonlight and roses. Clearly these two slanted versions are inaccurate and unfair.

   

[Time: 21:00]

   Let me say a word about the PATRIOT Act, Mr. Speaker, and this will be discussed in more detail subsequently.

   But the PATRIOT Act was reported in the full House by the Judiciary Committee, and it addressed the nexus of the sale of illicit narcotics and terrorist financing. These two shadowy worlds of narcotics trafficking and terrorism is an element of terrorism that I think is lost on many Americans. They are joined at the hip, and I am particularly pleased that the PATRIOT Act did respond to that end.

   Seventeen months ago, Mr. Speaker, I publicly indicated that troop withdrawal was conspicuously absent when the war on terrorism was discussed. Oh, we spoke of appropriating more funds, we spoke of dispatching additional troops, but virtually no one ever even remotely included troop withdrawal in their discussions.

   Now, I am not suggesting troop withdrawal tomorrow, but I want our armed servicemen and -women home sooner rather than later. Some may declare, oh, we cannot cut and run. Cut and run? We have had a presence in Iraq in excess of 3 years. 2,500 armed services Americans have given the ultimate sacrifice to the cause of freedom, Mr. Speaker. Thousands of permanent and disabling injuries have been inflicted upon members of our armed services in addition to the spending of billions of dollars.

   I do not know what constitutes cutting and running, but I do know that when we have logged a wartime duration of 3 years, when 2,500 Americans have given their lives for freedom, and Lord only knows how many Americans have been injured, this does not constitute cutting and running.

   The time has come, it seems to me, Mr. Speaker, to pass the baton to the Iraqi Government. Now, this decision will ultimately be made militarily, and properly so, by the commanders on the ground; but I do not want this matter of withdrawal to be lost in the shuffle.

   If freedom and peace prevail in Iraq, Mr. Speaker, history will be generous in its praise to President Bush and the Congress.

   Mr. Speaker I reserve the balance of my time.

   Mr. THOMPSON of California. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 4 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Texas (Mr. Smith) who chairs the judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property.

   Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague on the Judiciary Committee, the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Coble) and the chairman of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, for yielding me time.

   Mr. Speaker, I strongly support this global war on terror resolution. The war on terror is being fought on two fronts, both abroad and here at home. We applaud the diplomatic and military achievements overseas, but we also need to remain vigilant here in our own country.

   Until the terrorists are defeated, Americans will continue to be their targets as long as we stand for freedom and democracy.

   One of our weapons in the war on terror is the USA PATRIOT Act. That bill, which originated in the Judiciary Committee, gives law enforcement officials and intelligence officials the ability to cooperate during investigations.

   More than 250 people in the United States have been charged with crimes tied to international terrorist investigations and have been convicted or have pled guilty because of the USA PATRIOT Act.

   In response to the events of September 11, 2001, we also passed legislation that created a Director of National Intelligence so that all of our intelligence capabilities would be coordinated by one official.

   We passed the REAL ID Act which contains several antiterrorism provisions, including one that makes certain foreign nationals deportable because of their ties to terrorism.

   We must continue to pass legislation that makes it more difficult for terrorists to enter the United States. That means enacting meaningful border security legislation like the bill that the House passed last December.

   Those who would do us harm, Mr. Speaker, respect no borders. Potential terrorists and thousands of others continue to enter our country illegally every day.

   In America, we are blessed to have the freedom that others only dream about, but freedom is never free. It must be nurtured and protected, sometimes at great cost in lives; but we will not surrender to terrorists. That only empowers them. We will fight them today so we can enjoy a better tomorrow. Any other course only resigns us to an uncertain future.

   In closing, Mr. Speaker, let me pay tribute to the brave men and women of the 21st Congressional District of Texas who are fighting this war overseas. The most difficult action I have ever taken as an elected official is to call the families of the 14 servicemembers from my district who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Their families' patriotism and love of country is almost indescribable. Their faith is great because they know our cause is great.

   Mr. Speaker, I am glad this resolution has been brought to the floor, and I urge my colleagues to support it.

   Mr. THOMPSON of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Rangel) who fought in the Korean War and was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

   (Mr. RANGEL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Speaker, I regret that the majority has seen fit to bring to this floor a political statement where if you vote against it, you are voting against our troops; and if you vote for it, of course you are supporting the President's policy. But being a politician, I can understand that.

   We cannot say enough about the courage and the dedication of our young people, the volunteers and the

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National Guards people that are putting their lives on the line each and every day. Tragically, we reached a point that we passed the 2,500 mark in terms of loss of life, and tens of thousands are permanently maimed.

   When we laud them, as we have heard, as supporting the President's policy, I really think this is so unfair, and why? Because with our fighting men and women, when that flag goes up, they salute it not because of a President's policy, but because of respecting their oath to the Commander in Chief.

   When I was in Korea, I do not remember any of the soldiers that were in combat questioning the wisdom of Commander in Chief President Truman. They never asked did the Congress declare war. They never asked why were we involved in a civil war between the North Koreans and the South Koreans. They never thought that the North Koreans were going to invade our communities.

   I tell you that our fighting men and women today are not saying that they challenge the Commander in Chief. They do not ask whether there were weapons of mass destruction. They do not ask whether or not Saddam Hussein was a part of al Qaeda. They do not ask those political questions, and neither did I when I was a sergeant in the infantry.

   But I am not a sergeant in the infantry now. I am a Member of the United States Congress, a Member of this House of Representatives, and each one of us has the right to challenge any direction, not of the Commander in Chief, but the President of the United States. That is the most patriotic thing we can do because, in doing that, whether it is Vietnam, whether it is Korea, or whether it is Iraq, we are protecting as best we see it, the lives and the safety of the men and women that have volunteered.

   Let us face it, they did not volunteer to knock off Saddam Hussein. They volunteered because they were looking for a better way of life, the same way I did when I volunteered in 1948, and you can see where they come from. It does not take away from their patriotism, but they did not take a poli-sci course in terms of how do you bring peace in the Middle East. I mean, they were not there looking for Saddam Hussein. They were looking for a better opportunity, which I guess they received. They come from our inner cities. They come from our rural areas. They come from the areas of high unemployment. But when they get in the military, they are patriots who do not challenge the policies of a President or Commander in Chief. So they are not advocates. They are patriots.

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Florida (Mr. Keller) who sits as a member of the Judiciary Committee.

   Mr. KELLER. Mr. Speaker, I thank Chairman Coble for yielding me time.

   Mr. Speaker, I have just returned from visiting our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. I witnessed the impact of Zarqawi up close and personal. I have seen the damage Zarqawi inflicted. I visited the areas where Zarqawi lived and terrorized people, and I met the brave soldiers who ultimately tracked him down and killed him.

   It was Sunday evening, May 28, 2006, and I was in Amman, Jordan, with a small delegation of six Congressmen. As I walked through the metal detector to enter the hotel's lobby, I thought of Zarqawi. It was here, in Amman, Jordan, that Zarqawi, a native of Jordan, killed 60 people by bombing three hotels on November 9, 2005.

   The next day was Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, and I was in Iraq visiting with our troops. Once again, my thoughts turned to Zarqawi. I toured the Special Operations Command Center with General Stan McCrystal, a three-star general in charge of tracking down Zarqawi. All over the walls of the command center were posters of Zarqawi. General McCrystal and his team were confident that they would get Zarqawi, and they briefed us on their efforts.

   That same day I flew in a Blackhawk helicopter around the area of Ba'Qubah where Zarqawi was ultimately located. I also toured Baghdad, where Zarqawi intimidated the U.N. by bombing their headquarters and where al Jazeera TV once broadcast a videotape showing Zarqawi personally beheading an American citizen.

   A week later, on Wednesday, June 7, I was at the White House with a few other Members of Congress to brief President Bush about what we saw in Iraq. At exactly 3:57 p.m., National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley slipped a note to President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Secretary of State Condi Rice. President Bush read the note, smiled and winked at Condi Rice. Zarqawi was dead.

   General McCrystal later personally went to the scene and determined for himself that Zarqawi had officially been killed. President Bush already called General McCrystal to thank him and his troops, and today Congress thanks them as well.

   Mr. Speaker, Amman, Jordan, is a long way from my hometown of Orlando, Florida. Tonight, thousands of people in Orlando will walk into hotel lobbies without having to go through a metal detector, unlike the hotels in Amman, Jordan. Why? Because our soldiers are taking the fight to the terrorists, like Zarqawi in the Middle East, so the rest of us can live freely in the United States.

   However one feels about the war in Iraq, realize that our troops deserve our support 100 percent. God knows they have earned it.

   I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on House Resolution 861.

   Mr. THOMPSON of California. Mr. Speaker, I reserve my time.

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, how much time remains on each side?

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from North Carolina has 62 1/2 minutes remaining.

   Mr. COBLE. And the other side?

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from California has 7 minutes remaining. The gentleman from Pennsylvania has 57 minutes remaining.

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Chabot) who chairs the Subcommittee on the Constitution on the House Judiciary Committee.

   Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

   No one can honestly say that everything has gone just as planned in the war on terror. As with any war, we continue to face many challenges, some predictable, others unforeseen.

   

[Time: 21:15]

   But I have no doubt that we will ultimately prevail and we will prevail because of the bravery and sacrifice and commitment to excellence of so many of our courageous men and women in uniform who have selflessly answered the call to duty.

   Because of these patriots, Saddam Hussein is on trial for his life, for his crimes against humanity. His evil sons, Uday and Qusay, are no doubt roasting in hell. There are no more mass graves in Iraq being filled with the bodies of the innocent. And 25 million Iraqis, instead of fearing torture and execution for such crimes as insulting the President, can now, instead, actually vote for their leaders. And Iraq now has an elected government under a new constitution. And because of the skill and professionalism of our troops and our allies in the war on terror, terrorist kingpin, Abu Musab al Zarqawi is dead, and al Qaeda is left without its mastermind in Iraq. And in Afghanistan, in the face of extremely difficult conditions, our courageous men and women have overcome al Qaeda and the Taliban, allowing for free elections and the first democratically elected President, President Karzai, in that nation's history.

   The job done by our soldiers and our sailors, our airmen and marines has been nothing short of superb. It is because of them that we will ultimately prevail in the war on terror. Of that I have no doubt. Like many of my colleagues, I have had the opportunity to visit with our troops in Afghanistan and in Iraq, and I have returned home with even more respect and admiration for the great work our servicemembers do each and every day. And like many of my colleagues, I have attended funeral services for too many of our heroes who have given their lives on the battlefield in the service of their Nation. May God bless them and the families that they have left behind.

   Mr. Speaker, these sacrifices remind us that ultimately the people of Iraq must control their own destiny. Many of us have supported the important mission of training Iraqi troops to take

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responsibility for the security of Iraq. Ultimately, the Iraqi people, the troops, the police officers there have to be responsible for the security of Iraq. There is only so much that our troops can do. This must continue to be a primary focus so that our brave men and women can return home as soon as possible.

   Mr. THOMPSON of California. Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to yield 3 1/4 minutes to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers), a combat veteran of the Korea war.

   Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

   Ladies and gentlemen, General Anthony Zinni and other retired generals have been outspoken in their opposition to the planning and execution of our occupation of Iraq. But our administration rejected their sound recommendations which predicted exactly what would happen if we didn't plan for the occupation. These generals explained that our forces were not provided enough resources to do the job; that we alienated allies that could have helped in rebuilding Iraq; and that the Defense Department ignored planning for the postwar occupation, unaware of the growing insurgency there.

   I have heard from too many military families, those children of theirs who have been wounded or killed in duty. Their grief is so much harder to bear knowing that often we did not adequately equip their sons and daughters in battle.

   Back home I have met many times with Lila Lipscomb, a proud mother from Flint, Michigan, who lost her son Michael in Iraq. Initially, Mrs. Lipscomb supported the war, on the assumption that the government knew best. A week after finding out her son had died, she received a letter from her son in which he forcefully argued that we should not be in Iraq because there was no connection between Iraq and Osama bin Laden.

   Cindy Sheehan lost her son Casey in Iraq and became a voice for mothers of soldiers who oppose the war. Cindy's loss motivated her to unite with other grieving mothers in opposition to the war. And her willingness to speak truth to power has drawn attention to the misconduct of the war and the terrible price that service men and women and their families have paid.

   Let me tell you this: We need to encourage our friends and allies around the globe to help with Iraqi reconstruction and peacekeeping. We just don't have sufficient resources to manage this work on our own. We haven't learned from the first gulf war. If we can bring the international community into Iraq to help establish a democracy, protect its citizens, and rebuild its infrastructure, it will free American forces and resources to address the real problem we face: Terrorism.

   Let's heed the advice of our colleague, Mr. Murtha, and redeploy our troops to find Osama bin Laden and fight terrorists. If we can shatter the myth that occupying Iraq is the same thing as fighting terrorism, then these 10 hours of debate tonight will have been worth something after all.

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield the distinguished gentleman from Iowa (Mr. King), who sits as a member of the Judiciary, 3 minutes.

   Mr. KING of Iowa. I thank the gentleman from North Carolina, and I appreciate the privilege to address you, Mr. Speaker, and also this Chamber.

   If we take ourselves back to September 11, 2001, we had a lot of small problems then that we thought were big problems, and all of a sudden we had a great big problem. We were attacked by an enemy that most of us hadn't paid much attention to, if indeed we had ever heard of that enemy. We believed that that day wouldn't be over before on top of the attacks we knew about there would be other attacks on top of that. We believed in the following days there would be more and more attacks in this country because of an organized effort that would be continuing with suicide bomber attacks that would continue to cost the lives of Americans.

   We mobilized this. The President stepped up in New York at ground zero and took a leadership role. He said if you're not with us, you're against us. If you harbor terrorists, you are a terrorist. And he carried that out.

   And as we began to get mobilized to go to Afghanistan, there were those on the other side of the political equation that said you can't go in there and successfully invade and occupy a nation like that; that has never happened in the history of the world. The terrain is too difficult, the fighters are too tenacious, and it is a fool's errand to go into Afghanistan and think you can succeed in there militarily. But in fact that is what happened.

   They said it would be another Vietnam, but it wasn't another Vietnam. The Afghani people voted on that soil for the first time in the history of the world, and American troops were there to see to it that they were able to do that. They have chosen their own leaders and directed their own national destiny, 25 million people.

   And the advisers that put that together, both civilian and military, were the same advisers that advised President Bush on Iraq. The similarities are almost identical: Difficult country, 25 million people, you can't go there and succeed. The same advisers. And because some people can find one or two generals that had a different idea, they seem to believe that the President hasn't used the best wisdom possible.

   In the shortest time in the history of the world, an armored column went across the desert and invaded and occupied the largest city ever in the history of the world to be invaded and occupied, and that is Baghdad, successfully, 25 million people. Even though we had some people who have spoken on this floor tonight that were inclined to surrender before the operation ever began. And now we have an operation going over there that has freed 25 million more people. And Afghanistan and Iraq are the lodestars for the Arab people in the Arab world.

   When the Berlin Wall came down on November 9 of 1989, many in this place did not predict that freedom would echo across Eastern Europe for hundreds of millions of people, but it did. And freedom can echo across the Arab world for tens and hundreds of millions of people the same way that it echoed across Europe. That is the Bush doctrine. That is the vision: To free people. Because free people never go to war against other free people. We don't, at least.

   And to the extent that the world is a freer place, it is a safer place, especially a safer place for Americans. So, Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the privilege and I stand with our military.

   Mr. THOMPSON of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 10 seconds to correct some disinformation that the previous speaker put out.

   It should be noted that this Chamber was near united on going into Afghanistan. Moreover, we believed strongly that is where we should have been. So it wasn't anywhere close to what he explained.

   Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 1/2 minutes to my friend from Tennessee (Mr. Tanner), who served 4 years active duty in the U.S. Navy and retired as a full bird colonel after 26 years with the Tennessee National Guard.

   (Mr. TANNER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. TANNER. Mr. Speaker, our country was founded and bases itself on civilian control of the military. And when I wore the uniform of our country, I, like all other military people in uniform, followed orders. I obeyed my commanders and I tried to do whatever the mission was that was set before us. That is what you do in the military of the United States under civilian control.

   But I am not in uniform any more. I am a civilian now, and part of that civilian authority. And it is our patriotic duty as part of that civilian authority to ask questions, to constantly reexamine the strategy, to constantly reexamine the policy of this country, to do everything we can to, one, accomplish our mission; and, secondly, and more importantly, protect the men and women who are actually doing the fighting for us now.

   That is why this debate, I would have hoped, would have been more broad; that we would have had more opportunity, because this debate in this country has to take place in this building on this floor here and in the Senate Chamber. It is the patriotic obligation and duty of civilian authority to do that, and I am proud to be here tonight.

   Now, I have supported resolutions like this in the past, but I want to ask

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Mr. Coble a question, sir. There was a news report this morning that the new Iraqi government is negotiating with some of the elements there in Iraq that are insurgents who have been murdering Americans, and this was what one of the Iraqi government officials said this morning, according to these news reports, and I quote: ``There is a patriotic feeling among the Iraqi youth and the belief that these attacks on Americans are legitimate acts of resistance in defending their homeland. These people will be pardoned, definitely, I believe.''

   Now, unless that can be cleared up, I am not prepared to vote for a resolution which says in part that the United States and its coalition partners will continue to support Iraq. If this government in Iraq is going to grant amnesty to people who kill Americans because they feel it is their patriotic duty and they are defending their homeland, then we have got to reassess where we are with these people.

   Do you know whether or not this has been cleared up?

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Tanner, I do not know. I am told that it was announced that it was a mistake. But I cannot verify that, and this is a case of first impression with me, what you have just shared with me.

   Mr. TANNER. Well, I don't want to catch you off guard, but we need to clear this up before we vote on this resolution. I do not think the American people will support a government that grants amnesty to people who kill American soldiers.

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Kelly), who, by the way, is the founder and chairman of the bipartisan, bicameral Anti-terrorist Funding Task Force.

   Mrs. KELLY. Mr. Speaker, I want to talk briefly about one aspect of our fight against terrorism that is often overlooked, and that is our efforts to detect and eradicate terrorist funding networks around the world. The fight against terror finance goes hand in hand with the war on terror.

   

[Time: 21:30]

   Terrorists infiltrate our financial systems to distribute the money that they need to support their evil activities around the globe. They exploit a wide variety of alternative funding networks that range from charities to commonplace criminal activity like drug peddling and illegal cigarette sales.

   My colleagues would likely agree that while we may have targeted the financial resources of terrorists networks at times prior to 9/11, the fight against terror finance didn't begin in earnest until after the 9/11 attacks.

   The 9/11 hijackers used U.S. and foreign banks to transfer the roughly half-million dollars necessary to the plan to execute their attacks on America.

   We fought back against terror financiers with people like Dennis Lormel, a veteran FBI agent who was tasked with tracking down the financial lifelines that enabled the 9/11 hijackers to operate.

   We fought back with people like David Aufhauser, who was then general counsel at the Treasury Department who was put in charge of a small interagency terror finance group which met regularly at the White House after 9/11.

   And we fought back here in this House. Chairman Oxley and the ranking member, Mr. Frank, convened a Financial Services Committee hearing on terror finance just 3 weeks after the attacks. Shortly thereafter, this body passed the PATRIOT Act, which provided critical new terror finance tools.

   We have held numerous hearings since to improve the government's antiterror finance efforts and to identify which foreign countries need to do more to stop terror financing within their borders.

   And we have created the bipartisan Congressional Anti-Terrorist Financing Task Force to bring a stronger focus on bolstering our fight against terror financiers.

   In just a few years, we have made significant progress in combating terror-funding networks. We still have a long way to go, but we are on the right track.

   Last December, the 9/11 Commission came out with a report card grading the government's response to 9/11. The government's efforts against terror finance got the highest grade of them all, an A minus.

   Just last week, an al Qaeda planning document was found in al Zarqawi's hideout which laments our successes in restricting the al Qaeda financial outlets. This House has played an important role in this effort, and it has been approached in a bipartisan way even when dealing with terror finance in Iraq. Continued progress on this complex issue requires a sustained commitment from our Congress.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   Last year, members from both sides of the aisle joined me in a letter pressing Syria for more action in stopping the flow of fighters and finances into Iraq.

   Members from both sides of the aisle joined me in asking the government of Italy to crack down on open fundraising efforts for Iraqi terrorists in their country.

   As we move forward, our challenges continue to grow more daunting as terrorists perpetually adapt to our methods to stop them. They are constantly finding new ways to raise and distribute money.

   So we must work even harder to keep up with terrorists' ever-changing financing techniques. We must continue pressing foreign governments to do the same.

   Continued progress on this complex issue requires a sustained commitment from Congress. By stopping the flow of terrorist money, we can diminish the ability of terrorists to attack our citizens and our country. Fighting terror finance must remain a critical component of the War on Terror.

  • [End Insert]

     

   Mr. THOMPSON of California. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania for yielding time for some of the veterans on the Democratic side of the aisle to have the opportunity to speak out against this sham resolution, and I yield back to him the balance of my time.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Maine (Mr. Allen).

   Mr. ALLEN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

   I rise to oppose this resolution and to call for a significant reduction of U.S. forces this year and an end to the occupation in 2007.

