[Congressional Record Volume 160, Number 31 (Tuesday, February 25, 2014)]
[Pages H1928-H1935]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                         JUDEO-CHRISTIAN VALUES

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 3, 2013, the gentleman from Iowa (Mr. King) is recognized for 
60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader,
  Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to be recognized 
and to address you here on the floor of the United States House of 
Representatives. Of all the things that are on my mind that I would 
like to express to you, I know that there are also a good number of 
things on the mind of the gentlelady from Florida, and so I would be so 
happy to yield as much time as she may consume to the very classy 
gentlelady from Florida.
  Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. I thank the gentleman from Iowa for yielding me 
this time.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urge this legislative body to stand in 
solidarity with the freedom seekers and the pro-democracy advocates of 
Venezuela. They have taken to the streets, as you can see in these 
posters, to demand an end to the rule of Nicolas Maduro's 
antidemocratic measures and his failed economic policies that have 
caused a shortage of basic necessities like bread, electricity, and 
more, despite the vast oil wealth that the nation has.
  But the harshest shortage is democracy. These unarmed freedom seekers 
have predictably been met by the heavy hand of Maduro's state thugs. As 
the Venezuelan forces have responded with violence, Maduro remains 
intransigent. He vows to continue to unleash the National Guard on 
these unarmed protesters under the false pretense of protecting the 
people of Venezuela.
  Montesquieu said that there is no crueller tyranny than that which is 
perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice, and 
that is what we see with Maduro in Venezuela. There have been over a 
dozen deaths so far, Mr. Speaker, a high number of arrests, including 
one of the most vocal critics of Maduro, Leopoldo Lopez, who turned 
himself in even though he is facing serious, trumped-up charges. His 
case caused Amnesty International to condemn Maduro, saying the charges 
against Leopoldo Lopez were politically motivated and an attempt to 
silence dissent in Venezuela. I agree.
  I ask my colleagues to be as vocal and as engaged on the crisis of 
democracy in Venezuela as they have been on the problems in Ukraine. It 
is vitally important to highlight the democratic struggles of the 
people of Venezuela,

[[Page H1929]]

