Skip to comments.Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) Stand on the Iraq War and Build-Up (Email from the Senator)
Posted on 01/29/2007 7:07:21 PM PST by PhiKapMom
Thank you for contacting me about the current situation in Iraq . As your voice in Washington , I appreciate being made aware of your views.
As you know, on May 1 st , 2003, President Bush announced the end of the combat phase of the U.S.-led war in Iraq , and the Administration is committed to doing what is necessary to bring about a stable, democratically elected government to Iraq that respects the rights of all Iraqi citizens.
In the aftermath of the war U.S. troops still remain in Iraq and are partaking in reconstruction and stabilization of the country. In accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483, the Administration's current objective in Iraq is to secure and rebuild the country and fulfill the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people.
Accordingly, the United States fulfilled an objective of capturing Saddam Hussein on December 13 th , 2003. Saddam was placed on trial by an Iraqi court, convicted, and executed for one of the many atrocities he committed during his tyrannical rule. The U.S. has attained other goals by conducting an election of Iraqi represent atives to draft an Iraqi constitution and another popular vote to ratify the Iraqi constitution. A democratically elected unity government has taken office. These successes, along with many others, will help us move toward creating a stable and democratic Iraq .
I fully support our troops in Iraq . Since major operations ended in 2003, we have made considerable progress despite insurgent efforts to destabilize the country. Saddam Hussein's brutal regime has been toppled, and removed from power. The dictator w as captured and then executed under an Iraqi court on December 29 th , 2006. The insurgent and Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq , Abu Zarqawi, has been killed. The Iraqi people are gradually taking responsibility for the future of their country. Further, we have now trained over 134,400 soldiers, sailors, and airmen, and 188,200 police officers have been trained and equipped. Although there is still much work to be done, we have a great deal of which to be proud.
I n a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on November 15 th , 2006, the Commander of our forces in Iraq at that time, General John Abizaid, testified that any kind of "phased redeployment" or withdrawal from Iraq would be disastrous. I agree with General Abizaid when he said that we simply cannot signal to our and Iraq 's enemies the date for which they need to hold out. The withdraw al of troops should be based upon Iraq 's needs and Iraq 's timetable, not politically expedient needs here in the United States . This is why I have continually voted against any legislation that has called on President Bush to move towards a withdrawal of our armed forces.
Unlike many Democrats in Congress, the Iraqi Study Group (ISG) has stated that an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces in Iraq will only breed more violence. The ISG is also correct in their conclusion that temporarily adding more U.S. troops to the region will secure only a fraction of the country for a limited time. While I largely agree with the ISG's broad assessments of the problems facing the U.S. in Iraq , I disagree with some of their suggested solutions. This is not a long-term solution as some of the specific "fixes" they propose are neither new nor innovative.
I think it is naïve to suggest that Iran would work with the U.S. to stabilize Iraq without demanding concessions that are dangerous to our national security, such as allowances on their nuclear program or compromises on their support for Hezbollah. I find it hard to believe that Iran would support a democratically elected Iraq since they are actively now trying to overthrow a democratically elected Lebanon . I am concerned that some of the ISG recommendations seemingly run counter to what the new Secretary of Defense believes. The ISG recommends that the Department of Defense continue to lead the training of the Iraqi Security Forces. However, Dr. Gates has testified that he is uncertain that this is the best way forward. Whatever needs to take place should take place, but giving dangerous concessions to Iran and Syria is unacceptable and will only serve to weaken the national security of the United States .
I believe that if we want the Iraqi Security Forces to fight and win, they must be re-equipped with modern military arms and not Cold War relics. We must set the conditions for success in Iraq , provide our military leaders everything they say they need to succeed, and demand that our military leaders deliver us that success.
Like many Americans, I too would like to see our troops come home as soon as possible. However, we must properly complete the mission in Iraq . We cannot afford to repeat our past mistakes and leave behind a weak government that is unable to defend itself. We must remember what Winston Churchill said many years ago:
Let us learn the lessons. Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy. Always remember, however sure you are that you can easily win, that there would not be a war if the other man did not think he also had a chance.
