The Lady Speaks

Text – Carney’s Speech

This is the text of the floor speech given by Democratic Rep. Chris Carney (PA-10) as found on his website:

“I stand today as a proud veteran in support of this bipartisan resolution, which states that Congress and the American people support our men and women in uniform, but do not support deploying over 21,000 additional troops to Iraq.

“I fear that President Bush’s plan to increase troop levels is a mistake. Sending more troops will not reduce the violence.

Indeed, in the past two years we have had three surges to Iraq, only to see dramatic increases in violence. Why would we think a fourth surge will be different?

Mr. Speaker, 21,000 troops is far less than a half measure of what is truly needed to secure Iraq. But the unfortunate reality is that we no longer have the troops available to do the job properly. Indeed, the army’s strategic reserve is used up. They told us so. We are now less able to respond in other trouble spots around the globe because of this failed policy.

Why are we not matching our military surge with a diplomatic surge? Why are we not engaging every nation in the region to end this civil war?

A superpower at war uses all means at its disposal to win—including diplomacy. Diplomacy is the only way for us to succeed now, and I urge the administration to launch a diplomatic offensive in the region.

Our enemies are encouraged and emboldened by the success that they have enjoyed already. We do not need to send 21,000 troops additional to reinforce this.

Instead, we should be changing our focus. Rather than sending more American troops into combat, we should be training Iraqis to handle the jobs for themselves. For every Iraqi battalion we train, we need to bring an American battalion home.

My district in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania has many of its bravest men and women in harm’s way. I am very proud of them, so are their families and their communities. Our district has lost 22 men in this war. Brave troops who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country. I rise today to honor them and also to stand up for the troops currently in combat.

The stories I hear from soldiers who return home leave me concerned that the administration has not done enough to protect them.

One of my own former students, a member of a Pennsylvania National Guard Unit, told me how his unit had to scrounge through Iraqi junkyards for scrap metal to weld onto their trucks for protection.

Junkyards?! Scrap Metal!? Where is the outrage that this administration has not given troops the protection that they need?

Where is the outrage that our fine men and women, whose job is to protect our nation, are scrounging through foreign junkyards to find that protection?

The troops have won the war, but the administration has failed to secure the peace. We must now pursue policies worthy of our troops and their sacrifices.

Mr. Speaker, I came to Congress to serve and protect my country. That is why I rise in support of this resolution.

Mr. Speaker, in the navy when we run a ship aground we change the course. It is now time to change the course in Iraq, not needlessly send more American troops in harm’s way. Thank you.”

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February 15, 2007 - Posted by | America, Bush, Congress, Democrats, Iraq, PA 10th District, Pennsylvania, Politics, US Military, War

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