Iraq Surrender Bill

Congressman Ted Poe TX-02

Recently, Congress was given a choice to stand with our military and finish the job in Iraq or nickel-and-dime the War on Terror to death. I voted against the Iraq Surrender Bill and I will not barter my position. I will not betray our troops for 30 pieces of silver or $3 billion of squealing pork.

The bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 218-212 that went down party lines. I support the President in his promise to veto this bill if it makes it back to his desk. Approval of this bill sends a message of defeat to our troops and victory to our enemies. If this bill were to become law, it means we abandon Iraq at an arbitrary time no matter the situation; retreat even if it means defeat. It means we quit while our troops are in the field; peace at any price.

The bill was loaded with squealing pork to buy votes from Members of Congress. It is irresponsible to include non-relevant funding to gain support for a bill meant to support our men and women fighting a war, and I do not believe that this blatant bribery attempt is lost on the American public. In an effort to buy support for the Iraq Surrender Bill, House leadership tacked on $283 million for milk subsidies, $25 million for spinach growers, $74 million for peanut storage fees, $120 million for the shrimp industry, and $20 million to repair frozen farmland. Again, I will not barter my position. Our troops safety is not for sale.

War is not for politicians to fight, it is for generals, for brave young men and women who value freedom so much that they leave their families and children at home to put their lives on the line to ensure all Americans keep the liberties we so often take for granted. The United States military has the finest generals our world has ever seen and I trust in them to make the decisions on the battlefield that will lead us to victory. They do not support an arbitrary retreat date. To do so would mean our soldiers sacrifices were made in vain and we would abandon the Iraqi people as they are so desperately struggling to recover from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein and tasting freedom for the first time in their existence.

Critics of this war have labeled it a quagmire, another Vietnam. Until last week, until politicians voted to interfere in the funding of an ongoing war, this was nothing like Vietnam. We must remember our history. Congress cut off money for our troops in Vietnam and started bringing them home, leaving those there to fight without adequate support. And, we know the results of Vietnam. This Congress is doing the same in Iraq, trying to force another Vietnam. All of us want the war to be over and are eager to have American warriors return to the United States, but we cannot leave Iraq until we stabilize the country and have the Iraqis take care of Iraq.

I was in Iraq, the troops there told me that they needed more help. Lets fulfill their request give the generals and the troops what they need for our mission to succeed.

Stonewall Jackson had the same problem with the Confederate Congress and told them, send more troops, not more questions.

I was there the day they held their first free elections, the Iraq people want us there and we simply cant throw up the white flag of surrender because politicians and bureaucrats are preoccupied with power. The troops in Iraq need our total commitment, not total defeatism. Ronald Reagan put it best Men cry peace, peace, but there can be no peace as long as there is one American somewhere dying for the rest of us. Thats just the way it is.