Rep. Allen West (Florida-22, R)
[The following is from March 22, 2012 special order speech, as published in Congressional Record
at pp. H1525-30]
...throughout the history of the world, there has always been conflict between nations and among people. Wars have been fought to conquer land. Wars have been fought to acquire resources. Wars have been fought to spread ideas.
What is constant is that with each succeeding battle, both the tools and the techniques of warfare have progressed. From the earliest days of using rocks and sticks to the advancement of bows and arrows to flintlock and then automatic weapons, to TNT, atomic and nuclear bombs, man has continued to find ways, new ways of inflicting greater destruction on each other.
My father served in World War II. My older brother served in Vietnam. I, myself, served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom, and my nephew continues to serve in the United States Army and has already been deployed to Afghanistan twice.
The only thing we know for sure is that the enemies my nephew has faced and will face in the future are altogether different from the enemy my father found in Europe and my brother found in Southeast Asia. Unlike any conflict this Nation has ever undertaken, from Lexington and Concord to Gettysburg and Antietam, from Belleau Wood and the Marne to Normandy and Iwo Jima, from the Chosin Reservoir to Khe Sanh, to the Persian Gulf, this 21st century battlefield is not defined by columns, fronts, uniforms, or borders but, rather, about one ideology against another.
Today, ... I want to speak about this 21st century battlefield, one that is vastly different from any we have faced before. If we are not as prepared to fight in this new virtual environment as we would be to fight in unfamiliar physical surroundings, it will be just as likely to effect our downfall as the jungles in Indochina were to the colonial French troops.
... [I]t is clear the United States Congress, the media, and Americans are truly focused on the dire economic situation here at home, and I share those concerns.
I also recognize the importance of not turning our backs on the principal obligation vested in us as elected leaders to protect and defend the United States of America against enemies, foreign and domestic.
The wars that my father and brother fought in and the Cold War we were engaged in when we first put on those uniforms 30 years ago, all of them were clearly defined. We knew our enemy. We knew his tactics. We knew his weapons and the uniform he wore. We even, at times, Mr. Speaker, laid down our arms temporarily to observe religious holidays like Christmas and Tet. But with the advent of the 21st century battlefield, that paradigm no longer exists. If we are going to achieve our objectives, we must be ready to adapt to changing circumstances. We cannot simply understand our enemy; we must define it.
In 2012, more than 10 years after the Twin Towers fell ..., there is still a debate in this country about whom we're fighting.
So today, let us set aside political correctness in order to fully define the enemy we've been at war with for decades, since years before commercial airliners slammed into the Pentagon, crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, and took the lives of over 2,000 citizens in New York.
Let me be perfectly clear: the free world is not engaged in a war on terror. Terrorism is a tactic, ... and no nation or coalition of nations can go to war against a tactic.
For instance, the United States was not engaged in a war against the Blitzkrieg or the Kamikaze in 1941 through 1945. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are indeed our enemy, but we are not at war with al Qaeda or the Taliban. They are simply the regiments and battalions of the ideological army to which they belong.
The United States was not at war with the 12th German Panzer Division or the 55th Japanese Infantry Regiment from 1941 to 1945. In fact, before the rise of al Qaeda, the terrorist group that had inflicted the most damage on the United States was Hezbollah. And let us never forget the loss in the Beirut bombing of those 240-some-odd marines. Today, Hezbollah has evolved into a highly capable military force, albeit one without state or uniform. So capable, in fact, they have armed missiles within striking distance of every city in Israel. Yet several American Presidential administrations have failed to clearly identify Hezbollah as an enemy.
Until we as a Nation are able to correctly and openly identify our enemy, we will continue to put our men and women on the ground in harm's way without a clear mission for success.
