Reyes Delivers Spanish Language Response to President's Address on Iraq

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Fri Sep 14 12:47:27 UTC 2007

Reyes Delivers Spanish Language Response to President's Address on Iraq
Posted on : 2007-09-14 |
Author : Office of the Speaker of the House and Office of the Senate Majority

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Silvestre
Reyes of Texas, a Vietnam combat veteran and Chairman of the House
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, delivered the Spanish
language response to President Bush's speech to the nation tonight on
Iraq. Below is the text of his address:

"Good evening. I'm Congressman Silvestre Reyes of Texas. I am the
Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, a
senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, and a Vietnam
combat veteran. "I'd like to take a few minutes of your time to
discuss President Bush's remarks this evening regarding the war in
Iraq. "As someone who has experienced war, I know the stress and fear
of operating in a dangerous environment, as our young men and women
are doing right now in Iraq. As a nation, we are indebted to them and
their families, and I thank them for their service. It is our brave
men and women in uniform who, more than anyone else, deserve a clear
answer from the President of the United States about the way forward
in Iraq.

"Tonight, our troops, and indeed all Americans, did not receive that
answer from President Bush. Instead, we saw more stubborn refusal to
acknowledge the will of the American people to bring our troops home.
Tonight, the President has announced a stay-the-course strategy that
puts us on a path for 10 years of war in Iraq.  "Instead of an
open-ended commitment to endless war, we need a new direction.

"Almost five years after the war began, we lack clear progress toward
political reconciliation and have had to endure shifting missions from
our Commander in Chief. Instead of hunting down the architect of 9/11
-- Osama bin Laden -- and quelling terrorists in Afghanistan,
President Bush has focused our resources and manpower on Iraq. As a
result, we are seeing increased radicalism in the region and the
American people are less safe.

"After nearly five years, our servicemen and women have suffered
tragic casualties and life-altering injuries, we have spent hundreds
of billions of taxpayer dollars, and our military readiness is at its
lowest levels since the Vietnam War. "Yet, the threat of terrorism
looms as al Qaeda has been able to gain strength, Pakistan has become
less stable, and Iran has grown increasingly dangerous, and most of
Iraq is not secure. The recent testimony by General David Petraeus and
U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, while citing what military
progress they can, points to uneven, inconsistent results. And even
they agree -- there has been no political progress, as the Iraqi
government has failed to implement the reforms needed for national

"And what does President Bush offer us? "More of the same -- a recipe
for endless war in Iraq.

"The President's intention to withdraw 30,000 troops from Iraq by next
summer is not a new policy. This reduction, driven by necessity not by
choice, will only restore U.S. military forces to their pre-surge
level and does little to address the fundamental sources of conflict
in Iraq.

"This is counterproductive, dangerous, and unacceptable.

"The reality on the ground in Iraq is that civil and political unrest
reign supreme, and this cannot be solved by our brave troops. In fact,
even when U.S. troops 'surged' in Baghdad to give Iraqi Prime Minister
Maliki the room he said he needed to bring the Sunni, Shia, and Kurds
together, there was no significant political progress.

"Prime Minister Maliki and the Iraqi government must take a strong
stand against sectarian division, and the Bush Administration must up
the pressure on the Iraqi government and engage the international
community to make that happen.

"A strategic redeployment of American forces combined with increased
pressure on the Iraqi government and international assistance is
essential for success.

"Instead of continuing down the same road, what we need is a new
comprehensive strategy that defends our vital interests in the region,
effectively targets the scourge of Islamic extremism, and is worthy of
the sacrifices of our brave troops.

"Mr. President -- please listen to the American people and do what's
right for our troops and their families.

"This is Congressman Silvestre Reyes of Texas. Thank you for listening."

Office of the Speaker of the House and Office of the Senate Majority,177910.shtml

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