Friday, February 16, 2007

"The pain inflicted by your country's indifference is tenfold that inflicted by your ruthless captors."

Sam Johnson, former POW:

"The pain inflicted by your country's indifference is tenfold that inflicted by your ruthless captors."

Today U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson (3rd Dist.-Texas) delivered the following closing statement on the floor of the House during the 36-hour debate on Iraq.

A 29-year Air Force veteran, Johnson served in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Johnson spent nearly seven years as a Prisoner of War, more than half of that time in solitary confinement. Coincidentally, this week in 1973 as one of the longest held captives, Johnson finally left Hanoi on February 12, 1973 and returned home to Texas on February 17, 1973.

Earlier this week on Monday, Johnson spent the anniversary of his release pleading with a House panel to accept his amendment to support and fully fund the troops for the 36 hours of debate on the troop escalation in Iraq.

Johnson's floor statement follows:

"You know, I flew 62 combat missions in the Korean War and 25 missions in the
Vietnam War before being shot down.

"I had the privilege of serving in the United States Air Force for 29 years, attending the prestigious National War College, and commanding two air bases, among other

"I mention these stories because I view the debate on the floor not just as a U.S. Congressman elected to serve the good people of the Third District in Texas, but also through the lens of a life-long fighter pilot, student of war, a combat warrior, a leader of men, and a Prisoner of War.

"Ironically, this week marks the anniversary that I started a new life -
and my freedom from prison in Hanoi.

"I spent nearly seven years as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam, more than half of that time in solitary confinement. I flew out of Hanoi on February 12, 1973 with other long-held Prisoners of War - weighing just 140 pounds. And tomorrow - 34 years ago, I had my homecoming to Texas - a truly unspeakable blessing of

"While in solitary confinement, my captors kept me in leg stocks, like the pilgrims... for 72 days...."As you can imagine, they had to carry me out of the stocks because I couldn't walk. The following day, they put me in leg irons... for 2 ½ years. That's when you have a tight metal cuff around each ankle - with a foot-long bar connecting the legs.

"I still have little feeling in my right arm and my right hand... and my body has
never been the same since my nearly 2,500 days of captivity.

"But I will never let my physical wounds hold me back.

"Instead, I try to see the silver lining. I say that because in some way ... I'm living a
dream...a hope I had for the future. "From April 16, 1966 to February 12, 1973 -
I prayed that I would return home to the loving embrace of my wife, Shirley, and
my three kids, Bob, Gini, and Beverly...

"And my fellow POWs and I clung to the hope of when - not if - we returned home.
"We would spend hours tapping on the adjoining cement walls about what we would do when we got home to America.

"We pledged to quit griping about the way the government was running the war in Vietnam and do something about it... We decided that we would run for office and try to make America a better place for all.

"So - little did I know back in my rat-infested 3 x 8 dark and filthy cell that 34 years after my departure from Hell on Earth... I would spend the anniversary of my release pleading for a House panel to back my measure to support and fully fund the troops in harm's way....and that just days later I would be on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives surrounded by distinguished veterans urging Congress to support our troops to the hilt.

"We POWs were still in Vietnam when Washington cut the funding for
Vietnam. I know what it does to morale and mission success. Words
can not fully describe the horrendous damage of the anti-American efforts
against the war back home to the guys on the ground.

"Our captors would blare nasty recordings over the loud speaker of Americans protesting back home...tales of Americans spitting on Vietnam veterans when they came home... and worse.

"We must never, ever let that happen again.

"The pain inflicted by your country's indifference is tenfold that inflicted by your ruthless captors.

"Our troops - and their families - want, need and deserve the full support of the country - and the Congress. Moms and dads watching the news need to know that the Congress will not leave their sons and daughters in harm's way without

"Since the President announced his new plan for Iraq last month,
there has been steady progress. He changed the rules of engagement and
removed political protections.

"There are reports we wounded the number two of Al Qaeda and killed his deputy. Yes, Al Qaeda operates in Iraq. It's alleged that top radical jihadist Al-Sadr has fled Iraq - maybe to Iran. And Iraq's closed its borders with Iran and Syria. The
President changed course and offered a new plan ...we are making progress.
We must seize the opportunity to move forward, not stifle future success.

"Debating non-binding resolutions aimed at earning
political points only destroys morale, stymies success, and emboldens the

"The grim reality is that this House measure is the first step to cutting funding of the troops...Just ask John Murtha about his 'slow-bleed' plan that hamstrings our troops in harm's way.

