Epic Failure of Foreign Policyby Representative Adam Kinzinger
Posted on 2014-01-08
KINZINGER of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, it was a beautiful September
day in 2001 as I was driving to work and I hear that a plane hits the
World Trade Center. I was a newly minted private pilot at the time, and
I remember thinking, How could a plane fly into a big building? And
then I heard that another plane hit the other tower. Eventually, I
heard one hit a field in Pennsylvania and the Pentagon not too far from
I realized that America was a country under attack. It was under attack by an ideology that believes that anybody that thinks differently than their brand of theology is not just wrong, but that they are worthy of death. In fact, it takes that belief and actually implements it by killing innocent men, women, and children, including folks of their own religious ideology.
Mr. Speaker, as a result of that, America became a generation that went to war to defeat this ideology. I am a veteran of the wars. I spent quite a bit of time in Iraq.
Mr. Speaker, I heard the other day that al Qaeda, America's number one enemy, raised the black flag over Fallujah, an area that the United States Marines, who fought harder than they have any battle since Vietnam, fought to achieve and take over and bring peace to.
Mr. Speaker, al Qaeda raised the black flag over Fallujah. This is an epic failure of American foreign policy and an epic resurgence of America's chief enemy.
In 2011, President Obama had an opportunity to make a decision about whether America would continue to show its support for a free Iraq, whether America would continue to be the intercessor between difficult back-and-forths and continue to bring people together in Iraq as we did during the surge, which the President opposed and now we are finding out may actually have been for political reasons. Shocker.
We are finding out, Mr. Speaker, that al Qaeda now has a town very close to Baghdad. This is a failure of American foreign policy.
If you look into Syria, Mr. Speaker, you see a brutal dictator that kills people and has no compunction about killing innocent women and children just to maintain power. In essence, he has become a strong partner to the United States in order to take chemical weapons out of his arsenal.
Yet as another part of Syria, you see not the moderate forces of opposition [[Page H28]] to Mr. Assad, but you now see al Qaeda-related forces overpowering moderate opposition to Assad. You see that because of America's foreign policy, which said we supported the Free Syrian Army but, in reality, has not supported the Free Syrian Army.
If you look in Egypt, you see the Egyptian people stand up and say, We don't want to have one dictator replaced by another. We don't want the Muslim Brotherhood to run our country and change our constitution.
But we have no idea where the President is at on this. We have taken a very important ally in the Middle East and basically told them we are not interested in their future.
Look at the instability in Lebanon and the questions with the people of Afghanistan about what is going to happen post-2014, as America committed to defeating al Qaeda and defeating the Taliban. I could go on and on. Look at the deal we have with Iran, basically giving Iran the option of continuing to enrich uranium.
Mr. Speaker, 5 years ago, I could not have written a sadder story about where American foreign policy could be. What I see now in the United States is that our allies no longer trust us and our enemies no longer fear us.
Mr. Speaker, the United States needs to use limited air power in Iraq to push al Qaeda back out of Iraq. We need strong intelligence assets to work with the government of al-Maliki to ensure al Qaeda has no foothold in Iraq again.
It is not too late to reverse the tragic foreign policy consequences and what we have seen in the Middle East. But, Mr. Speaker, this has to be done today. This has to be done now.
Americans have sacrificed blood for a free Iraq and a free Afghanistan, and we cannot let that sacrifice be in vain.