   I voted against the invasion in 2002 because I believed the war would be a strategic blunder of historic proportions. And it has been.

   We owe the men and women we sent to Iraq and their loved ones more than a few hours of grandstanding on this floor and an empty resolution of support.

   We must work toward a national consensus to end this war, a war born in deception and managed under a delusion. Today's news that the American death toll has surpassed 2,500 is the grim reminder of the danger and sacrifice our Armed Forces face daily in Iraq. We need to end our occupation of Iraq so America can rebuild our economy at home and regain respect abroad.

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Hayworth), who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee.

   (Mr. HAYWORTH asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. HAYWORTH. Mr. Speaker, again we return to the people's House to discuss the people's business and the central question that cuts to the very core of our existence: free men and women engaged in an armed struggle to advance freedom elsewhere in the world; our all-volunteer military, standing in the breach against Islamofascism and terror in Afghanistan and in innumerable other places around the globe. But the central front for our discussion this evening in Iraq.

   Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the resolution, in support of the troops, in support of this mission, as I often recall the words of Mark Twain that history does not repeat it, but it rhymes.

   I review the debate that has gone on in the people's House today, so many willing to compare this to Vietnam. So many coming to this floor using the term ``quagmire,'' and yet any dispassionate, objective evaluation of what has transpired would be remiss if we did not include not one, not two, but three elections where we have seen turnout by the Iraqi people exceed on each occasion what had gone on before.

   We see a nation being born, fighting terror, and we see American troops, volunteers, stepping forward.

   Others have made the point, Mr. Speaker, that there is no more solemn and sacred obligation than casting a

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vote to put our military into harm's way. I have been at Walter Reed with one of my constituents prior to surgery. I had that young man say to me: Congressman, I am a cav scout. That's my job; that's my profession. Help me do all I can to get back with my unit.

   The men and women of our military are professionals doing a tough job. I don't doubt the sincerity and intent of those who oppose this resolution, but I do respectfully take issue with their judgment.

   If not us, who? If not now, when? We have no choice. Failure is not an option, and to those for whatever reason eager to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, al Zarqawi is dead. A democracy is being born. Freedom is on the march. This remains an imperfect world with mistakes and challenges that likewise remain, but let us stand steadfast, true to the course, true to the cause, true to freedom. Vote ``yes'' on this resolution.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Simmons), a Vietnam veteran and the recipient of two Bronze Stars.

   Mr. SIMMONS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in qualified support of the resolution. There is much in the resolution to like. It honors those Americans who fought in the global war on terror, and especially those who have been wounded and died; and it expresses a commitment to a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq. And it urges we protect freedom.

   But the resolution fails to address a key question that most Americans are asking: When are the troops coming home? Let me be clear, I have long opposed setting a date certain for immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces because such plans encourage our enemies and put our troops at risk.

   However, speaking as a Vietnam veteran, I believe every unconventional conflict has a tipping point where the presence of foreign soldiers on sovereign soil begins to become counterproductive, and I learned that we cannot secure a foreign land all by ourselves. We must plan a transfer of authority where a sovereign state assumes the solemn task of securing their own people within their own borders. And I believe this tipping point is fast approaching.

   We must patiently but firmly insist that the new Iraqi Government assume these responsibilities, and we must also be systematic in bringing home those American soldiers who have so bravely served us on the ground in Iraq.

   Mr. Speaker, I observe in this great Chamber two portraits: one of George Washington, a revolutionary leader; the other is France's General Lafayette who helped us with our revolution from 1777 to 1781. It is instructive to note that General Lafayette did not stay here forever, nor did we want him to go. Good friends know when to come; good friends know when to go.

   In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, it is important to be resolute about our support for the troops. But it is also time to send a clear message that our commitment is conditional on their successes, and our days in their country are not indefinite.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   Mr. Speaker, I rise in qualified support of the Resolution. There is much in this resolution to like.

   After all, it honors those Americans who have fought in the Global War on Terror, and especially those who have been wounded or died.

   It expresses a commitment to a ``sovereign, free, secure and united Iraq.'' And it urges that we ``protect freedom.''

   But this resolution fails to fully address a key question that most Americans are asking: ``When are the troops coming home?''

   Now let me be clear--I have long opposed setting a ``date certain'' for ``immediate withdrawal'' of U.S. forces because such plans encourage our enemies and put our troops at risk.

   However, speaking as a Vietnam Veteran, I believe that every unconventional conflict has a ``tipping point'' where the presence of foreign soldiers on sovereign soil begins to become counter-productive.

   I learned that we cannot secure a foreign land all by ourselves. We must plan a transfer of authority where a sovereign state assumes the solemn task of securing their own people within their own borders.

   I believe that this ``tipping point'' is fast approaching in Iraq. We must patiently, but firmly, insist that the new Iraqi Government assume these responsibilities.

   We must also be systematic in bringing home those American soldiers who have so bravely served us on the ground in Iraq.

   President Bush and this Congress must clearly tell our partners in Iraq--particularly, the new government--that they must step up to the plate and assume their solemn responsibilities for securing their country.

   The new Iraqi Government must understand that the American people will not allow their own sons and daughters to stay indefinitely; and that it's time for the Iraqis to assume more of the burden of sacrifice that any war and any revolution might bring.

   It is time for Iraq to come together and show the American people that it is ready to defend itself, govern itself and sustain itself.

   In closing, Mr. Speaker, I observe in this great chamber two large portraits. One is of George Washington, our revolutionary leader. The other is of France's General Lafayette, who helped us with our revolution from 1777 to 1781.

   It is instructive to note, that General Lafayette did not stay here forever; nor did we want him to. Good friends know when to come--and when to go.

   In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, it is important to be resolute about our support for our troops and their important mission. But it is also time to send a clear message to our friends in Iraq, that our commitment is conditional on their own successes, and that our days in their country are not indefinite.

   And although I wish this resolution could have made this point more clearly, I will support the resolution.

  • [End Insert]

     

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Lewis).

   Mr. LEWIS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my friend and colleague, Mr. Murtha, for yielding.

   Mr. Speaker, it is time for us to close this very grim and dark chapter in American history, a chapter that is leaving a dark stain on the moral fabric of our Nation and compromising our credibility among the communities nations.

   As Gandhi once said: ``Liberty and democracy become unholy when their hands are dyed with innocent red blood.''

   Mr. Speaker, we have buried 2,500 of our Nation's mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, husbands, wives, brothers and sisters. The lives of 18,000 men and women have been changed forever. Some have lost their arms, their legs, and their sight in this unnecessary conflict.

   Mr. Speaker, war is messy. War is bloody. It tends not only to hide the truth, but to sacrifice the truth. While we may have won some military victories, those do not erase the mistake of a preemptive war.

   They will not silence the questions that are troubling the minds of the American people. They know today that Iraq did not pose an immediate threat. There were no weapons of mass destruction, and they see that we are deeply involved in a misguided conflict.

   Mr. Speaker, I deeply believe that the American people want us to bring our children home. We are not safer today than we were before we went to war. This war is not the answer, so we must find a way out of no way to bring our young men and our young women home. Bring them home.

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, before I recognize the next speaker, could you tell me how much time remains.

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from North Carolina has 49 minutes remaining. The gentleman from Pennsylvania has 54 1/2 minutes remaining.

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. Daniel E. Lungren) who sits on the House Judiciary Committee.

   Mr. DANIEL E. LUNGREN of California. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I rise in support of this resolution.

   Over a quarter of a century ago when I served in my first term during my first period of service in Congress, I remember making a very difficult phone call. That phone call was to the parents of a young man in uniform who had died in our failed attempt in the desert to attempt to rescue our hostages in Iran.

   I recall the feeling of helplessness we had at that moment, not understanding what we were doing, not having a strategy as to how we respond to what was, very simply put, a terrorist attack.

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   I recall being awakened one morning to learn that we had suffered the loss of our marines in Beirut. I recall the attack on the USS Cole. And then, of course, I recall with all of us the terrible tragedy of 9/11.

   Say what you will about the President's policies and say what you will about the imperfections involved, the fact of the matter is since 9/11 this President, this administration, has embarked on a strategy that says we will not wait to be attacked. We will not wait to respond exactly where they attacked us. We will change the rules of the game, and we will decide where and when we will attack.

   We understand that this is a global war on terror. Those who suggest that the war in Iraq is not essential to our defense in the war on terror should only listen to the words of Mr. Zarqawi and the correspondence that he had last October where he suggested one of the very first objectives of al Qaeda was to make sure we were defeated in Iraq.

   

[Time: 21:45]

   We should understand that we have done great things in response to this, on a bipartisan basis. We have given the President the tools to use, the PATRIOT Act, intelligence gathering that he did not have the capacity for before. And let me just mention a number of plots that have been deterred.

   The West coast airliner plot in mid-2002. The U.S. disrupted a plot to attack targets on the West coast of United States using hijacked airplanes.

   The East Coast airliner plot in mid-2003,

   The Jose Padilla plot to blow up apartment buildings in the United States in May of 2002.

   The 2004 U.K. urban targets plot where the U.S. and partners disrupted a plot that involved urban targets in the United Kingdom.

   The 2003 Karachi plot.

   The Heathrow Airport plot in 2003.

   The 2004 U.K. plot.

   The 2002 Arabian Gulf shipping plot.

   The 2002 Straits of Hormuz plot,

   The 2003 tourist site plot where the U.S. and a partner nation disrupted a plot to attack a tourist site outside the United States.

   We are making progress precisely because we are playing away games, not home games. Let's not forget that as we debate this important resolution.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Gene Green).

   Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker and Members, our job is to protect our Nation. We have thousands of young men and women who are doing it today.

   I believed in early 2003 we should do more to capture or eliminate the people who caused the 9/11 attacks. They were predominantly in Afghanistan, not in Iraq.

   Today it seems we have a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan and increasing attacks in Iraq on our troops and Iraqi citizens.

   We have seen success in capturing Saddam and eliminating al Zarqawi. I have never doubted the ability of our young men and women in our Armed Forces. We saw what they were capable of doing in the first days of the war when they stormed Iraq and Baghdad within days, overwhelming the Iraqi forces.

   The accomplishments we have seen in Iraq can be attributed directly to these troops' discipline and persistence in fighting the insurgency.

   Mistakes have been made, and the most experienced members of our Armed Forces have pointed that out. One of the individuals who spoke out was retired Marine General, Former Chief of U.S. Central Command Anthony Zinni, who said, ``We grow up in a culture where accountability, learning to accept responsibility, admitting mistakes and learning from them was critical to us. When we don't see that happening, it worries us. Poor military judgments has been used throughout this mission.''

   As this war has gone on, the lack of planning and poor judgment by this administration has become more apparent.

   I have here the May 1, 2003 press release from the White House in which President Bush, on board the U.S. Abraham Lincoln, declared all major combat operations have ended. We now know that this was one miscalculation among many.

   Since that time, seven young men from our 29th Congressional district in Texas have lost their lives in Iraq. Across this Nation, 2,300 service personnel, men and women have lost their lives since the President made these remarks.

   Reading over these remarks, it is clear that the administration had no clear plan for securing Iraq after the invasion and no clue about what was to follow the next 3 years.

   Given the size and the strength and the effectiveness of the insurgency, the administration's intelligence should have given some indication that there would be problems down the road and done a better job of preparing both our public and, more importantly, our troops on what was to come the following month and the following years.

   It is clear that we did not have enough troops on the ground immediately after the invasion, and that shortage continues.

   Congress doesn't direct troops on the ground. We are not the Commander in Chief. But we are charged with sending our sons and daughters into battle, and therefore we need an honest and open debate about what is occurring in Iraq.

   I strongly disagree with the way the administration planned and carried out this war. I will continue, though, to vote for the defense appropriations and the supplemental dollars because we have to give our troops protections that they need, and we learn every day that they need even more.

   Many brave men and women have given their lives in Baghdad and all across Iraq. We honor those families for their sacrifice, their ultimate sacrifice.

   Mr. Speaker, this war is not the one we anticipated fighting or the war we were led to believe we were getting into, but I believe we must leave a secure Iraq that can defend itself and be a symbol for democracy to prosper.

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Texas (Mr. Gohmert).

   Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, the question came up previously from a colleague about did Iraq intend to give amnesty to those who have killed American soldiers, and I want to clarify that. The National Security Adviser said just earlier regarding alleged comments from the Prime Minister that supposedly amnesty would be given to some who have killed Americans. He said, ``This is not the case. I am sorry to say the Prime Minister of Iraq has been misquoted and misunderstood. He did not mean to give amnesty to those who killed Americans.'' So that should clarify that.

   Now, Mr. Speaker, there are those who have said it is a quagmire in Iraq. It is a mistake for us to be there. Some made these statements from personal heartache. Some, on the other hand, were made from partisan political motivation, and some from disdain for our President and a desire to see his efforts fail, even though it risks world stability and national security.

   But our soldiers are there. They know they have done great things and will continue to accomplish more. They have seen the admiring faces of Iraqi children that were never present in Vietnam. They have heard gratitude from many there in Iraq that was never heard in Vietnam.

   Our valiant soldiers not only fight, protect and defend, they also see the frantic efforts of terrorists who are terrified that democracy and the people will begin to rule over them and their oppressive dictatorial ways. They keep many terrorists occupied there rather than here in America.

   Mr. Speaker, as legislators, we get to ask a question that I didn't get to ask as a judge. It was inappropriate because of the separation of powers. And that is, who will be hurt or helped by the actions and, in my case as a judge, by the ruling?

   Well, here in this debate as legislators we get to ask that question. Who will be hurt by pulling out? Those yearning for freedom who have it within their grasp will be hurt. And ultimately America will be hurt because of terrorist activities that would resume and multiply unabated in Iraq, and bin Laden would have been proven right, that we didn't have the stomach to go all the way to victory.

   Who would be helped by our pulling out? Well, there are some families that would not endure the heartache from losing or having a wounded soldier in

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their family. But the price in lost lives might be far more expensive in the future. Who would really be helped would be ruthless, heartless, finger detaching, hand removing, throat slashing, decapitating, women raping and abusing, child misusing, corpse abusing, merciless, calloused, deranged, religious zealot, murderers who think they are going to get virgins in the next life, but may find they are the virgins with what happens to them.

   Let me just close by saying, some have not had nice things to say about our colleague, Mr. Murtha, and others wanting to pull out of Iraq quickly. But I understand the faithful visitation that he does routinely. So I say thank God for his big heart. I say thank God for his compassion. Thank God for his visits to the wounded. Thank God for his ministering to grieving families. But thank God he was not here and prevailed after the bloodbaths at Normandy and in the Pacific, or we would be here speaking Japanese or German.

   Mr. MURTHA. I yield myself 1 minute.

   I ask the Speaker, was the gentleman at any of those locations? Was the gentleman at either Normandy or any of those locations?

   Mr. GOHMERT. Will the gentleman yield?

   You want to know which locations?

   Mr. MURTHA. Yes.

   Mr. GOHMERT. Normandy was a horrible bloodbath.

   Mr. MURTHA. I said were you there?

   Mr. GOHMERT. Oh, no, I wasn't.

   Mr. MURTHA. Were you in Vietnam?

   Mr. GOHMERT. No, sir, I wasn't.

   Mr. MURTHA. Were you in Iraq?

   Mr. GOHMERT. I have been over there. I haven't been fighting.

   Mr. MURTHA. Boots on the ground?

   Mr. GOHMERT. And I do admire the gentleman's compassion, and I do appreciate all that he has done for our wounded. He has done a great service, and that would be you, Mr. Murtha. Thank you for your work.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Vermont (Mr. Sanders).

   Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Speaker, the process that we are dealing with this evening is nothing less than an outrage. The idea that on an issue of this great importance those of us in the minority are not being allowed to offer a resolution of our own is an insult to the democratic process and tells us why we have to end one party government in America.

   The Republican resolution talks about democracy in Iraq. I am all for that. But I would also like to see some democracy on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

   Three and a half years ago, when we were asked to give the President the authority to go to war in Iraq, I voted against that resolution, and I think history will indicate that that was the right vote.

   Three and a half years ago President Bush told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, that Iraq was likely to attack us, and that it was necessary to wage a preemptive war against them. President Bush was wrong.

   Three and a half years ago, we were told that there was a link between Iraq and al Qaeda. That was wrong.

   Three and a half years ago, we were shown all of those aluminum tubes which allegedly told us about a nuclear weapons program in Iraq. That was wrong.

   Three and a half years ago, we were told that Iraq was importing depleted uranium from Niger. That was wrong.

   Mr. Speaker, terrorism is a major problem for our country and the world. Unfortunately, in many respects, the war in Iraq has created more terrorists than it has stopped, and has deflected our attention away from the fight against Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.

   Mr. Speaker, let us bring our troops home as soon as possible. Let us mount a focused campaign against terrorism with military force, with improved intelligence capabilities and with an understanding that we need to work with the entire world.

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Ferguson).

   Mr. FERGUSON. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this resolution.

   Mr. Speaker, Iraq is a part of the global war on terrorism, and a strong democratic Iraq means a safer America.

   Rather than debate the past, I choose to look at where we are today and where we will be tomorrow. In the days and weeks and months ahead, the global war on terrorism will come to a turning point. Today the question is, do we continue to fight and defeat the terrorists who will stop at nothing to destroy Iraq's democracy?

   Ultimately, the success of democracy in Iraq will be decided by the Iraqis themselves, for it is they who must take their country back.

   Like many of our colleagues, I have traveled to Iraq. I have visited with its leaders, including the new Prime Minister. I have also visited with our troops, including from my home State of New Jersey. I have met with members of the Signal Battalion from Westfield and our Finance Battalion in Flemington before their deployments. Their courage in the face of danger and willingness to serve inspire us all.

   Difficult days still lie ahead. We acknowledge the sacrifices of our Armed Forces and their families here at home. For those Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice, 2,500 as of today, their sacrifice is immeasurable, and America extends our hands and our hearts to their families.

   Looking forward, not backwards, I believe we must stand with the Iraqis who are fighting for their country, because a strong democratic Iraq means a safer America. There can be no alternative to winning the global war on terrorism. There can be no alternative to a democratic Iraq, lest it return to tyranny and a breeding ground for international terrorists who would then seek to fight us far closer to our own shores.

   Let us choose a democratic Iraq and a safer America. I urge my colleagues to support this resolution.

   Mr. MURTHA. I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Rothman).

   Mr. ROTHMAN. Mr. Speaker, how did this happen? We have lost 2,500 American servicemen and women. They have been killed in Iraq. 18,000 U.S. soldiers grievously wounded. We have spent over one-third of a trillion dollars in Iraq on this war, so far. Yet, 80 percent of the Iraqi people want us to leave. 80 percent of the Iraqi people want us to leave. They are shooting at our soldiers, blowing up our soldiers with improvised explosive devices.

   How did we get here? Oh, yeah. I remember. President Bush said that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat to the United States and had weapons of mass destruction. So many of us voted to send our troops to Iraq to eliminate this threat of the use of weapons of mass destruction and this imminent threat to our national security.

   

[Time: 22:00]

   It turned out not to be true. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein was no imminent threat to the United States. Well, we deposed him and that is a good thing. But there was a huge power vacuum and many of us felt, even though we were misled going into war, that we had a moral obligation to help the Iraqi people stabilize their country and bring democracy there, and we have been there now 3 years, 2,500 dead, 18,000 of our young men and women wounded, a third of $1 trillion spent, and 80 percent of the Iraqis want us to leave.

   I support the Murtha resolution, which says that we should withdraw most of the U.S. troops back to the United States and leave a quick reaction force in friendly countries around the region.

   Some say Iraq is part of the war on terror. Nonsense. There are 25 million people in Iraq, 25 million people in Iraq, less than 1,000 foreign fighters. This is a civil war. The Iraqi Shiias, Sunnis, and Kurds cannot agree how to divide up Iraq now that we got rid of Saddam. Well, it is 3 years later. All of this American loss of life. President Bush says stay the course, and in fact, it will not be President Bush who gets rid of this war. It will be the next President. Well, you know what? Americans do not want this war without end. Deploy most of our troops back to America within 6 months. Redeploy a significant number in friendly countries around the horizon in case other countries want to meddle.

   War without end is not the American way. We met our moral obligation to

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the people of Iraq. Now it is up to the Shiias, Sunnis, and Kurds in Iraq to decide whether they want to live in peace with one another or not.

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Kennedy), who sits on the Financial Services and Transportation Committees.

   (Mr. KENNEDY of Minnesota asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. KENNEDY of Minnesota. Mr. Speaker, for our families and country to truly be secure, we must prevail in the war on terror. Iraq is a central front in that war.

   Mistakes have been made, but so have corrections. But the fundamental fact remains that John F. Kennedy's words have never been more true: ``If men and women are in chains anywhere in the world, then freedom is in endangered everywhere.''

   Men and women in the chains of tyranny, without hope, provide the breeding grounds for terrorists that endanger America and the entire civilized world. Terrorism can only be defeated by bringing hope to harsh places.

