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Rep. John Lewis Speaks for Redeployment of Troops in Iraq

June 16, 2006
Press Release

June 16, 2006 -As a founding member of the Out-of-Iraq Caucus, a coalition of 72 members of the House of Representatives who are seeking ways to end the conflict in Iraq, Rep. John Lewis spoke on the floor last night in support of Rep. John Murtha's Resolution to redeploy American troops from Iraq. That resolution also mandates that no permanent U.S. military bases remain in Iraq after troop withdrawal. Congressman Lewis made the following statement on the House floor last night:

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, Mr. Murtha, for yielding me time.

Mr. Speaker, it is time for us to close this very grim chapter in American history. A chapter that is leaving a dark stain on the moral fabric of our nation and compromising our credibility among the community of nations.

As Gandhi once said, "Liberty and democracy become unholy when their hands are dyed red with innocent blood."

Mr. Speaker, we have buried 25 hundred of our nation's mothers, father, daughters, sons, husbands, wives, brothers, and sisters.The lives of 18 thousand men and women have been changed forever. Some have lost their arms, their legs, and their sight in this unnecessary conflict.

Mr. Speaker, war is messy. War is bloody. It tends not to only hide the truth, but to sacrifice the truth. While we may have won some military victories, those do not erase the mistakes of a preemptive war.

They will not silence the questions that are troubling the minds of the American people. They know today that Iraq did not pose an immediate threat. There were no weapons of mass destruction, and they see that we are deeply involved in a misguided conflict.

Mr. Speaker, I deeply believe the American people want to bring their children home. We are not safer today, than we were before we went to war. This war is not the answer. So we must find a way, out of no way, to bring our young men and our young women home. Thank you.