Iraq--to fund or not to fund
October 22, 2003
("To fund" submitted by Dan Wadlington for House Majority Whip Roy Blunt)

WASHINGTON---House Majority Whip Roy Blunt praised House passage, October 17, of the president's supplemental request to fund the ongoing war on terror and called the vote "the beginning of the turning tide in Iraq."

"In the battle for freedom in Iraq, winning the war has proven easier than winning the peace. Today Congress provided a significant shift in momentum by sending the message to our soldiers -- help is on the way. And to our enemies -- the United States doesn't cut and run."

"The president asked Congress to not only provide our troops with weapons and ammunition, but the basic services for Iraqis that will also keep our troops alive."

"History teaches us the consequences of failed policy. The House did the right thing by rejecting efforts to hang a noose around the neck of a fledgling Iraqi government in the form of a multi-billion dollar loan."

"The United States is the greatest nation in the world, and with that status comes great responsibility. In a few short months, we brought freedom to a nation that only knew tyranny. For as long as it takes to finish the job, it is our responsibility to continue to deliver hope, not foster an environment for ongoing destruction and despair."

"The peace and security of Americans is worth the investment."


("Not to fund"--Senate floor remarks by Sen.Ted Kennedy)

Before the war, week after week after week after week, we were told lie after lie after lie after lie.

Nearly six months have elapsed since President Bush flew out to the aircraft carrier and declared "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq. Today, we all know all too well that the war is not over; the war goes on; the mission is not accomplished. An unnecessary war, based on unreliable and inaccurate intelligence, has not brought an end to danger. Instead, it has brought new dangers, imposed new costs, and taken more and more American lives each week.

We all agree that Saddam Hussein was a murderous tyrant, and his brutal regime was an affront to basic human decency. But Iraq was not a breeding ground for terrorism. Our invasion has made it one.

The trumped up reasons for going to war have collapsed. All the Administration's rationalizations as we prepared to go to war now stand revealed as "double-talk." The American people were told Saddam Hussein was building nuclear weapons. He was not. We were told he had stockpiles of other weapons of mass destruction. He did not. We were told he was involved in 9/11. He was not. We were told Iraq was attracting terrorists from Al Qaeda. It was not. We were told our soldiers would be viewed as liberators. They are not. We were told Iraq could pay for its own reconstruction. It cannot. We were told the war would make America safer. It has not.

Before the war, week after week after week after week, we were told lie after lie after lie after lie.

And now, despite the increasingly restless Iraqi population, despite the continuing talk of sabotage, despite the foreign terrorists crossing thousands of miles of border to attack U.S. servicemen and women in Iraq, the Administration still refuses to face the truth or tell the truth. Instead the White House responds by covering up its failures and trying to sell its rosy version of events by repeating it with maximum frequency and volume, and minimum regard for realities on the ground.

No P.R. campaign by the increasingly desperate White House can redress the painful of loss of a young American soldier almost every day. Instead of greater stability and order, the forces arrayed against us are steadily increasing the intensity and sophistication of their assaults on our troops. Bombs that were once set off by trip wires are now being set off by remote control. The threat of shoulder fired missiles makes it unsafe for civilian planes to land at Baghdad Airport.

No foreign policy in our free society can succeed for long unless it is supported by our people. Our men and women in uniform fought bravely and brilliantly, but the President's war has been revealed as mindless, needless, senseless, and reckless. The American people know all this. Our allies know it. Our soldiers know it.

We should never have gone to war in Iraq when we did, in the way we did, for the false reasons we were given. But now that we are there, two imperatives are absolutely clear: America cannot withdraw now, leaving Iraq to chaos or civil war, becoming a danger to us far greater than it did before. The misguided policy of the past is no excuse for a misguided policy for the future.

We need a realistic and specific plan to bring stability to Iraq, to bring genuine self-government to Iraq, to bring our soldiers home with dignity and honor.

Until the Administration genuinely changes course, I cannot in good conscience vote to fund a failed policy that endangers our troops in the field and our strategic objectives in the world instead of protecting them. The greatest mistake we can make in Congress as the people's elected representatives is to support and finance a go-it-alone, do-it-because-I-say-so policy that leaves young Americans increasingly at risk in Iraq.

So when the roll is called on this $87 billion legislation, which provides no effective conditions for genuine international participation and a clear change in policy in Iraq, I intend to vote no. A no vote is not a vote against supporting our troops. It is a vote to send the Administration back to the drawing board. It is a vote for a new policy – a policy worthy of the sacrifice our soldiers are making, a policy that restores America as a respected member of the family of nations, a policy that will make it easier, not far more difficult, to win the war against terrorism.....

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 ThreadAuthorViewsRepliesLast Post Date

How correct is Blunt?gwen115402003-10-22 20:33:32