Congressman Meeks Will Vote Against Hyde Amendment
"Last Wednesday, my Republican col league, Rep. Henry Hyde, will introduce a resolution on behalf of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and other top House Republican leaders, that en dorses the Bush Administration’s act ions in Iraq over the past year," Says Con gressman Gregory Meeks. "If pass ed, the resolution will put the im prim atur of the United States House of Rep res entatives on what President Bush has instigated in Iraq during the 12 months that have lapsed since he in vad ed that country a year ago this Friday."
Meeks says that he went to Iraq last summer as a member of the House In ternational Relations Committee.
"I have followed the evolution of the war closely. I have talked in detail with both Pentagon and State Department personnel. While I think the toppling of Saddam Hussein is a good thing, the way we went about it has been an un mit igated disaster with catastrophic con sequences for American prestige and credibility. Moreover, much like the deficit and national debt, the Ad min istration has left us with a burden from which it will take not months or a few years, but perhaps decades, to extricate ourselves," he says.
"I have nothing but praise for our war riors in Iraq, but I oppose the Pres ident’s Iraq war. If this were a resolution praising our warriors instead of using them as a pretext for sanctioning the President’s after-the-fact arguments for going to war, I would vote for it.A0If this were a resolution calling on the President and the community to come clean on why no weapons of mass destruction have been found, I would vote for it," Meeks adds.
He argues that if this were a resolution condemning the no-bid contracts by which private military companies like Halliburton have enriched themselves and whose contributions have fattened President Bush’s campaign treasury, he would vote for it.
"If this were a resolution demanding that the President jettison his reckless doctrine of preemption and preventive war which served as the ideological and political predicate for what has become Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld’s folly, I would vote for it."
"If this were a resolution insisting that the Administration return to the multilateral approach that guided American foreign policy for more than a half century, I would vote for it.A0 If this were a resolution instructing the Administration to build an international consensus on the next steps in building a democratic but genuinely sovereign Iraq, I would vote for it."
"If this were a resolution appealing to Mr. Bush to refocus on waging a war against terrorism instead of against heads of states that he doesn’t like, I would vote for it."
"If this were a resolution proposing ways in which Congress and the president will raise our soldiers’ pay, im prove their housing at home and ab road, ensure quality health care for their families and survivors, I would vote for it.A0If this were a resolution guar anteeing greater benefits, job train ing, educational and employment opportunities for returning veterans, I would vote for it."
"But," Meeks concludes, "since this resolution is none of the above, I am compelled to vote against it.A0Since this resolution is steeped in hypocrisy and self-congratulatory bravado while re fus ing to address the false pretenses upon which the Iraq war was launch ed, I am compelled to vote against it. Since this resolution fails to call on the House to hold an open and honest public discussion of how and why it allow ed itself to be misled into passing the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 107-243), I am compelled to vote against it, just like I voted against the resolution authorizing the war and the various supplemental appropriations to pay for the war and for Iraq reconstruction, I will vote against this resolution because it applauds deceptive decisions and failed policy, even as I hold our men and women serving in Iraq in the highest praise possible.A0I ap plaud their courage and skill.A0I pray their safe return home."