Sarah and Gwen: the Two-Headed Monster

This blog is about everything involving Lexington, KY or anything else we feel like yapping about.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Congressman Ben Chandler's Address to the House

As we debate this resolution on Iraq we are reminded of the uncertain world in which we live. While the 5-year anniversary of 9/11 has passed, the memories of that day are still with us-as are the actions of this Administration that have led us into this war.

Following 9/11 our country missed an important opportunity that will forever change our history. Instead of building coalitions and using that support to maximize our strength, we alienated the world. We lost sight of a simple truth— a respected America is a more secure America.

But this Administration insisted on going it alone in Iraq-they refused to let UN inspectors complete their work, and they launched an invasion without the support of the international community.

We are now faced with the lasting repercussions of that decision. And it appears the President still hasn’t learned from his mistakes. Once again, President Bush is going it alone with his call for 20,000 additional troops in Iraq. He does not have the support of the international community. And he has lost the support of many in the military, the Congress and most importantly the American people.

I fear, Mr. Speaker, the President is once again missing an important opportunity. He is missing his chance to send a strong message to the Iraqi people that we will no longer police their civil war-and that it is time for them to assume responsibility of their own country, so our troops can be removed from harms way.

In my judgment, this war is beyond the scope of our men and women in uniform. The situation in Iraq is in dire need of a diplomatic solution. We need to be ready to take down al-Qaeda training camps in the region; but we don’t need to be refereeing age old religion disputes. This is an untenable situation and unfair to our brave troops who have become targets for insurgents.

If we are going to support our troops in every way possible, it is vital that we not only support them with the supplies and armor they need; we must also ensure that they are being deployed in such a way that they have a realistic chance of success. And we must make certain that the funds we are sending to Iraq are going to our troops, not into the pockets of no-bid government contractors and war profiteers.

Mr. Speaker, I support this resolution because I support our men and women in uniform. All of us in this body believe in the spread of Democracy and freedom, but that grand responsibility can not solely rest on the shoulders of our troops. It must rest on the shoulders of free nations all across this world. And it must rest on the shared sacrifice of all the citizens of this country.

No doubt we have real enemies. They are the Islamist terrorists, and they must be opposed. These same enemies are shared by all free nations. We can win this struggle if we are smart, build our alliances properly, and don’t let pride get in the way.


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