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March 31, 2011

Getting Out of Afghanistan

[Page: H2044]  GPO's PDF 

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The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Jones) for 5 minutes.

Mr. JONES. Mr. Speaker, a couple of weeks ago, we had the opportunity to vote to bring our troops home from Afghanistan. It was Mr. Kucinich's resolution that many of us hoped that my party would have joined. We only had eight Republicans vote to bring our troops home this year from Afghanistan.

Mr. Speaker, what is so ironic, we sit on this floor and we debate cutting the budget, doing this and that, and yet we are supporting a corrupt leader named Karzai in Afghanistan.

In fact, I want to share with the people that a former Marine general is my confidential adviser. I don't have permission to use his name. I could, I guess, but I don't have his permission. This is what he said in a recent email to me:

``What do we say to the mother and father, the wife, of the last soldier or marine killed to support a corrupt government and corrupt leader in a war that can't be won?''

Let me share with you, Mr. Speaker, a couple of comments from the leader of Afghanistan, President Karzai, on March 12, 2011, in The New York Times:

``I request that NATO and America should stop these operations on our soil,'' he said. ``This war is not on our soil. If this war is against terror, then this war is not here'' because there is no terrorism here on our soil.

Karzai further stated, on December 8, 2010, in a meeting with Petraeus and Eikenberry, that he now has three main enemies: the Taliban, the United States, and the international community. He said, ``If I had to choose sides today, I'd choose the Taliban.''

This is the leader of a country where our young men and women are going and getting killed and losing their legs and their arms. It makes no sense, Mr. Speaker.

According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll on March 15 of this year, 73 percent of Americans no longer think the war in Afghanistan is worth fighting. Mr. Speaker, 73 percent of the American people say the war in Afghanistan is not worth fighting.

I was very disappointed when Secretary Gates recently spoke to the Armed Services Committee, which I serve on, and I would like to read his quote because we are going to be there until about 2014 or 2015 unless this Congress demands that we start bringing our troops home. This is his quote:

``That is why we believe that, beginning in fiscal year 2015, the U.S. can, with minimal risk, begin reducing Army active duty end strength by 27,000 and the Marine Corps by somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000. These projections assume that the number of troops in Afghanistan would be significantly reduced by the end of 2014, in accordance with the President's strategy.''

Mr. Speaker, we are going to be there until 2014 or maybe even 2015.

I also would like to show this poster. This was in the Greensboro, North Carolina, paper called the News & Record on February 27, 2011. There's a flag-draped coffin coming off a plane, Mr. Speaker, and the paper in Mr. Howard Coble's district said, ``Get out.'' Get out of Afghanistan before it's too late. And it's a black hole with no end to it.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, I would like to read from a letter from a marine down in my district, Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina. He served 31 years and retired as a colonel in the United States Marine Corps.

``I urge you to make contact with all of the current and newly elected men and women to Congress and ask them to end this war and bring our young men and women home. If any of my comments will assist in this effort, you are welcome to use them and my name,'' Dennis G. Adams, Lieutenant Colonel, Retired, United States Marine Corps.

Mr. Speaker, before I close, yesterday, with Congresswoman Sue Myrick, I went to Walter Reed Hospital to visit the young soldiers and marines who have lost their legs, their arms. Two of them that we saw, Mr. Speaker, have no body parts below their waist. No body parts below their waist. And here we are supporting a corrupt leader of a nation that, quite frankly, will never be a nation. It is a country.

[Time: 10:30]

It is not a nation. It never will have a national government. Why are we wasting $7 billion a month in Afghanistan, and our young men and women are coming back with broken bodies?

Mr. Speaker, it is time to get out of Afghanistan. I close by asking God to please bless our men and women in uniform. I ask God to please bless the families of our men and women in uniform. I ask God, in his loving arms, to hold the families who've given a child dying for freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I ask God to bless the House and Senate that we will do what is right in the eyes of God. And I will ask God to please bless the President, that he will do what is right in the eyes of God.

And I will say three times, God, please, God, please, God, please continue to bless America.

[Page: H2045]  GPO's PDF
(House of Representatives - March 30, 2011)

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