'Clean the barn to get rid of flies,' Congressman says of terrorists
Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) of Kiron told a Storm Lake crowd Monday that the United States' invasion of Iraq was "the most important and self-less mission this country has ever gone on."
King went to Iraq in October 2003 to get the truth and to see for himself what was going on in the war-torn country, he told a group of Kiwanians at an early morning gathering at Lakeshore Family Restaurant.
"I spoke to Iowans who are serving proudly over there," he reflected on the Iraq trip. "These men and women are deeply committed to service and risk."
King said he had heard George W. Bush say that "I refuse to believe that they cannot handle freedom," and King said he believed the same thing.
"When Benizar Bhutto was here at Buena Vista University in 2002, I asked her how do we win the war on terror," King said. "She told me that "you have give them freedom - democracy."
According to the Buena Vista University Web site, what the 2002 William W. Siebens American Heritage Lecture laureate confided during her visit was that on the issue of a possible pre-emptive attack on Iraq by the United States, she would support such action if it were multilateral and endorsed by resolution of the United Nations. Bhutto said she would be "cautious" about unilateral action and recommends consulting with Iraq's neighbors and clarifying the goals first.
For example, Bhutto said at the time, if the goal is to remove Saddam Hussein from power, the goal can be achieved. But the larger goal of creating a stable environment is not so easy to accomplish, because the region is likely to fragment and provide a situation favorable to the recruitment and training of terrorists.
King said he believed the U.S. had brought freedom in Afghanistan and he would continue "to pray that democracy would spread across the Middle East."
"We, as a nation, have to clean the barn to get rid of the flies," King said, referring to terrorists. "We need to provide nations like Iraq with a stable democracy, in order to keep terrorism from gaining a foothold."
King also addressed Storm Lake's dredging program, giving it high marks and saying he "hopes to be around when the last of the sludge is dredged off the bottom of the lake and comes through the pipe."
"My figures and those of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say that if we can get 1,600 acres dredged to four meters, we won't have to dredge again for more than 300 years," King said.
King said he was hoping to keep the lake dredging on the front funding burner.
"I want this to become institutionalized in the federal budget," King said. "This is a good investment for the community, the state and the environment."
King complemented the region on its ability to create energy from wind, corn and soy beans and he had been promised by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that significant components of the energy bill that died last year would be in this year's transportation bill.
King also said as part of his work in the small business sub-committee he has sponsored a bill, H.R. 110, that would make the "bureaucrats who write the rules and regulations on small businesses more responsible to the Congress and the people."
"The way it would work is it would require rules and regulations, once written, to be reviewed by Congress," King said. "It would require regulators to listen to the people for whom they are writing regulations."
The congressman also said that he was seeking money to complete work on Highway 20.
"This is my dream," he said. "To have a four-lane highway from Dubuque to Sioux City."