   America has always found that the best way to make our families secure is to confront tyranny and expand the frontiers of freedom. That is our mission in Iraq. And with a democratically elected government and Iraqi troops increasingly taking over for our troops, we are on a path to success.

   Others offer a different path, a path that says get out now no matter what the commanders in the field say; get out now, whether or not milestones have been achieved; get out now, whether or not Iraq becomes a sanctuary for terrorists to regroup and attack America again; get out now no matter what signal that sends to Iran.

   Let me be clear. Cutting and running is one path, but it is the wrong path. The only path for security for our families is victory in the war on terror.

   The troops that I visited in Iraq in each of the last 3 years have told me that they should come home as soon as possible, after we have defeated the terrorist threat and set out a lasting peace.

   I support this proposal and encourage all my colleagues to do the same.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the Resolution offered by the gentleman from Illinois, a man who has spent his life as a tireless advocate for freedom and respect for the fundamental dignity of all human life.

   It cannot be overstated how important it is that we are here for today's debate. There is no more important issue facing this Congress or this country than winning the War on Terror.

   Our mission in Iraq is a central front in that war.

   At stake is not only the safety of our families and our country but also the resolve of this great Nation to stand up and oppose the forces of terror wherever they may appear.

   Make no mistake about it: there is more at stake in our mission in Iraq than helping rebuild a country decimated by a despot for decades. We must defeat the terrorists overseas, so we don't have to fight them here at home.

   Mistakes have been made, so have corrections, but the fundamental fact remains that John F. Kennedy's words have never been more true: ``If men and women are in chains anywhere in the world, then freedom is endangered everywhere.''

   People in the chains of tyranny without hope are the breeding ground for terrorists that endanger America and the entire civilized world. Terrorism can only be defeated by bringing hope to harsh places.

   We must also remember our own proud historical tradition: America has always found that the best way to provide for our security at home is to confront tyranny and expand the frontiers of freedom.

   That is our mission in Iraq.

   And with a democratically elected government and an Iraqi army and police force increasingly taking over for our troops, we are on a path to success, and a path to bringing our troops home.

   Others offer a different path, a path that says, get out now, no matter what the commanders on the ground think; get out now whether or not milestones are achieved; get out now, whether or not Iraq becomes a sanctuary for terrorists to regroup and attack America again; get out now, no matter what signal it sends to Iran and other countries that would endanger our security.

   Cutting and running is one path. But it is the wrong path.

   The only path that makes our families secure is victory in the War on Terror.

   Mr. Speaker, beyond the lessons of history, I look to what the soldiers on the ground are saying.

   The soldiers I have spoken to on the ground in Iraq, at places like Camp Victory in Baghdad, many of them men and women from the Minnesota Army National Guard, want to come home as soon as possible.

   However, they realize better than most that if they come home before they have defeated the terrorist threat, there will be no lasting peace--there will be no victory in the War on Terror. They know that if we don't finish the job in Iraq, we'll have to finish it someplace else.

   Like them, I want to finish the job in Iraq, because if we don't finish it there, the horror of 9/11 should inform us that the war will be brought to us here at home.

   Mr. Speaker, let us remember in our thoughts and prayers those who have sacrificed, as well as those who continue to stand in harm's way around the world fighting the War on Terror. Let us deserve the bravery and selflessness of our men and women in uniform.

  • [End Insert]

     

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Price).

   (Mr. PRICE of North Carolina asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. Mr. Speaker, the American people are increasingly aware of where things stand in Iraq, despite the glib assurances and political spin we get from sources like the whereas clauses of the resolution before us and the Pentagon's most recent quarterly report, which has been so devastatingly refuted by Middle East expert Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

   The real question before us and the question most Americans are asking is, how long must our troops stay in Iraq? Our military's valiant efforts have clearly facilitated such important steps as such as the formation of a democratically elected government in Iraq. But the troubling reality is that our continued presence also makes success more elusive. It serves as a disincentive for Iraqi military and political leaders to take courageous risks to stabilize their country and assume responsibility for their government. Equally important, our presence is a magnet for international terrorism and an incitement for the insurgency.

   In order to jump-start progress, our troops must begin to come home. We must leave in a way that maximizes Iraq's chances to govern and defend itself. At the same time, we cannot become hostages to the failures of administration policy, prolonging or staying in a situation where our very presence is a continuing provocation. How we leave does matter, but we must leave.

   That is why Representative Brad Miller and I introduced a resolution last fall, H.J. Res. 70, which would require the President to deliver an exit strategy for Iraq. Tonight I am renewing that call. Let me explain briefly in clear terms what a responsible exit strategy means.

   First, we need to hear that the President has a plan for reducing our presence in Iraq within a reasonable time frame. ``As they stand up, we will stand down'' is not a strategy. It is a slogan. Secondly, we need to hear that such a plan would begin with an initial near-term drawdown of U.S. forces to send a clear message to the Iraqis that our presence is coming to an end. We also need to hear a pledge from the President that we will not establish long-term bases on Iraqi soil.

   And, finally, we need to hear that there is a plan for filling the void left behind when our troops depart, to mobilize resources within the international community, to ensure that Iraq's neighbors do not interfere in internal Iraqi affairs, and to support the ongoing development of the Iraqi Government and security forces.

   These are the elements of a responsible exit strategy. This is the type of leadership that the President owes our troops and the American people.

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from California (Mr. Herger), who sits on the Ways and Means Committee.

   Mr. HERGER. Mr. Speaker, September 11, 2001, proved that our enemy is determined to kill Americans. Instead of sitting idle, our Nation went on the offense. We removed the Taliban from power in Afghanistan. We removed the regime in Iraq that had invaded neighbors and financed terrorism. And we have kept terrorists on

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the run, limiting their avenues of attack, disrupting their finances and eliminating safehouses around the globe. Mr. Speaker, it is not by coincidence that our Nation has not suffered another attack here at home.

   Some have doubts about our mission in Iraq. But I believe Americans can find solace in the midst of sacrifice and hope in the midst of hardship. The reason is simple: we are clearly on the road to victory and success in Iraq, and our Nation is safer today because of it.

   Since the fall of Saddam's regime, 70 percent of eligible Iraqis for the first time in history elected a national unity government. They have ratified a democratic Constitution for the first time ever, and they helped us eliminate al Qaeda's mastermind, Zarqawi.

   Mr. Speaker, progress in Iraq makes America safer. Terrorists are being pursued, not harbored. We have seen movement toward democracy in neighboring countries. Work remains, but freedom is making progress. And freedom, Mr. Speaker, lays the foundation for a more secure future for America.

   Mr. Speaker, I have also had the privilege of visiting our troops in Iraq. They are outstanding young men and women, and they overwhelmingly believe in their mission. I urge my colleagues to offer their unqualified support to our troops abroad until their mission is complete.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Larsen).

   Mr. LARSEN of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I rise today because the current administration has gotten too many things wrong in Iraq and has totally misrepresented the lessons of the post-9/11 world. It is now up to Democrats to get things right in Iraq so we can focus our military efforts to fighting terrorists around the world who want to harm us.

   Today I ask my colleagues: Will we realistically confront terrorists and terrorism with all the elements of our national power, or will we continue to ignore a proven approach in order to follow a shop-worn, idealistic approach that drains our military of its resources and America of its goodwill with the very partners we need to fight terrorists? That is the choice that our country faces in Iraq and in our national security.

   Democrats must speak out against this administration's tendency to overlook problems and push for a policy that centers on oversight of U.S. taxpayer dollars. Unfortunately, we do not practice oversight. This Congress practices ``overlook.'' We must respond to public frustrations by creating a secure future for our military and reestablish a foundation for American efforts to fight terrorists and terrorism across the globe. Congress must confront the legacy of the waste, fraud, and abuse that plagues our efforts in Iraq.

   As Democrats, we must continue our efforts, in spite of the current opposition, to bring this waste, fraud, and abuse in Iraq to light.

   Some talk about cutting and running. But I say we must confront the legacy of cutting and running from veterans health care. Just as the next generation of combat veterans return home, the long-term veterans health care budget falls $8.6 billion short from projected needs. We must reject that legacy of Iraq.

   And, finally, I join my colleagues in commending our U.S. military working in conjunction with Iraqi security and Iraqis themselves for locating and eliminating Abu Musad al Zarqawi. His terrorist violence is gone. But we have learned in Iraq that fighting a classic guerrilla-type war means that a victory like killing Zarqawi cannot be celebrated too long. Much remains to be done in Iraq, and Democrats have to make right where the administration has gone wrong. Our obligations compel us to ask the tough questions that are currently ignored.

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Ryan), who sits on the Ways and Means, Budget, and Joint Economic Committees.

   Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

   Mr. Speaker, I just recently read a lecture from the most highly respected scholar on Middle East affairs and Islam in America, Bernard Lewis. He went through Osama bin Laden's original fatwa. He went through a lot of writings of al Qaeda back in the early to mid-1990s, and what they declared is very chilling. They declared that their war was going to be against the two superpowers at the time: the Soviet Union and America. They believed they defeated the USSR in Afghanistan. I would like to think peace through strength is what beat it here and the fact that communism did not work. But they think they beat it.

   Now they think they have one last enemy to beat before they can reach their caliphate from Spain to Indonesia: America.

   Mr. Speaker, the war on terror did not begin on 9/11. It began on 2/26. February 26, 1993, when they first hit us at the World Trade Center. Then in 1996, the Khobar Towers. Then in 1998 at our two embassies in Africa. Then in 2000, the USS Cole. Then in 2001, 9/11.

   Mr. Speaker, we are at war. They have declared this war against us long ago. The sooner we realize it, the better we are. The best way to win this war is to play away games and not home games.

   The good news on this front is we have not had another 9/11 since 9/11. We have not had a major terrorist attack here in America.

   If Iraq becomes democratic, if Iraq becomes free, they lose. They cannot win and manifest their distorted belief. They want to have a world like what we saw on display in Afghanistan, the Taliban, throughout the entire Middle East. If democracy and freedom can persist, if it can take root, if it can succeed, as it is succeeding in many parts of the Arab world, the terrorists lose.

   And the most important thing in all of this that all of us should have in the front of our minds is will our children grow up in America with the fear of terrorism in the front of their mind or will it be a distant memory in history? I grew up in Jamesville, Wisconsin, as a happy kid. I want my kids to grow up in Jamesville, Wisconsin, with the same kind of happiness, not with the fear of terrorism.

   This is a global war, a war we have to win, a war that only America through its leadership can win for the rest of the world. The sooner we wake up to that, the better off we are and the more peaceful life we can leave to our children.

   

[Time: 22:15]

   That is why our troops overseas are doing a great job. That is why we have to see this thing through. The terrorists think we are weak because of our freedoms. They think that we do not have the stomach. They think they can turn our public opinion. That is not true.

   Let's prove that that is not true, and let's win this war on terror.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Andrews).

   (Mr. ANDREWS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from Pennsylvania for yielding me time.

   Mr. Speaker, I rise to oppose this resolution because its words honor our troops, but its deeds do not. It is not at all controversial that we honor and respect the heroism of those who serve us.

   But they deserve so much more than the hollow words of this resolution. They deserve a plan that for the first time would achieve an intelligence alliance, it would make strikes like the one against Zarqawi on a regular basis against the leaders of the resistance.

   But this resolution has no plan. They deserve a real plan to fortify and improve the Iraqi security forces so as they step forward, our troops can come home. But this resolution offers no such plan. They deserve a clear path to political stability and broadening political participation so the government of Iraq is viewed as an Iraqi Government and not a tool of any outside forces. This resolution has no such plan.

   We are in the problems that we are in today because the administration has given us slogans, not solutions. This resolution is very much in that sorry tradition. This debate is a sham, Mr. Speaker. It is a pep rally. It is not a discussion of the alternatives before the country.

   So although I join the words of the resolution in praising our troops, let's move beyond the words to the deeds.

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The way to honor those who fight for this country is to match their sacrifice with our own wisdom. This resolution falls far short of that objective and we should oppose it.

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Kline), a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, a Vietnam veteran who sits on the Armed Services Committee.

   Mr. KLINE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.

   Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this resolution today. I have enjoyed the debate immensely. The rhetoric has been sometimes heated, the facts sometimes obscured. But I think it is healthy for the American people to see this debate. I am sorry that the gentleman from New York is not here. I wanted to have a discussion about what buck sergeants know and what they do not know in today's Army. But I suppose we will have to let that one slide by.

   But I will tell you that my son, serving in Iraq today, and his colleagues and his soldiers in the 101st and the other soldiers and marines that I have talked to, they know why they are in Iraq. They know what they are doing. They know what their mission is. And they understand that not everyone here does, that Iraq is the front line in the war against Islamist extremists in the words of the 9/11 Commission.

   But I am here this evening to talk about a trip that I took to Iraq a week ago at the request of the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee to assess the progress of the Iraqi armed forces. I am pleased to report that I was very heartened by what I found. I think all of us now understand that the Iraqi Army is progressing with amazing speed. We know the numbers. Over 260,000 Iraqi security forces, over 100 Iraqi Army battalions, almost 30 Iraqi police battalions, either leading the fight or serving with their coalition partners.

   But it is not the numbers that count; it is the quality of the troops. It is what they are able to do. In a previous trip to Iraq in November of 2005, I had the opportunity to meet with and assess the progress of the Iraqi counterterrorism forces. These are special forces trained by our Special Operations Command, and they are impressive.

   The Iraqi special forces have proved their mettle in combat and in training. Last month, last month a young captain became the first Iraqi to graduate from the United States Army Ranger School, an exceptional feat achieved by only 35 percent of any foreign military personnel who try.

   Over Memorial Day weekend, my confidence was further boosted when I visited with Major General Bashar Ayoub, commander of the Iraqi 9th Mechanized Division, and Major General Jamal Khalid, Commander of the Iraqi Second Division. Both commanders expressed their frustration with the bureaucracy in the interim ministry of defense but both generals demonstrated a quite confidence and professionalism exhibited by seasoned battle-hardened commanders.

   These two commanders demonstrated the will and the ability of the Iraqi security forces to battle the terrorists and the insurgents who plague their country.

   In our discussions, Mr. Speaker, they were blunt. They were proud of their accomplishments. They were confident in their ability to move forward, but they recognize that they continue to rely on U.S. logistical and medical assistance, that they cannot move forward by themselves. Not now.

   We have made a commitment, Mr. Speaker, not only to our American forces, but to these Iraqi forces. We have got to stay with them and help them achieve their freedom and their independence.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   We have made a commitment--not only to the American men and women of our Armed Forces--but to those who wear the uniform of the Iraqi Security Forces. They have shed their blood alongside our soldiers and Marines in pursuit of a stable and peaceful Iraq.

   Now is not the time to abandon them, now is the time to stand firm with those who defend freedom in a land that has known only tyranny.

  • [End Insert]

     

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Watt).

   (Mr. WATT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. WATT. Mr. Speaker, during consideration of the rule this morning, our Republican colleagues suggested something pretty revolutionary, that is, that we do something we do not normally do often around here, and that is read the resolution. They said they encouraged us to review it, and vote based on whether we agree or disagree with the content of the resolution.

   So I reviewed the resolution. And as our colleagues suggested, I intend to vote against it based on the fact that there are several things in the resolution that I strongly disagree with.

   First, on page 2 of the resolution, it states as follows: ``Whereas by early 2003, Saddam Hussein and his criminal Ba'athist regime in Iraq constituted a threat to global peace and security.''

   I think the only way one could conclude this would be to conclude that there were, in fact, weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I did not vote for the war resolution because I never believed the President when he asserted that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in the first place. I did not believe it then. It was subsequently proven not to be the case. And I most certainly cannot support a resolution that asserts it now.

   Second, the resolution asserts that: ``The terrorists seek to destroy the new unity government because it threatens the terrorist's aspirations for Iraq and the broader Middle East.'' There is probably some truth to that.

   However, what is probably a lot more true is that the war in Iraq has increased, not decreased, terrorism and the resolve of the terrorists. It has created conditions in Iraq that allow terrorism to thrive.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   Finally, the Resolution asserts that ``Iraqi forces are, over time, taking over from United States and Coalition forces a growing proportion of independent operations and increasingly lead the fight to secure Iraq.'' If that were true, we would have started bringing our troops home by now. At some point we've got to make Iraq assume responsibility for itself and its own people. I just don't believe they or we have come to grips with that.

   There obviously are a number of things in the Resolution with which I agree. But we were given no opportunity to amend the Resolution to strip out the things that are untrue and/or offensive or, for that matter, to add to the things with which we agree. My Republican colleagues have, once again, chosen to politicize a matter that should be above partisan politics. I cannot vote for the Resolution in this form and will, therefore, vote ``no.''

  • [End Insert]

     

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, may I inquire of the Chair the amount of time on both sides.

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from North Carolina has 31 minutes, and gentleman from Pennsylvania has 37 1/2 minutes remaining.

   Mr. COBLE. I thank the Speaker.

   Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Sherwood), a veteran of the U.S. Army, who sits on the Appropriations Committee.

   Mr. SHERWOOD. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this resolution for many reasons. But one is that I know we are achieving real progress in Iraq and Afghanistan. I know this not from government reports or media sources, but from two fine Pennsylvanians. I want to quote from an e-mail I received this morning from a constituent, an Army officer in northwest Iraq commanding the military transition team.

   And he writes, ``There are many positive things going on over here that the American public never hear about. My little 10-man team contributed over 150 boxes of school supplies to the schools in my area. Other units purchased grain to give out to small villages. I am very proud of the accomplishments of U.S. and Iraqi forces and it truly is a shame that all of the news tends to be negative towards the activities of the soldiers, both American and Iraqi who are working very hard every day to make this country safe.''

   I am very pleased and honored this summer to have an intern, Mike Wright, who is a soldier in the 82nd Airborne. When he arrived in Afghanistan in July 2002, the people had nothing: no schools, no healthcare, no paved roads. But in 7 months his unit helped build the first school and health clinic. When his unit came back to Afghanistan in late 2004, it was a different place. New facilities, factories, more electricity, and miles of paved roads.

   When arriving in the village, he tells me his unit would be greeted by small

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children, smiling youngsters throwing colorful plastic flowers at them. These examples are among many that illustrate real progress, laying a foundation for future peace, shaping the world where the terrorist message will fall on deaf ears.

   Mike told me this also, ``The Afghani war veterans, the old-timers have asked him, why did you abandon us when the Soviets left?''

   Today their biggest fear is that we will leave before the mission is done and allow the Taliban or other tyrants to take over. We must know that the Iraqi civilians remember 1991 and fear the same thing. We must complete this mission.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pascrell).

   Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, their side of the aisle, your side of the aisle, has a major problem. Yesterday, Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki suggested that they would provide amnesty for those people who killed or who wounded our soldiers. We are going to see who are the patriots here in the future.

   In a speech that Jack Murtha gave on April 20 this year, he started off by talking about President Teddy Roosevelt. He said, ``There must be no criticism of the President or that we have to stand by the President right or wrong is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.''

   You are going to have to explain that. You made a very big mistake. I voted for the war, for the efforts of the President, the Chief, the Commander in Chief in December of 2002. And here we are a few years later, looking back at what that decision was based upon.

   Talk about impunity, we have had people come on the floor in the last 2 years to impugn this gentleman's character. The CIA impugned the very facts that the administration has tried to provide. Every day a former CIA agent says that this administration failed to listen to the advice and counsel of those folks who have boots on the ground. That is a shame.

   And the other side, the other side has simply provided a rubber stamp, a rubber stamp to all of the policies. You have mindlessly rubber-stamped the mismanagement that has cost our sons, and you may laugh, these are our sons and daughters, our sons and daughters their lives.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   And now, here we are today--considering a partisan, political resolution that ultimately means nothing; a resolution that won't assist our troops on the ground; a resolution that does not help us move forward in bringing our men and women home.

   This is just another shameful example that the leadership of this body is not fit to serve. This Congress has failed to fulfill its most basic of duties. Shame should permeate every hallway and every hearing room.

   If we were serious--truly serious--about helping our men and women in the military, we would not waste our time on this resolution.

   Instead we would delve into the deception, the intelligence failures, the scapegoating of the C.I.A., and the mismanagement that has placed us where we are today. The generals, the men and women of our Armed Forces have done their job. We have voted time and time again in budgets and supplements supported their protection, yet we have had the real culprit come to this floor and demean, undermine, those who ask questions or may criticize. Teddy Roosevelt turned over from the clownish gyrations of the Congressmen or women from Ohio.

   And we'd also take up H.J. Res. 73--Congressman JOHN MURTHA's well-reasoned, essential call to redeploy our troops from Iraq.

   We are faced with a choice--more of the same from the Bush administration, or JACK's way. I believe that rapid turnover of Iraq to the Iraqi people is essential and that our troops need to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date. That is why I am proud to cosponsor my friend's resolution.

   Today is just another sham in the House of Representatives, but that is what we've come to expect.

   Our troops deserve better.

  • [End Insert]

     

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished gentlewoman from Tennessee (Mrs. Blackburn) who sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

   Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, you know, our colleagues across the aisle are asking the American people to divorce our mission in Iraq from the global war on terrorism. I think it is impossible. I think it is irresponsible, and it is bad policy.

