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Madam Speaker, the United States Government plans to abandon our current missile defense plan in Europe. That will leave this country more vulnerable. Why would we want to do that? With Iran in a race to get the nuclear bomb and testing long-range missiles, America and Europe are at risk.
But the American Government decided to abandon the current missile defense shield to be installed in Poland and the accompanying radar system in the Czech Republic. This system was to protect Europe and the United States from a missile launch from Iran. The whole world knows that the little man from the desert, Ahmadinejad, is building nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles that could send nukes to the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. We have agreements with Poland and the Czech Republic for defensive missile systems. Don't we have an obligation to protect America from the threats of tyrants like Ahmadinejad? We should not break our word with our allies. America loses its credibility with our allies by failing to live up to our commitments.
Madam Speaker, America and Poland have a special relationship. This body just voted to grant honorary U.S. citizenship to Casimir Pulaski, the Father of the American Cavalry. He was born in Poland, and he was essential to our victory in the American War for Independence. Congress commissioned this Polish individual, Pulaski, as a brigadier general with the command of all the American Cavalry; and after training American troops for a year, Washington approved the formation of an independent corps of cavalry, and Pulaski's Legion became the training ground for American Cavalry officers like "Light Horse" Harry Lee, the father of Robert E. Lee. Once a British officer called Pulaski's Legion simply, "the best damn cavalry the rebels ever had."
Then later, when World War II began, Hitler first invaded Poland. That happened 70 years ago this past September. Poland was occupied by the tyranny of Nazism. The horror that was Auschwitz was in Poland at a place where Jews, musicians, writers, Poles and other peoples died horrible deaths. There were many concentration camps in Poland, Auschwitz being the largest and most infamous of these extermination camps. Jews and others were worked to death. This policy was called the Vernichtung durch Arbeit, or as we say in English, the annihilation through work. My father was one of the Americans to liberate the concentration camps in Europe at the end of World War II. He was a teenager and still recounts the inhumane treatment of humans by tyrants.
As America celebrated the end of World War II in 1945, Poland then was occupied by the tyranny of communism and for decades the people of Poland lived under the tyrants of communism.
So the Polish people understand more than anyone the terrors of living under tyranny. They have a special love for freedom and liberty, and they have a special love for America. Now Poland has partnered with the United States to put a missile defense system in their nation, and we must not desert them, Madam Speaker. They even stand with us in fighting terrorists in Afghanistan, and I got to meet numerous Polish soldiers at Camp Bagram in Afghanistan earlier this year. They are our friends and our partners and our allies. We stand shoulder to shoulder in this fight against the war on terror.
I also had the opportunity to meet with the Polish people in Poland earlier to discuss missile defense and other matters, and they a