Wednesday, February 21, 2007

NY & Iraq

Lot of things have been happening the past week to report on – the biggest of course is Roskam delivered his floor speech and vote on the Iraq war resolution last week. I would written on this sooner, but I myself was taking advantage of the 3 day weekend to leave work a little bit early on Friday and head to New York with my girlfriend. It was a really interesting to go see ground zero and all the construction around where the World Trade Center used to be. Of course, all this got me thinking about a few things on the Iraq debate.

First of all, and it bears repeating, is the fact that Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. The Republicans often try to link Iraq to 9/11, but the two are completely unrelated. Along those lines, I find it very interesting that the cities directly targeted by 9/11, NY and Washington DC, both overwhelmingly reject Bush and his Iraq policy. The good people of NY do not want to see their city attacked again. Their lives are literally at stake, but they realize that a surge of troops in Iraq will do nothing to make them safer at home. Rather it will only put others at risk.

The reason I was able to get off work and go to NY in the first place was that Monday was a Presidents Day holiday to celebrate George Washington’s Birthday. I think anyone listening to the Iraq debate should have been required to read his farewell address first. In it he warned against the U.S. getting involved recklessly in foreign entanglements. His warning of "do not go abroad in search of monsters to slay lest ye become one," should still be heeded even today.

Anyways, below are Roskam’s comments on Iraq. What do you think of his comments and of his vote to rubber stamp Bush’s Iraq policies?

Mr. ROSKAM. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Madam Speaker, we are here to debate a House Concurrent Resolution, and the root verb of ``resolution'' is resolute. I just want to challenge the House today to consider the resolution of our enemies. I would like to read three quotes to you.

Resolved, by Samba bin Laden. The whole world is watching this war, and the two adversaries, the Islamic nation on the one hand and the United States and its allies on the other. It is either victory and glory or misery and humiliation.

Or how about this? Resolved, in the al Agenda charter: There will be continuing enmity until everyone believes in Allah. We will not meet the enemy halfway, and there will be no room for dialogue with them.

Or how about this, and I am paraphrasing: Resolved, from Samba bin Ladens deputy, who said that the plan is to extend the jihad wave; to expel the Americans from Iraq and extend the jihad wave to secular countries neighboring Iraq, clash with Israel and establish an Islamic authority.

Is there anybody among us who doubts the resolve and clarity with which our opponents are speaking? I don't.

I think what is lacking today in our conversation is the consequences of failure. The previous speaker used the words ``victory'' and ``success.'' He had a very low view of them, and I understand his characterization of those words. He said we have heard those words before. That is what the gentleman from New Jersey said.

But, do you know what? We will hear the word ``failure'' when it is used in the context of this challenge that is before us.

There is no question that there has been great difficulty that has gone before us in this fight. There is no question that there have been great mistakes that have been made, and I am wholeheartedly in favor of us acting as a coequal branch of government and calling for benchmarks and demarcation and holding the administration accountable for its decisions.

But if we fail in this, if we pull out, if we retreat, if we yield, what will happen? Is there anybody really who thinks that Iran, for example, will be less provocative? Is there anybody who thinks that al Agenda will be less provocative?

If we fail, extremism in this world, will it be ascendant or will it be descendant?

Madam Speaker, I close with a simple question, and that is, we need to ask, What is it about this resolution that will do one of two things? Does this encourage our troops, or does this discourage our enemies? I would suggest that this resolution, while it is serious, oh, it is very serious, it is not substantive. This is the ultimate expression of legislative passive aggression. It offers no substantive alternative.

Madam Speaker, I rise in opposition, and ask my colleagues to do the same.

1 comment:

whiskey said...

I'm glad to see this blog is up, and I'll be bookmarking you soon. I received a response from Petey's office regarding his vote against the clean energy legislation that already got passed through the House in the first 100 hours. Man, I'm used to these non-response letters from Henry Hyde, where he basically acknowledges that you sent him a letter. I was not prepared for the level of vitriol that Petey levelled at supporters of energy policy reform. I actually felt dumb as a result of the letter. Thanks Petey!