where over a dozen pro-democracy advocates have been killed in the past 
weeks as Maduro unleashed the thugs in an effort to silence the masses.
  The people of Venezuela deserve better than Maduro's abuse of power, 
his corruption and his antidemocratic measures, and they are pleading 
for help and looking to the world, turning to the United States, to 
speak out against these injustices and to help--help them as they fight 
for their fundamental rights.
  The United States must stand with them in this struggle. That is why, 
Mr. Speaker, I have introduced a bill tonight, H. Res. 488, a 
resolution that says to the people of Venezuela, to Maduro, and to the 
world that the United States stands on the side of those who seek 
liberty and who seek democracy in Venezuela, and that we will not 
remain silent while those abuses persist.
  This resolution also deplores the inexcusable use of violence against 
opposition leaders and the protesters--many of whom are just students--
and the use of intimidation to try to silence dissent. H. Res. 488 also 
urges responsible nations to not sit quietly by on the sidelines but to 
instead stand with them in solidarity with the people of Venezuela to 
actively encourage a process of dialogue to end the violence.
  Mr. Speaker, this body must not remain silent on Venezuela. I urge my 
colleagues to stand in support of freedom, in support of peace, in 
support of nonviolence, in support of democracy, and in support of 
those seeking a peaceful, democratic process in Venezuela, and to 
cosponsor my resolution, H. Res. 488.
  I thank the Speaker for the time, and I thank the gentleman from Iowa 
for yielding me his time.
  Thank you, sir.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. I thank the gentlelady from Florida. And reclaiming 
my time, I will move to the microphone.
  Again, Mr. Speaker, through you I am thanking the gentlelady from 
Florida for raising this issue and giving me the number of the bill 
that I expect to sign on in business tomorrow, H. Res. 488. I am of the 
opinion that here in the House of Representatives we have too few 
people that demonstrate the leadership that the gentlelady from Florida 
is demonstrating tonight and taking a stand on foreign policy issues. I 
am very happy to see the focus that has been brought on Venezuela from 
some of the leadership that emerges from Florida.
  It has caught my attention, Mr. Speaker, when I listen to the 
circumstances taking place in Venezuela, I can't help but think about 
essentially the sister state of Cuba and how they have led the Marxist 
socialist regime in the Western Hemisphere since about 1959. I think of 
this Western Hemisphere, all of it, as the domain of, as Churchill 
described it from this hemisphere, Western Christendom; the foundation 
of Western civilization, Judeo-Christianity; the values that come from 
the Old and New Testament; the values that Christopher Columbus brought 
here across the ocean, and that great footprint of the moral values and 
the ethics that have emerged as part of our Old Testament values and 
our New Testament values; the idea of the Protestant work ethic, 
turning the other cheek and building a civilization, a society to 
provide the best opportunity for salvation to glorify God and our 
country and to understand, as our Founding Fathers understood, that our 
rights do come from God, and to promote that. The full-throated 
Americanism as the leaders of the free world, of Western Christendom, 
has not been asserted strongly enough in this hemisphere, and certainly 
not strongly enough in other hemispheres, Mr. Speaker. But it comes 
home when you see the violence in a place like Venezuela where at least 
a dozen dissidents have been killed as political enemies to the Maduro 
regime, and one a beauty queen who was abducted on a motorcycle, shot 
in the head, and died last week.
  The tragedy that is taking place down there, I can't help but reflect 
back upon my travels in that part of the world and recognizing a trip 
through some of the places such as Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Panama, 
some of the stops I made along the way. I have not been to Venezuela. I 
have been to Cuba, Mr. Speaker. But one thing that I recognized is that 
in South America they just don't know America very well. They don't 
know Americans very well. They look to the United States as the leader 
in the free world, the economic leader, the military leader, and the 
cultural leader, but we watched as the beginnings and the growth of the 
leftist regimes have taken hold in South America for a number of 

                              {time}  2000

  Some is because nature and power abhors a vacuum, and we have allowed 
a vacuum to take place in places like Venezuela.
  In Cuba, we have sat back and watched for all these years waiting for 
the biological solution to take place with the Castro brothers--and 
that is the vernacular that I picked up on a trip to Cuba some time 
  If the United States doesn't take leadership in this hemisphere, we 
are going to see some philosophy, some ideology take that leadership, 
and we have seen it take place in Venezuela. Hugo Chavez seemed to be 
enamored with Cuba, and we have seen Fidel Castro led the Marxist 
regime in Cuba, and influenced Venezuela. It is hard to think of a 
Venezuela that has been such a Marxist thorn in the side, a belligerent 
Hugo Chavez, one who called our President ``the devil'' from New York 
City from the United Nations, from the podium, and went on with, I will 
say, a smelly description, Mr. Speaker, that was offensive to anyone on 
the planet, let alone Americans.
  Hugo Chavez drove that Marxist agenda in Venezuela, and then he 
handed this thing over to Maduro, according to Maduro, and now we have 
a second regime there, a second Marxist regime that is oppressing its 
people and killing freedom demonstrators and dissidents and people that 
stand up for freedom, and we have sat here without a strong voice 
coming from our President of the United States. Not a condemning voice 
of the violence in Venezuela, not a strong leadership that says to them 
there is a reason why you are running into shortages. One thing that 
the gentlelady from Florida didn't miss: a shortage of toilet paper, of 
all things. Now, how can an oil-rich country that is rich enough to 
promise that they are going to give free energy and fuel to Americans--
that was just a couple years ago by Hugo Chavez--and yet they can't 
operate an economy that can provide the simplest necessities of life, 
like some food products, or toilet paper, for example. Those things are 
produced automatically and spontaneously by a demand economy that comes 
from free enterprise.
  If there is no product on the shelf, and say it is milk or bread--in 
Cuba it is the ration of sugar and beans and rice--but if there is 
nothing on the shelf in America, somebody will look around and think, 
Why is that shelf bare? Why can't I buy something I want, and they will 
start to produce it. If you bake a loaf of bread and put it on the 
shelf, and it is of moderate quality for a moderate price, someone else 
will come along and bake a better loaf of bread for a lower price, or 
maybe a cheaper price of equal quality, and that competition of one 
loaf of bread sitting next to the other decides. When the consumer 
pulls that loaf off the shelf and puts it in their grocery cart, that 
is a vote for one product over another. It happens over and over again 
in this country, and because of that, we walk into a grocery store in 
America--and I remember the stories when the Russians first were able 
to come over here and see what a supermarket looked like. It was 
amazing for them to see that you could grab anything you wanted.
  Then I think of my trips to places like Russia and Cuba, and it looks 
to me like their societies and their civilizations are trained to stand 
in line. When we went to the Duma in Moscow a few years ago on a trip, 
we stood outside even though we were expected by their 
parliamentarians. We waited a long time to get in line and then a long 
time to get into the line where you hang your coat up. Everybody wears 
a heavy coat over there. Then to get into the line again to go into the 
hallway, and then get into line to go into the room, then to go into 
the waiting room, and I looked around at people that were standing in 
line, and it looked to me like maybe they didn't all know why they were 
in line, but it

