Freedom Ain’t Free & Take Our Country Back

VICTORY Is Not Defeat

What A REAL War Hero Says…

What A REAL War Hero Says…

Friday, March 23, 2007 8:31 PM

War Hero, Rep. Sam Johnson, On the Ill-Advised Democrat Plan to Micromanage the War

“We must give all our men and women in uniform everything they need to thwart the insurgency in Iraq and come home safely and soon. You know, we can’t tie the hands of the guys on the ground with timelines or benchmarks. And worse, we shouldn’t be using an emergency troop spending bill as a way to finance the political gimmickry of special interest projects.”(Rep. Sam Johnson, 3/23/07)

THE ENTIRE SPEECH FROM TODAY…the current CONgress disgusts me…

Sam Johnson blasts pork-laden troops’ spending bill

Today on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson (3rd Dist.-Texas) spearheaded the Republican efforts against a so-called emergency troop spending bill filled with non-related spending.  Specifically, the emergency bill for the armed forces in harm’s way contains: $25 million for payments to spinach producers; $120 million to the shrimp industry; and $74 million for peanut storage, among other things.  The Democrat’s bill barely passed 218 to 212 with one Member of Congress voting present. 

A 29-year Air Force veteran, Johnson served in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars.  Johnson spent nearly seven years as a Prisoner of War, more than half of that time in solitary confinement.  Johnson experienced fighting in a war for this country when the Congress pulled the plug on funding and he vowed that when he returned home, he would never, ever let that happen again. 

In January Johnson introduced legislation calling on Congress to support all troops in harm’s way and prohibiting Congress from cutting any funding for the armed forces while deployed.  Johnson’s measure, H.R. 511, has 179 co-sponsors.  This week, Johnson filed a discharge petition to force an up-or-down vote on his bill.  The discharge petition is a parliamentary procedure that demands 218 signatures for a bill to go straight to the floor for full House consideration. 

Johnson’s remarks follow:

“I rise today in support of a clean emergency spending bill for our troops…but this one is all smoke and mirrors. 

“We must give our men and women in uniform everything that they need to thwart the insurgency in Iraq and come home safely and soon…We must not tie the hands of the guys on the ground with timelines or benchmarks, and worse, we must not use the emergency troop spending bill as a way to finance the political gimmickry of special-interest projects.

“It’s just exasperating that the Democrat leaders have turned the Emergency Troop Spending Bill into a pork-barrel project give-away.  This bill gives piles of money to shrimpers, spinach farmers, and peanut storage.  What does throwing money at Bubba Gump, Popeye the Sailorman, and Mr. Peanut have to do with winning a war? Nothing! 

“The special-interest projects added to increase the likelihood of this bill passing are an insult to the troops who want, need and deserve our full support.  The Democrats are trying to buy the majority vote today one pork project at a time perhaps…. because the majority does not support their slow-bleed surrender strategy. 

“Since the President announced his new plan for Iraq in January, there has been measured, steady progress.  He changed the rules of engagement and removed political protections. 

“Coalition forces nabbed more than 50 suspects and dismantled a bomb factory in Iraq over the past few days.  Coalition forces in Iraq detained seven suspects with reported ties to foreign-fighter groups. 

“In Ramadi, troops nabbed four other suspects with alleged ties to al Qaeda.  In Mosul, coalition forces captured a former paramilitary leader who allegedly is responsible for setting up al Qaeda terrorist training camps in Iraq and Syria. 

“During another operation, troops captured a suspected terrorist with alleged ties to an al Qaeda car-bomb and assassination cell.  We must seize this opportunity to move forward and not stifle future success and harm troop morale. 

“More importantly, I want to know, how many of you have ever asked your constituents, ‘Do you want to lose in Iraq?’  I think if you asked that question, ‘do you want to lose in Iraq,’ Americans will whole-heartedly say no!  We have smart, strong men and women serving in Iraq and they need our help.  They need the full support of their country and their Congress. 

“Our troops don’t need 435 generals in Washington declaring, ‘we’ll send you money for bullets, but we won’t send you bullet-proof vests.’ Our troops don’t need folks in suits sitting in wood-paneled rooms on Capitol Hill saying, ‘we’ll send you armored tanks, but we won’t send you gas.’  Literally, this bill forces our guys on the ground to fight a war with one arm tied behind their backs.  That’s just smacks of defeat. 

“Most of you in the chamber know that I spent nearly seven years as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam, more than half of that time in solitary confinement.  Well, that was during my second tour in Vietnam. 

“During my first tour I worked for General Westmoreland at MAC-V Headquarters, Military Assistance Command Vietnam.  While working late at night we had a bunch of men involved in the first real hand-to-hand combat using bayonets.  It was gory.  This was war.  Turns out that someone sent back footage to Washington that would match the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. 

“In the middle of the night the red phone rang and I answered it.  I heard an earful that is not fit for the house chamber.  Something like, ‘This is the White House.  What in the hell is going on over there?’ 

“I replied, ‘I’ll wake up General Westmoreland.’  They slammed the phone down and hung up. 

“Starting in 1965, we had folks in Washington trying to tell the Generals how to run things on the ground in Vietnam.  A generation ago we saw what happens when you stop the funding…and America stiffs its friends.  As a matter of fact, just this morning Iran captured British sailors.  This bill prevents us from responding from Kuwait for our close allies, the British, in an emergency. 

“If you don’t believe me, just think back to the dark day in history when we saw visions of American Marines airlifting Vietnamese out of the U.S. Embassy.  Do you remember that?  That’s what happens when America makes a commitment, Congress cuts the funding, and we go home with our tails between our legs. 

“The brave Marines who died on that day in 1975 while innocent people desperately clung to life on a rope tied to a helicopter are a testimony to what happens when Congress cuts the funding and we leave without finishing the job.  We can not let that happen again and I don’t think Members in this Chamber want that to happen. 

“Frankly, we all want our troops to come home… when the job is done.   We want to win! 

“Internationally announcing our timelines for withdrawal literally hands the enemy our war plan….and gives them hope that they’ll win if they just wait it out. 

“What world-super power would do such a thing?  We are the United States of America.

We are the premiere military force on the globe.  We are the land of the free and the home of the brave.  Surely we do not go around announcing to the world how we will conduct and win a war. 

“Surrendering is not an option.  Abandoning our troops is not an option.  Look around you – we are America! 

“Do you want to lose in Iraq?  Voting to set a hard exit date for U.S. troops in Iraq and imposing strict standards for deploying forces gives hope to the enemy and is a prescription for failure. 

“Worse – forcing Members of Congress to decide on this issue when the bill is cluttered with excess money for spinach and peanuts is abhorrent, infuriating and ill-advised. 

“My dear colleagues – if you really want to debate the merits of a timed withdrawal – give each Member of Congress an up-or-down vote so we can vote our conscience.  The sweeteners in this bill are political bribery and our troops deserve so much better than this. 

“We can not abandon our men and women in uniform simply for politically charged benchmarks wrapped up in fat-cat constituent projects. 

“If we learned anything from those brave Marines who died trying to save innocent people that day at the embassy in Vietnam…it’s that the Marines never quit – neither should we!”

May 28, 2007 - Posted by | GWOT, My CONgress Critters

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