A few weeks ago I shared an email from Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison from Texas. Today I would like to add the response I received from our other Texas Senator, John Cornyn. Is it any wonder to you why I love the state of Texas? We are represented very well! I would like to encourage each of you to write to your Representatives and let them know your views and concerns. remember, they are in Washington representing us.
Dear Mrs. J******:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the United States’ policy toward Iraq and about providing funds for our troops serving overseas. I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on these matters.
Liberation from Saddam Hussein’s oppressive rule was Iraq’s first step on the long road to democracy. Although there were real disagreements over how to deal with the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, we all agree that a democratic, stable, and prosperous Iraq is in the best interest of its citizens, the region, and the international community. Indeed, the world is safer because this brutal dictator was removed from power.
I fully support funding our troops in a timely manner as they fight terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I am disappointed that some members of Congress delayed this critical funding for several months. As you may know, President George W. Bush sent a funding request for our troops to Congress in early February. I am pleased that on May 24, 2007, the Senate passed H.R. 2206 and President Bush signed it into law on May 25, 2007. Completion of this emergency supplemental bill is critical for our troops serving on the front lines and for our military facilities here at home. Regardless of political differences, all Americans should be united in support of our brave men and women in uniform. This bill provides funding for new body armor, the construction of improved mine resistant vehicles, and importantly, the resources to train and equip Iraqi soldiers, so that our troops can come home as soon as possible.
I remain deeply concerned about the level of sectarian violence in Iraq. Despite the successful 2005 elections and constitutional referendum, in which large numbers of Iraqis participated, violence between Shiites and Sunnis increased dramatically in 2006—due primarily to the Al Qaeda bombing of a sacred Shiite mosque in Samarra in February 2006. Unfortunately, the nascent Iraqi government has been unable to end this wave of sectarian violence.
It is critical that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Iraqi government work aggressively to broker a political settlement among Shiites, Kurds, and Sunnis that ends the violence. Though the United States can help improve Iraq’s short-term security situation with additional military personnel, in the end, it is up to the Iraqis to determine the success of their democracy.
Failure to lay the foundation for a stable Iraq would result in a greater terrorist threat to our nation—especially as Iran seeks to extend its influence in the region and Al Qaeda tries to establish an Islamic caliphate that would serve as a base of terrorist operations. Unfortunately, Iran and Syria continue to pursue policies that undermine stability in Iraq, allowing foreign fighters to cross their borders and providing insurgents with weaponry that has been used to kill American military personnel.
We all want our troops home as soon as possible, but our military strategy in Iraq must be based on clear national security considerations. We owe it to all Americans to establish a strategy for victory, and to support it—with one voice. I look forward to working with President Bush and my congressional colleagues in a bipartisan manner to establish a way forward in Iraq that will lead to a safer world for us all.
I appreciate having the opportunity to represent the interests of Texans in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.
United States Senator