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From the Library of Congress:


* Mr. WEINER. Mr. Speaker, as we stand here today, there is no way to argue that this war in Iraq was not badly undermined by bad planning based on bad intelligence and an abject failure to organize the international community in a meaningful way.

* In short, the American people and Congress would clearly answer this question in the same way. If we knew then what we know today would we have done everything the same? Certainly not.

* This is a common sense message despite the fact that the Administration is reluctant to see it. I would suggest that there is another thing that we all agree upon: the extraordinary work of the men and women who are over there fighting on our behalf, and the remarkable heroism they've shown in the face of a mission that seems to constantly change and the hostility of many Iraqis.

* Yesterday, we mourned the 2,500th fatality. There have been 18,000 injuries and those of us in New York have lost 118 of our neighbors.

* I believe the military mission in Iraq has been completed and our troops should be redeployed in a way to preserve the accomplishments that they've achieved and to further our objectives of defeating terrorism and stabilizing the region.

* At the outset of the war the President articulated and many of us agreed that Saddam Hussein had to be removed. Our military achieved that. And there have been elections in Iraq that our military helped make happen.

* Standing up of the infrastructure has been painfully slow. A Brookings Institution study that came out today showed that we still have not reached pre-war levels of oil production or available electric power.

* Yet to the extent that roads and bridges and infrastructure have been created or restored in Iraq, it was through the good work of the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. There have been reports of over 30,000 Iraqi civilian deaths, clean water is scarce, and unemployment hovers above 50 percent.

* The question we have today as inartfully and politically posited as my friends on the other side articulate it, is how do we honor the work that has been done so far and how do we adapt to the situation that we've found?

* This notion of barreling ahead while our troops become the target of so many attacks is misguided. The number of daily attacks by insurgents in May of 2003 was 5; in May of 2006 it was 90. The total number of insurgents has increased from 3,000 to 20,000 during the same time period. And Iraq has become a training ground for jihadists, with an increase in the number of foreign fighters from 100 in May 2003 to 1,500 in May 2006.

* I support the position of Congressman Jack Murtha and General Anthony Zinni, and agree with General George Casey, who said in September 2005 that, ``the perception of occupation in Iraq is a driving force behind the insurgency.'' Now the burden lies with the Iraqi people, and our troops standing in the middle of this battlefield have become targets rather than a force for stability and peace.

* As Mr. Murtha has observed, 100,000 Shi'as fighting 20,000 Sunnis amounts to civil war, even if we choose to call it ``sectarian violence.'' Incidents between warring Iraqi factions are up from 20 in May of last year to 250 in May of this year.

* We should redeploy our troops to the horizon of the battle, out of harm's way, but close enough to ensure that in the future the insurgents and terrorists do not take hold in Iraq.

* It is time for our military presence in the Middle East to be converted to a powerful quick-reaction force outside of Iraq. 80 percent of Iraqis want us out of their country and 47 percent say killing Americans is justified.

* Then, we should reallocate the funds being spent in Iraq, which dwarfs the combined budgets of all other programs in place to fight terrorism, and re-engage with the countries around the world that rallied behind us in the wake of 9/11 but were alienated by our conduct in Iraq.

* Some have suggested that taking the target off the backs of our troops by removing them from the center of this conflict would lead to chaos. Implicit in that critique is the suggestion that we don't have chaos today. Our troops' presence there, I believe, is allowing Iraq's citizens a convenient excuse for failing to take responsibility for their destiny.

* The Iraqi people clearly would like us to leave and permit them to govern. Our troops have expressed the same sentiment. And it is clear that if we are to reclaim our place on the world stage as a unifying force for democratic values and the ideals of our country, the way to start is to redeploy so we can be ready for future challenges.