Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Voices In the Debate on the Resolution

Marines handle casket of a 19-year-old lance corporal killed in Iraq
In order to succeed in Iraq, there must be diplomatic and political initiatives. There has been no sustained and effective effort to engage Iraq's neighbors diplomatically and there has been no sustained and effective effort to engage Iraqi factions politically. . . . President Bush's escalation proposal will not make America safer, will not make our military stronger and will not make the region more stable. And it will not have my support.

-- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

War is never easy and almost never goes according to plan. Al Qaeda and their supporters in the region have been steadfast. . . . But because they cannot defeat Americans on the battlefield, Al Qaeda and terrorist sympathizers around the world are trying to divide us here at home. Over the next few days we have an opportunity to show our enemies that we will not take the bait.

-- House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

The president's plan will embroil our troops even more deeply in a sectarian conflict that everyone agrees we cannot solve, and which ultimately cannot be solved militarily.

-- House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton, D-Mo.

Madam Speaker, where's your plan for victory in Iraq?

-- Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C.

The majority of Congress wants de-escalation. The majority of the American people want de-escalation. Many Republicans throughout the nation -- and even our Republican colleagues in this Congress -- want de-escalation. Poll numbers show that even the Iraqi people want the United States to gradually withdraw. . . . But the administration wants escalation. So it is going its own way, nearly alone.

-- House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, D-Calif.

Some people from the other side seem to believe that if we pull out of Iraq, that the Iraqi people are going to go back to tending sheep and herding goats. That's not what's going to happen. If we pull out of Iraq, what's going to happen is you are going to see more bloodshed than we have seen in a long time in this world.

-- Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga.

As a new member of the House I feel it is my responsibility to ask serious questions of the president, who refuses to take this institution seriously.

-- Rep. John Hall, D-N.Y.

The president's plan to send more of our best and bravest to die refereeing a civil war in Iraq is wrong. It's time for a new direction in Iraq.

-- Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Pa., an Iraq war veteran.

We cannot support our troops without supporting their mission. The resolution before us, unfortunately, undermines the ability of our troops to complete their mission.

-- Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif.

While there is no silver bullet to make our mission in Iraq easier, it is clear that eliminating or cutting funding for our men and women who wear the uniform of the United States of America is not a plan for ensuring stability in the Middle East. It is, rather, a recipe for empowering our enemies and endangering our troops.

-- House Minority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

If you support the troops, and you want to win this war on terror, then you do not support tactics that don't work. This is not about Republicans or Democrats winning or losing. This debate is about making sure our country is successful in the war on terror.

-- House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

We have to get out now, not two years from now, after a new president takes office. We're killing them and they're killing us and nothing is getting better and the reasons we started this turned out to be false. The American people know this and today they are watching our debate. They will judge us by our actions.

-- Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash.

At this moment, a majority of Americans appear to be with the Democrats. But, what if? What if they're wrong? What if you're wrong? What if the “surge” and General Petraeus and our brave men and women in Iraq succeed? My Democratic colleagues would do well to reflect on this truth: The American people hate losers, but they hate quitters even more. If this new strategy in Iraq succeeds, what will my friends in the Democratic Party say?

-- Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind.

All of us long for a world in which the mortal challenge of Islamist militant extremism does not exist. But that world is a fantasy and that's the world this resolution seems to address.

-- Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla.

Photograph by The Associated Press

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