On this 21st century battlefield, we are not fighting against a single organization, a single leader, or a single nation. We are, Mr. Speaker, fighting against a radical Islamic fundamentalism which knows no country, recognizes no borders, and wears no uniform. It is Islamism, a theocratic political totalitarian ideology, no different from Nazism, fascism, and communism, which threatens the free world. Our enemy does not distinguish between combatants, be them lawful combatants, unlawful combatants, or even noncombatants, as required by the Geneva Convention. Our enemy does not distinguish between military and civilian targets.
So, ... how do we understand the complexities of this global conflagration in which we are engaged, and how do we make the changes necessary to defeat it? With the appropriate strategic level of perspective, because we will never lose at the tactical level on the ground because the United States has the best soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coastguardsmen the world has ever known. But without the correct strategic and operational goals, we'll be on the proverbial hamster wheel. No matter how much effort we exert, we will not make forward progress.
So, now that we have defined the enemy, we must develop strategic imperatives.
... I believe that there are three strategic imperatives: to engage, to deter, and to strike. We must clearly, then, identify specific strategic level objectives, and there are four.
First, ... we must deny the enemy sanctuary. The number one asset our military has is its strategic mobility. When that is curtailed by a focus on nation-building or occupation-style warfare, we eliminate our primary advantage and, worse, turn our military forces into targets, because this enemy truly indeed has no respect for those borders and boundaries. Therefore, we must be willing to take the fight directly to him.
Second, we must interdict the enemy's flow of men, material, and resources. We have to cut off the enemy's ability to fund, supply, and replenish his ranks. As my colleague just spoke, our own energy independence is a vital part of that goal.
Third, we must ... win the information war. Unfortunately, the enemy is far more adept at exploiting the power of the Internet, broadcast media, and dissemination of powerful imagery. In addition, I fear that there are some in our media who now see themselves as an ideological political wing. If we cannot fully utilize information as a resource and part of our national power, we will lose this battle, if not our country.
The great example of this occurred during the Tet Offensive, when the North Vietnamese used information to their benefit against a superior American fighting force. Despite their own troops being badly depleted in the attack, our enemies were able to paint the outcome as a devastating loss for the United States. A former Vietcong Minister of Justice, Truong Nhu Tang, would later write: "It is a major irony of the Vietnam War that our propaganda transmuted this military debacle into a brilliant victory, giving us new leverage in our diplomatic efforts, inciting the American antiwar movement, and disheartening the Washington planners."
Today, the Islamic fundamentalist enemy collectively portrays themselves as the victims of imperialism. Just as the Axis and Communist powers defined the free world as aggressors in order to cover up their crimes and designs for global domination, totalitarian Islam seeks to replicate the exact same strategy.
The now-deceased Osama bin Laden incited violence against Americans by invoking just such language when he said: "U.S. soldiers only fight for capitalists, usury takers, and the merchants of arms and oil, including the gang of crime at the White House. Under these circumstances, there will be no harm if the interests of Muslims converge with the interests of socialists in the fight against the crusaders."
... [F]ourth, as far as strategic objectives, we must cordon off the enemy and reduce his sphere of influence. We have to shrink the enemy's territory and not allow any political, cultural, educational, and financial infiltration into the United States.
What happened with Major Malik Nadal Hasan at Fort Hood, Texas, should not have been possible in this country. We must not turn a blind eye to a bold enemy who is telling us exactly what he wants to do and who is willing to bring the battle to our doorsteps.
Furthermore, for us to classify this jihadist attack as workplace violence defies sanity.
It is important that we must not hamstring our troops through the rules of engagement. Let us trust our men and women who are fighting for the preservation of this great constitutional Republic, and that includes our domestic law enforcement.
These should be our goals: deny the enemy sanctuary, cut off his flow of resources, use information to our advantage, and reduce his sphere of influence.
We must recognize that Iraq and Afghanistan are not wars but combat theaters of operation. It is up to our elected leaders and strategic- level military officials to identify and agree on the correct goals and objectives.
Beyond identifying the enemy and defining our objectives in kinetic battle, we must also understand and recognize the truly nonkinetic conflicts of the 21st century battlefield. One need only review the collapse of the Soviet Union to understand great nations can be toppled economically as well as militarily.
