I honestly think Obama will win the primary the way things are looking and that  scares me like never before especially when it comes to our National Defense.  We ALL need to rally and vote for McCain to ensure that Obama is not our next president because if he wins our country will be an open target for all of those who hate America.  McCain can ensure that this won't happen, I believe this, he is wise, has the experience and is very knowledgeable, knows what he is doing to protect us and genuinely cares as he's proved his loyalty to us with his service and his prisonment and torture which he edured for our country.  It ultamitely comes down to us against them, the bad guys against the good guys and we need to win this war and we will if McCain is our next president.

 

SENATOR McCAIN STATEMENT ON THE NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2008

September 18, 2007

Washington, D.C.– U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today made the following statement on the Senate floor regarding the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008:

“Mr. President, September has arrived. Having received the much-anticipated testimony of General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, the U.S. Senate now begins a debate of historic proportions.

“At stake is nothing less than the future of Iraq, the Middle East, and the security of all Americans for decades to come. The Senate faces a series of stark choices – whether to build on the success of the surge and fight for additional gains, or whether to set a date for American surrender in Iraq and suffer thereby the terrible consequences that will ensue. As we consider each of the Iraq-related amendments filed on this bill, let us understand the enormous consequences of decisions taken here. Henry Kissinger framed the debate in a Washington Post article this weekend, saying, ‘American decisions in the next few months will affect the confidence and morale of potential targets, potential allies and radical jihadists around the globe. Above all, they will define the U.S. capacity to contribute to a safer and better world.’

“Let us proceed with this debate, keeping in mind that the underlying bill – the National Defense Authorization Act – contains many non-Iraq provisions that constitute good defense policy and that will strengthen the ability of our country to defend itself. That is why the Committee voted unanimously to report the bill, which fully funds the President’s $648 billion defense budget request, authorizes a 3.5 percent pay raise for all military personnel, increases Army and Marine end strength, reforms the system that serves wounded veterans, and provides necessary measures to avoid waste, fraud, and abuse in defense procurement. It’s a good bill, and I believe that we need to send it to the President’s desk.

“While the Senate moved off the bill in July and onto other things, and then went into a month-long recess, American soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen continued fighting bravely and tenaciously in Iraq, in concert with their Iraqi counterparts. Some Senators undoubtedly welcomed the delay in considering the defense bill, believing that General Petraeus would deliver to Congress a report filled only with defeat and despair. If this was their hope, they were sorely disappointed. As we all now know, General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker reported what some of us argued before the bill was pulled two months ago – that the surge is working, that we are making progress toward our goals, and that success – while long, hard, and by no means certain – is possible.

“We are succeeding only after four years of failures, years that have exacted an enormous cost on our country and on the brave men and women who fight in Iraq on our behalf. Some of us from the beginning warned against the Rumsfeld strategy of too few troops, insufficient resources, and a plan predicated on hope rather than on the difficult business of stabilization and counterinsurgency. We lost years to that strategy, years we cannot get back. In the process, the American people became saddened, frustrated, and angry.

“I, too, am heartsick at the terrible price we have paid for nearly four years of mismanaged war. But I also know that America cannot simply end this effort in frustration and accept the terrible consequences of defeat in Iraq. We cannot choose to lose in Iraq, and I believe that we must give our commanders the time and support they’ve asked for to win this war. Ralph Peters, the distinguished military strategist, summed it up best, noting that Congress’ failure to support General Petraeus “would be a shame, since, after nearly four years of getting it miserably wrong in Iraq, we’re finally getting it right.”

“In two days of testimony and countless interviews, General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker described how we are finally getting it right. We finally have in place a counterinsurgency strategy – one that we should have been following from the beginning – which makes the most effective use of our strength and does not advance the tactics of our enemy. This new strategy, backed by a tactical surge in troops, is the only approach that has resulted in real security improvements in Iraq.

“General Petraeus reported that the overall number of “security incidents” in Iraq has declined in 8 of the past 12 weeks, and that sectarian violence has dropped substantially since the change in strategy. Civilian deaths nationwide are down by nearly half since December, and have dropped by some 70 percent in Baghdad. Deaths resulting from sectarian violence have come down by 80 percent since December and the number of car bombings and suicide attacks has declined in each of the past five months. Anyone who has traveled recently to Anbar, or Diyala, or Baghdad, can see the improvements that have taken place over the past months. With violence down, commerce has risen and the bottom-up efforts to forge counterterrorism alliances are bearing tangible fruit. This is not to argue that Baghdad or other areas have suddenly become safe – they have not – but such positive developments illustrate General Petraeus’ contention that American and Iraqi forces have achieved substantial progress.

