Today, Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (MA-09) declared his support for the
Madam Speaker, I rise in support of H. Con. Res. 63 which opposes the President's plan to escalate the war in
I do so because I am in agreement with Generals Casey and Abizaid who have said that what is needed in
I've had a chance to travel to Iraq 5 times now, and based on my observations in places like Fallujah and Tikrit and Al Qaim out on the Syrian border, I firmly believe it is the Iraqi people who must ultimately decide whether they are more committed to building a better life for their children through democracy or whether they are more committed to an all-or-nothing sectarian conflict between Sunni and Sh'ia.
Madam Speaker, I believe that packing more troops into the narrow streets of
Madam Speaker, as our daily briefings indicate, the dominant conflict on the ground is no longer coalition forces against al Qaeda and supporters of the Baathist regime.
As the daily body counts of tortured and executed Iraqis indicate, the prevailing conflict on the streets of
In fact, a December hearing that I attended was entitled, "
Basically, as this hearing pointed out, the central mission that we have given our troops is to reconcile the differences between Sunni and Sh'ia in
Well, just to be clear on this, the Sunni and the Sh'ia have been in frequent conflict since the year 632 AD, after the death of the prophet Muhammad.
What we're trying to do, in essence, is to convince the Iraqis to stop killing each other.
We have asked our brave sons and daughters to take up a police action, or essentially a civil affairs action, not a combat mission, going door to door in
Yes, the mission in
I have to wonder how many votes would the President and Vice President have gotten initially if they had said, we want to send our daughters and our sons in uniform to reconcile the differences between the Sunni and the Sh'ia who have been fighting for 1375 years? And we need to go door to door in
Not many I think.
But that's where we now find ourselves and our troops. Yes, the mission in
Well, now is the time that the American people want to know "What will the Congress do?"
Many of my colleagues believe that this resolution doesn't go far enough, and while I tend to agree with that, I do believe this resolution represents a solid and instructive first step.
I do know that in coming weeks we will debate how to protect our troops while expediting the transition to Iraqi control
Lastly, I'd like to address the argument that if we don't fight the terrorists in
As I said before, I've been to
I was impressed that even among a wide range of combat commanders the answer has been nearly unanimous - that about 10% of the fighters in
They also confirmed that 90% of what's going on in
In fact, in November the Defense Department report argued that the Mahdi Army, the main Shiite militia, has replaced al Qaeda in
So we are spending $8 billion a month in
Meanwhile, we have a situation in south east