[[Page H1930]]

was what they were trained to do, stand in line. I presume when they 
got to the front of line, some of them found out why they were there. 
Maybe all of them knew. I didn't know the language of the culture 
there. When they finished that, they would go get in another line.
  It is a full-time job to go line up and wait for those things that 
come to us as Americans, offered to us, some of them delivered to us, 
but free people stand in fewer lines than oppressed people do. You will 
see lines in communist countries far more often than you see lines in 
free countries like the United States of America.
  You don't want to stand in line to buy something. You don't want to 
stand in line to receive something. You will stand in line for 
something free from government. That happens in this country, too. You 
surely don't want to stand in line to pay for something that you 
already have. So you will find there is somebody working the cash 
registers to move you through to get their hand on your credit card and 
ring that up. That is what happens in a free country.
  Lines in Russia; lines in Cuba. I recall seeing a couple of lines in 
Cuba that I didn't expect to see. One of them was a line for ice cream. 
As we went down the street, I looked over and here is this long line 
that went for a couple of blocks. I asked our guide, What is going on 
there? They have a shipment, a delivery of ice cream, and so the Cubans 
are lining up to get an ice cream cone. Now two blocks to wait for an 
ice cream cone? We wouldn't do that. We would walk another block to get 
an ice cream cone at the competing store, or the one next to that, or 
the one next to that. That is one of the differences that are taking 
  You know, I reviewed some of the speech that was delivered by Ms. 
Ros-Lehtinen's Senate counterpart, Senator Rubio, and as he spoke on 
the Senate floor about doctors and about how the junior Senator from 
Iowa, and that is my word ``junior,'' who traveled to Cuba and was very 
happy and proud of what he had seen there and the accomplishments of 
the Castros and talked about the medical system that they have in Cuba. 
I think that flows from Michael Moore's movie rather than anything that 
has to do with fact, Mr. Speaker, but it was stated by the gentleman 
from Florida that yes, they have good doctors, doctors that are Cuban, 
and many of them are the ones that defected to the United States. I 
agree with that statement.
  He also mentioned doctors and cabdrivers. I have experienced that. I 
have hailed a cab in Havana, a legal trip to Havana, I might say, which 
might have been different than the ones we are discussing, and what do 
you meet behind the steering wheel? A doctor driving a taxi cab. What 
was the most logical tax cab when I was there? A 1954 Chevy with a 
Russian diesel engine under the hood. It looks like it is a rolling 
repair shop up and down the streets, which are better than I thought 
they would be. There are cars that have pulled off that break down, and 
they just come along and jack them up and crawl underneath and fix them 
with the parts that they can scavenge. When the car is repaired, they 
drive it on again. It is part of traveling to stop and repair the 
vehicle you are in. These vehicles are put together from parts from 
different places.

