Ending the War in Afghanistanby Representative Walter B. Jones
Posted on 2015-01-21
JONES. Mr. Speaker, I am sure that my colleagues would agree that
we have many needs in our districts. For example, my district has an
inlet that cannot be dredged, which causes an economic problem. And the
reason it cannot be dredged is because of lack of funds. We continue to
spend billions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but there is no
money for necessary infrastructure projects back here in North Carolina
and across the Nation.
Mr. Speaker, as you know, I have been outspoken on the continuation of war in Afghanistan. I would like to recite a segment from Rudyard Kipling's poem, ``Epitaphs of the War,'' as Ron Paul did when we went into Iraq: ``If any question why we died, tell them because our fathers lied.'' Mr. Speaker, a recent letter to the editor of the Marine Corps Times echoed the same sentiment. Bryan Chou wrote: ``Remember the part I said about ending the Marines' presence in Afghanistan? I lied,'' said every politician.
I assume Mr. Chou was referring to the President's recent statement that the war in Afghanistan is over.
How can the war be over when we just committed to a 10-year bilateral security agreement with Afghanistan to keep thousands of troops there while spending millions of dollars? The Afghan Parliament voted on the bilateral security agreement while we in Congress had no discussion and no debate.
[[Page H438]] According to the Constitution, the President does not need to come to Congress for permission on an agreement, but I think we have a responsibility to the American taxpayer and our men and women in uniform to discuss an agreement that will keep more taxpayer dollars and more troops in Afghanistan in the coming years.
Just a couple of weeks ago the Marine Corps announced that the marines at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina's Third District, which I represent, are getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan. When does it end, Mr. Speaker? When does it end? I would like to quote Grant Filbeck from Erie, Pennsylvania, who wrote a letter to the Marine Corps Times last week about Afghanistan: I believe in the mission 100 percent, but we have given the Afghans the tools to succeed, and it's up to them to use them. We have been in the country for more than 13 years. That is ridiculous. We have spent so much money funding these guys. If the Afghans want to fight for their country, then they will, or the Taliban will take over without much of a fight.
These two men whose letters I referenced are marines who have been to Afghanistan.
Mr. Speaker, this is a poster from a book titled, ``How U.S. Taxpayers Bankroll the Taliban.'' It was written several years ago by Douglas Wissing. It is a great expose on how the taxpayers' money ends up in the hands of the Taliban, to kill Americans and to blow up the buildings that we built for them with taxpayer money.
Mr. Speaker, in closing, we owe it to the American people, our military, and our Constitution to debate war. As James Madison wrote: ``The power to declare war, including the power of judging the causes of war, is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature.'' I agree with James Madison and urge the Congress to meet its constitutional duty to debate war and not let any President have an AUMF to send our young men and women overseas to die and see the taxpayers' money wasted.
May God continue to bless our troops, and may God continue to bless America.