July 10, 2003

Leave Iraq to the Iraqis

I do not know Rep. John Duncan (R-TN), I do not have
to know, and if I did know I would probably be appalled
at 75-90% of his views, BUT he has shown himself to be
a truer patriot than several Democratic presidential
candidates. Today I suggest his name be scrawled on
the John O'Neill wall of heroes...A friend who
reads the LNS sent this transcript of Duncan's
extraordinary speech on the floor of the House, which
th friend just happened to catch as it was broadcast on C-SPAN...

(House of Representatives - July 08, 2003)

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Gerlach). Under a
previous order of the
the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Duncan) is
recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. DUNCAN. Mr. Speaker, it seems that every day we
read about a young
American soldier being killed in Iraq. Three were
killed in a 24-hour
from Sunday to Monday. In its November 25 issue,
``Fortune'' magazine,
before the war started, said an American occupation
would be
``prolonged and
expensive'' and that it ``could turn U.S. troops into
sitting ducks for
Islamic terrorists.''

Unfortunately, this prediction has turned out to be
deadly accurate.
past Saturday, the top of the front page of The
Washington Post had a
headline reading ``Attacks By Iraqi's Growing
Bolder.'' The next day a
American soldier was shot in the head at point blank
range as he stood
line to buy a soft drink.

A few days ago, the leading Shiite cleric, the most
respected figure of
largest population group in Iraq, demanded that the
U.S. get out and
Iraq to the Iraqis. It is so politically correct today
and sounds so
fashionable and intellectual to say that the U.S. will
have to be in
for several years and that it will not be easy and
that we must be
for the sacrifice and the difficulties ahead.

Well, someone should ask why. Saddam Hussein was a
very evil man, a
a dictator; but his total military budget was only
about two-tenths of
percent of ours. He was no threat to us, as this
3-week battle, with
no resistance, proved. Our military did a great job,
as we all knew
would. Now we should bring them home.

President Eisenhower, as everyone knows, was a retired
Army general, a
graduate of West Point. He loved the military. Yet he
warned us as
as he possibly could against what he call the military
Pressured by this complex, we have now spent over $100
billion on the
operation in Iraq. The Congressional Budget Office
originally estimated
a 3-month war followed by a 5-year occupation would
cost us at least
billion. Most estimate that we will stay in Iraq for 5
to 10 years, at
cost of 200 to $300 billion, or more. And because we
already face a
billion deficit for this year, and hundreds of
billions more in the
ahead, we will have to borrow the money to do all
this. Once again, we
should ask: Why?

Already we have had demonstrations by Iraqi soldiers
demanding back
pay, and
similar demands from Iraqi retirees. Why should
Americans taxpayers
hundreds of billions to pay the Iraqi military or
Iraqi retirees to
Iraq? We are jeopardizing the futures of our children
grandchildren. I
believe our Founding Fathers would be shocked if they
knew what we were
doing today.

I remember reading a few years ago in The Washington
Post that we had
troops in Haiti picking up garbage and settling
domestic disputes.
Later I
read that we had our troops in Bosnia building
latrines and giving
shots to Bosnian dogs. I have nothing against the
people in either
Haiti or
Bosnia, but they should pick up their own garbage and
build their own

Now we are told that the military will build or
rebuild 6,000 schools
Iraq and give free basic health care to any Iraqis who
need it. We will
in Iraq for many years, at great expense to U.S.
citizens, because
large multinational companies will benefit from large
contracts there.
will stay there because all the pressures and money
and power and glory
within the Department of Defense, the State
Department, the National
Security Council, and our intelligence agencies are to
continue to do
and more in other countries.

These people are not seen as world statesmen and men
and women of
unless we get involved in every dispute around the
world. They never
or discuss the merits of all this; they just label all
opponents of an
interventionist foreign policy as isolationist.
However, whenever
uses this term, they are simply resorting to mindless

Now I suppose we are going into the chaos in Liberia,
as we have Haiti,
Rwanda, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Lord knows
where next.

What we really need are more Calvin Coolidges, more
people in
government who
believe in a humble foreign policy. None of these
countries were any
to us. Should we now change the name of the Defense
Department to the
Department of Foreign Aid or the Department of
International Social

I believe in and have always supported a strong
national defense, but I
not believe in massive foreign aid. Most of our
foreign adventures are
creating great resentment toward the U.S. around the

The Iraqi people may have hated Saddam Hussein, but
they do not want
Americans or our puppets running their country either.
They have
oil wealth. Let them rebuild their own country. The
only Iraqis who
want us
to stay there are the ones we are paying or who
believe they can get
from us in the future.

Our first obligation should be to America citizens,
and the lives of
American soldiers should be precious to us. Let us
bring our troops
before more and more of them are murdered. We can be
friends with the
people without making our soldiers sitting ducks for

Mr. Speaker, let us leave Iraq to the Iraqis.

Posted by richard at July 10, 2003 12:47 PM