   If only terrorism were as clear cut a problem as they want us to believe, and if only elimination of the Taliban would have been sufficient to free us from the threat of terrorism. Mr. Speaker, have we not learned anything from September 11? It should be crystal clear that terrorism went far deeper than one rogue regime in Afghanistan.

   But that is where they are in this debate. They are ignoring reality. Our troops, my folks from the 101st and the National Guard, know that if we are going to be free of terrorism, if the goal is to prevent terrorism from killing 2,000 Americans on our soil tomorrow or forevermore, then we must bring major change to the Middle East.

   

[Time: 22:30]

   It is an unpleasant reality, but it is a reality. That is where we are in Afghanistan. That is where we are in Iraq. Progress is being made. Libya has changed, the Taliban is basically gone now, al Qaeda has significantly weakened and bin Laden is on the run.

   Pakistan is an ally in the war on terrorism. Iraq, despite a 24/7 massive media campaign of negative news, is making progress, and we have eliminated al-Zarqawi. On this issue of amnesty, the Iraq National Security Adviser corrected the record and, for the record, stated that the Prime Minister was misquoted.

   I have that entire interview and the transcript for the record, and I would like to quote for my colleague's benefit another portion, and I quote, he, as a matter of fact, if you were there, and this is the Iraqi National Security Adviser speaking, if you were there in this meeting with President Bush a couple of days ago, he looked the President in the eye and he said, thank you very, very much for liberating our country. I thank the American wives, the women, the American mothers for the treasure and the blood that they have invested in this country. It is worth investing for liberating 30 million people, and we are ever so grateful.

   Mr. Speaker, we all stand grateful. We stand grateful.

 

   From CNN Interview:

   Kagan. Doctor, I know there's a big effort by your government in your country to try to prevent civil war. And as part of that, The Washington Post reports today that your prime minister is considering offering amnesty to Sunnis or to others who perhaps attacked only U.S. troops. This, not surprisingly, causing great consternation here in the U.S., even talking about it and being raised on the floor the U.S. Senate today. Is this, indeed, the case? Is your government thinking about offering amnesty to those that attacked only U.S. military?

   Rubaie. This is not the case. I'm sorry to say that the prime minister of Iraq has been misquoted and misunderstood. He did not mean to give amnesty to those who killed the Americans.

   Aa matter of fact, if you were there in his meeting with President Bush a couple of days ago, he looked the president in the eye and he said, thank you very, very much for liberating our country. Please thank the American wives and American women and American mothers for the treasure and the blood they have invested in this country. It's well worth investing, of liberating 30 million people in this country. And we are ever so grateful.

   And we will--the blood of the Iraqi soldier and blood of Iraqi civilian soldier is as sacred to us as the American soldier. We are fighting the same war, we are fighting together, and this is a joined responsibility. And we will never give amnesty to those who have killed American soldiers or killed Iraqi soldier or civilian.

 

   Mr. MURTHA. Let me ask the gentleman, my good friend, how many more speakers he has?

   Mr. COBLE. I say to my good friend from Pennsylvania, I have two more speakers, Mr. Murtha.

   Mr. MURTHA. I will be the last speaker.

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to recognize for 2 minutes the distinguished gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Shays), who is the chairman of the National Security Subcommittee of the Government Reform Committee, and who has been to Iraq 12 times.

   Mr. SHAYS. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

   I have been listening to this debate all day. The argument I am hearing most from the opponents of this resolution is we shouldn't have gone into Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein in spite of the fact that many of them voted to go into Iraq.

   I am hearing from opponents that there was and is no connection between Islamist terrorists and the war in Iraq,

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in spite of the fact that the prince of al Qaeda, al Zarqawi, did his gross handiwork in Iraq. Fortunately, he is dead.

   I am hearing from opponents of this resolution that we have made many mistakes in Iraq, as if that is justification for arguing that we need to leave. We have made a number of mistakes. We permitted the looting of government buildings. We didn't secure the munitions depot. We disbanded their army, their border patrol and police, and then asked the 150,000 coalition forces, mostly brave American soldiers, to protect and defend 26 million Iraqis living in a country the size of California.

   These were mistakes, but mistakes do not justify leaving prematurely. They help explain why things could be better, and why, because we learn from our mistakes, we are doing better.

   Since the transfer of power to Iraq in June of 2004, we have seen considerable progress, three free elections that put our elections in the United States to shame, the training of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi security forces, the establishment of a government chosen by a national assembly comprised of 30 percent women.

   I am not afraid we will lose the war in Iraq. I am deeply concerned we will lose the war in Iraq here at home. Our efforts to remove Saddam Hussein from power and help bring democracy to the most troubled part of the world is truly a dear and noble effort that must succeed.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 5 minutes.

   I was just out to a hospital a week or so ago, and a young woman whose husband was in the bed right next to her, and she said, I didn't join the Army to fight for Iraq. He joined to fight for the United States.

   We don't send people to fight for other countries. We send them to fight for the United States' national security. That is the first lesson we learn, and then we send them with overwhelm force and then we have an exit strategy.

   What we are looking for is all the same thing. All of us want the same thing. We want a resolution. We want a positive resolution to what is going on in Iraq. We want a plan. We want a plan that we can live with. It is not enough to say stay the course. We need somebody to tell us exactly how we are going to do this.

   When you talk about the amount of money this is costing us per month, and I think about $8 billion, which almost as long as I have been on the Defense Subcommittee, and all of the money that I have seen in the Defense Subcommittee, and I can't recognize what $1 billion is, $450 billion at the end of this year.

   Then I think how long did it take us to pay for the Vietnam War? It took us almost 18 years at 18 percent interest rates to pay for the Vietnam War. There were a lot more people, a lot more of a cross-section of people fighting in the Vietnam War, and yet a plurality of people still supported the Vietnam War to the very end.

   Let me read something. People say they don't want a time schedule. Nobody has said they don't want a time. Let me read these comments from some of the people that traveled back from the President from Iraq recently. She says in her news release, here is Bush Tuesday night on the way home on Air Force One discussing his conversation with Iraqi leaders. There are concerns about our commitment and keeping our troops there. They are worried almost to a person that we will leave before they are capable of defending themselves. I assured them they didn't need to worry.

   That is what we hear back here all the time. But apparently what he says almost to a person, not including the President and the Vice President, the President and Vice President of Iraq.

   The Associated Press reports this morning, Iraq's Vice President has asked President Bush for a timeline for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq. The Iraqi President's office said, the Vice President, a Sunni, made the request during his meeting with Bush on Tuesday when the U.S. President made a surprise visit to Iraq.

   I supported him in this. This is the President of Iraq. I supported them, said the President, in a statement released Wednesday. Now, 80 percent of the Iraqis want us out of there, 62 percent of the people in the United States want us out of there.

   It is not surprising to me that they are going to offer amnesty to some of the Iraqis who are killing Americans, because 47 percent of the Iraqis think it is all right to kill Americans.

   We have diverted ourselves away from the war of terrorism. All of us agree about the war on terrorism. All of us have the same goals in the war on terrorism. What we are concerned about is we are caught in a civil war in Iraq. There is only 1,000 al Qaeda or less in Iraq. We destroyed the leader of al Qaeda.

   What we are worried about is the Sunnis and the Shiias. The Shiias are 100,000, and there are 2,000 Sunnis fighting with each other. The way we have to do it is one of the biggest problems we have. When you fight a military operation, you have to destroy everything. Fallujah, for instance. We put 300,000 people outside their homes and only 100,000 came back. That is nation building. Yet we are trying to make friends in that country. You can't make friends if you operate the way the military does.

   And I agree with the military. To protect American lives, we have to go in with overwhelming force. When you go in with overwhelming force, you are going to inadvertently kill civilians.

   Then when you send in people who are untrained and they go into a country, into a job like a prison and they don't know what they are doing, they don't know how to handle it, untrained people that caused us a terrible public relations disaster.

   So you have this combination of untrained troops, inadequate forces, and then on top of that, you have no plan to remove the military. Every military leader I have talked to has said the same thing to me. They have said, we can't win this militarily.

   All of us want the same thing. We want a resolution to this thing. We want to not only bring our troops home. Internationally it is important we have stability in the Middle East. There is no question. All of us want the same thing. It is how we get it. And we have to have international cooperation.

   As I had mentioned, and I will end with this, in the first war we had international cooperation. We had 160,000 international troops and 400,000 American troops. And $60 billion came from the international community and we paid between 4 and $5 billion.

   In this particular war so far, we have spent $450 billion and not only the financial treasure but the human treasure that we have lost in the United States.

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, our final speaker from this side tonight is the distinguished gentleman from North Carolina who sits on the Armed Services Committee, vice chairman of the Special Forces Subcommittee and is a leader on the bipartisan congressional delegation to Iraq and Afghanistan, Mr. Hayes. I yield 2 minutes.

   Mr. HAYES. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend the gentleman from North Carolina for yielding and I rise today to engage in this discussion on Iraq. But I don't think this is solely a discussion on Iraq because what happens in Iraq will have far-sweeping ramifications across the Middle East and around the world.

   When I am asked about a time line for removing our troops, my answer is not a day more than we need to ensure victory. We could leave tomorrow. We could set an arbitrary deadline, 6 months, a year, and tell the terrorists how long they need to stick it out before we leave. But what would the ramifications of that be?

   Unfortunately, I think there is a perception in this country that we are fighting a broad-based resistance from the Iraqi people, and we are not. Iraqis and their new government want to have a peaceful, free and democratic existence.

   I don't think it is a coincidence that violence escalated from the terrorist factions when the new government formed. While the violence in Iraq will not cease overnight, it is apparent to me that real progress has been made in the year since I last talked firsthand to our soldiers in Iraq.

   One of the most compelling changes made since last year is that Iraqi security forces are coming online and are more involved in planning and executing missions to stop terrorist activity. In a briefing with Special Forces

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leaders, we learned that more than 30 percent of all day-to-day missions are planned and carried out by the Iraqis themselves. This is significant because it frees our soldiers to focus on capturing and eliminating key figureheads, as evidenced by the recent death of Abu Musab al Zarqawi.

   There was so much attention on al Zarqawi that the appointment of three security ministers to complete the new Iraqi cabinet was all but missed. The fulfillment of the new government and these three posts in particular is a critical development in securing their nation from internal and external terrorist factions.

   Mr. Speaker, the key to victory in Iraq is the Iraqi people. As their government forms, as it gains influence, as their military is able to defend the people and the infrastructure, we can continue to pull back. And we should. But we have to ask ourselves what legacy we want to leave behind in this region, because that is the fundamental question we are asking today.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   Mr. Speaker, I rise today to engage in this discussion on Iraq. But I don't think this is solely a discussion on Iraq, because what happens in Iraq will have far-sweeping ramifications across the Middle East and around the world.

   When I am asked about a timeline for removing our troops, my answer is not a day more than we need to ensure victory.

   We could leave tomorrow. We could set an arbitrary deadline--six months, a year--and tell the terrorists how long they need to stick it out before we leave. But what would be the ramifications of that?

   I recently returned from leading a bipartisan Congressional Delegation trip to Iraq and Afghanistan, where I met with Special Forces troops to assess the training progress of Iraqi security forces as well as met with top Iraqi government leaders to discuss their commitment to building a coalition government and securing their own country.

   It's been a year since I was last in Iraq. Since that time, I have attended many briefings and received many reports, but seeing our troops and talking with leaders was the most telling status report of all.

   Unfortunately, I think there is a perception in this country that we are fighting a broad-based resistance from the Iraqi people--and we are not. The Iraqis and their new government want to have a peaceful, free and democratic existence.

   There has been and continues to be a very small but determined portion of the population in Iraq combined with al Qaeda who are determined to stop freedom at any cost. They will kill indiscriminately and there is no target off limits--coalition forces, police, women, and children.

   Their goal is to break our resolve with these barbaric acts of terror. The Iraqis who profited under Saddam's regime do not want a free and stable Iraq. Al Qaeda does not want a free and stable Iraq. Freedom is not conducive to their long term goals. Accountability is not conducive to their long term goals. Democracy is not conducive to their long-term goals. Saddam's former loyalists and al Qaeda thrive on poverty, despair, violence and fear. The bottom line is that they cannot afford for freedom to succeed.

   Conversely, we cannot afford freedom to fail. How detrimental would it be if we wave the white flag to al Qaeda and the Sunni terrorists? Do you think they will allow the people of Iraq to live in freedom and peace? Do you think they will allow the democratic process to continue?

   A while back, some of my colleagues on the other side of the isle raised a good point--we walked away from Afghanistan following the Soviet withdrawal. What

   emerged from that void were the Taliban and a safe haven for al Qaeda. Is that what we want the legacy of Iraq to be? If you think we made a mistake in the past, why would we repeat it?

   If we walk away prematurely, how can we deal with Iran? How can we deal with North Korea?

   As I said in the beginning, what we do in Iraq will have ramifications across the world for many years.

   I don't think it is a coincidence that violence escalated from the terrorist factions when the new government formed. While the violence in Iraq will not cease overnight, it is apparent to me that real progress has been made in the year since I last talked first-hand to our soldiers serving in Iraq.

   One of the most compelling changes made since last year is that Iraqi security forces are coming online and more involved in planning and executing missions to stop terrorist activity. In a briefing with Special Forces leaders, we learned that more than 30 percent of all day-to-day missions are planned and carried out by the Iraqis themselves. This is significant because it frees our soldiers to focus on capturing and eliminating key figureheads, as evidenced by the recent death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

   Zarqawi was an important leader for al Qaeda and a powerful figure for terrorists around the world--both tactically and symbolically. He was responsible for orchestrating the death of many civilians and coalition soldiers. I don't believe his death will end all violence in Iraq, but his demise is an important psychological boost to the Iraqi people and a blow to those across the world who sympathize with militant extremists and terrorists.

   The end of one of the most notorious terrorists in the world was a great day for our military forces, but I would point out that our special and regular forces have had many victories that didn't gain media attention or just could not be brought to light due to their sensitive nature--and we all owe our troops a great deal of gratitude for all they do.

   There was so much attention on Zarqawi that the appointment of three security ministers to complete the new Iraqi cabinet was all but missed. The fulfillment of the new government and these three posts in particular is a critical development to securing their nation from internal and external terrorist factions.

   Mr. Speaker, the key to victory in Iraq is the Iraqi people. As their government forms; as it gains influence; as their military is able to defend the people and the infrastructure, we can continue to pull back. And we should. But we have to ask ourselves, what legacy we want to leave behind in this region, because that is fundamental question we are asking today.

  • [End Insert]

     

   Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, it is our job to protect our Nation and we have thousands of young men and women doing that today. I believed in early 2003 that we should do more to capture or eliminate the people who caused the 9/11 attacks. They were predominately in Afghanistan. Today it seems we have a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan, and increasing attacks in Iraq on our troops and Iraqi citizens.

   We have seen success in capturing Saddam and eliminating AI-Zarqawi. I have never doubted the ability of the men and women of our Armed Forces--we saw what they were capable of in the first days of the war when they stormed Iraq and Baghdad within days, overwhelming the Iraqi forces. The accomplishments we have seen in Iraq can be attributed directly to the troops' discipline and persistence in fighting the insurgency.

   Mistakes have been made, and some of the most experienced members of our Armed Forces have pointed that out. One of the individuals who spoke out was retired Marine General and former chief of U.S. Central Command Anthony Zinni who said:

 

   We grow up in a culture where accountability, learning to accept responsibility, admitting mistakes and learning from them was critical to us. When we don't see that happening it worries us. Poor military judgment has been used throughout this mission.

 

   As this war has gone on, the lack of planning and poor judgment by this administration has become more apparent. I have here the May 1, 2003 press release here from the White House in which President Bush--on board USS Abraham Lincoln--declared all major combat operations have ended. We now know that this was one miscalculation among many. Since that time seven young men from our 29th Congressional District in Texas have lost their lives; across our nation over 2,300 servicemen and women have lost their lives since the President made those remarks. Reading over these remarks it is clear that the administration had no clear plan for securing Iraq after the invasion, and had no clue about what was to follow for the next three years.

   Given the size, strength and effectiveness of the insurgency, the administration's intelligence should have given some indication that there would be problems down the road and done a better job of preparing the public and more importantly our troops for what was to come in the following month and years. It is clear that we did not have enough troops on the ground immediately after the invasion, and that shortage continues. Fortunately, thanks to the relentless efforts by our Armed Forces, progress is being made.

   Congress does not direct troops on the ground and we are not the Commander-in-Chief, but we are charged with sending our sons and daughters into battle and therefore we must debate what is occurring in Iraq. While I disagree with the way the administration planned and carried out this war, I support our troops and will continue to vote for Defense appropriations and supplemental dollars.

   Many brave men and women have given their lives in Baghdad, Fallujah, Ramadi, Mosul and across Iraq to bring peace and democracy to that country. We honor them, their families, and the ultimate sacrifice they made serving their country. I want our troops to come home soon.

   Mr. Speaker, this is not the war we anticipated fighting or the war we were led to believe we were getting into, but I believe we

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must finish our mission to leave a secure Iraq that can defend itself and be a symbol that democracy can prosper in the Muslim world.

   Mr. MILLER of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of America. I rise in support of our active troops and those who have given their lives and those who will give their lives so that we will prevail in this Global War on Terrorism. These troops are part of an all-volunteer force that is the envy of the world.

   I rise to reassure the American and Iraqi people that we reject any timetable for the withdrawal or redeployment of U.S. forces in Iraq. Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations have attacked our families, neighbors and friends numerous times over the last three decades. What has been the response? For the most part, there has not been an adequate response. And Mr. Speaker, that is hard to admit. Some would tell you we didn't respond due to lack of political will, others would say America just didn't have the stomach. From the killing of 241 U.S. service members in Beirut in 1983 to the attack on the USS Cole in 2001, America responded in a cautious manner.

   This is no longer the case. Due to the events of September 11, 2001 our country was forced to reevaluate our defensive and offensive strategies. Led by our Commander in Chief and with the support of the Congress, our government decided to take the fight to every cave the enemy hides in--sending an unmistakable message. We will fight the enemy overseas and prevent him from reaching our shores.

   Having been to Iraq during the recent Memorial Day holiday, I am pleased to report the message is getting across. Our enemies are starting to realize that America and its allies are not leaving and are not intimidated. I say to the Iraqi people--we will not abandon you. We are committed to the completion of the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure and united Iraq.

   During my 4 trips to Iraq in the last 3 years I have been heartened by the continued resolve of our forces. After receiving briefings from the Generals, I always make sure to spend an equal amount of time with the senior enlisted men and junior officers who are leading at the tip of the spear. The casualty count among this group is rising--and that is hard to grapple with--but it is for a purpose.

   A man who was responsible for so many of these casualties--Zarqawi--is now dead. He was killed by a 500 pound bomb dropped from an F-16. This weapon and this method of employment were thoroughly developed and tested at Eglin Air Force Base in Okaloosa County, Florida. The dedicated air force active duty, civilian personnel and contractors from the Test and Evaluation Community and the Air Force Research Laboratory can be equally proud.

   I would like to remind my colleagues and the American people of the courage it must take to vote in a country that has never known democracy while under the threat of death simply for making one's voice heard. This courage is commendable and is a cause worth fighting for.

   Mr. Speaker, America and her citizens are strong. We will continue to lead the way in showing the Iraqi people how to establish a free and democratic nation and we and they will never forget the sacrifice of those who made their democracy possible.

   Mr. BOOZMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to give strong support to H. Res. 861. For more than three years, the man Osama bin Laden called ``the prince of al-Qaeda'' orchestrated terror attacks that killed thousands of Iraqis, American troops and coalition forces. Now, thanks to hard work and dedication of the U.S. military and our coalition partners, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's reign of terror is over.

   Since the U.S. and our coalition partners liberated Iraq, bin Laden has sought to defeat the efforts of the people of Iraq to transform their nation into a peace-loving democracy so he can turn it into a radical Islamic state where al-Qaeda calls the shots. The air strike that killed Zarqawi has dealt bin Laden's organization a crucial blow by eliminating the man he trusted to wage his jihad in Iraq. It is a major victory in the War on Terror.

   Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the House VA Economic Opportunities Subcommittee, I feel strongly about coming to the floor today to honor our brave servicemen and women who are defending our homeland in the Global War on Terror. They have fought valiantly since the vicious unprovoked attacks of 9/11. They liberated the people of Afghanistan from the Taliban, an abusive regime that once harbored Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda leadership. The terrorists no longer have a safe haven and are on the run. Their hopes of creating a new Taliban-like state in Iraq has suffered a major setback with our military's latest success in getting Zarqawi.

   Since the end of the initial operation in Iraq, many of my Democratic colleagues have called for a full withdrawal of our troops from Iraq. When the attacks on U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians intensified, so did their calls for us to pull out. If we had heeded those calls and not allowed our military to complete their mission, Zarqawi would still be alive and be making further strides toward turning Iraq into al-Qaeda's new home base.

   Whether or not you supported the initial operation in Iraq, the fact of the matter is we have to see this through. Our troops deserve our support and all the resources they need to get the job done. And I am committed to giving them both.