In fact, one country paid particular close attention to the fall of the Soviet Union, and that was China. In fact, China's efforts to modernize its economy were taken explicitly from the playbook of Lenin during the period of the New Economic Policy.
Lenin sought to place market mechanisms in a Communist economy to preserve the rule of the party and modernize this war's industries. It also sought to deceive the West into believing that communism had been weakened and was, therefore, a less formidable opponent.
China ... has been mimicking this tactic for decades. It's time that we took notice. Currently, the United States is providing a great economic advantage to China by allowing them to have an incredible trade surplus and hold nearly 30 percent of our debt. We must recognize that China is not using that advantage to improve the standard of living of its citizens. Instead, it is taking its economic edge to the 21st century battlefield. Within 10 years, the world's largest blue-water Navy will fly not under a United States but a Chinese flag.
Why is that important?
Because no matter how technology changes in the future, the Earth's surface will still be covered 70 percent by water. All of the great civilizations--from the Venetians, to the Romans, to the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, English, and the Japanese--understood that the power and reach of a nation is extended not through a great army but through a strong navy. In 1990, the United States possessed 570 naval war vessels. Today, we have 285--projected to go even lower. If we cannot protect the sea lanes of commerce, we leave ourselves vulnerable, not just militarily, but economically to a power in China that continues to seek world communism as its ultimate goal, irrefutably so.
... I could spend the entire Special Order talking about China, because I believe, in this century, China could become the premier dominant nation in the world. And while the relationship between China and the United States is based on mutual needs at this moment, I am concerned for the day when China realizes this relationship is more of a hindrance than a need, and we always need to prepare if that day is to come.
As a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, who served during the initial battles of that conflict, I am proud to be among the more than 1 million Americans who served in Iraq. What my fellow comrades in arms achieved in that country is nothing short of historic. Together, we defeated one of history's most tyrannical dictatorships and replaced it with what could be a free and democratic Muslim government. American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines beat back a radical Islamic insurgency and helped create what we hope for--an ally and partner in freedom.
I will never forget those with whom I served and those who served after I left that battlefield. I will always remember the sacrifice borne by so many servicemembers and their families. However, I have to question the motives of President Barack Obama in announcing a full withdrawal of American forces in October of 2011. Did the President press the commanders on the ground before making that decision? What kind of message does our sudden withdrawal send to our allies, such as the Kurds in the northern part of Iraq? Do they feel abandoned yet again? My fear is that political expediency drove that decision, not recommendations from the military leadership, not a strategic understanding of the 21st century battlefield.
For over 10 years, our Nation has been on the offensive against Islamic totalitarianism, radical Islamic terrorism, and specific individuals who want to harm our country and kill our citizens. Ten years ago, a band of thugs declared war on the United States, our fellow Americans, and our way of life. The last decade in Afghanistan has seen peaks and valleys, triumph and tragedy, unspeakable horror and unimaginable bravery during our long and difficult march towards victory.
While a decade may seem like a long period of time, we must remember that our enemies have been at war with our way of life for nearly a generation. From Beirut to the Khobar Towers, from the USS Cole to the first bombing of the World Trade Center, from the total destruction of the United States Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania to September 11, we must never forget that we did not choose this fight--the fight chose us.
While we may not have executed this combat operation perfectly--but then no war ever has been--we cannot pretend that radical Islam does not exist. The killings of Osama bin Laden and other radical terrorist leaders are significant victories. However, the fight continues. There is evil in this world that must be confronted lest our Nation sees more of its citizens maimed and killed in acts of terror.
I will continue to urge our President and his administration, my colleagues on Capitol Hill, and our congressional leadership to pressure Pakistan to crack down on terrorists within their borders. A particular concern is the Haqqani network, which is responsible for so much violence and bloodshed. I urge our leaders on both sides of the aisle to finish what was started in this part of the world.