Yet we cannot afford to lose. We must maintain a determined yet flexible strategy here, one able to react to the fluid circumstance of war. More than ever we must remain united. The President has made it clear that leaving Iraq in its current state is not an option. The real power in America is in its people. And here lies the crux of this issue; we do not see ourselves as a nation at war. But make no mistake, we are at war.
I applaud the President's speech; he took personal responsibility for mistakes . I also support his position that we can still win. As the President stated, the gloves have to come off. O ur children and grandchildren , of which I have 20 of my own , will face the implication of our failing in Iraq . Radical Islam will have a safe haven to carry out training and to use as a base of operations to target free societies such as ours . They will be emboldened with victory and we can expect more insurgencies and terrorist attacks to rise up.
I echo the President's recommitment and we must be resolved to win. But let me say this loud and clear, we must do this right. We have one last shot here and we in Congress have to provide the resources to ensure that it is done right. We must give our commanders the reinforcements that they are asking for. We must give them what they are saying they need to win and change the rules of engagement so that they can. We must also properly equip the Iraqis. We didn't in the past because we thought it was an unnecessary risk and it was a mistake. However, I have visited Iraq numerous times and the Iraqi forces I talked with in Fallujah were convinced th ey could win. Our goal is an Iraq that can govern, sustain, and defend itself. I believe that the success of this hinges greatly on the actions of the Iraqi people.
Rest assured, I understand the concerns of many Americans about sending reinforcements to Iraq and I have heard loud and clear the objections of Oklahomans who believe that it is time to bring the troops home. I am also aware of the history of the Middle East and the long-running conflicts between the various ethic and religious groups. However I have visited Iraq numerous times since the end of the war to see firsthand the status of the country. I will not support any action that I believe undermines the national security interests of the United States .
Again, thank you for taking the time to share your concerns with me. Please do not hesitate to contact me again in the future.
FYI! Thought you would all like to see what a Republican Senator with spine has to say about the President's plan for Iraq.
Yahoo! At least one MAN is hearing!
Was at a meeting and just got back home to find this in my email -- made my evening!
He gets it. So does Newt and even Joe Lieberman.
The list of those who don't is very long.
Excellent. He has 20 grand children! WOW!
I know! When I started reading this I thought back to the very first thread I had someone on here help me post -- Sen Inhofe's speech on the Theft of Nuclear Secrets. He is the best Senator that I have every had!
The great state of Oklahoma has the finest Senate contingent, bar none.
Only Sessions comes close, and he's just one.
Absolutely! Wish we had more Senators like this!
I find it hard to believe that Iran would support a democratically elected Iraq since they are actively now trying to overthrow a democratically elected Lebanon.
Get a Christmas card from the Family and he always his kids and grandkids on the card. They are just a neat family with a Dad who doesn't put his finger in the wind but stands tall for our military and our national security.
Thanks. This is like spotting an endangered species.
Exactly! Sen Inhofe is up for reelection in 2008 and already volunteered to help on that campaign. We have to keep him in the Senate alongside Dr. Tom. I love Sessions too!
Many thanks for the ping...that's some great letter! :-)
Thanks for sharing. Great email. Watching hillary on "360" what a huge difference.
I didn't realize he's in his 70's. LOOKS a lot younger than his age, IMO.
That comment jumped right out of the email at me as well --"I find it hard to believe that Iran would support a democratically elected Iraq since they are actively now trying to overthrow a democratically elected Lebanon."
Felt like cheering when I read this email after reading all the Warner nonsense.
Not only did YOU write, but you got a great answer. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
I didn't read any wavering in that letter...which is good, it seems like ALL of the GOP Congresspeople go along with the President up to a POINT..then they start talking about benchmarks and oversight..and resolutions..blah, blah.
Okay..Inhofe in the A+ column.
No kidding! We have two Senators with spines -- Inhofe and Coburn.
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