  One of the things also that I noticed was that there were Russian 
tractors sitting all over the place. They are broken down, and they had 
been robbed for parts. There would be a circle maybe of grass growing 
up around the tires where they had been there for a long time.
  Then I began to notice that there were these Brahmin oxen around the 
island in a lot of places, and they are staked down with a rope. There 
is a stake driven down and then a rope, so they have what I call a 
pivot-grazing system for these Brahmin cattle that they are using as 
beasts of burden, and I imagine raising them for the meat they get as 
well, scattered all over the island. I was able to plow with a team of 
Brahmin oxen. I had my NRA cap on, and I have a picture of that that I 
won't forget.
  But what happened in Cuba was, back in the 1990s when the Soviet 
Union was going with a stronger economy than the Russians are today, 
Mr. Speaker, they saw the Soviet Union meltdown going into the 1990s, 
and when that happened, the subsidy for Cuba stopped. They weren't able 
to continue that subsidy. What had been taking place was Cuba raised 
sugar. The world market for sugar then was 6 cents a pound. The 
Russians would send them oil for sugar. The Cubans would ship the sugar 
to the Russians, and the proceeds from the oil would come into Cuba, 
and they were getting 51 cents worth of oil for every 6 cents of sugar 
they sent. That was how they propped up the government in Cuba. It was 
subsidized by the Soviet Union. That was the most important equation of 
it all.
  When the Soviet Union imploded and shrunk back, states declared their 
independence and the Russian Federation was formed a little bit over 
time, the Cubans had to stand on their own. When that happened, the 
subsidies stopped, so did the parts and the support for the Russian 
tractors that were being used. They got parked as they broke down, and 
then they were robbed for parts. It is the only economy that I know of 
that has gone from an industrialized, mechanical tractor production for 
agriculture back to using animals again and animal husbandry. That is 
digression, and I would make that point to my junior Senator from Iowa.
  Cuba digressed. It wasn't progress, it was digression. They digressed 
to using animals as beasts of burden again, where once they had 
tractors, albeit Russian tractors. They digressed from doctors in the 
clinic and hospital to doctors behind the steering wheel of a 1954 
Chevy with a Russian diesel under the hood. They digressed from a 
country that had a measure of freedom, however harsh the dictatorship 
was under Batista, to a nation now that has been oppressed and under a 
communist dictatorship since 1959.
  The Senator from Florida also mentioned that they don't have the 
freedoms there, that even though there was discussion about access to 
the Internet--I can tell you personally, the Senator from Florida is 
right, Cubans don't have access to the Internet. I was on a trip up to 
a college up in the mountains in Cuba. We rode up there in the back of 
a Russian deuce-and-a-half, and it took, oh, about an hour and 45 
minutes or maybe 2 hours to wind our way up there into this little 
campus in what I would call hills, but they said mountains. As we were 
interviewing some of the professors there and some of the students 
there, I was standing next to a gentleman who was from Florida. His 
parents had escaped from Cuba and still held deeds for land that they 
owned, real estate that they owned in Cuba that they had never been 
compensated for. He was perhaps the best interpreter that I had ever 
experienced. His name is Ed Sabatini, and I hope that Ed Sabatini is 
out there somewhere.
  As they were talking, he was telling me what they were saying, and he 
was reading their body language, their voice inflection, and what they 
said and putting this together for me in real time. He was one of those 
people who could talk and listen and interpret simultaneously. He was 
very skilled. He said to me in the middle of this, as I was asking 
questions of the Castro minders, he said, you realize that they are not 
asking the questions that you are asking, because I would ask a 
question to one of Castro's minders and interpreters. He would turn to 
a couple of instructors at the school. He would ask a question in 
Spanish and return it back to me in English. Ed said to me, You know 
the minder, the Castro minder, is not asking the questions of them that 
you are asking, and he is not giving you the answers that they are 
returning. He is telling you something different than you would be 
learning if you could understand what they were saying. No, I didn't 
know that. So we broke away from that conversation.
  I had asked, Do you have Internet here at this school, at this 
university? It was a specific question. Their answer came back 
specifically, Yes, we have Internet.
  You have full access to Internet?
  Yes, we do. We are in the modern world. We have full access to the 
  When I learned they were not answering my questions, we moved away 
and went down to talk to the some students sitting on the curb, and 
began more of a rapid-fire conversation that I was catching up with a 
little bit after the

