Democratic Congressman: Rest assured that history, fact will not be kind to decision-makers of this war
Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) will say that "history and fact will not be kind to the decision-makers" during his House floor statement tonight concerning the Iraq War Resolution that will be voted on Friday, RAW STORY has learned.
"This head in the sand attitude, while politically expedient, denies reality and truth," Grijalva will say. "Rest assured that history and fact will not be kind to the decision-makers and deciders of this war."
"Nor will it be kind to a Congress that looked the other way," Grijalva will add, according to a preview of his statement leaked to RAW STORY.
"Tucson Congressman Raul Grijalva has become of one the leading anti-Iraq war critics in Washington as U.S. Sen. John McCain, Phoenix Congressman John Shadegg and other Arizona Republicans continue their support of the war and increased troop levels," The Business Journal of Phoenix reports. "Grijalva is co-sponsoring a number of measures in Congress that oppose President Bush's plan to send 21,500 additional soldiers into Iraq with the hope of stabilizing the civil war."
Rep. Grijalva's full statement:
"I will not spend time assessing blame and responsibility for the quagmire that our nation finds itself in, in Iraq . But I do find it curious that the opponents of this resolution want us to believe that the history of the Iraq War begins today. That it has no past - only a doubtful future.
"This head in the sand attitude, while politically expedient, denies reality and truth. Rest assured that history and fact will not be kind to the decision-makers and deciders of this war. Nor will it be kind to a Congress that looked the other way.
"The resolution before us today is a first, tentative step toward the removal of our troops from Iraq . The escalation proposed for Iraq is another desperate act opposed by the American people and former military leaders.
"This resolution does not demoralize our troops or embolden the insurgents. This resolution offers hope to our troops that an end is in sight and that their elected representatives are not passing on their authority regarding the most important issue confronting our nation today.
"I personally know families whose loved ones have been lost, badly injured or profoundly and tangibly affected by this war. Our commitment should be to those families and veterans who need the full measure of our support. Our gratitude should be measured in real resources for veterans and not empty platitudes and political rhetoric expounded to justify the irreparable failures of policy in Iraq .
"The focus of this debate is not centered on our soldiers who are nobly doing their duty and following their orders. It is directed at those who set policy and who have produced a war without end, with no plan for success or exit, with no international strategy, and who now turn to a desperate and doomed escalation that only reinforces the failure and desperation of those policy makers.
"The civil war in Iraq will not end with the influx of more American troops.
"I believe this resolution should have teeth - we must send a message that binds all of us to real action, an unflinching message of opposition to the escalation and a message of support for our troops. Today marks a step in that direction.
"How many more ways can the American people tell this Congress to act to prevent more loss of our blood and treasure in this war in Iraq ?
Weren't the recent elections a strong message?
Isn't the loss of confidence by the public in their elected leaders a strong message?
Isn't the sacrifice and valor of our men and women fighting this war deserving of the respect of our government?
Don't we have a duty to protect them, reunite them with their families immediately and, share the truth with them that the question is no longer if we get out of Iraq , but how and when?
"For me and for many of their families, the sooner the better.
"I could stand here before you and recite, one by one, all the polls that tell us about the public's overwhelming opposition to this war and the even stronger opposition to this escalation, but as I think about it, the most important poll for us who serve in Congress must be our conscience.
"This resolution before us is simple and direct. It speaks, in a very clear way, to the frustration we all feel with this misadventure in Iraq .
"I said I would not belabor the question of who is to blame, but I must address the obvious:
- Weapons of mass destruction - None Found
- Links of Iraq to 911 - didn't exist
- Misspent funds in Iraq - Ignored
- Mission Accomplished - premature political propaganda
- Strategy for Iraq - Non-Existent
- Funds for Education, Health Care, Our Towns and Cities and Investments in Our People - Spent in Iraq
"The litany of failures and untruths goes on and on.
"The lack of leadership by this administration requires - no, demands - that this Congress assert its Constitutional duty, to check and balance this Administration and to respond to the crisis in Iraq with purpose and resolve.
"This resolution is one step in what I hope is a rapid process by Congress to bring the debacle in Iraq to an end.
"I urge my colleagues to support H Res 63, and also to support H.R. 508 - The Bring Our Troops Home and Iraq Sovereignty Restoration Act."