Overdue - MOH to be awarded to LTC (ret) Bruce Crandall
February in Iraq in Photos

Against the Surge and In Iraq

Below are the words of Rep. Marcy Kaptur:

...The intelligence was not faulty. No one should be allowed to blame this on the Central Intelligence Agency. Our intelligence community, including the CIA, tried to tell President Bush and Vice President Cheney, but they refused to listen.

   Madam Speaker, though I voted for the NATO mission in Afghanistan, I spoke out strongly against the resolution authorizing President Bush to wage preemptive war against Iraq because I feared what would happen:

more terrorism, not less; more instability, not less.

   Since that vote I have supported our troops at every turn and will continue to support them. And I do not regret my vote against the war in Iraq, and I do not apologize for my support of our troops. But now is the time to take the first step toward course correction to redeploy them more effectively.

   The roots of terrorism did not spring from Iraq. Terrorism sprang from diplomatic and political failures in undemocratic states, from an Afghanistan that was let fester after the Soviet defeat. Terrorism springs from an Iran whose Shia majority our Nation has isolated for the last quarter century and tried to throttle for the prior quarter century.

   Terrorism springs from Saudi families who pay to promote the most radical form of Islam in other nations to hold onto power in their homeland, one of the most undemocratic places on Earth. Terrorism springs from the unaddressed Israeli-Palestinian standoff. Terrorism springs from a Lebanon where the Shia majority has been underrepresented in the institutions of government.

   Terrorism springs from a view, fair or not, that the United States allies with the rich but not the poor across the undemocratic Islamic world. How can America stand for democracy in Iraq but not in all of the oil kingdoms and theocracies to which this Nation has been unfortunately tethered for our entire adult lifetimes?

   How can we ask our troops to bear the brunt of war in the most oil rich region of the world when we have refused to become energy independent here at home?...

So, according to the Congresswoman, terrorism is our fault.  Actually, it's all the President's fault because there was no terrorism during the Clinton administration.

[/sarcasm]

Rep. (D) Marcy Kaptur, who voted to yes the House Resolution on the surge in Iraq, recently went to Taji and met with Soldiers to talk about the status of the war (bold emphasis is mine):

Congressional Delegation Discusses Brigade’s Mission, Progress in Iraq During Taji Visit
Story by Sgt. Jon Cupp

...Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, asked the brigade leaders about successes in improving essential services in the area.
   
One example cited was the Husayniyah power plant.
   
“A company out of Texas is helping us to grow the capabilities in the power plant,” answered Lt. Col. Ken Kamper, commander, 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment. “We’re making progress and there’s a decent system in place.”

Rep. Steve Rothman, D-N.J., voiced concerns about the sectarian violence in areas surrounding Taji, and whether any of the attacks on U.S. troops were a result of the people being unhappy with a lack of essential services.

“We believe their motivation is something different. There are various extremist groups. They aren’t attacking us because of a lack of essential services,” answered Funk. “It’s more of a grab for power by sectarian groups (of various factions) who are trying to expand their position.”

Funk added that the Iraqi people living in the region are making a genuine effort to end the violence. He cited an instance where a Shia sheik brought together both Shia and Sunnis to meet because they were tired of violence in their village. He also said that he does not believe that most Iraqis hold a sectarian view.
             
“That’s the kind of thing that’s starting to happen in our zone,” said Funk, noting the Sunni and Shia efforts to stop sectarian violence in his area of operation.
   
“The Iraqis have more of a national view, and they don’t want the influences of (foreign fighters from) Syria or Iran,” he told the delegation. “I think they’re tired and they want the violence to end.”

To illustrate the point, Funk noted the rise in the number of tips that ISF and Ironhorse Soldiers are receiving from concerned citizens, which lead to the capture of insurgents.
   
Near the end of the briefing, Kaptur asked the brigade senior leaders if they were concerned about polls that sometimes have a negative slant against U.S. military efforts in Iraq.

“I’m not really concerned with polls. When you go out and meet with the Iraqi people, they tell us they feel safe when we’re there and they’re happy to see us,” Funk said. “Sometimes it can bring tears to your eyes, especially when you look in the faces of the children. When you look in their eyes, you see hope and you know you’re making a difference.”...

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