Ten years after September 11, it remains absolutely vital to our national security that we succeed in Afghanistan. And how do we define "success"? We cannot grant the enemy another opportunity to use that country as a home base for planning strikes against our Nation. Deny the enemy sanctuary. Unconditional withdrawal from Afghanistan, as we have done in Iraq, without considering the ground situation or the advice of top military advisers, would be absolutely reckless. Allowing Afghanistan to revert to its previous condition under Taliban control overturns the progress made so dearly by our forces, and it creates new threats to all Americans and this world.
Let me be clear. If we exit without delivering a crushing blow to the Taliban and other extremists therein, they will bring the fight to us. And while I believe the men and women serving in Afghanistan are performing bravely, above and beyond, it is vital that they are given all the tools necessary to succeed. We must ensure that they have the proper equipment, the proper weapons systems, a clearly defined mission, but, most importantly, flexible rules of engagement that do not needlessly put their lives at risk.
... [R]ecently Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in the United States, delivering remarks that reinforce that the State of Israel is a bright light in a dark ocean of tyranny and oppression. Israel must be allowed to defend itself from external and internal aggression. The Israeli people must be allowed to continue to build within their own borders, and Jerusalem must be recognized, irrefutably, as the Nation's only capital. Furthermore, the United States must stand by Israel's side in the face of a United Nations which clearly views the State of Israel through a lens tinged with anti-Semitic hatred, which, unfortunately, we just saw played out in France.
Anything less than full support for Israel and its citizens at the United Nations by the United States Government is simply unacceptable. I am concerned that Israel, America's strongest and most loyal ally in the Middle East, has become more isolated and vilified since Barack Obama became President than ever before in its existence, and I believe the United States Congress has a solemn duty to ensure that the homeland of the Jewish people remains as such.
The United States and Israel share the common bonds of freedom, liberty, and democracy, and the right to worship in the name of any religion as you see fit. We share a common enemy, though, in radical Islam, and we have both seen our citizens murdered by these terrorist thugs. We are, indeed, each other's greatest ally, for without the United States Israel would not exist, and without Israel the United States would soon fall.
Today, the bonds between us must be stronger than ever because those bonds are threatened as never before. Israel ... is a small country surrounded by enemies. The United States, however, is a large country being infiltrated by the same enemies. Like us, the Israelis seek only to be one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all. And as the Bible makes clear in Leviticus, chapter 25, verse 10, our purpose is "to proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."
The bottom line is this: our Judeo-Christian faith heritage calls us to duty to stand beside the modern-day State of Israel. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, if we discuss Israel, we must discuss the Palestinian Authority. It is quite simple. No entity that aligns itself with a group that calls for the complete and total destruction of another country should ever be granted statehood.
I will never support funding for the Palestinian Authority or the recognition of a Palestinian state as long as they are reconciled and connected with Hamas. Further, I have cosponsored House Resolution 394, to support Israel's right to annex Judea and Samaria, if the Palestinian Authority continues to press for the unilateral recognition of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations.
A United Nations-recognized Palestinian state could place Israelis under the sovereignty of a group that actively seeks their destruction. This is unacceptable, ... and in the absence of a negotiated peace agreement, Israel has the right to protect its citizens living in Judea and Samaria by annexing those territories.
There cannot be peace without a growing peace party. Now more than ever is a time to stand with our ally Israel. And thanks in large part to the so-called Arab Spring of democratic revolutionaries, Israel is beleaguered and surrounded by hostility on all sides. The Israeli Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, was almost seized. And Turkey, once a prominent ally, has even shown intimations of threatening Israel with war. All the while, Hamas terrorists in Gaza fire rockets into Israeli cities on a pretty much daily basis.
There is a realistic chance that many European countries will recognize a Palestinian state. Russia is already offering enthusiastic support for a declaration of statehood. And last year, President Obama expressed his hope for such an outcome. The Palestinians are now using that support as part of their media campaign.