   Since the liberation of Afghanistan and Iraq, we have captured or killed thousands of suspected terrorists. Our servicemen and women have rooted terrorists out of hiding all over the globe. They deserve our utmost support and praise for keeping us safe and making the world a better place as they continue to fight the global war on terror.

   Mrs. BONO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to support our country's effort in the global war on terror. This war takes many forms and is waged on many different fronts. It involves the vigilance of our citizens in their neighborhoods to the first responders who patrol our cities. It courses through every state in the union. It must stand vigilant along our southern border and face the difficult challenges along the even lengthier and more remote terrain of the northern border. And yes, the global war on terror takes place across the vast oceans that no longer offer our homeland the protective barriers they once did.

   As Americans view on their television sets the hatred spewed by the likes of Ahmadinejad of Iran and whoever is the face of al Qaeda, we stand resolute in our beliefs of freedom and democracy. We carry emotions with us that are equal to those who wish us and our allies harm. But our emotions are not bent on creating destruction but preventing it, not on crying out for the annihilation of an entire nation but on rebuilding and helping those who choose to enter the civilized world community. To those who wish to be our friends, there is no more generous nation than that of the United States of America and to those who wish us harm no more determined of a nation when our values and safety are threatened.

   In order to win this war, we must support our troops who are deployed around the world. They protect and defend our nation and our allies everyday. These young men and women carry the patch of our flag on their arms and the spirit of our nation in their hearts.

   We also must continue to rebuild our intelligence agencies so they do not fall into the lackluster conditions they did before and work with others in the world community to stop threats before they reach our shores. There is still a great deal more work to do, but we will pursue until the job is finished.

   While we fight this battle across the world, others may wonder where we draw our energy from. It is important that our friends and enemies realize one important and crucial fact: the war on terror is spurred on by the hearts and minds of every American who will not let the world forget what happened on that tragic day in September.

   Mr. BASS. Mr. Speaker, today we come to the floor to debate the merits of H. Res. 841, legislation honoring the men and women of our armed forces and declaring our commitment to a sovereign, free, and united Iraq. As our country continues to engage Al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations around the globe, it is important that we convey the depth of our resolve. We cannot allow Osama Bin Laden and his lieutenants to succeed in their attempt to drive our forces from Iraq and topple that country's democratically elected government.

   Today, we are engaged in what I hope will be the first of many public debates on our national strategy to combat the growth and development of global terrorist networks. In Iraq and Afghanistan, as was clearly described by the 9/11 commission, we must stand for a better future by working with the international community to give the citizens of these countries a fighting chance to develop secure democratic institutions. These countries must never again be allowed to descend into the lawlessness that gives sanctuary to international criminals and terrorists.

   Last week, coalition and Iraqi forces scored a major victory over foreign terrorists working to foment a civil war between the Sunni and Shia peoples of Iraq. Our cooperative efforts to eliminate Jordanian terrorist leader Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi should stand as a landmark along the road to independent security in Iraq. It should also serve as an opportunity for this Congress to publicly expand its oversight activities to include the Iraqi Governments ability to maintain security and expand reconstruction activities absent the direct assistance of our forces on the ground.

   Over the last few months we have seen momentous changes in Iraq. Prime Minister Maliki's freely elected government has announced plans to expand reconstruction efforts, begin the national reconciliation process, and put an end to independent military forces

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in the country. Last month, Iraqi security forces played an active role in 90 percent of security operations and acted independent of coalition support in nearly 40 percent of those missions.

   These successes have given us the opportunity to consider the eventual withdrawal of our forces and those of the 28 coalition allies who continue to support the development of a free and stable Iraq. However, in doing so, we have a responsibility to do so based on conditions on the ground, and should not be bound by an arbitrary timeline for withdrawal that could only strengthen our enemies resolve. Doing so would do a grave injustice to the brave men and women of our armed services, who have already sacrificed so much in the cause of freedom.

   Ms. DeGETTE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to House Resolution 861. Calling this a true debate on Iraq is a joke, and the Republican majority knows it. The Majority Leader has admitted the true motive--to use this issue in the fall elections against the Democrats. Shame on him and shame on the Republican majority for callously restricting what should be a full debate about the most important issue facing our country. Shame on them for trying to set a political trap and not allowing amendments or a full debate. If we were allowed a fair process, the facts would be revealed. And the facts are not pretty.

   After the tragedy and horror of September 11, 2001, everyone saw the threat posed by Al Qaeda. I voted for the authorization for President George W. Bush to use force against the Taliban in Afghanistan who were harboring Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. I am a strong supporter of the war on terrorism.

   When President Bush came to Congress and asked for authorization to invade Iraq, he made no case that that country was an imminent threat to the United States, or, in fact, related to our international fight against terrorism. So, I opposed the authorization for President Bush to use military force against Iraq in 2002, and that vote was the proudest vote I have taken in nearly 10 years in Congress.

   Despite the paucity of evidence to invade a sovereign nation, Congress authorized President Bush to go forward and we invaded Iraq. Instead of remaining focused on combating terrorists, the true imminent threat to our country, we got detoured into Iraq. Our courageous men and women in uniform did a tremendous job in the effort to defeat Saddam Hussein. I have supported them every step of the way and continue to support them as I stand here today.

   Having toppled its government, I felt we had an obligation to see Iraq transition to a new democracy. Like most Americans I was patient as Iraq struggled to establish a new civil society and government after years of oppression.

   In the three years since the invasion, Americans have provided security and rebuilding assistance. Despite the gross mistakes, mismanagement, and misjudgments of our civilian leadership, Iraq is now a sovereign, free country, a country with a new constitution and a new government. At this point in time, we have done what we can. We've given the Iraqi people an opportunity. It is now their opportunity to grab freedom. It is now their country to lose.

   Unfortunately our efforts have come at a tremendous cost. Major General John Batiste, a commander in Iraq and military aide to Mr. Paul Wolfowitz, noted that ``Rumsfeld and his team turned what should have been a deliberate victory in Iraq into a prolonged challenge.'' 2,500 of our best and brightest young people have paid the ultimate sacrifice to our country. About 18,000 have been wounded. All Americans are forever in their debt. In addition to the heartbreaking human toll, there is a financial one as well. We have now spent or appropriated, according to the Congressional Research Service, about $320 billion on the war in Iraq.

   Enough is enough. Enough devastation for mothers and fathers who have lost children in Iraq; enough heartache for their loved ones and friends; enough young lives cut short; enough being forced to shortchange domestic priorities like health care and homeland security because billions are being spent on Iraq. We have given the Iraqis a chance. That is all they can ask of us and that is all we can ask of ourselves. As such, it is time to shift troops to the periphery of the conflict and redirect some resources currently being used in Iraq back to America.

   Despite what the Republican majority suggests through this Resolution, saying it is now time to begin redeploying troops and that President Bush needs to develop a plan to do so is not arbitrary. It is, in fact, a reasonable calculation that the cost of Iraq is no longer worth any benefit we may achieve by continuing our armed presence there. The majority of the American people have made it clear they feel it is simply not worth more blood to achieve perfection in Iraq. They are right. It is time we in Congress listened.

   Mr. TERRY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the resolution to affirm the United States of America will ultimately achieve victory in the Global War on Terror.

   On September 11, 2001, 3,000 of our fellow Americans were brutally killed by Islamic terrorists under the leadership of Osama bin Laden. President Bush responded by declaring war against terrorism and its strongholds throughout the world. He said we would fight the enemy on their ground to prevent terrorists from once again attacking our citizens on U.S. soil.

   The Bush Doctrine stated: ``Any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.'' U.S. and Coalition forces have verified his words with irrefutable action. The state-sponsored ``safe harbor'' Al Qaeda enjoyed in Afghanistan ended when U.S. and Northern Alliance forces routed the Taliban in a decisive military victory.

   Afghanistan now has a newly elected parliament, a market economy, equality for women, and millions of children attending school for the first time. We still face challenges in this nation, but it is on its way to becoming a stable and secure democracy, freed from the oppression of the Taliban extremists. Most importantly, Al Qaeda can no longer use this nation as a launching ground from which to attack the United States.

   In Iraq, Saddam Hussein repeatedly refused to comply with U.N. weapons inspection. Sovereignty was turned over to Iraqis a year and a half ago; a Constitution was drafted last summer and ratified in October; and a new government is being established. The seeds of democracy are beginning to take root, and a major threat of state-sponsored terrorism against the U.S. was removed.

   Despite the danger of violent retaliation from radical extremists, 59 percent of Iraqi citizens exercised their right to vote in January, and approximately 70 percent in December. Iraq is on its way to fully assuming responsibility for its own security and governance.

   The challenges we face are undeniable and difficult. President Bush was correct when he said this war would come at great cost in blood and treasure. However, the cost would be much higher--intolerably high--had we not decisively acted to protect the security and interests of the United States.

   Who can forget the cheering of Iraqi citizens in the streets as Baghdad was liberated and the statue of Saddam Hussein toppled to the ground? Who can forget the courage of the Iraqi's who proudly displayed the purple ink on their index finger after exercising their right to vote? Who can forget the sight of Saddam Hussein cowering like a cornered rat when U.S. soldiers forced him from hiding? Above all, who can forget the sight of the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center collapsing, the burning embers of the attack on the Pentagon, or the scorched field in Pennsylvania that will forever stand as a testament to heroism and self-sacrifice. Our successes in the Global War on Terror have prevented additional horrifying images from filling our TV screens, saving untold innocent American lives.

   We may never know what catastrophes have been averted by the dedication and vigilance of U.S. servicemen and women. Nearly 2,500 Americans have nobly given their lives in exchange for the peace that we have enjoyed here at home these past four and one-half years. The very fact that we have not endured another terrorist attack on U.S. soil proves their lives were not given in vain. We have not seen additional attacks such as those in London and Madrid, or experienced the fear Israelis face on a daily basis. We owe our safety and security to the soldiers who are giving their all to protect our families, communities, lives and liberties.

   Al Qaeda remains a persistent danger to the United States. This terrorist network operates in over 60 countries around the world. It brainwashes men and women into becoming suicide bombers; destroys religious sites; bombs and beheads innocent civilians; and seeks the destruction and overthrow of America, our values, our people, our freedoms and our way of life.

   We cannot allow Al Qaeda the opportunity to establish a permanent base in Iraq from which to attack the United States. The collapse of Iraq's new democratic government would be a huge victory for Al Qaeda, drawing additional recruits for bin Laden's brand of terrorism from the ranks of young Muslims. It is well-known that bin Laden seeks nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons of mass destruction to inflict severe casualties on the United States and allied countries.

   Al Qaeda conducted poison gas experiments on dogs in Afghanistan, and the governments of Britain, France, and Jordan have each foiled plans by Al Qaeda to use chemical weapons. U.S. intelligence sources have documented repeated attempts by Al Qaeda to purchase nuclear material, including weapons grade uranium. Nations such as Iran and North Korea are a potential risk for transferring nuclear capabilities to terrorist insurgents.

   We must not fall into a sense of complacency. The continued threat from Al Qaeda to

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our citizens at home and abroad is real. Thankfully, U.S. and Coalition forces have captured or killed more than three-fourths of Al Qaeda's known pre-9ll leaders. These include senior field commanders, masterminds of the September 11th attacks, communications coordinators, and other key operational leaders. Just last week, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq was killed by U.S. forces.

   Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had repeatedly attacked religious shrines and Iraqi political leaders to destabilize Iraq, provoke a civil war, and create a haven for terrorism. The February bombing of the Askariya shrine in Samarra--one of Iraq's holiest religious sites--ignited a firestorm of reprisals that led to the deaths of over 130 Iraqis. Killing the man who incited this violence was a resounding victory toward building a safe, secure, stable Iraq.

   More than 4,000 suspected Al Qaeda members have been arrested worldwide since 9/11, and Al Qaeda cells have been identified and dismantled in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Over $140 million in terrorist financial assets have been confiscated or seized from over 1,400 bank accounts worldwide.

   Mistakes have been made in the War on Terror, but the Bush Doctrine of dissuasion and deterrence is working. Pakistan broke its state-sponsored ties to Al Qaeda and the Taliban, and Libya surrendered its WMD and disavowed terrorism. Until recently, Iran had frozen its uranium enrichment program, but is now threatening our country amid the perceived weakness that we will pull our forces out of Iraq before that nation is able to govern and protect itself from terror. This dangerous situation underscores the fact that we must finish the job we began to ensure the continued safety and security of the American people. We must not give in to terrorism by pulling out of Iraq too early.

   Fortunately, the talents and capabilities of our U.S. servicemen and women are protecting our nation well. Air Force Chief of Staff, General T. Michael Moseley, told reporters in February that Air Force satellites can locate activities and individuals on a global scale, and targets can be held at risk or struck down with the lethality of a weapon that detonates within several feet of the target. Al-Zarqawi learned this lesson the hard way.

   General Moseley continued: ``It must be a bit disturbing [to terrorists] to know that if you act against the United States or its Coalition partners, the U. S. Air Force will find you and strike you. And there's nothing you can do about it. We may never know what has not happened because of this capability.''

   General Ronald Keyes, head of the Air Force's Air Combat Command, rightly said: ``If you're a terrorist and you've got static on your phone, that's me ..... That shadow passing over you, that's me. That computer that will not boot, that's me. That noise you thought you heard until it's too late, that is me. And it will continue to be me until our children and grandchildren and those of freedom-loving nations everywhere emerge from this plight of terrorism.''

   We can and we must improve our intelligence and military capabilities to ultimately eradicate terrorism worldwide. This war has not been waged perfectly, but it has in arguably succeeded in preventing additional terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, protecting American lives and liberty, and forcing terrorists to spend their time running rather than plotting additional ways to murder innocent citizens and spread darkness and destruction.

   Voting ``yes'' for this resolution today will send the clear message to Al Qaeda that the United States is truly united in defeating terrorism and promoting a strong and stable Iraq.

   I urge my colleagues to join me in thanking our U.S. soldiers, sailors and airmen for their incredible sacrifices, and in supporting this resolution to protect our citizens from terrorism at home and abroad.

   Mrs. LOWEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this resolution. U.S. policy toward Iraq should be focused on bringing home U.S. troops as soon as possible while minimizing chaos in Iraq and maximizing Middle Eastern stability. I believe that 2006 must be a year of significant transition toward full Iraqi sovereignty both politically and militarily and with the responsible redeployment of U.S. forces.

   Americans deserve a serious discussion in Congress about the future of U.S. involvement in Iraq. Instead, the Republican resolution before Congress today fails to address the road forward. A resolution to achieve a sovereign, free, and united Iraq is not a strategy.

   This resolution is a partisan attempt to avoid the debate that the American people are demanding. It blurs the line between the War on Terror and the war in Iraq in an effort to legitimize Bush Administration mistakes, and fails to deal with key issues such as the effect of our `stay-the-course-at-any-cost' policy on other threats to our national security and military recruitment and the lack of oversight and accountability over the billions of dollars wasted or stolen in the war and reconstruction effort.

   I am a strong supporter of our troops, and I have voted consistently to give them the funding and equipment they need to carry out their missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our courageous men and women in uniform have met their challenges with skill, bravery, and selfless dedication. We mourn the loss of the 2,500 who have died in Iraq, and offer our support and prayers to the 8,501 who have been injured so gravely they cannot return to duty.

   While this resolution expresses our gratitude toward the troops, it fails to acknowledge the missteps, misrepresentations, and misjudgments that have fatally flawed our involvement in Iraq from the very beginning, making the mission of our troops more perilous. The President rushed to war based on false and faulty intelligence against the protests of the majority of our allies. Warnings from U.S. commanders about troop levels and equipment went unheeded, and shortsighted decisions were made which seriously damaged our efforts to establish peace and security in Iraq.

   The Administration's horrendous miscalculations have damaged our ability to aggressively confront other emerging threats around the world and have endangered the stability of the Middle East. To make matters worse, the Administration has consistently rejected calls for accountability for some of its worst mistakes, including the squandering of billions of dollars in reconstruction funds, torture at Abu Ghraib and the provision of inadequate equipment for our troops. The sham resolution before us today is intended to avoid an honest discussion of these issues.

   The American people deserve better than today's partisan grandstanding and the contempt of the Republican leadership for their genuine concern about U.S. policy toward Iraq. For this reason, I will oppose the resolution.

   Mrs. MYRICK. Mr. Speaker, I am very concerned about the current state of affairs in this country and around the world. We are in the midst of a global fight against terrorism, and cannot allow partisan politics to undermine our efforts to root out this disease.

   I rise today in strong support of the brave, young men and women in our military for their sacrifice, dedication and hard work on behalf of all Americans and people fighting for freedom worldwide. Our courageous soldiers have removed a tyrannical dictator from power and are helping eliminate the ability of thousands of terrorists to harm innocent civilians.

   The war in Iraq has been difficult, but progress is being made. Last week, al-Zarqawi, the terrorist leader in Iraq, was killed. Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds are working through their differences. Women are now allowed to get an education.

   Iraqi units are taking the lead on missions to root out insurgents. And we have already brought 30,000 troops home and turned bases over to the Iraqis; but we cannot leave Iraq and allow it to be turned into a breeding ground for international terrorism. We must not leave this problem to our children or grandchildren. And we must always remember--we are fighting the terrorists over there so we do not have to fight them here at home! The global terrorist network is constantly recruiting, training and planning its next attack.

   That is why we must continue to fight terrorists overseas to try and prevent them from reaching our doorstep. However, we must not be foolish enough to believe that they are not already here. That is why I do not understand why people would have us leave Iraq--Why they would take a defensive stand against terrorism. We had that mindset on September 10, 2001, and it cost us thousands of lives on 9/11.

   We must not take the path that is easy. We must take the path that is right. We must take the fight to the terrorists and continue to do so anywhere we are threatened. We must also secure our borders. There is no doubt that our porous borders are vulnerable to people who want to do us harm. Since the deployment of the National Guard to the border, we have already seen improvements in border security. In the first ten days of June, there has been a 21 percent decline in illegal border crossings compared to the same time period last year.

   Let us not forget--Terrorism is not an ideology; it is a tactic to make people fearful. Throughout history, terrorism has failed and it will do so again. People in repressive societies yearn for freedom because it is a natural right of humankind. The challenge facing our generation is to help those that seek to be free. This goal is being realized in Iraq and the effects are being felt around the world. We will win the War on Terror.

   As we debate this war, let's remember that we are fighting an enemy who wants us dead. This leaves no room for partisan politics. It requires a united America.

   Mr. SULLIVAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to support our efforts to secure Iraq in the ongoing Global War on Terror and to honor the brave work our servicemen and women are doing to protect our freedoms at home and to promote democracy abroad.

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   Iraq is the central front in the Global War on Terror. Al-Qaeda views Iraq as the main battleground to spread their ideology of hate and violence against the Iraqi people and the civilized world. The simple fact is we are fighting terrorists in Iraq so we don't have to fight them here on our homeland.

   I have visited Iraq and have seen firsthand the atrocities brought on the Iraqi people and their infrastructure by Saddam Hussein's regime. I stood in the spider hole that Saddam Hussein was cowering in before his capture and was able to meet many of the brave men and women in uniform who are serving there. Now, the ``Butcher of Baghdad'' is behind bars and is on trial for brutal crimes against his own people, and democracy is slowly coming to fruition in a Nation and a region of the world that has never known it.

   It has been an exciting week in Iraq, with the completion of Iraq's National Unity Government and the death of Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi, a terrorist and ally of Osama bin Laden. This week was capped off by President Bush's surprise trip to Baghdad Tuesday to reaffirm our Nation's commitment to securing a peaceful Iraq.

   Only with our continued presence and coalition support will Iraq be able to make the transition to a peacful and prosperous democracy. It is imperative that we remain patient and vigilant as we continue our missions in Iraq and in the Global War on Terror.

   Mr. Speaker, may God continue to bless our brave men and women serving to protect our homeland.

   Mr. RAMSTAD. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H. Res. 861, which, above all, honors our brave men and women prosecuting the Global War on Terror and declares that the United States will prevail. I am pleased we are debating this resolution today, because it is imperative that Congress confirm to the world that Americans stand united in support of our troops. It's also imperative to leave no doubt that the U.S. has the unity and resolve to defeat the terrorists and win the War on Terror.

   U.S. and coalition forces have made great strides in these efforts to date. We have liberated Afghanistan from the brutal Taliban and continue to support the democratically elected government of President Hamid Karzai.

   We have overthrown the world's most depraved genocidal maniac in Saddam Hussein, who now sits in a jail cell awaiting judgment before the people who not long ago suffered greatly under his brutality. And we have significantly disrupted al Qaeda's terrorist network by systematically hunting down its leaders, its financiers and its footsoldiers. Our brave troops deserve great credit for killing the murderous head of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

   Now we are engaged in the difficult task of rebuilding Iraq and training Iraqi security forces and police officers. We need to expedite the training of Iraqi security forces so they can secure their country, and our troops can come home with their mission completed.

   Mr. Speaker, I urge an overwhelming ``yes'' vote on this resolution to show our brave troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the War on Terror that they continue to have strong, bipartisan support in Congress. Our prayers are with all our brave troops. More than 2,600 Minnesota National Guard troops are serving in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. An additional 367 are serving in Afghanistan and elsewhere. All our brave troops are in my daily prayers, along with their families who are making great sacrifices at home. We also pay tribute to our brave troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of freedom. May these American heroes rest in peace and may God comfort their grieving families.

