I recently traveled to meet with our courageous Louisiana soldiers stationed in Iraq and survey the progress being made by the new Iraqi government. My trip was both productive and sobering. The trip provided me with vivid clarity of the great challenge we are facing defending our nation, as well as the progress we have made since September 11, 2001.
While in Iraq, I was reminded of the professionalism and dedication of our military. While visiting with the brave Louisianans serving in Iraq I observed that their morale is upbeat, and they understand the broader picture of this effort in Iraq and stand to defend their loved ones from the dire threat of terrorism. I cannot emphasize the importance of their mission and am forever grateful for their service.
During my visit, I also joined fellow U.S. Senators Burr and Coburn in briefings with leading U.S. Army generals and Iraqi government leaders. In light of these discussions, I concluded that although Iraq continues to be a very challenging situation, I believe that Gen. Casey’s Baghdad Security Plan is a good one, and I am cautiously optimistic that the violence will come down as it has in the past month.
To help further the progress that is being made in Iraq, Congress needs to reaffirm its commitment to the Iraqi people. Congress can do this by making sure that basic services like electricity, water and sewerage are improved. These items should be a key focus in Washington, D.C. not the constant calls for withdrawal timetables. Arbitrary timetables and belittling the war effort by some in Congress send mixed signals to the Iraqi leadership as well as to the Iraqi people. Instead of playing partisan politics with the fragile hope of the Iraqis, we should invest our time and resources in them – especially during these critical next few months. I believe that this investment will bring true success because of the positive impact it will have on their lives.
Most importantly, I came away from Iraq more convinced than ever that Iraq is a key battle in the global war against extreme Islamic terrorism. The threat we face is determined to bring down our nation and will not rest until they have achieved this goal. Our operation in Iraq is crucial to destabilizing the hold that Islamic fascism has had over that region of the worl.
Please let me know about any issues of importance to you and your family by contacting me at any of my state offices or in my Washington office by mail at U.S. Senator David Vitter, U.S. Senate, 516 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510, or by phone at 202-224-4623. You can also reach me on the web at http://vitter.senate.gov.
David Vitter serves Louisiana in the United States Senate.