“There are many challenges remaining, and the road ahead is long and tough. The Maliki government has not taken advantage of our efforts to enable reconciliation and is not functioning as it must. While violence has declined significantly, it remains high and success is not certain. We can be sure, however, that should the United States Congress choose to lose – by legislating a date for withdrawal, and thus surrender, or mandating a change in mission that would undermine our efforts in Iraq – then, Mr. President, we will fail for certain.

“Make no mistake – the consequences of America’s defeat in Iraq will be terrible and long lasting. There is in some corners a belief that we can simply turn the page in Iraq, come home, and move on to other things. This is dangerously wrong. If we surrender in Iraq, we will be back – in Iraq and elsewhere – in many more desperate fights to protect our security and at an even greater cost in American lives and treasure. Two weeks ago, General Jim Jones testified before the Armed Services Committee and outlined what he believes to be the consequences of such a course: “. . . a precipitous departure which results in a failed state in Iraq,” he said, “will have a significant boost in the numbers of extremists, jihadists . . . in the world, who will believe that they will have toppled the major power on Earth and that all else is possible. And I think it will not only make us less safe; it will make our friends and allies less safe. And the struggle will continue. It will simply be done in different and in other areas.”

“Some senators would like to withdraw our troops from Iraq so we can get back to fighting what they believe to be the “real” war on terror. This, too, is inaccurate. Iraq has become the central front in the global war on terror, and failure there would turn Iraq into a terrorist sanctuary, in the heart of the Middle East, next door to Iran, the world’s largest state-sponsor of terrorism. If we fail in Iraq, we will concede territory to jihadists to plan attacks against America and our friends and allies. The region could easily descend into chaos, wider war, and genocide, and we should have no doubt about who will take advantage. The Iranian president has stated his intentions bluntly, saying, “Soon, we will see a huge power vacuum in the region. Of course, we are prepared to fill the gap.”

“We cannot allow an Iranian dominated Middle East to take shape in the context of wider war and terrorist safehavens. General Jones is just one of many distinguished national security experts who warn against the consequences of a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq. As Brent Scowcroft said, ‘The costs of staying are visible; the costs of getting out are almost never discussed. . . If we get out before Iraq is stable, the entire Middle East region might start to resemble Iraq today. Getting out is not a solution.’ Natan Sharansky has written that a precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces ‘could lead to a bloodbath that would make the current carnage pale by comparison.’ And Henry Kissinger warns that, ‘An abrupt withdrawal from Iraq would not end the war; it would only redirect it.’”

“The proponents of withdrawal counter that none of these terrible consequences would unfold should any of their various proposals become law. On the contrary, they argue, U.S. forces could, when not engaged in training the Iraqi forces, engage in targeted counterterrorism operations. But our own military commanders say that such a narrow approach to the complex Iraqi security environment will not succeed, and that moving in with search and destroy missions to kill and capture terrorists, only to immediately cede the territory to the enemy, is a recipe for failure. How can they be so sure? It’s simple, Mr. President – this focus on training and counterterrorism constitutes the very strategy that so plainly failed for the first four years of this war. To return to such an unsuccessful approach is truly “staying the course,” and it is a course that will inevitably lead to our defeat and to catastrophic consequences for Iraq, the region, and the security of the United States.

“General Petraeus and his commanders have embraced a new strategy, one that can, over time, lead to success in Iraq. They are fighting smarter and better, and in a way that can give Iraqis the security and opportunity to make decisions necessary to save their country from the abyss of genocide and a permanent and spreading war, and in a way that will safeguard fundamental American interests. They ask just two things of us: the time to continue this strategy and the support they need to carry out their mission. They must have both, and I will fight to ensure that they do.

“As we engage in this debate, I hope that each of us will recall our most solemn allegiance, which is not to party or politics but to country. I have heard on this floor the claim that our efforts in Iraq somehow constitute “Bush’s war” or the “Republican war.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. Presidents do not lose wars. Political parties do not lose wars. Nations lose wars and suffer the consequences, or prevail and enjoy the blessings of their success.

“All of us want our troops to come home, and to come home as soon as possible. But we should want our soldiers to return to us with honor, the honor of victory that is due all of those who have paid with the ultimate sacrifice. We have many responsibilities to the people who elected us, but one responsibility outweighs all the others, and that is to protect this great and good nation from all enemies foreign and domestic.

“This is a serious debate, Mr. President, and one we engage at a time of national peril. The Americans who make the greatest sacrifices have earned the right to insist that we do our duty, as best we can and remember to whom and what we owe our first allegiance – to the security of the American people and to the ideals upon which our nation was founded.”



 


  

 

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