"Now it's time to stand up for my friends who did not make it home - and those who
fought and died in Iraq - so I can keep my promise that when we got home we
would quit griping about the war and do something positive about it...and we
must not allow this Congress to leave these troops like the Congress left

"Today, let my body serve as a brutal reminder that we must not
repeat the mistakes of the past... instead learn from them.

"We must not cut funding for our troops. We must stick by them. We must
support them all the way...To our troops we must remain...always

"God bless you and I salute you all. Thank you."



Simply wow.

Shame on the 17 republicans.

In hope of carrion

Anti Iraq Resolution, US House of Representatives

Yeahs 246 - Nays 182 - 6NVs

This the list of republicans that stabbed our troops in the back. Unfortunately, there are names on this list that I have done work for in the past or I had respect for. They have abandoned us in our hour of need.


Davis, Tom
English (PA)
Inglis (SC)
Johnson (IL)
Jones (NC)
Walsh (NY)

Not Voting

Davis, Jo Ann

Victory Republicans VS Vietnam losers

I have been watching the news closely and I have not seen this on the MSM. Gee, I wonder why...

In the House debate, it was the calculation of Speaker Pelosi and her
leadership to keep the focus on the poll-proven unpopularity of the Iraq war and
the 21st century's most famous bogeyman, "George Bush." The GOP calculation was
to move the debate off Iraq and onto the broader war on terror.

Politics aside, the result on public view was a Democratic side that
looked small, mired in talk of American "failure," while a number of senior
Republicans--John Boehner, Pete Hoekstra, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, even Peter
King--produced almost stirring speeches on the substance and meaning of the
global threat.

Pete Hoekstra, recently chairman of the intelligence committee, gave
what must be the severest attack on radical Islam ever by a U.S. public figure.
Forget Pope Benedict; there was nary a genuflection to Muslim sensibilities in
Mr. Hoekstra's argument that the enemy is not some vague thing called terrorism:
"We are not at war with a tactic. We are at war with a group of militant
Islamists who hate us and who hate much of the rest of the world."

John Boehner reviewed each Islamic terrorist act directed at the U.S.
dating to the Iran hostage-taking of 1979. "Too bad it took so long to open our
eyes," he said, "but they are open now." Ileana Ros-Lehtinen quoted the famous
blueprint of al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri: "The first stage: expel the
Americans from Iraq." Rep. Charles Boustany said plausibly that other Arab
nations could never help with a political settlement if the region is engulfed
in violence after a U.S. exit.

So one may ask: Where were you guys when we needed you? Republicans
lost the election because most of them foxholed the past two years when the
going got tough. Instead of this Kissingerian geopolitical vision, they let one
guy carry the burden (they would reply that the "one guy" never asked for their

Sens. Clinton and Obama should take a long look at Tuesday's videotape
of the Democratic House now shaping the party's foreign policy. Is this where
they'll want to be next year?

Even allowing for the politics of the Iraq-only script, it got a little
weird watching speaker after speaker (excepting freshman and former Navy admiral
Joe Sestak) pretend that the world and all its troubles can be telescoped down
to the Sunni Triangle. Rep. Tom Lantos, chairman of the foreign affairs
committee and nominally responsible for a larger view, simply wrote off Iraq's
government--"They have made minimal and cosmetic efforts"--and the entire Iraqi
people: "Iraqis themselves don't seem to want it."

The more difficult political problem, though, is still Vietnam. All the
while the Democratic members were withdrawing support for the U.S. commitment in
Iraq, they were at pains to inoculate themselves against their toxic experience
with Vietnam. So horrifying are the famous images in the 1970s of what
presumably were not evangelicals spitting on GIs coming home from Vietnam, that
House Democrats, with every second intake of breath, spoke of the troops and
their families ("their wonderful families"--Rep. Ike Skelton). History may view
this as progress.

Then there is the matter of the also-famous 1975 decision to withhold
appropriations for the war in Vietnam. Democrats insist they won't pull the plug
on the troops in Iraq, preferring what they call, with no apparent irony, a
"fully funded withdrawal." Still, several invoked the "power of the purse"
(Messrs. Conyers and McGovern), referring to next month's vote on an
appropriations supplemental. And Rep. Jim McDermott said he'd duplicate the 1971
Hatfield-McGovern amendment to bring the troops home.

Republicans who side with the Liberals on this should be ashamed of themselves. Especially so in that these republicans know what the Liberals are really up to. It ain't looking out for our troops nor our National security.