[[Page H1931]]

fact. I wanted to know what this Internet looked like, tell me some 
more facts about the Internet. They didn't seem to know how to answer 
the question on having Internet access. We drilled in to get the 
answer, and it was this: yes, they had access to Internet, and if they 
had a question that they needed a response to that they would get from 
the Internet, then they would formally make that request. They would 
write that request out in a letter form, and put the letter in an 
envelope, and when the Russian deuce-and-a-half went down the 
mountainside to Santa Clara, a small city near there, they would 
deliver the request in letter form, and then whoever was the minder of 
the Internet would decide if they would get them the answer off the 
Internet. They would apparently access the Internet, print out the 
answer that they thought that the student or the instructor should 
have, put that on a different Russian deuce-and-a-half after a few days 
or a week, and it would wind its way back up the mountain again. It was 
70 kilometers away at least, to send a Russian deuce-and-a-half down 
with a letter in it to ask somebody who had clearance from Castro to go 
on the Internet and get an answer back, to send a Russian deuce-and-a-
half up the mountain to a student.

  That is Internet access as I saw it and heard it from the lips of 
students there on that mountain school that is like an extension 
school, an ag college. Some will know what the name of that school is.
  When I found that out, I said I want to see out what you have. So we 
went into a classroom. As we walked into the class courtroom, there 
were 12 or 14 computers in there. So yes, they had computers. They were 
old 386s. There were two or three students sitting at every screen, and 
the instructor was teaching a course on how bad capitalism is.
  Now, Mr. Speaker, I wish I had had an iPhone so I could have taken a 
picture of that screen and captured it. It was in Spanish, but it was 
interpreted to me this way, and this is what I can recall. There were 
five points on why capitalism is so bad. They were instructing these 
kids, these students, they were college-aged students, and they were 
all young men, on how bad capitalism is, and one of the lessons of 
these five points was a capitalist keeps all of the money and all of 
the profit and takes enough just to feed the worker so the worker can 
just barely survive while the capitalist gets rich.

