Afghanistan and Iraq
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee vigorously opposed the resolution giving the president unfettered authority to launch a first strike against Iraq. She helped to frame and lead the discussion on the serious constitutional issues implicated by the debate to give the president such authority.
Although she opposed launching a preemptive war in Iraq because she viewed it as a diversion from the real War on Terror in Afghanistan, she believes strongly that America cannot leave Iraq in disarray. That is why she has urged the President to develop a timetable with our military commanders personnel on the ground which will enable them to complete the mission in Iraq and allow our service men and women to return home.
Congresswoman Jackson Lee explained that “we’ve created an atmosphere of less violence…now it’s time for the police and the Iraqi soldiers to step in so we can begin to redeploy.” She favors the “responsible redeployment to honor these soldiers — bring them home with honor.” Jackson Lee also said she is “very proud of the work of the military.”
Congresswoman Jackson Lee visited the Middle East last year. In Afghanistan, she noted that while it was on a road to recovery at that time, decades of war had rendered its economy in total disrepair and its environment in a state of crisis. Unfortunately, the situation there has deteriorated, in part because America has not concentrated its resources to fight the War on Terror, which originated in that country and could reemerge if we remain distracted in Iraq.
During her trip to Iraq, she had hoped to observe the progress Iraq is making in becoming a strong, independent, and sovereign nation that can stand on its own two feet and protects its people. Unfortunately, this was very far from the case as the violence in Iraq continues to escalate to the extent that they are on a seemingly constant verge of civil war. The number of American and Iraqi casualties rises exponentially every day just as does the cost of this conflict on our fiscal budget and our international reputation.