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Proviso Probe

Thursday, February 15, 2007

GOV, Congressman Davis speaks in favor of anti-escalation resolution

The House of Representatives is deliberating on a resolution expressing disapproval of President George W. Bush's proposal to escalate troops levels in Iraq. I first read about it on Fire Dog Lake (Peterr).
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That—
(1) Congress and the American people will continue to support and protect the members of the United States Armed Forces who are serving or who have served bravely and honorably in Iraq; and
(2) Congress disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.

Each House member gets five minutes to say his or her piece.

Congressman Danny K. Davis
Madam Speaker, first of all, I want to thank Speaker Pelosi for providing what we never had in the last session, and that is ample opportunity to fully discuss Iraq , where we are and what we ought to be doing about it.

I have always been told that when you start with a faulty premise, you will inevitably reach a faulty conclusion. And the rationale given for entering the war was faulty. There were no weapons of mass destruction, no connection to 9/11. Therefore, we never should have invaded Iraq in the first place.

But then after the invasion, the occupation of Iraq has been tragically mismanaged. Civilian military leadership ignored the advice of senior commanders on requirements for preventing chaos in the aftermath of the invasion. As a result, our extended presence in Iraq continues to worsen the situation, not only in Iraq , but in the entire region.

Terrorist incidents continue to flare up around the world, from England to Spain , from Indonesia to Jordan . Chaos and intolerance in the form of civil war now has secured a deadly grip on Iraq . The policy of escalation has failed, and failed again, to loosen that horrendous grip. The Iraqi people want us to leave, and so do the American people, especially those in my congressional district, and especially those that I encounter at churches, schools, synagogues, town hall meetings and on the street.

Madam Speaker, democracy and self-government cannot be imposed on Iraq by any foreign power, including us, the United States of America . Our troops have done everything we have asked of them, even when we have failed to equip and protect them. The problem does not lie with our troops, but with the distorted world view of this administration and the military and diplomatic doctrine of preemptive war as a solution to global political problems.

We must do everything possible to protect our troops and we must do everything in our power to take care of them when they return home.

It is impossible, Madam Speaker, to build a coalition against terrorism by attempting to unilaterally impose these doctrines on the international community. We cannot undo the many mistakes which have been made in Iraq . And when our national interests have been so distorted, when we have so lost our direction, it is the historical, moral, and constitutional responsibility of this Congress to set us back on course and on the right track.

It is time to recognize that we are enmeshed in an unending, vicious circle of escalating violence, rather than a force for peace, and that is why I am a cosponsor of H.R. 508, which would bring the force of law to end this war.

Today we have before us a nonbinding resolution, most likely insufficient to end the occupation. But it can help to move us in the right direction and set us on the right path. Therefore, I support this resolution, because it reflects the will and interests of the American people, and I trust that this administration will abandon demagogic calls for constantly changing notions of success and victory and awaken to the world of reality.

Madam Speaker, it is time, it is past time, to bring our troops home. I am told that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting different results. This resolution sets us on the right course, gives us the right direction. I urge its passage.

Thanks to Robin at Code Pink for forwarding Davis' remarks.

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