Even the Democrat Party is opposing Congresswoman Ileana Ros- Lehtinen's commonsense legislation, House Resolution 2829. This bill seeks more transparency and accountability within the United Nations, an organization that allows countries like China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, and others to control the Human Rights Council.
The bill also requires steps to be taken to dismantle terrorist infrastructures and arrest terrorists, control Palestinian security organizations, and end the incitement of violence and hatred in the Palestinian media, educational institutions, and mosques. And most importantly, it requires the United Nations to recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.
I am pleased to support this legislation and commend my Florida colleague, the chairwoman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, for introducing this legislation.
... [L]et's be clear: there is no greater threat to Israel and the United States today than the development of nuclear weapons by Iran. President Obama has tried to take the diplomatic route when negotiating with Iran, but that is an effort that has indisputably failed. Iran has twice sent their warships through the Suez Canal within the last year in a blatant message to Israel. And recently, an Iranian defense official threatened to send warships to the east coast of the United States of America.
I believe Iran poses a genuine threat to democracies around the world. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spouts hatred against freedom of speech and religion everywhere while opposing his own people at home. Further, he denies the Holocaust ever happened and has stated that anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury.
Iran continues to push for nuclear weapons and has the capability to enrich uranium. It remains a state sponsor of terrorism and has aided internationally recognized terrorist organizations like Hezbollah. Hezbollah, along with organizations like Hamas and al Qaeda, is committed to seeing the destruction of the democratic freedoms that we treasure, along with the State of Israel in its entirety.
As a Member of the United States House of Representatives, one of my objectives is to protect the safety and security of Israel. A stable Israel is important to a stable United States, and Iran is a constant threat to that stability. We must stop lying to ourselves about Iran, for we are barreling toward a point at which we won't be able to prevent that nation from acquiring nuclear weapons without a massive military strike. It must not come to that. Iran is merely months away from producing sufficient weapons-grade uranium for a 15-kiloton bomb, a development which will put American naval vessels and the Strait of Hormuz at risk.
As you know, I have spent a lot of my adult life in uniform, some of it on that field of battle in Iraq. Those of us who fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom knew that our enemies received considerable assistance from the Islamic Republic of Iran. Many of the terrorist thugs who targeted American troops in that combat operation, just as many of those who target our troops in Afghanistan today, received guidance, training, weapons, money, and an untold number of explosives that have killed or terribly maimed so many of our Nation's finest, our comrades. We knew it without a doubt. We knew it because the components of those bombs bore irrefutable proof of Iranian manufacture. Yet to this day, most Americans are unaware of the support the Iraqi insurgency received from the Iranians.
Iran declared war on the United States of America nearly 33 years ago and has waged that war ever since. The Iranian war against America is not limited to our troops. Indeed, as we have recently learned from the Attorney General and the director of the FBI, the Iranians are prepared to kill American civilians right here in Washington if they happen to be in the same place at the same time as an intended target of assassination.
Our dealings with Iran are not a partisan political matter. A failure to respond to their murderous attacks is a national failure, not a failure of one party or another or one leader or set of leaders. This is a war, whether we decide to fight it or not.
They are waging war against us; yet our public discourse rarely, if ever, bothers to mention that fact. Every so often, someone will remind us that Iran is the world's leading sponsor of terrorism; but even that does not encapsulate the truth of the matter. They are killing us every single day.
If you want to see what the consequences of an Iranian victory would look like, just observe what life is like for the citizens of Iran. Anyone who voices opposition to the government or complains about the oppressive treatment of the Nation's women is arrested, tortured, and often killed. Independent newspapers have long since been silenced. Access to the Internet is blocked or filtered with the same technology used in the People's Republic of China.
The Washington Post editorialist writing about the Iranians' feverish efforts to construct atomic weapons put it very bluntly when they wrote: "By now, it should be obvious that only regime change will stop the Iranian nuclear program, and only regime change will stop the Iranian war against America. Only regime change will bring an end to the mullahs' global dream."