   Mr. Speaker, great moments and triumphs in American history require bravery, valor and selfless service. The men and women of our Armed Forces personify these values. Moreover, our troops have the skills, dedication and full support of the American people to prevail in the War on Terror. Today, the Congress can demonstrate our continuing strong support, as well.

   Mr. MCINTYRE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the resolution before us and the courageous servicemen and women that are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is unfortunate that today's debate was limited since this is such a serious issue facing our Nation.

   In addition to combating terrorism throughout these two countries, it is essential that two key components are met to achieve success in Iraq--security and stability. The Iraqis must continue to move toward self-governance and fulfilling their own destiny, which will increase stability in this new democracy. And, as our American troops continue to train the Iraqi Army and Special Police, the Iraqis can move toward taking control of their own security. Lessening the American footprint in Iraq and bringing our troops home is the goal, and it will be met because of the success our troops have already had in stabilizing Iraq provinces (14 out of 18) and by training Iraqi forces.

   Having been to Iraq and having met with both the military brass and our enlisted men and women in the war zone, I am optimistic that we can continue moving toward a successful conclusion of this mission. However, I have real concerns that setting an arbitrary timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops would be a detriment to our national security and the security of our troops. It is essential that we not publicize our plan for withdrawal which would make our servicemen and women vulnerable to attacks. In doing so, we would defeat our purpose and jeopardize their safety. Terrorists are patient and calculating, with some cells waiting years to be activated. We must not back down on our right to defend ourselves.

   While I am clear on my record for not allowing for a specific timetable for withdrawal, I have been supportive of denying funding to be used for constructing permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq. We should not have permanent American bases there. In addition, I supported the FY 2006 Defense Authorization bill which requires quarterly reports on conditions for withdrawing from Iraq and the progress being made toward achieving such conditions.

   As a member of the House Armed Services Committee and a strong supporter of our men and women in uniform, I am committed to honoring those who have served and are currently serving our country in the Armed Services. So many men and women and their families have made so many sacrifices, and some have paid the ultimate sacrifice. We must make sure that their efforts have not been in vain.

   Mr. SHERWOOD. Mr. Speaker, I know that we are achieving real progress in Iraq and Afghanistan. I know this not only from government and media sources, but from two Pennsylvanians.

   I want to quote from an email I received this morning from a constituent, an Army officer in Northwest Iraq commanding a Military Transition Team:

   ``There are many positive things going on over here that the American public never hears about ..... My little 10-man team contributed over 150 boxes of school supplies to the many schools in my area ..... Other units took up a collection and purchased grain to give out to one very small, poor village. I am very proud of the accomplishments of U.S. and Iraqi forces and it truly is a shame that all the news tends to be negative toward the activities of the soldiers (American and Iraqi) who are working very hard every day to make this country safe.''

   My summer intern was a soldier in the 82nd Airborne Division. When he arrived in Afghanistan in July, 2002, the people had nothing--no schools, no health care, no paved roads. But in seven months, his unit helped build the first school and health clinic.

   When his unit went back to Afghanistan in late 2004, it was a different place--new facilities and factories, more electricity, and miles of paved roads. When arriving in a village, his unit was greeted by smiling youngsters mobbing them, throwing plastic flowers.

   These examples are among many that illustrate real progress--laying a foundation for future peace, shaping a world where the terrorist message will fall on deaf ears.

   My intern from the 82nd also told me this: Afghani war veterans, the ``old-timers,'' asked, ``Why did you abandon us when the Soviets pulled out?'' Today their biggest fear is that we will leave before the mission is done, and allow the Taliban or other tyrants to take over. Iraqi civilians remember 1991 and fear the same thing.

   We must complete the mission.

   Mrs. BIGGERT. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this resolution and in strong support of our troops. They are far away, waging the war on terror so that we can be safe here at home. In particular, I want to congratulate not only those who directly were involved in the demise of Al-Zarqawi, but all of those troops whose mission each and every day is heroic and brave and appreciated by us all.

   Every building they secure, every Iraqi troop they train, every vehicle they service, potato they peel, or small mission they accomplish is a blow against terrorism and a boost for our freedom.

   Many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle voted for this war. But within months they started dissembling, claiming they'd been misled and clamoring for troop withdrawal.

   President Bush always warned that the war on terror would not be won easily or overnight. He asked for patience.

   We are an impatient people, always in a hurry, often seeking the quick success. But our troops do not work on the 24-hour news cycle or a two-year campaign cycle or any timetable other than to execute each mission as it builds toward the larger objective.

   That patience is paying off. Already we have seen in the information seized at Al-Zarqawi's hideout that the terrorists feared that time was working against them. I shudder to think if those on the other side of the aisle had their way where Al-Zarqawi would be today.

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   In closing, let me just say that when I visited Iraq with my colleagues to thank our troops for all they are doing, it was they who thanked us for caring enough to visit them over there. We owe them such a debt of gratitude, and yet their spirit of service and commitment to their mission led them to thank us.

   Mr. Speaker, no American troop should ever have to thank a member of Congress. They should know that we are with them, that we support them, and that our support and thanks are there for them and with them always.

   Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey, Mr. Speaker, a free and prosperous Iraq is one which is no longer a breeding ground for terrorism, no longer a wealth of support for radical Islam, no longer a source of destabilization in the Middle East. The simple truth is that an Iraqi people with hope for the future is an Iraqi people with whom we can work for peace.

   And, nobody knows this better than the terrorists themselves.

   They know they win only if they can maintain a strong, divisive, bloody insurgency in Iraq. They know they only win if they can keep the Iraqi people feeling despondent for their future.

   Let me be clear: The litmus test for whether or troops should stay or withdraw or on what timetable is not about nation-building. The U.S. should not be in the business of nation-building, now or ever. There is nothing in the Constitution which grants this Congress the authority to engage in nation-building, nor does the American public wish that we do so. Instead, the nation which we must always remain steadfast engaged in protecting and building up is this nation--America.

   The future of the Iraqi people is in their hands and left to their imagination.

   But, the truth of the matter is that life for the Iraqi people--despite the ongoing war on their soil, has been more hopeful than it was before wasting away in the shackles of Saddam Hussein's tyranny. And, it is only getting better.

   For those Iraqis who survived Saddam's policies of genocide, political imprisonment, and near-constant state of war, they went without jobs, food, and medicine. All the while Saddam and his cronies pocketed billions in illicit oil profits and grew fat from Oil-for-Food program kickbacks.

   The Iraqis have had increasingly broad and successful elections. They have developed a constitution and established a government. Just last week, the Iraqis appointed key ministers for defense, national security, and interior. Now that the Iraqi people are free to direct their own economy, their own policies, and their own destiny, there is hope for a brighter future.

   Just last year, in 2005, the Iraqi economy grow by 3 percent. This year economists predict that the economy will grow by 10 percent, with a GDP that will have

   almost doubled since the fall of Saddam Hussein. As freely elected economic officials begin to work for the benefit of all Iraqis, the future of the Iraqi economy is bright.

   The Iraqi people are rebuilding their capability to care for their own medical needs. Last year, 98 percent of children under the age of three were vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella. Basic care has been provided for 1.5 million new mothers and their children, ensuring that a new generation of Iraqis will grow up strong and healthy.

   Over 110 medical facilities have been renovated and 600 centers have been equipped with basic clinical and lab equipment. By providing training for 2,500 health care workers, Iraqis will build a structure for living longer, healthier lives far into the future.

   Iraq once boasted one of the most educated female populations in the Middle East. Under Saddam Hussein's iron fist, they fell to near perfect illiteracy. Working together, we have helped the Iraqis provide for 2,800 rehabilitated schools and 8.7 million math and science textbooks. And, young girls can look forward to careers as engineers and scientists, instead of looking forward to legalized honor killings.

   The preamble of the Iraqi constitution reads: ``We the people of Iraq ..... are determined to respect the rule of law, reject the policy of aggression, pay attention to women and their rights, the elderly and their cares, the children and their affairs, spread the culture of diversity and defuse terrorism.''

   This is a statement rarely seen in the history of Middle Eastern nations. Iraqi legislators are determined to create a free society on par with our own. The future of Iraq is one in which men and women are free to practice their religion and speak their mind without fear of imprisonment or death.

   Every one of us feels for the parents and loved ones of the brave men and women who are serving in Iraq. Every one of us wants to see those young heroes quickly and safely return home.

   I would like to read from a message I received from one of those brave young men who is serving in Iraq. He said: ``There is a tough war going on here, but we can either fight the enemy here or back at home. If we were to withdraw, there would be a bloodbath of epic proportions that would only encourage the enemies of civilization.''

   Now is the time that the Iraqi people may build a bright future of freedom, opportunity, and peace upon their rich cultural heritage.

   Mr. WELLER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of our Nation's continuing dedication to the War on Terror and this resolution we are debating today. When we think of the War on Terror, we immediately think of the frontlines in Iraq and Afghanistan where our soldiers are bravely fighting for the hope and promise of freedom. But this debate today should not be limited to debating the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. This resolution is about freedom and our dedication to eliminating terror globally. This resolution puts in writing that we, the Congress of the United States of America, will honor all Americans who have supported the war on terror as well as our international partners in the struggle to defend freedom.

   The War on Terror is not only being fought overseas. This war is being fought, and fought successfully, everyday on our own soil by our own law enforcement agencies and the law enforcement agencies of our allies. We have great partners working with us around the globe to win this fight for freedom and, fortunately, one of these great allies is also one of our closest neighbors.

   On June 2nd and 3rd a series of counter-terrorism raids by Canadian law enforcement teams successfully thwarted possible attacks planned by seventeen Al Qaeda inspired terrorists, terrorists who have been found to have ties not only in Canada, but in many other countries as well.

   These terrorists took actions to obtain three tons of ammonium nitrate and were allegedly planning to use it against the Government of Canada and the Canadian people. This is more than three times the amount of ammonium nitrate used in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

   This successful raid on behalf of the Canadian law enforcement bodies, including the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team which coordinated the efforts of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Ontario Provincial Police, and other local police forces, illustrates both the strength of local law enforcement as well as the growing weaknesses of the Islamist militant network.

   Their achievement has made our hemisphere safer and brings optimism that other nations around the world will have similar triumphs over terror. We all salute Canada for its unwavering commitment in the global war on terror.

   Their success only emphasizes that we must continue the fight against terror on all fronts: foreign and domestic. We must continue to promote peace, security, and the promotion and protection of liberty, while being vigilant against those extremists who want to do harm to freedom-loving countries. We must continue to support our armed forces, first responders, and our international allies in this war and we must continue to work with our close friends, such as Canada, to promote the principles of a free and democratic society. I urge strong support for this resolution.

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   Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Speaker, I submit the following letter for the Record.

 

   May 31, 2006.
Representative John P. Murtha,
House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.

   DEAR CONGRESSMAN MURTHA: I am a Florida Democrat who feels deeply in your debt for the campaign you are pursuing to get our troops out of Iraq ASAP. When a new Democratic Congress convenes early next year I hope its first order of business will be to present you with a well-deserved Congressional Gold Medal.

   I share your heartfelt concern over the situation in Iraq. It is a national disaster that is robbing our nation of the best of our youth and billions of our national treasure. In this regard I stand squarely behind you and your views of the war. In support of those views I have prepared a piece called Iraq: We Need a Strategy, Not Empty Slogans. It is based on your irrefutable arguments. Its thrust is to demolish the President's position that we must stay the course. (How I hate that phrase!)

   I believe I have made a cohesive, persuasive argument. Please take a few minutes to read this paper and hopefully have it inserted in The Congressional Record. In my judgment, it warrants the attention of every Member of Congress. Accomplishing this is my main purpose in life at the moment. Earlier I sent a copy of the enclosed piece to Senator Bill Nelson, my home-state senator, but subsequently learned he does not favor early departure.

   Here are my bonafides: I am an 85 year-old retired Army lieutenant colonel with 22 years of active service as an Infantry officer. I saw combat in World War II as a rifle platoon leader in the Pacific. I received the following decorations in the course of my military career: Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge. So you don't have to accept these claims at face value alone, I enclose a copy of my DD 214.

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   I am confident that God will grant you the strength to carry on your fight. But all Americans should rise to your support. They need to cast aside complacency and lassitude. They need to stand up to an Administration hellbent on destroying the underpinnings of our democracy. In short, we must sound off.

   With admiration and respect,

   Sanford H. Winston,
LTC, USARet.

--

   IRAQ: We Need A Strategy, Not Empty Slogans

   God bless Representative John Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat. He is the only Member of Congress with the guts to tell the American people the truth about the Iraq war. He does not spin this story. He calls for the removal of our forces from Iraq ASAP on the basis that only the Iraqis themselves can heal the divisions that thwart their progress toward a viable government. He describes bluntly the irreconcilable mess that is Iraq with its three obdurate and competing factions--Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis. He emphasizes the failure of the U.S.-led efforts to provide essential services to the Iraqi people such as electricity and oil production that are below the levels existing prior to our pre-emptive invasion. He makes it clear that the Iraqi people really don't want us there.

   Congressman Murtha asserts that most of our more than 2,450 dead and 17,500 wounded--many of them amputations, spinal cord and head injuries--have been caused by improvised explosive devices. IED's continue to extract a great toll on our people even after three years of war and ceaseless effort to neutralize them. Still, we have had more than enough time to devise a practical, achievable strategy for extracting our troops. There is none. Joining Mr. Murtha in the class of great American patriots are the seven retired Army and Marine generals who view the Administration's conduct of the war as deplorable and had the guts to call for the removal of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

   President Bush has stated our objective in Iraq is establishing ``a democracy which can defend itself, sustain itself--a country which is an ally in the war on terror and a country which serves as a powerful example for others who desire to be free.'' Religion, culture and customs combine to pose impenetrable barriers toward reaching this goal. Iraq is actually in a state of civil war now even though the Administration won't acknowledge that fact. American-trained Iraqi soldiers and police have yet to prove that they are capable, loyal and trustworthy. The Parliament, to this point, has refused to agree on Ministers of Defense, Interior and National Security. Without solid political backing behind appointees to these three ministries the prospects for success are remote.

   The President promotes support of his war by spreading public fear. He refers to our Iraq campaign as a part of a ``global war on terror.'' Is there really an ongoing global war? Are all the Muslims in the world preparing to take on the United States? This thought by the President acts to promote public anxiety, but not enough for him to call for a military draft and marshal the forces we need to prevail in a global war. If he tried to do that the Congress would revolt and his approval numbers in the polls would sag to zero. Administration scare tactics are reinforced by the Vice President who warns that the Muslims are working to establish caliphates that extend from the coast of Spain to the tip of Indonesia. Does this vast conglomerate of caliphates in the offing intend to attack us? If so, our country is not prepared to confront this awesome threat. Hopefully we are summoning aggressive diplomatic activity and the active support of the United Nations, the countries of Mr. Rumsfeld's Old Europe, and other peace-loving allies in readying our defenses.

   Let's make one thing clear. Iraq is our national disaster. It is diluting the resources we need to defend ourselves. It is a tragic sideshow that is bleeding us of our finest young men and women and costing billions of our national treasure which are desperately needed for domestic purposes.

   Bombarded with fear-inducing messages, much of the country appears docile and uninvolved in Iraq. It's business as usual. The only people with a real stake in the war are apparently our men and women in uniform and their families. They represent about one percent of a population nearing 300 million. There are few signs of spontaneous patriotism other than Support Our Troops bumper stickers. While the long war continues, the Army is being torn to shreds courtesy of Mr. Rumsfeld. It is forced to pay incentives of up to $40,000 to recruit soldiers and still can't meet its personnel quotas. It promotes unqualified officers to fill its ranks. The Marine Corps is no better off. The National Guard has been worked beyond reason with its people being sent to Iraq on multiple tours. All this in the face of generals on the ground in Iraq saying that our involvement may last 10 years.

   Our people are being fed slogans in lieu of a strategy for the termination of our operations in Iraq. Some examples:

   Stay the course. No mention is made of the price that must be paid to stay the course. The President does not say how many American lives he is willing to sacrifice in such a feckless pursuit. He visualizes a lengthy stay in Iraq if one takes at face value his assertion that he is prepared to hand off the war to his successor if victory has not been attained during his term in office. As Commander-in-Chief, the President must think long and hard about our casualty rate now and in the future. Early in the war, when Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz was asked by a reporter how many of our troops had been killed in action, he had no idea of the actual number. This kind of leadership will not do. To me, stay the course is meaningless rhetoric, not a substitute for a real strategy.

   General Tommy Franks, author of the war plan that propelled us into Baghdad, but who left a big planning void beyond our conquest of the capital city, declared in a recent speech to the National Rifle Association, that our KIAs in Iraq have made the U.S. a safer place by virtue of their sacrifice. Sadly, there is no discernible truth to that claim. It is this general's way of telling us we must stay the course.

   If you break it, you own it. This is General Colin Powell's unrealistic contribution, guaranteed to extend our stay in Iraq until the President's objective becomes a reality. Taken literally, it does not compute. When we broke Germany, did we own it? When we broke Japan, did we own it? When we broke Italy, did we own it? Of course not. We gave them postwar guidance and assistance. Those former enemies repaired the breakage on their own and have since become valued allies. There is no reason why the Iraqi people, with our non-military help, can't do the same.

   When the Iraqis stand up, we'll stand down. Empty rhetoric. With the intractable hostility marking relations among Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis, and the unchecked operations of many hostile local militias, it will be a long time before the Iraqis can stand up.

   ``I'll leave when the generals on the ground tell me it's time to leave, not some Washington politician.''--President Bush. Who is the decider anyway, the generals or the President? Besides, isn't he the Number One Washington politician? This is a sorry expression of policy.

   We can't cut and run. This phrase is used carelessly. I recall a first-term Congresswoman from Ohio having the gall to admonish Congressman Murtha, retired Marine colonel, decorated and wounded veteran of Vietnam, with the reminder that Marines do not cut and run. I define cut and run as people taking purposeful action to avoid hazardous duty in time of war. It may sound insensitive to say so, but to me the two most prominent examples of cut and run are the President and Vice President during the Vietnam War. Why don't we just eliminate cut and run from our lexicon? It is Hollywood/John Wayne talk, not real world political talk.

   The media does not report the positive things we do. Hogwash! The American press has done more to build and preserve our democracy than any other national institution including our armed forces. Blaming the media is the last resort of knownothings. Government must learn to tell the truth when dealing with the media.

   There is a way out of the quagmire. To disengage in Iraq we need a new Congress sworn to this end--a Congress in the Murtha mold, a Congress with guts. It is up to the American people to see that we get one come this November. The new Congress can vote to cut off funds that support our operations in Iraq as soon as it convenes. or it can send leaders representing both parties to stand before the Iraq Parliament and announce that Iraq has 90 days to assume responsibility for its own fate.

   To paraphrase General of the Army Omar Bradley's warning on Vietnam, the war in Iraq is the wrong war, at the wrong time, in the wrong place.

   When the time comes, vote Americans, vote! Only you can end this war.

 

  • [Begin Insert]

     

   Mr. DAVIS of Tennessee. Mr. Speaker, I am glad we are having this debate today. Frankly, I think it is shameful it has taken us three years to have an ``open'' debate on the war while our soldiers are dying, their family members are praying for their safe return, and the American public is questioning what, exactly, is our policy over there. I just wish the debate were actually open. The lack of debate is even more shameful when you consider the fact we have been fighting in Iraq longer than we fought in World War I, the European Theater of World War II, and Korea. The American people deserve better, and you can bet your life the American soldier definitely deserves better than that. The American soldier deserves more than ten hours of debate on a policy that affects their lives.

   Mr. Speaker, I want everyone in America to know the Leadership of this House of Representatives wants to stifle debate and control what you hear from your government. Every single American citizen should ask themselves this, ``What are they trying to hide? What are they afraid of? If a policy decision is so sound, you would think they would let it be debated until everyone was blue in the face.'' I think the lack of confidence the Majority has in the ability of their policies to face challenges and amendments should be eye opening to the American public.

   Mr. Speaker, I am ashamed the Majority Leader of the House abandoned his earlier talk of a ``civil'' debate on policy and instead decided to turn something as serious as a war into a rhetoric filled partisan political tool with

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the goal to make Democrats look ``sheepish.'' In my opinion, war and the deaths of American soldiers is too serious to be used as a political tool. Don't our soldiers deserve more respect from Congress than this? Additionally, anyone who would accuse a Member of Congress of not supporting our troops has no shame and those individuals should ask themselves whether anything is sacred to them anymore. They should ask themselves whether or not there is any depth to which they won't sink in order to score political points?

   Mr. Speaker, I was not a Member of Congress when the resolution passed giving the President the authority to send our fighting men and women to war. However, since I've been a Member of Congress I have continued my lifelong support for our troops. I have voted for every spending request, and I have been to Iraq to visit our soldiers four times. Every Member of Congress should have gone to Iraq by now, and if you haven't, go. Whether or not you support this war you need to show your support for our soldiers, and they deserve to talk to us face to face and let us know what is really happening over there.

