Renzi Speaks Out Against Iraq Resolution

To listen to the story with excerpts from Congressman Renzi's speech, click on the mp3 logo; to listen to the entire speech, click on the Windows Media logo.

Flagstaff, AZ – The nonbinding resolution contains only two succinct lines: that Congress will support and protect members of the US armed forces who are serving in Iraq, and that Congress disapproves of President Bush's decision to deploy more than 20 thousand additional troops to Iraq. Renzi called the resolution a political whimper; not the roar of support needed for US troops.

"The language undermines our battlefield plans, it fails to offer any alternatives, it offers no hope, encourages no victory and contains no solutions. Mr. speaker this resolution is a cruel message to our brave soldiers on the front lines, and it undermines their fighting spirit and their morale."

Renzi predicts that a withdrawl from Iraq would have dire consequences.

"The state dept has warned us that a retreat of American military forces at this time could trigger ethnic cleansing, the resulting humanitarian crisis could be one of the worst in the region, and genocide could trigger a refugee exodus into Jordan and Syria and surrounding regions, if we lose our resolve, it is likely death squads will roam, will be emboldended more murderous, what is now referred to as violence in Baghdad will regress into mass killings.

While Renzi stands staunchly behind the President's plan, at least 25 of his Republican colleagues are expected to join Democrats in support of the resolution. That vote is expected to take place sometime before Congress adjourns for the President's Day holiday.

For Arizona Public Radio, I'm Daniel Kraker.

To watch a video of Congressman Renzi's floor speech, click here.