The Washington Post thinks that sanctions can help, provided they are serious sanctions that strike at the heart of Iran's financial system. ... I have no problem supporting such an effort, but I doubt that that will be enough because sanctions are only effective when a regime cares for its people.
Iran is a theocracy. An acquisition of a nuclear weapon will enable them to achieve their goal, the restoration of the Islamic caliphate.
We have another, even more powerful, weapon to aim at the Islamic dictatorship of Iran: the Iranian people. And it's time to use it. There can be no doubt that the people of Iran are yearning for new leaders; 2\1/2\ years ago, millions of them took to the streets to protest against election fraud and to call for an end to the Islamic dictatorship. There can be little doubt that, unlike so many of the uprisings in the Muslim world, the overwhelming majority of the Iranians do not want radical jihadist overlords. They want a separation of mosque and state, with the mullahs in the mosque, not running the state.
Of all the opposition movements in the Muslim Middle East, the Iranian one is the closest to us, the only one that surely wants to be part of the Western world. So why, then, ... has the Iranian opposition movement not been explicitly endorsed by our government? Why do the President and the Secretary of State continue to talk about reaching an agreement with the Tehran regime? Why does the President not say that Ahmadinejad and Khomeini must go? If Qadhafi had to go and Mubarak had to go and Assad must go, why not the Iranian terror masters?
Since the President and the Secretary of State are unwilling to spell it out, I will offer my assistance. Ahmadinejad and Khomeini have to go, along with their evil henchmen. We need clear language from our leaders that states, Down with the Islamic Republic of Iran, which, Mr. Speaker, represents a clear and present evil in our world. We, hereby, call for a free Iran, and we are willing to support an effort by the Iranian people to liberate their country.
President Ronald Reagan recognized the threat of inaction, and he laid out a road map on how to confront evil in our world three decades ago. First, tell the truth. Tell it often. Tell it everywhere. The truth is that Iran is in the clutches of evil people who kill Iranians and support the killing of Israelis and Americans every day and who will kill even more, if and when they get nuclear atomic bombs and warheads.
The truth is that we have tried to reach some sort of reasonable agreement with them for more than 30 years. The truth is they don't want it. They want to destroy us. And that's what they mean when they chant, "Death to America."
Second, our leaders and representatives must call for the release of political prisoners being persecuted in that country, to include the Iranian Christian minister being threatened with execution. When our diplomats attend international conferences, they should arrive with lists of victims in Iran, and they should read those lists. It's harder for totalitarian regimes to kill people with names than to slaughter faceless victims.
Third, we should broadcast the facts to the Iranian people. They need to know that we stand with them. They need to know what's going on inside their country. This is based on our experience during the Cold War when it turned out people inside the Soviet Union knew more about events in London and Paris and Washington than inside their own borders. That's why Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty were such potent instruments of peace. Our broadcasts are often jammed by the Iranian regime. We must defeat their censorship.
Finally, we have to track down the killers of Americans and bring them to justice. The world must know anyone that takes an American life will be targeted and taken out in any country on the planet. Those who kill our citizens will not find safe haven in Iran.
...[A] majority of the America media did not feel it was important to report that Iranian President Ahmadinejad visited Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Nicaragua this past January. President Ahmadinejad threatened almost 200 years of precedent established by the Monroe Doctrine when he declared that "from now on, Latin America will no longer be in the backyard of the United States."
President Ahmadinejad is assisting Hugo Chavez with missile sites and has joked with that South American dictator about pointing a warhead at the United States. And, ... there are Hezbollah camps in South America. Chavez himself has offered to send troops to fight with the Taliban and has reportedly funded al Qaeda. President Ahmadinejad has recruited the Mexican drug cartels for an attempted assassination of a Saudi ambassador in the United States.
... President Ahmadinejad's sphere of influence is not limited to the Middle East. He is entering our hemisphere and showing the influence that he has in this region. And that goes back to our fourth strategic objective.