   Mr. Speaker, how we got to Iraq should not be the point at this time. Historians, politicians, and the American public will debate that for years on end, and you can bet they will draw conclusions and hold people responsible in the history books and the public opinion of the future. However, right now we should focus on how we stabilize the country, allowing for a new, free, democratic Iraq to rein, and how we get our troops home safe as soon as possible while ensuring our future is more stable and secure.

   Mr. Speaker, I support our troops. The Congress and the American public support our troops. And I think we should reaffirm our support for the troops by giving them every tool they need, like additional armor and padding in their helmets to protect them from IEDs, rather than forking over taxpayers' dollars hand over fist to Halliburton and other defense contractors with little to no accountability. That, I think, would be a stronger sign of support for our troops, or the war, than any politically motivated resolution brought to the House floor as the Majority has admitted in their inter-conference memo of talking points of how ``We must conduct this debate as a portrait of contrasts between Republicans and Democrats'' according to Majority Leader Boehner's memo. I don't know about you, but I believe our country and our troops deserve better than these political tactics.

   In closing, Mr. Speaker, it is time for both political parties to figure out that our base is America, and the American people, not the ideologues of the political fringe.

   Ms. MOORE of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, with the number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq reaching 2,500, it's disappointing that the best the GOP leadership can do is demand more of the same. That's exactly what this resolution does by calling for a vague open-ended military commitment in Iraq. This resolution reaffirms a policy that simply isn't working.

   Instead of acknowledging the difficulties our troops face by offering clear alternatives to the President's ``business as usual'' approach, this resolution tries to cloud the debate by focusing on the ``war on terror.'' Indeed, Iraq isn't even mentioned until the eighth paragraph.

   The real issue at hand is whether this particular U.S. military-led effort that we've been following under Secretary Rumsfeld will achieve lasting peace and democracy in Iraq. I can understand why the GOP would want to divert attention from this critical question--it is precisely because of the Administration's policy that Iraq has become a terrorist haven where none existed before.

   Since President Bush landed on an aircraft carrier and declared ``mission accomplished'', the estimated number of insurgents in Iraq has quadrupled from 5,000 to 20,000. As a result, the average number of daily attacks by insurgents has climbed from 53 to 75, from May 2004 to May 2006.

   This war is an expensive quagmire that's weakening the federal government's ability to meet our domestic needs. We have spent over $300 billion so far on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is costing us about $8 billion a month on average, according to the Department of Defense. It's no wonder that this Congress was recently asked to vote on a budget that cuts education, freezes funding for health care research, and shortchanges medical care for our nation's veterans.

   The massive deployment of National Guard and Reserve units overseas has undermined our capacity to confront terrorist attacks or natural disasters here at home. We know that state officials in Louisiana and Mississippi struggled to overcome the absence of National Guard members from their states in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

   Despite these grim realities, politicians on the other side of the aisle are stubbornly restating that--no matter what--we must ``stay the course.'' I strongly disagree. The President and his allies in Congress should heed the words of military and diplomatic leaders who have warned that a continuing presence in Iraq will neither calm the violence nor lead to stability.

   Mr. Speaker, it is incumbent on this body to offer and debate real strategies for the redeployment of American forces. Instead, this resolution allows only a phony debate on the ``war on terror'' which will not allow amendments that would offer alternatives to the Bush administration's policy in Iraq.

   Mr. TURNER. Mr. Speaker, the lessons of history demonstrate that threats, left unchecked, become more dangerous over time. In the long-term isolationism is not an effective solution for peace-keeping nations.

   Osama bin Laden, and the al Qaeda terrorist network he founded, were at war with the United States throughout the 1990s.

   1993: The first attack on the World Trade Center

   1996: Bin Laden calls on Muslims to harm U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf.

   1998: Bin Laden claims: Muslims should kill Americans any where--including civilians.

   May 1998: Bin Laden foreshadows the future. He warns the battle will ``move to American soil.''

   June 1998, a grand jury investigation issued an indictment against bin Laden

   On the 8th anniversary of the UN sanctions against Iraq, two simultaneous explosions occurred at the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The bomb in Kenya kills 213 people, including 12 American, injuring more than 4,500. In Tanzania, 11 are dead--85 injured.

   August 20, 1998 President Clinton orders cruise missile attacks at suspected terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and a pharmaceutical plant in the Sudan.

   Soon after a new indictment was issued against bin Laden.

   However, Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda were left virtually unchecked despite these and other terrorist attacks throughout the 1990s and up until 9/11.

   Recently I visited Kenya, including the former site of the American Embassy in Nairobi. Today that site has been replaced by a park with a fountain, a memorial wall that has all the victim's names on it, and a memorial building. During past wars memorials to the victims of conflicts and those who served bravely to win them, have usually waited until the hostilities ended. In the name of all those who died at the sites of all the terrorist attacks, as well as those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to fight terrorism, we must ensure those memorials future by winning the war on terror.

   Every event from bin Laden's first bomb in 1992 through today has been part of one long coordinating al-Qaeda war. The coordinated attacks in 1998 should have been a clear warning signal that Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda were determined, willing and able to attack Americans.

   While Osama bin Laden had declared war on all Americans in 1998, the US didn't declare war on terror until September 12, 2001.

   The opportunity to stop bin Laden before 9/11 came and went. The lessons of history assure us that left unchecked the forces of evil will grow stronger and will seek to harm us again. Today's discussion is about a simple choice; do we fight terrorism tomorrow or do we stop it with our actions today?

   Mr. STEARNS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H. Res. 861 and believe many of my colleagues on the other side of the isle have said that the war in Iraq has nothing to do with the Global War on Terrorism. I could not disagree more with their assessment. Iraq is the central front in the overall Global War on Terrorism. An immediate withdrawal would merely embolden our terrorist enemies and lead to open season on America and our allies. We cannot allow this to happen. We must prevail in Iraq. The stakes are too high to fail.

   Coalition forces are having a great deal of success in Iraq. The recent killing of terrorist leader Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi, along with seven of his aides, is a serious blow to al-Qaeda's operation. The man Osama bin Laden called ``the prince of al Qaeda in Iraq'' arguably had more innocent blood on his hands in the last few years than any other terrorist. Zarqawi led one of the most deadly insurgent groups in Iraq in a bloody campaign of bombings, shootings, beheadings, and kidnappings aimed at killing Iraqi Shi'as to incite sectarian violence and derail democracy in Iraq.

   Furthermore, after receiving confirmation of Zarqawi's death, Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces conducted 17 simultaneous raids in the Baghdad area, yielding a treasure trove of information and intelligence that is being analyzed for future use.

   Iraq's National Security Adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie said today that these documents and computer records would give the Iraqi government the upper hand in its fight against al-Qaeda in Iraq.

   ``We believe that this is the beginning of the end of al-Qaeda in Iraq,'' al-Rubaie said, adding that the documents showed al-Qaeda is in ``pretty bad shape,'' politically and in terms of training, weapons and media.

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   ``Now we have the upper hand,'' he said. ``We feel that we know their locations, the names of their leaders, their whereabouts, their movements, through the documents we found during the last few days.''

   He also said that he believed the security situation in the country would improve enough to allow a large number of U.S.-led forces to leave Iraq by the end of this year, and a majority to depart by the end of next year. ``And maybe the last soldier will leave Iraq by mid-2008,'' he said.

   Throughout American history, we have been tested in times of war. But virtually every time, we stayed the course and prevailed.

   We did not experience quick victory in the American Revolution. In fact, it took our Founding Fathers years to win our hard-fought independence. We were defeated at the Battles of Long Island, Harlem Heights, White Plains and others, and we will never forget the dark days at Valley Forge, yet we did not give up our desire for freedom.

   And let's not forget in World War II, where we suffered rapid and repeated defeats at Guam, Wake Island, the Philippines and Kasserine Pass.

   We must also remember that the terrorists were at war with us long before we were at war with them. In April 1983, 63 people, including the CIA's Middle East director, were killed in a suicide truck-bomb attack on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. Later on that year, simultaneous suicide truck-bomb attacks on the American

   and French compounds in Beirut killed 242 Americans and 58 French. In 1988, all 259 people on board Pan Am Flight 103 were killed when a bomb believed to have been placed on the aircraft by Libyan terrorists exploded. These are just a few examples. Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker there are others.

   Noted Islamic scholar Bernard Lewis has written that the sources of Islamic antagonism toward the West stems from the belief that the American way of life is a direct threat to Islamic values. But it is basic Western democracy that especially threatens Islamic extremist because within its own community more and more Muslims are coming to value the freedom that political democracy allows. Lewis has also written that attitudes toward the West have evolved through contacts with first the Eastern Empire in Constantinople, then Spain, Portugal and France, and through years of direct conflict in the Crusades and the colonial wars of the 19th and 20th centuries. As we can see, the War on Terrorism did not begin on September 11, 2001

   The Global War on Terrorism will not be won next week, next year, or even in the next 10 years. Like the Cold War, this struggle is a generational conflict, potentially spanning decades. The Cold War stretched from Asia to Africa to the very heart of Europe, just as our struggle today reaches from the Philippines to the mountains of Afghanistan to, as we recently saw, our neighbor Canada. Terrorism knows no bounds and will strike wherever freedom reigns, from London to Madrid, to a quiet field in Pennsylvania.

   Victory cannot be found on a single battlefield or a single treaty signing. Our enemy does wear a uniform and is not governed by international rules of war. They have one goal: kill as many Americans as possible and establish tyrannical regimes that rule according to a violent and intolerant distortion of Islam.

   The War on Terror will be a long war. Yet we have mobilized to win other long wars, and we can and will win this one.

   Last year, I traveled to Iraq and everybody I met was enthusiastic about doing their job and helping the Iraqi people. We found our troops have high morale and a commitment to their mission. The troops told us that we are winning the war.

   Because of our intervention, a murderous dictator and a totalitarian regime have been overthrown, free elections have been held, a new constitution has been drafted and ratified, and a new national unity government has been completed.

   Mr. Speaker, Iraq is only one theater in the overall Global War on Terror and success in Iraq is vital to victory. Much has been accomplished but much is left to be done. The question for all of us here is do we have the will to stay the course and leave with honor I believe we do. We must finish the job. The stakes are too high to fail.

   Mr. NUSSLE. Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to have this debate. I first of all want to say how proud I am of our brave soldiers deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other regions of the world. Throughout our history, our freedom and our way of life have been preserved by the grave sacrifices made by the men and women of our military. We cannot thank them enough for their service.

   I want to specifically thank the many Reserve and National Guard units from my home state of Iowa serving overseas. Throughout the War on Terror, Iowa has had one of the highest overseas deployment rates of any state.

   Recently, I had the opportunity to welcome back a battalion of Marine reservists from Waterloo, Iowa, in my district. I was very impressed by the brave soldiers of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 14th Marines who risked their lives conducting vital security operations throughout the Al Anbar province of Iraq in the dangerous areas of Ramadi, Al Asad and Falluja. They left their families and loved ones behind to serve a cause greater than themselves--the cause of freedom.

   Mr. Speaker, our mission in Iraq is a vital part of the Global War on Terror. Removing Saddam Hussein from power was a difficult but necessary step to eliminate the threat that his regime had posed for so long to the United States and the international community.

   We should take this opportunity to reflect on our many accomplishments in Iraq over the past three years.

   Saddam Hussein's reign of terror is over, his sons have been killed, and just last week we learned the good news that the leader of the Iraqi insurgency, the brutal terrorist Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, has been eliminated.

   The Iraqi people have taken historic strides towards establishing a free and stable democracy. They have participated in free elections for the first time, drafted a new constitution, and newly elected Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Miliki just announced the formation of his cabinet. In addition, the Iraqi security forces continue to increase in number and have taken a larger role in the defense their country.

   Mr. Speaker, at this time it is necessary to stay the course and follow the path to a lasting peace in Iraq. We will continue to provide for our troops and ensure that they have the best training, equipment, and technology available. And we must not waver in our commitment to win the Global War on Terror and protect our homeland from brutal terrorists who wish to attack our homeland and our very way of life.

   Mr. SIMPSON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of our continued mission in Iraq as part of the Global War on Terror.

   I am proud to say that throughout the Global War on Terror, thousands of Idahoans have fought valiantly side-by-side with their fellow countrymen and newly freed citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan. During a visit to Iraq in May 2005, I had the opportunity to visit with the brave men and women of the 116th Cavalry Brigade. I was amazed at their level of professionalism and their enthusiasm for the mission. They took great pride in their contributions and were fully committed to finishing the job. I have been similarly impressed by our nation's military as a whole.

   When I consider what action should be taken in Iraq I look to the advice of the experts, those who are on the ground fighting the war. The message I continually hear from our soldiers and generals is: Finish the job, complete the mission.

   I know there have been many calls in the United States lately to withdraw our troops from Iraq or set some kind of artificial deadline for withdrawal. Mr. Speaker, I strongly disagree with this defeatist attitude. In fact, a premature withdrawal from Iraq would be disastrous for America.

   In an interview with Osama bin Laden just prior to the 1998 terrorist attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, bin Laden referred to the United States as a ``paper tiger'' because of our withdrawal from Somalia after the tragic loss of 18 U.S. soldiers. Al-Qaeda learned from this, and similar events, that the United States would retreat rather than fight. During the War on Terror, Al-Qaeda has counted on Americans to similarly become demoralized and once again withdraw from the fight. It is the cornerstone of their strategy.

   If we lose heart and withdraw from Iraq before the mission is complete, Iraq will become a permanent breeding ground of hate and terror instead of the stable mid-east democracy it is becoming. Our enemies will become further emboldened by their perceived victory. A premature withdrawal from Iraq would only strengthen their resolve to use cowardly and barbarous terrorist attacks to achieve their ends. An artificial timeline for a withdrawal would only have similar results. The enemy need only sit back, wait, and then step forward to declare victory once U.S. forces have left. As a consequence, Americans and democratic societies throughout the world will be in greater danger than ever before.

   We simply cannot afford to back down, return home, and hope this threat will dissipate on its own. The terrorists must be confronted and must be defeated. We cannot pass this mission on to another generation. This is our job and the time is now. By stepping up and completing this mission we will give the gift of greater peace and stability to future generations.

   I can understand why so many want to cut and run, it would be the easy thing to do. I do not hesitate to say that the mission in Iraq is a difficult one and it has been costly. The price for freedom is all too often painfully high. I, for one, do not ever want to receive another notice that a fellow Idahoan, or any American,

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has fallen or been wounded in this war. However, quitting now would only prolong bloodshed in the long run, not end it.

   Once again Mr. Speaker, I support America's efforts to complete the mission in Iraq, and I call on my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to commit to its completion. At such a perilous time in our nation's history let us stand united.

   Mr. LATOURETTE. Mr. Speaker, I very much appreciate the leadership allowing this important discussion on the war in Iraq and the ongoing global war on terror.

   We can all regret the faulty intelligence that overestimated the presence of WMDs. We can focus on the need to press the new Iraqi government to meet speedy and attainable goals for the responsibility for their own security. But, we should never underestimate what's at stake in Iraq for their people or ours.

   Nor should we ever permit the use of propaganda or terrorist barbarism to signal to the brave men and women serving this Nation in uniform that the resolve of our country is wavering.

   There are many thoughts that I could lay upon the record of this body about the war on terrorism, but sometimes it's better to shut up and listen to the voices of those who know much more than you or I. One of the casualties of war in my district was a great Marine--Lance Cpl. Andy ``Ace'' Nowacki. Andy, 24, was a member of the Grand River Police Department and was killed by an lED in Iraq on February 26, 2005. His family, though filled with grief, determined that Andy's spirit would live on in many ways. One way will come through the establishment of a scholarship fund at Lakeland Community College.

   On March 31st of this year, friends, comrades and family gathered to honor Andy's memory and raise funds for the scholarship. One of the people to speak that evening was Lt. Col. Mark A. Smith, the former battalion commander of Andy's unit--the 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines. Lt. Col. Smith's remarks, which I ask through unanimous consent to appear in the Record immediately following my own, centered on the question of ``Why.'' He stated in part: ``..... think the part that's most lost in public discourse in the ongoing global war on terror is really the ``Why.'' We all know how Andy died ..... I'd like to spend a few minutes talking about why Andy died.''

   Mr. Speaker, Lt. Col. Mark A. Smith, with the eloquence of a soldier, said it better than I could ever hope to, and I commend his words to the House:

   I got a call last Saturday when I was on duty from Sheila Nowacki, Andy's mom. And she told me a part of the ceremony was going to be a pretty moving video, and she had a slight task for me. She asked me if I'd speak for a few minutes after the video, and to be positive.

   Now, as the commanding officer of 2/24th, I don't get the option of saying no to the families of my KIAs for whom I was responsible, but in Sheila's and Dennis's case, I was honored that they even asked me to, so I immediately rogered up to the mission. So, here we go.

   The only way I know to be positive in talking about Andy is to talk about--from my perspective and from the Marines' perspective in this room who shared time with him in combat--why Andy died. Because I think that the thing that's most lost in public discourse about the ongoing global war on terror is really the ``Why.'' We all know how Andy died. Unfortunately, he was struck by an improvised explosive device while on an ASR in our zone. I'd like to spend just a few minutes talking about why Andy died.

   Andy died because he was out engaging the enemy. The single most misunderstood aspect of this war is the enemy. And a professional war-fighter focuses on one thing and one thing only--the enemy. He doesn't focus on time-lines, he doesn't focus on how fast he can stand up Iraqi battalions. He focuses on the enemy, and there's a particular reason why we need to focus on this enemy. Because this enemy is real, this enemy is vile, this enemy is evil. And this enemy has a 100-year plan to destroy the United States of America--a one hundred year plan. We think in terms of the next football season and they're thinking in terms of 100 years from now and how they're going to destroy this Nation.

   Can this enemy win this war against us? Unfortunately, I'm here to tell you absolutely he can. He can if he continues to focus on two things which he focuses on every day. The first thing this enemy focuses on is breaking the will of the American people. He does that through videos, he does that through propaganda, and he does that through information. The second way he can win this war is to continue to recruit future generations of jihadists. It's for these reasons, and because of this enemy, that Andy was in Iraq. And while so many still fail to get it, the enemy doesn't. The enemy understands Iraq is the focus of effort, because he understands that as long as Marines and warriors like Andy are in Iraq that the will of the American people is foremost and in his face. He also understands that that is a will that can and does, at every opportunity of battle, destroy this enemy. And then the second thing is what us being there does to this enemy. Contrary to some popular opinion, is it does not create jihadists by us being there. Quite frankly, we deprive them of the next generation of jihadists because no one is more helped and/or more impressed with the Gentle Giants of America than the kids of the Arab world. If you'll just let me tell you two very quick stories, I'll explain why that is.

   One day we were going out to conduct a raid to arrest the Sgt. Major and the operations officer of the Iraqi Army battalion that we were training. Upon moving into our cordoned positions in the raid force--hitting the objective and seizing the Sgt. Major of the Iraqi Army battalion--his very children, the children of the Sgt. Major that we had in flex cuffs and blindfolded, were running around their front yard acting as if they were holding weapons and shooting at the Marines. One of the Marines went up to them, and he took the interpreter with him, and he said, ``Ask these kids what they're doing.'' And the interpreter asked them, and the kids said, in English, ``Mistah, we play U.S. Marines, Mistah. We U.S. Marines.''

   I don't think those kids are going to grow up to be jihadists. I think those kids are going to grow up to be the honorable people that they saw the U.S. Marines in their zone to be. Further proof of that was mentioned by your emcee tonight when she showed you that picture of Andy and those two Iraqi kids. They say a picture tells a thousand stories ..... that's not a staged picture. That is honest respect for an American Marine, who in this case was Andy Nowacki. And there are thousands of them out there affecting those Iraqi kids every day.

   The second story I want to tell you about is the election--the very first Iraqi election that

   occurred in our zone. In order to truly understand it, you have to back up to December of 2004. The election was scheduled for 31 January of 2005. Exactly two weeks before the election was to be held, the Iraqi government said there was no way an election would be held in our zone because in that point in time there were two triangles that were famous in Iraq. One was the Sunni Triangle and one was the Triangle of Death. The Triangle of Death was our zone and it was so named because for four months at that time, on a daily basis, we had gone forward, we had seized terrain, we had lived the misery of the Iraqi people. We had become their neighbors and, in so doing, we had slung steel and harsh language with this enemy on a daily basis, and they did not like that. They did not like the fact that these Marines were forward--living and earning the respect of the Iraqi people. But we were able to convince the Iraqi government that as a result of the efforts of Marines like Andy, the Iraqi people would come out and vote. We couldn't guarantee them that it wouldn't be violent, but we guaranteed them they would come out and vote.

