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Cole Makes the Following Remarks Regarding the Majority's Iraq Resolution Bill

July 12, 2007

"I rise to oppose this bill because it's the wrong debate at the wrong place at the wrong time, and most importantly, it sends the wrong message.

"It's the wrong debate because it serves no useful purpose. This bill will never become law. If it passes, it will be vetoed and it will be sustained. We are wasting the time of trying the patience of the American people for no useful purpose.

"It's the wrong place because of what happens in Iraq, not here, that will determine the outcome of the current struggle. Our forces are in a tough fight. We should reinforce them, not undercut them. And we should encourage the Iraqi government, not abandon it.

"It's the wrong time, because it's too early to debate the current outcome. I have great respect for the author of this bill. But it's General Petraeus' report that should deliberate. He has asked us to wait until September before he offers us an assessment of the progress and prospects of the current effort. Having given him a tough job, we owe it to him to adhere to the timeline he has requested.

"It's the wrong message most importantly, because it strengthens rather than weakens our enemies. They know they cannot defeat our forces, but they believe they can outlast this Congress. This debate and this bill will only strengthen them in that belief. By strengthening our enemy's resolve we undercut the forces of our troops and Iraqi government. The best way to undo the damage is to defeat it. And I urge my colleagues to do so.

"And I yield back the balance of my time."