APPEASEMENT DOES NOT WORK AGAINST TERRORISTS -- (House of Representatives - March 24, 2004)
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. Pearce) is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. PEARCE. Mr. Speaker, the images of 9-11 are very vivid in my mind. That unsolicited, unprovoked attack on the American population is one of the most heinous things that this generation will see.
Mr. Speaker, we are given two choices when we are struck like that. We can choose appeasement. That was the policy of the preceding 10 years.
Appeasement where we do not respond or we can respond to try to stop the threat. Under President Bush we have responded. President Clinton chose appeasement. If you watch the graduation of the attacks under the appeasement policy of President Clinton, you will see that the attacks began to escalate. The severity of the attacks began to take a greater toll.
The terrorists have one thing in mind when they attack innocent civilians and countries that have not provoked them. They desire to create instability, understanding that if they create economic instability, they will create political instability.
That was the mode of operation for the terrorists as they graduated through the 1990s. We recall that the World Trade Center was struck previous to 9/11. It was struck 10 years previous. On 9/11 we lost over 2,000 lives and it cost our economy $2 trillion, and it is still costing today as businesses face increased insurance premiums to cover the losses of that 1 day.
When I hear critics talk about the war and the cost on the war, and it is an expensive war, make no doubt about it, the costs are up around $200 billion now. $200 billion though is not yet 10 percent of the cost of that 1-day strike.
The President has boldly fought back. Dramatic things have been done since 9/11. The President has caused Saudi Arabia to dismantle the funding mechanism for the terrorists, the funding network that was established in Saudi Arabia, a worldwide network marketing nuclear components for nuclear weapons that was created by A.Q. Khan, a Pakistani.
That network in a marketed nuclear armament has been dismantled. We are now in the process of collecting back the things, Mr. Speaker, that he sold to nations.
In Afghanistan the Taliban has been uprooted. They are out. Al Qaeda is on the run. That training camp where they trained 20,000 terrorists during the 1990s no longer exists, Mr. Speaker. And it is because of the bold action under this President. Libya has admitted to their participation in the weapons of mass destruction and they voluntarily have given up their weapons after the President took his bold action in Iraq.
Mr. Speaker, Iran is acknowledging their problems and their willingness to create weapons of mass destruction. Pakistan now is helping us fight the war on terror and just days ago was involved in a tremendous fire fight along the Afghanistan-Pakistani border.
Mr. Speaker, those are the responses of strength. And I will tell you that we are going to fight the war on terror; 9/11 declared it to be that way. If we are going to fight the war on terror, I choose to fight it in their country rather than in this country.
I traveled to Iraq at the end of October and the first of November. I visited our troops there, wanting to express my appreciation for what they were doing. As a soldier in Vietnam, I never received one communication from my Congressman, but I did want to communicate to these young men and women how much I valued what they do because they are changing the tide of world history.
If we were to sit and always choose appeasement, if we were to sit and not respond, I would guarantee you that our economy would not survive another 9/11. On 9/11 I was in Paris, France, on a vacation. We were delayed 10 days in getting home. When we arrived, we arrived at Dallas-Ft. Worth Regional Airport, an airport that today when I travel through it has thousands of people every day. That airport was essentially shut down. There were no taxis. The hotels were empty.
We will see our economy completely collapse if we continue to let strikes like 9/11 happen without response.
The President has given bold response. Our soldiers are acting responsibly. They understand the value of what they are doing. They tell me they have pride in their accomplishments. I see the reconstruction is having dramatic effects. The Iraqis themselves believe they can create liberty.
Mr. Speaker, the President's responses of strength are a tribute to the great leadership that he is bringing to this time of great stress; and I would like to support him in that.