President Obama seems to be uninterested in the principles of the Monroe Doctrine because, after all, he did take the wrong side in Honduras, and he has laughed it up with Hugo Chavez.
... [T]he Syrian government, meanwhile, is continuing its vicious crackdown on innocent Syrian civilians seeking only freedom and democracy. According to available figures, almost 10,000 Syrians have lost their lives and thousands more have been injured. Many more have been forced to flee. The International Atomic Energy Agency also recently concluded that the secret Syrian facility destroyed by Israel in September of 2007 was "very likely a nuclear reactor" based on a North Korean model capable of producing plutonium for nuclear weapons.
The Syrian government has become a conduit in Iran's arming of Hezbollah Shiite forces in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. They have provided a safe docking station for Iranian warships, and they possess an arsenal of chemical weapons and missiles that I fear could end up in the hands of terrorists with which they are associated.
The threat posed by the Assad regime to the United States, to our allies, and the Syrian people is stark and growing. The time to increase pressure on that regime is now. That is why I joined other Members of Congress in sending a letter to President Obama requesting that he implement additional sanctions on Syria. The people of that country deserve a government that represents their aspirations and respects their basic human rights. It is clear that Bashar al-Assad is not willing to implement genuine reforms and that he lacks the legitimacy to lead the Syrian people.
The United States and all responsible nations must hold the regime accountable and the brutality must end. Additional sanctions would show the Syrian people that we stand with them in their struggle for democratic freedoms while also making it clear to the Syrian regime that it will pay an increasingly high cost for its gross violations of human rights and dignity, which is why ... UNESCO should expel Syria and strongly condemn them, and not repeatedly attack Israel. But, however, we must realize that there's an interesting turn in Syria with the Iranian and Russian presence evolving.
... [I]t was not too long ago the American people watched a transition in Egypt, with this administration claiming we were witnessing a new dawn of democracy. Today, instead we are witnessing the nightmare of one of the greatest threats to the stability in the Middle East, a new Egyptian government under the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptian Parliament is now controlled by a majority of radical Islamists, and the Muslim Brotherhood is turning Egypt into a radical Islamic state. The Muslim Brotherhood also maintains active ties to Hamas, a terrorist organization that openly calls for the destruction of Israel.
Of course, America should stand with the Egyptian people. However, if the radical elements of the Muslim Brotherhood are left unchecked in that country, the security of the citizens of Israel, Egypt, and the United States all will be in jeopardy.
On July 19, 2011, I wrote a letter to the House Committee on Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon on the troubling revelation of a possible U.S. military sale to the government of Egypt. It stated in my letter: "It has come to my attention that the Defense Security Cooperative Agency notified Congress on July 1, 2011, of a possible foreign military sale to the government of Egypt for 125 M1A1 Abrams tank kits for coproduction and associated weapons, equipment, and parts, training, and logistical support."
America must continue to stand with the Egyptian people and encourage them to build their own democracy with new political parties and freedoms. However, we must exercise caution with regard to military sales and support to the Egyptian government until a government is formed absent of the radical elements of the Muslim Brotherhood that would maintain an active peace with Israel.
Speaking of the Muslim Brotherhood, ... I would like to quote to you directly from a former Supreme Guide of the International Muslim Brotherhood. In December of 2005, Mohammed Akef said: "The Brotherhood is a global movement whose members cooperate with each other throughout the world, based on the same religious world view--the spread of Islam until it rules the world."
Three years ago, a court found a Muslim charity right here in the United States guilty of funneling millions of dollars to the terrorist group Hamas. That was the Holy Land Foundation trial. The Council of Islamic Relations, CAIR, was named as an unindicted coconspirator. That case included testimony that Hamas' parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, planned to establish a network of organizations to spread the militant Islamist message right here in the United States. In its own "Explanatory Memorandum" for North America, the Muslim Brotherhood stated that its strategic goal is to establish an Islamic center in every city in order to "supply our battalions."
