REP. WATERS VOTES IN FAVOR OF REDEPLOYMENT OF TROOPS, BUT URGES SUPPORT FOR TOUGHER MEASURES
Rep. Maxine Waters (CA35) delivered a passionate speech today on the floor of the House of Representatives urging the passage of H.R. 2956, The Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act. The bill, passed with overwhelming support from Democratic Members of the House, requires the Administration to commence a reduction in the number of troops serving in Iraq.
"1581 days - 53 months - or over four years since this President led this Nation to war in Iraq. Over 3600 soldiers killed – 2,600 American soldiers seriously injured - 60,000 to 100,000 Iraqis killed - ten billion dollars per month - five hundred billion American dollars spent on this War!
"A civil war is raging in Iraq. There is no credible government in Iraq. Iraq is totally destabilized. And Iraq refugees are flooding the neighboring countries.
"There is no coalition of the willing supporting the US effort in this war, and we're well on our way to destabilizing the entire Middle East. President Bush and the chief architect of this war, Vice President Dick Cheney, are in denial about the disastrous mess that they have created.
"Some of us have known for quite some time that this war must end. Representatives Barbara Lee, Lynn Woolsey, and I, along with several other members of Congress created the Out of Iraq Caucus over two years ago. We organized this Caucus and we were dismissed as ‘bleeding-heart-liberals.'
"It has taken too long to get to the point that we are at today. This bill will at least demand a strategy to get us out of Iraq, and a deadline has been set for the President. This has been a long time in coming. However, ladies and gentlemen, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. President Bush will apply all kinds of pressure; threaten us, mislead us, scare us, and spin us blind so that he may continue this immoral war. We must decide that we are not going to fund this war any longer.
"In the words of the people on the street who are organized against this war, ‘Mr. President. Not another nickel. Not another dime. Not another soldier. Not this time.'
"I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this bill- it is a good start. But, remember, when push comes to shove, we have got to de-fund this war."