Thursday, July 12, 2007

On Iraq: Nick Lampson Votes For April 1st Drop Dead Date

At 6:13 PM EDT, in the U.S. Congress chamber, my congressman, Congressman Nick Valentino Lampson joined those of us in Texas CD-22 and the vast majority of Americans, and voted YEA for HR 2956. This bill, dubbed the Responsible Redeployment Act, would require "the Secretary of Defense to commence the reduction of the number of United States Armed Forces in Iraq to a limited presence by April 1, 2008”.

This is a landmark day for CD-22 and I want to thank Nick for his YEA vote. It’s been some time in coming, but Nick revealed, in a release today that he was ready to support a change in our strategy. Here is the text of his release:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today Congressman Nick Lampson (D-TX) issued the following statement regarding H.R. 2956, the Responsible Deployment from Iraq Act:

"Today the House will consider the latest legislative effort to change the direction of the war in Iraq. It's safe to say that the conflict has exacted a great toll from many brave American men and women in uniform and their families. In addition, recent reports have estimated that the conflict is costing taxpayers $12 billion each month, and to date around a half a trillion dollars, which is a tremendous strain on our already debt-ridden treasury.

"Today the President, as mandated by Congress earlier this year, delivered an initial assessment of progress toward 18 set benchmarks. Unfortunately, even with the increased troop numbers over the past few months, little to no real progress has been made. This disappointment is certainly not due to the lack of brave efforts by our troops, but rather by the difficult realities on the ground in Iraq, the Iraqi government's own internal disagreements, and frankly, the Iraqi government's seeming inability to make minor progress on even the most basic matters. Furthermore, the Administration's characterization of the current strategy as a 'starting line' for promised progress grossly ignores the devastating situation on the ground, the ultimate sacrifices of thousands of American troops, and spells certain peril for those who remain fighting in Iraq.

"I have followed the military's efforts closely, and as the Representative of the people of the 22nd Congressional District of Texas, I have heard from many folks
regarding the war. The overwhelming majority who have spoken with me personally and contacted my office are in strong support of a new direction. Like me, they are greatly disturbed by the growing casualty rates and keeping our troops in harm's way, with no realistic exit strategy around the corner. These viewpoints are also consistent with the overwhelming majority of Americans who spoke loudly in the last election, calling for change in our national war policy.

"That being said, I will support today's measure because it is time for a change in our strategy. The American people have been incredibly patient and Congress has given the President nearly unfettered discretion with waging this war for over 4 years. However, the progress on the ground remains stagnant, regardless of how much hard-work our troops have done and continue to do. The ultimate goal is for the Iraqi government to stand on its own. Accordingly, the primary reason for our military to remain in Iraq is to train the Iraqi military and police forces, not to fight their civil war for them. This bill continues to provide reasonable support for the Iraqi government, and enables our troops to finish their mission and finally come home."

Vote on final passage in the House (Roll 624): Yea 223, Nay 201 and it was largely along party lines.

Democrats voting Yea: 219 Nay: 10
Republicans voting Yea: 4 Nay: 191

Democrats voting Nay are the following:

John Barrow (Ga. - 12)
Dan Boren (Okla. - 2)
Christopher Carney (Penn. - 10)
Brad Ellsworth (Ind. - 8)
Tim Holden (Penn. 17)
Dennis Kucinich (Oh. - 10) <== !? Dunno, probably thought it should be sooner.
Jim Marshall (Ga. - 8)
Jim Matheson (Ut. - 2)
Vic Snyder (Ark. - 2)
Gene Taylor (Miss - 4)

Yes, that’s right, every Democratic congressman from Texas voted Yea.

And when it reaches the senate, every Texas Senator will vote against it coming to the floor for a vote, I guarantee it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In August, 1863, the ATHENS (Georgia) WATCHMAN newspaper displayed the buyer's remorse that many Southerners were feeling over the Civil War thusly:

"We are learning by bitter experience that hotspurs and demagogues are unfit to govern a country. Such men brought us into trouble, and seem to be incapable of taking us out. They were suffered to lead the country in 1861, and none of the blessings which they predicted have been realized, while most of the evils apprehended by more considerate men have come to pass."

It's a historical fact that when the 50,000 Confederate soldiers in Texas learned that Lee had surrendered in the East, they simply went home, leaving their generals to surrender only themselves to the Federal authorities. They saw no sense in beating a dead horse.