Through its various front organizations in the United States, the Muslim Brotherhood is succeeding in cultural "whitewashing" to eliminate all references to Islamist terrorism in our public discourse. After the 9/11 Commission identified "Islamic terrorism" as a threat in this country, the Muslim Public Affairs Council recommended the United States Government find other terminology. As a result, the FBI Counterterrorism Lexicon and the 2009 National Intelligence Strategy included not a single reference to Islam, Muslim, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, or Hezbollah.
Furthermore, after Major Nidal Hasan's attack on Fort Hood, the Department of Defense Report used the terms "violent extremism" and "Islam" only once in a footnote. Again, that incident was officially classified as workplace violence.
... [W]e must also be concerned about North Korea. I was stationed in North Korea in 1995 along the demilitarized zone. I stood on the 38th parallel and looked through the barbed wire and landmines. And there ... you can see a repressed Nation. I saw for myself what a ticking timebomb that country can be. Sooner or later, North Korea will either implode or it will explode. The situation in North Korea most closely resembles a street gang, where the leader of the gang is killed and a young guy must step up.
In that instance, it is critical for the newly appointed "top dog" to establish his credibility by proving himself. And today, North Korea is ruled by a 28-year-old appointed four-star general.
Now, ... it took me 22 years to become a lieutenant colonel. You can begin to understand how dangerous a situation is brewing just west of the Sea of Japan. The tactics do not change, and the game is getting tired. Anytime North Korea finds itself in need of money, it saber rattles with the threat of a secret nuclear arms program. It has fired artillery onto the South Korea island and sunk five South Korean Naval vessels.
Again and again, the international community responds with misguided attempts to "buy" the country off. Threaten to go nuclear and get funding in exchange? I call that international extortion. The DPRK newspaper, Nodong Sinmun, and other mouthpieces for the Workers' Party of Korea sensed this policy of weakness and referred to the disbursement of food and aid as "tribute." If there's one thing we've learned, it's that the North Koreans cannot be trusted to voluntarily disarm. They are playing our country and the entire Western world for fools. Sooner or later, we'll need to step up and stand up to this simmering menace just a few hundred miles from Japan.
...[I]n conclusion, if we miss this opportunity to recognize the 21st century battlefield--and understand, we did not talk about Africa, we did not talk about Somalia, and we did not talk about our own border security. I thank my colleague from Indiana for speaking about energy independence. But if we miss this opportunity for understanding what this battlefield truly is, to understand the threats and to lay out a strategic vigil for victory, we will lose the opportunity to ensure that our children and grandchildren of America will have a secure future.
As a country, we must roll up our sleeves and devise a roadmap for security. We must be mindful of the wise words penned by Sun Tzu in the book "The Art of War" more than 25 centuries ago: "To know your enemy and to know yourself and to know your environment, in countless battles, you will always be victorious."
If we do not understand this simple maxim, we face dark days ahead indeed. And that shadow could not only fall on this country, but on the entire world. Because no matter what our detractors may think, we are that beacon, we are that lighthouse. We are, as President Ronald Reagan said, "the shining city that sits upon a hill."
For the sake of our Nation and of all nations that seek freedom for their citizens, we must be prepared to fight on this 21st century battlefield, and we can settle for no less than victory upon it.
...[T]hose of us who have served in battle are the last to desire it. But as John Stuart Mill once wrote: "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse."
Policymakers and those of us here in Washington, D.C., should heed the wise words of George Santayana:
"He who does not learn from history is doomed to repeat it."
I will always stand by the men and women of the Armed Forces, and I am proud to represent them as a combat veteran in the United States Congress. I will always continue to protect our Nation, as I once did on the battlefield, and as I am now honored to do in this, the people's House, steadfast and loyal.- this story added by Steve Schulin of Maryland. Steve is the founding editor of nuclear.com and frequently joins in the America's Summit: Restore the Republic calls held every Tuesday and Thursday night.