We admire Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, our congressman from Lincoln, for not singing onto on the House’s “non-binding” resolution in favor of losing the war in Iraq. The Lincoln Journal Star criticized Fortenberry for not going along with it, and today they published his statement to the House as his rebuttal:
Madam Speaker, this is a pivotal moment for our nation and a very grave and solemn policy debate. We cannot afford to allow the ups and downs of the daily news cycle to set the course for our deliberations. The stakes in Iraq are too high.
During last year’s debate on Iraq, I emphasized that this war is different from the wars of the past — there is no front, no lines of demarcation, no clear enemy in distinct uniforms. This is a war “that invades tranquil space and time without warning, carried out by those who hide among civilian populations, seeking to exploit the vulnerable for ruthless ideological purposes. … We have never before waged a war in an age of globalization, in an age when technology eviscerates the concept of distance, magnifies our losses, trivializes our accomplishments, and places our adversaries in a far better position to leverage our freedoms — particularly freedom of speech — against us.” These are the complexities.
Madam Speaker, I submit that our choices now stand to determine not only the future of the Middle East but the very future of civilization. We can point fingers, blame each other, or we can think constructively together.
So what are our choices?
The National Intelligence Estimate categorically rejects an arbitrary or precipitous U.S. troop withdrawal. The result would be horrific chaos, a humanitarian disaster, destabilizing the entire Middle East, emboldening the geo-political aims of Iran and leading to a much less peaceful world.
It’s a good speech, and you should read the rest of it.