   Now I ask you to picture, in two weeks, having to put together eight polling places. That meant that we had to tactically go out 48 hours prior and we had to seize the locations. We had to set up all the force protection that would allow the Marines to protect the Iraqis from what we knew would be constant and sure attacks on election day. And then most importantly, we had to transport 500 workers from the city of Baghdad to down to our Battalion FOB, house them for two days, and then move them safely to those eight polling sites. You can rest assured that was one big, juicy target that the terrorist wanted to hit. We were able to accomplish all that, but the most telling time in all of that is where we housed these 500 election workers was in our battalion chow hall. My battalion major ..... had a section of our chow hall that was dedicated to our fallen Marines. At that time, there were 12 of them. He had their pictures, and we had an American and a Marine Corps flag. Now for those of you who've never been to Iraq, who've never spent time with the Iraqi people, when you get two of them together, the noise level, the amount of smoking and the amount of drinking that goes on is pretty mind-numbing. When you put 500 of them in a facility, it borders on chaos. Now we accepted that that was going to have to be the cost--that our chow hall was probably going to get pretty torn up. And it did, except for one spot.

   Any time any of those Iraqi election workers got anywhere near the Sgt. Major's memorial, absolute, utter respectful, solemn silence. They respected the Marines and what they were doing for them, and that was a sight that I will take with me to my grave, and that makes me challenge those who say we're creating jihadists. I argue we are doing just the opposite. On that very election day, the mortars flew, the mortars flew intently. All eight of our sites started getting mortared and rocketed about 30 minutes before the polls were supposed to open. I was sitting in my COC thinking, ``Well, there's the end of my career. I just convinced the whole world that we could

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have an election and they're blowing us up before they've even started.'' But an amazing thing happened. In spite of all the mortars, in spite of all those rockets, in spite of the Marines providing security, telling the Iraqi people to seek cover, they refused, and in broken English constantly reminded the Marines, ``You will protect us. You have brought us democracy. And we will vote.''

   To conclude, one story from south of our zone where one young man pushed his 70-year-old father four miles under enemy fire in a shopping cart. When asked by the Marines, ``What on God's green earth did he think he was doing?'' He said: ``My father has but one wish before he dies, to show you the respect of voting as a free man.''

   One hundred years. That's the enemy's plan. He is prepared. Are we? As long as we have warriors, gentle warriors like Andy, the unbelievable support of parents like Dennis and Sheila who do things like this despite having sacrificed what they have sacrificed, and the support of Americans like you, we cannot lose. Sheila asked me to be positive. I don't know how I can be anything but. If it weren't for warriors like Andy and the other ones you see in this room here tonight, we would not be able to gather tonight to laugh, to cry and to celebrate.

   Sheila asked me to be positive, I don't know how to be anything else. I know now something I didn't know a few years ago: Being positive does not make the world the way you wish it would be, it's accepting the world the way it is and going out and doing what you can do to change it. I used to tell my young daughters when they'd see something on TV or read a fairy tale, I used to tell them there's no such thing as dragons. I don't tell them that anymore. There are dragons. There are fire-breathing, evil dragons that inhabit this world. But I tell them don't be afraid, because for every dragon that is out there, there are 10 knights in shining armor that will go forth and suffer great hardship to protect you. And I've seen them, and I've worked with them and they're called United States Marines. So be positive. I will be positive, Sheila, and I will be thankful and humbled that you asked me to speak tonight. And I will forever thank God Almighty for Andy and all the warriors like Andy, and your amazing family, and this blessed land.

   Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to talk about Iraq, a failure built on the lies of this Administration.

   I am opposed to H. Res. 861, because contrary to what it states in this resolution, I believe that it is in the best interest of the United States to bring our troops home now.

   I voted against our involvement in Iraq, and I have opposed funding the conflict. For years, I have been calling for the return of our soldiers. This war has been a mistake, and our continued participation will not change this basic fact.

   I have the utmost respect for our former Secretary of State Colin Powell. He was a truly outstanding Secretary of State: However, I will never forget how this great American was sent to the United Nations to sell a fabrication and to convince the world that this was a just endeavor with what we all now know was deliberately falsified evidence. This was just one part of a continuous effort to deceive the American public into believing that a conflict, that even many in our military had misgivings about, was the right thing for our nation to do.

   The image of our President standing on the aircraft carrier and proclaiming ``mission accomplished'' is one that I continue to associate with this failed effort. Since that fabricated public relations moment, both our nation and the nation of Iraq have suffered great personal loss.

   The American public no longer supports our involvement in Iraq, and we as their representatives, must respect their wishes and bring our troops home.

   I am saddened and heartbroken when I think about how many brave young men and women have died in this conflict that was never in our nation's interest. Many of these courageous young soldiers who have lost'' their lives came from the Bronx, from my own community, and so it is partly on their behalf that I believe I am now speaking. Too many American soldiers have died, too many innocent Iraqi civilians have suffered and lost their lives, and too many reporters have been killed--all as a result of this failed policy.

   As I thought about what I wanted to say on the floor today, I went back to the remarks that I spoke on this floor on October 9, 2002, when this House was voting on the authorization for the use of military force against Iraq. At that time I certainly couldn't anticipate what the conditions would be now in June of 2006. However, I said at the time, ``When we engage as a nation in a unilateral military action against an Arab Nation, an action that our allies are cautioning against, how will the United States be viewed in the Arab world? Perhaps the result will be an increase in Al Qaeda 's membership and a renewed hatred toward Americans.'' I think that this has come true and that our image as a nation has certainly been tarnished as a result of this conflict. I regret that--because I know that we live in a nation that does not want to be seen as an enemy by those who live in Arab nations.

   What has also come true is that Al Qaeda continues to flourish and to find new recruits as a direct result of our nation's actions in Iraq. Although Al Qaeda had at most a negligible presence in Iraq before this conflict, it is now a well established force there. For every terrorist that our nation works so hard to capture, another one is motivated to join out of hate for our nation's involvement in Iraq.

   This conflict has resulted in worldwide images that I doubt our nation can ever overcome. The pictures associated with the Abu Ghraib prison scandal are firmly etched on the minds of our next generation of youth around the world. Although soldiers of low rank were prosecuted for these atrocities, our leaders at the top never took responsibility.

   Now an investigation is being conducted into our activities at Haditha, where it seems as though innocent civilians died. These actions are all a direct result of a failed policy and have come at great cost to our image in the world. No longer do nations look at us as the ultimate protector of human rights.

   As everyone here knows, I am a part of the city that was a target on September 11th. When this Congress was debating the resolution on the use of force against Iraq, I did not believe at the time that in attacking Iraq our country was taking the right course, and I didn't know what words to use that would change the step towards war that our nation seemed so determined to take. I was filled with emotion and I ended my speech that night by saying, ``I cannot agree with the course that our great nation is embarking on, one that brings the threat of war closer and the goal of peace further away.''

   So now once again we in Congress are debating this war. However, now we have the perspective of time and we can look at all that happened in Iraq, the suffering and the failures, as an unfortunate part of our nation's history. As I once again struggle to find the words that can bring this conflict to an end--I am again filled with emotion. Let us bring our brave American soldiers home now and let us once again embrace the goal of peace.

   Mr. WU. Mr. Speaker, we are fighting a war on terror, a war we did not start or choose. But to use that war as either justification for a war in Iraq, or a reason for staying, is wrong.

   A lesson I've learned in life is you finish what you start. This Administration took us off-track from the war on terror and chose the war in Iraq. The torch of the war on terror should, and shall be, passed to future generations, but the war in Iraq was started by this Administration and should be finished by this Administration.

   This Administration decided to launch the Iraq war based on, at best, shaky intelligence. Until that time, this country had historically set a high threshold in its decisions to go to war. We have done so because outcomes are sometimes uncertain, and the cost in human lives is frequently high.

   We who question this Administration's decisions have faced the charge that to be candid about this war would upset military morale or even be unpatriotic. Now is the time for this President to be honest and forthright with the American people about its ill-conceived war. In candor, the Administration should say to the American people that no matter what course we choose now, the future in Iraq will be bloody and costly.

   That is why democracies enter war as a last resort, with solid evidence and a united nation.

   I have listened to our generals about their view of the future. General Casey has personally said to me that he needs until the summer of 2007 to fully train Iraqi forces. I am willing to allow General Casey the time to complete this task, but we should begin an immediate redeployment of troops.

   General Casey's projection might place Iraq on a course to embrace a self-governing democracy. However, the single most important action the newly elected Iraqi government can take to give that government legitimacy, is to ask Americans to leave and have Iraqis fight for Iraqis rather than have Americans fight for Iraqis.

   Seldom mentioned these days is our original mission in Afghanistan, the frontline of the real war on terror. We still have time for a complete success, but unfortunately we now do not have adequate resources in Afghanistan. In order to win, the immediate redeployment of troops from Iraq must include sending some troops to Afghanistan as well as bringing some directly home from Iraq. It is time to return our attention and resources to hunting down Osama Bin Laden and ensuring Afghanistan does not again become a breeding ground for terrorism.

   A little over sixty years ago, we fought a great war after Pearl Harbor. By this Thanksgiving, the Iraq war will have lasted longer than World War II. 4 long years ago many in

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this Chamber voted to go to war in Iraq. How many would do so today, knowing they are committing us to a war longer than World War II?

   Let us commit to a final push for an end to the bloodshed and violence in Iraq. Let us return to our original mission to fight the global war on terror that this Administration sidelined in Iraq.

   I support our troops in Iraq. I support them all the way home--soon.

   Mr. HIGGINS. Mr. Speaker, while the war in Iraq has been grossly mismanaged, the United States has a moral obligation to the 2,500 American military men and women who have given their lives in the fight for freedom to allow the newly established government to develop, stabilize, and to provide for that nation's people.

   Perhaps the current Administration does not want to openly discuss Iraq policy because they feel it is a black and white issue, either we stay the course or we withdraw our troops. I disagree; I believe that the war in Iraq is anything but black and white. Immediate troop withdrawal would result in an Iraq so destabilized that our homeland security would be more threatened than before the war even began. Staying the course would be equally senseless, as the course we are currently on has done nothing to stabilize Iraq, nor has it quelled the raging insurgency.

   We recently passed the third anniversary of the date when President Bush declared ``mission accomplished'' regarding Iraq. What we have really accomplished in Iraq is yet to be seen, what is clear is that we need to change our course. We must set a new path towards a unified Iraq with a realistic exit strategy for our troops. We must disarm militias. We must help the new government provide electric power and economic and social services. We must convey to the Iraqis how important it is to the United States that they come together politically and make necessary amendments to their Constitution to achieve functional unity, we must make them see that whether or not a peaceful, democratic Iraq can succeed is ultimately in their hands. If we allow the Iraqis to think that we will be in Iraq indefinitely, there is no incentive for them to make the compromises necessary to unite their country under one stable government.

   The outcome in Iraq will have a major impact both in the region and on our security here at home for decades to come. We cannot move forward in Iraq without a full debate about the war here at home, without an end to the level of secrecy that the administration and the Department of Defense have built up regarding the war, without an end to the corruption in contracting and profiteering, and without a real plan from the President that sets specific goals, achieves them, and then provides our troops a way out, an exit strategy.

   I intend to support the resolution on the House floor today because I agree that we cannot simply pull out and leave Iraq; to do so would make that region less stable, less peaceful, and more of a threat to U.S. security. We must prevail in the War on Terror; but let me be clear, I do not support staying the course in Iraq.

   I will continue to push the Administration and the military to develop a clear plan for Iraq, based on the creation of a national unity government, that will require the new government to live up to its commitments, transfer responsibility for Iraq to Iraqis, and that will bring our troops home as soon as possible.

   Mr. PORTER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the brave men and women of our Armed Forces for their service and dedication to winning the Global War on Terror.

   On September 11, 2001 a group of 19 hijackers commandeered 4 commercial aircraft and crashed them into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., with the intent on destroying our economy and way of life. Over 3,052 innocent men, women, and children lost their lives in this unprecedented attack. Sadly, the events that transpired on September 11th were the result of years of training and preparation by an enemy that does not value human life, liberty, equality, or religious freedom.

   Our great Nation lost 473 American lives both civilian and military to the hands of terrorist from 1983 to 2001 for a total of 3,525 victims. With each passing decade our enemies have become more sophisticated and desperate to accomplish their aims of a global jihad. Individuals such as, Osama bin Laden, the founder of al Qaeda, have declared war on the Untied States and created worldwide networks of hate to accomplish their aims.

   On several occasions, bin Laden has explained, that it should be every jihadists mission to obtain nuclear weapons and use them against the United States and its allies. The last 26 years have taught us that we must remain diligent and take every opportunity possible to find and destroy these ruthless killers wherever they reside. In order to accomplish this mission, the brave men and women of America's Armed Forces have answered the call with honor and an intense dedication to the mission of preserving our way of life.

   One of our most important responsibilities as members of Congress is to make sure our troops have every resource they need while advancing democracy overseas. By visiting these heroes where they serve, we're able to get a much better understanding of what we can do to make their jobs as safe as possible. With this in mind, I decided to lead a Congressional delegation to the Middle East that traveled to Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Germany.

   The leaders of these nations understood the importance of ensuring that we remain vigilant in fighting the Global War on Terror and expressed confidence in the abilities of the coalition forces. In Iraq, Kuwait, and Germany I had the special privilege of visiting with members of our Armed Forces and I found their moral to be high and their dedication to the cause unyielding. Soldiers like Sgt. Mark Gregory, Thomas W.. Rigaey, 1st Lt. Marathana Loddy, Lt. Mike Schilling and Staff Sgt. Leonard Campbe1.Vall from my home state of Nevada expressed their determination to see the mission through and understood that it will take time to achieve.

   Since toppling Saddam Hussein's ruthless government, the people of Iraq have created a 275 member parliament, confirmed the selection of the top seven posts for a national unity government, and laid a foundation for democracy. Now more than ever we must stay the course and support our Iraqi friends as they continue to strengthen the infrastructure of their government.

   Last week on June 7, 2006 Coalition forces killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his top lieutenant and spiritual advisor Sheik Abd aI-Rahman. Zarqawi was the operational commander of the terrorist movement in Iraq and was personally responsible for the deaths of many American forces and thousands of innocent Iraqis. The killing of Zarqawi is a testament to the notion that we must stay the course and remain committed to the mission and the Iraqi people.

   Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride and heartfelt gratitude that I salute the men and women of our Armed Forces and thank them for their service and dedication to our great nation.

   Mr. CLAY. Mr. Speaker, as a member of the out of Iraq Caucus I rise in opposition to this resolution. We would not even be debating this bill if the American people were not disillusioned by this war and did not want to bring our troops home.

   I was among those who opposed the tragic decision to launch this war. I warned that the invasion and occupation of Iraq would plunge us into a bloody quagmire of violence that would only intensify the instability in the Middle East and leave this nation less secure and less able to protect our own national interests.

   The sad truth is that all the grimmest predictions have now come true and today--

   The Taliban are mounting a major comeback in Afghanistan;

   Iran is on the verge of producing a nuclear weapon;

   Somalia is dominated by an al Queda-inspired militia;

   And, here at home, our Nation is at risk. The fundamental recommendations of the 911 Commission are still waiting.

   Those who still support the Iraq war often claim it has made this Nation a safer place. That it has kept away the terrorists and stopped another 911 tragedy. Unfortunately, such wishful thinking is only a way to justify the horrendous human suffering that we have caused by our misguided mission, an effort to justify a war that was never properly planned and executed and that has wounded thousands and cost the lives of two thousand five hundred American soldiers.

   The toll of this war is still climbing and throughout the world terrorism is on the rise.

   The administration talks a lot about National security but those in Congress knows the war in Iraq has not made America a safer nation.

   We are appropriating millions and millions of dollars, at a time of skyrocketing Federal deficits, to fortify security in the U.S. Capitol Complex and at all other Federal facilities across this Nation. If Members of Congress believed this Nation is safer than it was before we captured Saddam Hussein, then why would we allow a single lost airplane to trigger the evacuation of the U.S. Capitol? Why does a single suspicious noise cause the lock down of the house office buildings? And just yesterday, why did the leadership of Congress upgrade our supplies of escape hoods?

   No one in the leadership of Congress is behaving like we have diminished the terrorist threat. We know the war has made U.S. more vulnerable to terrorism.

   Our National security is still in danger. Democracy is not flourishing in the Middle East. It is time to bring our troops home and to devote our resources to our own national security.

   I commend my courageous colleague, Mr. MURTHA who has displayed tremendous patriotism on the battlefield, and in this chamber.

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I support his call to implement a strategic redeployment from Iraq and implore the Members of this body to have the good sense to listen to the people of this Nation and to support the call to redeploy our U.S. troops in Iraq.

   Mr. BACA. Mr. Speaker, today I rise to express my concerns over the Bush administration's mismanagement of the war in Iraq.

   First and foremost, I am disappointed that the President still refuses to put forward a strategy for a successful transition in Iraq and a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops.

   Almost 2,500 of America's military personnel have lost their lives in this conflict, and thousands more of our troops have been injured and disabled. Among the most recent casualties was a young man from my district and hometown of Rialto, California. U.S. Army Spc. Luis Daniel Santos was just 20 years old and due to come home to his loving family--his parents Irma and Carlos and siblings Carlos Jr., Amy and Eric--next week. Luis was engaged to his sweetheart from Fontana High School and was looking forward to a family barbeque his mother was preparing for him. Tragically, he was killed one week ago in a roadside bombing while maneuvering his Humvee in combat.

   I offer my condolences to the Santos family and join in mourning the death of this patriotic young man.

   Military families especially, and Americans generally, understand the sacrifice that service entails and the dangers involved. And we are united in supporting our troops and honoring their sacrifice.

   However, the American public has lost confidence in President Bush's leadership. The President has chosen to risk the lives of our Armed Forces without providing a coherent exit strategy, a realistic timetable, or the equipment required to complete the mission.

   The American people want--and our military forces deserve--a clear plan for completing the Iraq transition and bringing our troops home!

   As if the loss of life weren't overwhelming enough, the war in Iraq has cost American taxpayers more than 300 billion dollars. Americans have other needs and priorities, and 300 billion dollars could help solve some of the challenges we have here at home. That same money could have paid for 5 million additional teachers in our schools, or 14 million four-year college scholarships, or 2.5 million new affordable housing units across the country. Think about how much money that is and how much of a difference it could have made for working families like those I represent in San Bernardino County, California.

   So I reiterate my call for the Bush administration to plan for an orderly withdrawal of American forces in Iraq. We must begin to transfer security responsibilities to the Iraqi people and allow the international community to step in and help.

   Our brave men and women in the Armed Forces have sacrificed enough. They have completed their mission and accomplished what was needed. Their families have waited for them long enough. Now it is time to bring our troops home.

   Mr. Speaker, American forces are at great risk as they remain in Iraq without a clear objective. Their mission was to be a liberating force, not an occupation force. We cannot allow our troops to become targets of resentment and terrorism while the administration tries to figure out a plan.

   American forces in Iraq have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Their heroism and compassion in the most trying of circumstances require us to act in their best interest. Despite inadequate equipment, despite shifting priorities, despite sweltering heat, our military has delivered time and again. The recent success in removing the threat posed by terrorist al-Zarqawi is a testament to their tenacity and grit in the field.

   But the President must not take their commitment for granted and cannot expect them to serve indefinitely. Military forces in Iraq already are serving longer and longer deployments and a high percentage of returning troops are falling prey to mental health disorders and financial difficulty. We need a real solution, Mr. Speaker.

   I stand with my Democratic colleagues in asking the President to provide a real solution for peace and security in Iraq and ask my colleagues in Congress to recommit themselves to providing adequate funding for our Armed Forces, both at home and abroad, and our veterans.

   Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of House Resolution 861. Today's debate is about more than just the nations of Iraq and Afghanistan, this debate is about freedom and democracy worldwide and the fight against terror and injustice. Our great nation is doing what we have always done--fighting for the values we hold dear and helping to spread those values to other nations. We also have a choice to make; do we want to fight the terrorists in the streets of America or in Iraq and Afghanistan where al-Qaida has claimed as its battle ground to kill Americans?

   The Global War on Terror hits home for me because I have the distinct privilege of representing the brave men and women stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. These courageous Americans have been leading the way in the Global War on Terror since September 11, 2001. In Afghanistan, these soldiers liberated the country from the oppressive Taliban regime. They helped stabilize the country and their efforts as well as those of other units laid the foundation for the democratic elections of Afghanistan's president, parliament, and provincial councils.

   In Iraq, the 101st was deployed before the war began in 2003 and were instrumental in the success of dismantling the regime of the criminal dictator Saddam Hussein. They were also responsible for the location and death of Saddam's two sons. They liberated and rebuilt the town of Mosel, including the reconstruction of the city's infrastructure. The 101st is now on its second deployment to Iraq and is involved in the securing of the city of Ramadi where some of the most violent fighting in Iraq still exists. I have personally met with many of the soldiers that have been involved in this fight and they have my utmost admiration and respect. After meeting with the soldiers of Fort Campbell, I am convinced that they understand what they are fighting for in Iraq and are committed to the very end in order to preserve the democracy we have helped create and to ensure the safety of the Iraqi people.

   One of the largest newspapers in my state, the Louisville Courier-Journal recently published an article entitled ``Wounded soldiers refuse to leave Iraq.'' I'd like to share a couple of stories from that article about soldiers from Fort Campbell who are completely committed to their mission in the Global War on Terror:

 

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[From the Louisville Courier-Journal] S0634

   Specialist Steven