Monday is the 5th anniversary of 9/11, and between
then and now, we’re distributing these to anyone in our area who wants one. The man who bought these did so right after 9-11, and has brought them to us now because he wanted to share them-- because a sign like this enables us ALL to share our beliefs, hopes and dreams for America.
We have 12-hundred of these and folks are taking them and putting them up. After this news conference we will be taking signs to Moline, East Moline, Rock Island and Milan.
Then we’re going around the District. We’re giving a lot of these signs to area fire departments, because what images come first to mind from that awful day but images of the men and women who were first responders.
As you can see, the sign says “We won’t forget.”
I think we have, though……I think we have.
Think back to that day—where you were—how you felt.
Think back to the state of the United States. We were at peace—weren’t fighting anybody! Exactly as some say we should be today.
The terrible problem is: we weren’t REALLY at peace. We only thought so. A large and destructive force was
at work: had been at work for at least 20 years.
You know, our country has mostly desired to be left alone. Expand our borders back when we were a growing nation, sure;but unlike England, we haven’t tried so much to colonize. We certainly haven’t tried to conquer the world.
But, and here’s a REAL important point: when others have tried to conquer the world including us, then the best and the bravest of us have shouldered arms and gone off around the world to assure that others-- and WE-- stay free.
It’s an important distinction: we just want to stay free. We don’t want to make war. We want to keep peace…
We’re not being allowed to do that. For the past 20 years, Islamic fascists have been signaling to us that they are ready to be Conquerors of the murdering kind. They’ve been telling us they’re at war with us, punctuating their claims with sporadic outrages: the Cole bombing, the bombing of the Marine
Barracks in Beirut, and the first try at bombing the World Trade Center—back in 1993. It’s a movement bent on dominating much of the world and subjugating its peoples.
Our country, as we prefer, went about our business these last 20 years, regarding them as a bunch of hotheads, hoping to let our criminal justice system deal with the fallout.
The result—September 11th.
For almost two decades we refused to take them seriously. We would not respond in kind to their provocations.
So they brought the war to us.
I listen in amazement as some who style themselves a
“peace movement”, argue that we should withdraw from this war.
It amazes me when people talk about Iraq, Iran, al Quaeda, Hezbollah and other terrorist havens as if they were separate and isolated entities.
The free world blundered into World War II because nobody would act to stop the rise of Hitler and Company when their intentions were obvious and could have been stopped at relatively little cost.
Then—Pearl Harbor and reality and we went in, and we knew we could not pick and choose whether we fought ONLY the Japanese, or the Germans, or the Italians. We knew that it was ONE EVIL fought on different fronts—and that it must be defeated entirely.
That’s the core of where we are today. We can’t withdraw from a war we didn’t make, but is being made on us. We can only change the front.
In World War ONE, a popular song was titled “Over There.” That’s where they kept World War One. That’s where the Greatest Generation kept World War Two. That’s where we have to keep this thing today—over there.
And, please God, we will arrive at this coming Monday as a 5-year mark of NO MORE ATTACKS HERE…
Now we can withdraw into ourselves completely, but the aggressors will not be going to leave us in peace.
I think in one form or another this could be with us for decades. In fact this struggle is likely to define the 21st century just as the struggle against totalitarian ideologies defined the 20th.
You deserve to know where your U.S. Representative stands on our vital security issues. So let me briefly list what my priorities will be.
I’ve talked a lot about my commitment to achieving energy independence within the next 10 years. That relates to our economy, of course; but it relates just as much to our national security. In today’s world, oil is gold; and the Mideast controls that black gold. We’re financing the terrorists through our dependence on foreign oil.
Half measures won’t solve the problem. I support expanding our Energy Policy. I support growing corn and beans and building plants and developing renewable fuels like ethanol and bio-diesel. I support developing liquefied coal technologies and mining and processing in the southern part of the 17th to create jobs AND new forms of energy. I support SAFE drilling offshore and in ANWR. I support alternative energy sources: hydrogen, wind, solar and nuclear power. I support whatever helps make SAND the most valuable export the Middle East has to offer.
We’ve seen a drop in gas prices lately, in part because summer’s winding down. It has MORE to do with a major new find in the U.S. Gulf that is expected to ultimately produce 400,000 barrels of oil a day. We need more finds like that, not fewer. We can’t let lower gas prices cause us to forget. And while my opponent blusters about hauling the big oil companies before Congress for hearings, I say let the oil companies, like any other business, re-invest their profits in making us more energy independent. Because they WILL, if we facilitate it. ANY good business re-invests profits—that’s how you get MORE profits.
Let’s hold those Congressional hearings instead on the scale of the threat being posed to us today by IRAN and by North Korea. Many believe a weak America in Iraq will be unable to stop Iran. And Iran is, also, a potentially life-and-death situation.
On matters of security, I want a bill in the House to close our borders. And let’s put an immediate halt to procedures that make life easier for the terrorists and harder for Americans. Profiling terrorist types at airport checkpoints doesn’t bother me: grandmothers and babies aren’t likely to blow up a plane. Our airline security personnel shouldn’t have to worry about facing discrimination suits for doing their job.
In times of war, enemy communications have always been intercepted and scrutinized. Our nation’s founders gave great autonomy in that area to the President and to Congress—not to the courts. The primary objective of the President and Congress is to protect American citizens, not to coddle the enemy. Our elegant, excellent system of checks and balances will strike the right balance between liberty and security. Right now, to protect liberty, we must emphasize security.
We have no aggressive ambitions. We attacked no one. We were attacked.
We said we would not forget. If you send me to Congress, I will not focus on understanding the terrorists. I will focus on defending America. Our job is to keep the front of this war they made in THEIR part of the world rather than ours, and to end either with their utter defeat or when they demonstrate in actions and words their willingness to live in peace.
“United we stand?” WE WILL NEVER FORGET.