I am no Democrat, and I don’t particularly like the Democratic Party. However, when the Republicans claim – as they have done hundreds of times on the floor in Congress, on Fox News Channel and on numerous Sunday morning interview shows – that “The Democrats have offered NO plan, NO alternative to Bush’s failing strategy of sending more troops into the Iraqi Civil War/U.S. Occupation,” they are simply LYING. Yeah, that’s right… Lying. Man! If there’s one thing I hate more than a liar, it’s a whole buncha liars…
Here is the truth:
From CA Reps. Woolsey, Waters and Lee: “Our bill is H.R. 508, the Bring Our Troops Home and Iraq Sovereignty Restoration Act. H.R. 508 would complete a fully funded military withdrawal from Iraq within 6 months of enactment, because our military and their families have given enough for this policy that is only increasing the terrorist threat and doing damage to our national security. The bill would accelerate the training of Iraqi Security Forces during that 6-month period. And because Iraq is not yet ready to defend its people against thugs, insurgents and militias, our bill calls for an international stabilization force to help keep the peace in Iraq. But it would stay only for 2 more years and would deploy only at the request of the Iraqi Government.
Because we have already poured enough of the people’s money down this sinkhole, H.R. 508 would prohibit any further funding to deploy U.S. troops, but would provide the resources for a safe withdrawal of all of our U.S. military personnel and contractors.
The proposal would also provide for humanitarian aid and major investments to rebuild Iraq’s physical and economic infrastructure, because taking our troops out of Iraq doesn’t mean abandoning Iraq.
We can and we must go from military occupier to reconstruction partner.
Our proposal expressly prohibits the construction of U.S. military bases in Iraq because it is that kind of permanent occupation that fuels the rage and anti-American jihadists in the Middle East.
Iraq should belong to the Iraqis, and that includes Iraq’s resources. So under the terms of our bill, the United States would forfeit any proprietary claim to Iraqi oil.
Finally, H.R. 508 guarantees full health care funding, including mental health benefits, for U.S. veterans in military operations in Iraq and other conflicts. It is the least, the very least, we can do to express our gratitude and repay their sacrifices.
Mr. Speaker, we must never, ever forget what war does to bodies, to minds, to families, to communities and to the human soul. The victims of war are not pieces to be moved around on a chess board. They are our fellow citizens in a global village that gets smaller every day. They are our brothers. They are our sisters. They are God’s children and have as much right to human dignity as you or I.
The one thing I desperately hope we have learned from the Iraq nightmare is that we must find more sensible, humane ways to keep America safe and resolve global conflict because, if we do not, given the kinds of weapons that are available today, I fear that we are putting the entire planet on a path toward destruction.
I fear most of all for our children. “War,” said Martin Luther King, Jr., “is a poor chisel to carve out tomorrow.” Mr. Speaker, tomorrow belongs to our children. So, for their sake, we must find alternatives to war. We must protect America by relying not on our basest impulses, but on the most honorable and humane of American values, our love of freedom, our desire for peace, our capacity for global leadership, and our compassion for the people of the world.”