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I am an opponent of Saddam Hussein, but an opponent also, of the sanctions that have killed a million Iraqi children and an opponent of the United States' apparent desire to plunge the Middle East into a new and devastating war.
Three big assumptions proved wrong: one, that the Iraqi people would welcome us as liberators; two, that oil would soon pay for Iraqi's rebuilding; and, three, that we have plenty of troops, weapons, and equipment for the postwar situation.
I believe, if done correctly, eliminating Saddam and liberating Iraq could be the 'Normandy Invasion' or 'fall of the Berlin Wall' of our generation... the Iraqi people are eager to be rid of Saddam, and there is equally encouraging evidence that republican principles could thrive there.
The advent of self-government for the Iraqi people is a watershed moment in their history.
Certainly our goal is to leave Iraq, but we can't leave Iraq with our forces until we know that the Iraqi security forces are capable and efficient enough to defend the sovereignty of the nation.
The Iraqi people are some of the warmest people you'll meet in your life. They are extremely receptive to strangers. Their hospitality is immense.
I dare say there may be some men and women in the Armed Forces who are so decent that they would say: Give the Iraqi people money, we do not want to be paid back. That is the strength of our country.
Just two weeks ago, millions of Iraqis defied the threats of terrorists and went to the polls to determine their own future. I congratulate the Iraqi people for the courage they've shown in making these elections so successful.
The new troops in Iraq need to be Iraqi troops.
Iraqi national identity under Saddam Hussein never truly incorporated Shiites or Kurds. Sunnis, who identified most closely with the Iraqi nation, remain in some ways disenfranchised relative to the other groups, or at least they perceive themselves that way.
There have been linkages between the Iraqi government and al-Qaeda going back more or less a decade.
The Iraqi Free Press, which did not exist 18 months ago because there was no such thing as the Iraqi Free Press, broke a story about the U.N. Oil-for-Food scandal, which could potentially turn out to be the largest scandal in history.
We prefer that the leaders of the Iraqi armed forces do the honorable thing; stop fighting for a regime that does not deserve your loyalty.
In the Gulf War, U.S. Marine Corps wheeled vehicles were killing Iraqi T-72 tanks.
The purpose of the UN mechanism, this inspection mechanism, is not to engage in a cat and mouse game with Saddam Hussein and try to find weapons that the Iraqi government is working on concealing.
The completion of the Iraqi cabinet with the appointment of three critical ministers is also confirmation of continued movement toward a just and democratic society in Iraq.
Nevertheless, I do know that we are part of a danger zone, we have military operations in Afghanistan and we're training the Iraqi police force. The terrorists also have us in their sights.
When the government is handed over to the Iraqi Council on 30 June, many have declared, oh, the Americans must never leave because civil unrest may erupt. Well, I agree, we cannot abruptly depart, but Iraq needs to step up to the plate on 30 June.
Well, we won the war. You know what that means. In twenty years, we'll all be driving Iraqi cars.
In addition to a timeline, I have proposed that U.S. troops be removed from front line combat positions in Iraqi cities and towns, turning over daily security patrols, interactions with citizens, and any offensive security actions to the Iraqis themselves.
Second, the resolution contains the blatantly false assertion that negotiating a timeline for bringing U.S. troops home with the Iraqi government undermines U.S. national security. Such a statement shows a misunderstanding of the enemy we face in Iraq.
I argued that the Bush administration, and the Coalition officials more recently, didn't understand Iraqi society. They thought it was a blank slate, that they could use Iraqis as guinea pigs.
Resolution 1441 does not give anyone the right to an automatic use of force. Russia believes that the Iraqi problem should be regulated by the Security Council, which carries the main responsibility for ensuring international security.
In the remaining months, we should focus on achieving more robust international involvement in training of Iraqi soldiers, police officers, judges, teachers, and doctors - all key elements needed to end the sectarian and civil conflict and build Iraq's future.
We are at war to liberate Iraq, to protect the people of the United States and other countries from the devastating impact of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction being used by terrorists or the Iraqi government to kill thousands of innocent civilians.
C. S. Lewis
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