Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches

Mr. Speaker, I went to Iraq in 2005. I was one of two Members of this Congress to view the first free elections in their history, and I watched in awe and admiration as more than 8 million people went to the polls and elected a government. Men and women, young and old, courageously cast their ballots in the face of the violent terrorists.

I spoke to many Iraqis and they showed great defiance against those outlaws that wished to disrupt those elections. Despite facing 300 attacks across the nation that day, more than 60 percent of the Iraqis went out to vote. Not even 44 murders by the terrorists could remove the resolve of those people.

Men and women waited in line to cast their vote. They took the historic ballots, entered a cardboard booth and made their choice. With that simple but noble action, they pushed tyrants and terrorists aside and set Iraq on a path to freedom. Then they marched down the street holding their ink stained finger up high in defiance of those terrorists.

I talked to Iraqis. And I talked to a woman who came up to me with tears in her eyes after she voted and said how grateful she and her family were for the America that we live in, for giving their sons for her family's freedom.

She went on to relate to me how her husband and her brother had been murdered by the devil of the desert, Saddam Hussein.

There have been more successful elections since the first, and the skeptics and the critics get it wrong with each new free and successful election.

Democracy is the enemy of terrorists. They hate democracies as much as they hate the human life of the innocents that they murder.

We cannot give in to these madmen. The insurgents have discovered that the United States and her allies cannot be defeated on the battlefield. They have also found that the steely resolve of the Iraqi people to create a free and fair and inclusive government cannot be broken. Liberty and freedom are overcoming treachery and tyranny and violence. We will not fear nor flee nor flinch in this absolute resolve.

And our mission statement was stated 40 years ago by President John F. Kennedy when he said, ``Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we will pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe in order to assure the survival and success of liberty.''

And that's just the way it is.