                              {time}  2015

  That was one of the five points, and it was those kind of Marxist 
points on down the line. As we walked in, they were in the middle of 
indoctrinating their students in favor of Marxism and against 
  I don't know who has seen a lesson like that take place in a 
communist country. I have. It impressed me that how does a young person 
in a controlled environment with controlled communication ever get the 
idea that there is a whole great wonderful world out here in America?
  But they have a sense of what America is like because then it turned 
into a question-and-answer period. There were students that were asking 
questions directly of me. Most of them had to do with agriculture. I 
was answering them through Ed, the interpreter. Then at a certain 
point, it became too rapid fire, and he took it over and just did the 
  But here is what happened. I remember one big-faced young man sitting 
in the back of the room, and he asked some of the most prescient 
questions. But these questions were: Who sets the markets for your 
agriculture products? And what would be the price of beans and rice and 
corn, for example, and oats and wheat?
  I answered him that the market sets the prices. Well, how does the 
market set the prices? Well, there is a buyer that makes an offer and a 
seller that decides whether or not to take it. If the seller says no, 
then the buyer might decide to raise his price until they get to a 
place where they agree. That was an amazing concept, and it looked like 
they had never heard that before.
  Then it is, well, no one sets the prices; how can that be, that no 
one sets the prices? And the second thing will be, well, how often does 
the price change? That can change hundreds of times a day. It changes 
every transaction because the buyer and the seller can reach at a 
different point down to the tenth of a penny, a hard concept for them 
to understand.
  Another question, who sets the price of farmland in the United 
States? Well, I know about that. The market sets the price of farmland.
  Another new concept was, well, no one steps in and assigns a price? 
No, the buyer and the seller have to agree. That sets the price. You 
can see that soaking into their minds as they were asking the 
  And then a question was, Why does anyone ever sell land? I had to 
explain that sometimes you reach that point in life when you don't want 
to work the land anymore; maybe you want to retire; maybe you want to 
take your capital out and roll it into another business; maybe you want 
to put it into savings; maybe you want to sell it to a neighbor who can 
utilize it better and the price is high enough; maybe you are 
overleveraged with a lending institution and you have to sell off a 
piece of land to get liquid again; maybe the economy went bad and you 
went broke and you had to sell it all before the bank foreclosed; or 
maybe the bank foreclosed and then sold it all out from underneath you, 
as we would say.
  All of these were new concepts for these young men in this classroom 
in Cuba that I had been told by Castro's minders that, yes, they had 
full access to the Internet, they had computers, and they were 
connected to the modern and real world.
  Well, what I found out was they only had old 386's. They were sharing 
them two or three at a station. They were learning on the screens of 
these computers in the old font style that you would see, with that 
kind of green screen with white lettering on it. They were learning the 
perils of capitalism and the merits of Marxism.
  So that is the kind of minds that are influenced by the Castro 
regime. We have had an embargo on trading with Cuba for a long time, 
and we have got a lot of years invested in it. We need to keep it in 
place. We have to have the kind of leadership in this country that can 
inspire people to step up and take their island back.
  We need the kind of leadership in this country that can inspire the 
people in Venezuela to step up and take their country back. We need the 
kind of leadership in this country that will send the message and go 
down and stop and visit and inspire, in country after country in this 
hemisphere--even if we are only speaking about this hemisphere--to 
inspire the people of Central and South America to embrace the kind of 
life that we enjoy here.
  The difference between the United States of America and countries in 
points south isn't because we are blessed with an extraordinary amount 
of natural resources that sets us apart. They have a lot of natural 
resources down in Central and South America, too.
  It isn't because our climate is so much preferred to theirs. They 
have a favorable climate in most of their continent as well, and a lot 
of people go down there because their climate is favorable to ours.
  I have a cousin who spent 8 years in the Peace Corps at Tegucigalpa. 
He sat in the mountains. He had the only refrigerator for miles around. 
That is because he is a diabetic, and he needed to keep his insulin in 
a propane-powered refrigerator.
  I talked with him those years ago, and I said, what is the yield 
potential for corn? Now, we will raise now over 200 bushel an acre in 
our neighborhood. Down there, a decent crop back then was a little over 
100 bushel. He said it has got the potential to raise 100 bushel.
  What does it need? It needs fertilizer. It needs seed corn. I said, 
can't you get fertilizer and seed corn down there?
  After I pressed him very hard in those idealistic years when we were 
still young and haven't experienced a lot of the world--and he more 
than I have--and his answer was, you have to understand the mindset 
when you are in subsistence agriculture as opposed to agriculture for 
  He grew up on a farm. He said the difficult thing you have is to try 
to not get so hungry that you have to eat your seed corn. That is a 
different mindset.
  We do capital investment here. We wouldn't think of starting a house 

[[Page H1932]]

building a house very often, at least, unless we had the capital lined 
up to go in and build that thing and frame it up and close it in and 
get it wired and get the utilities all set up, put the roofing and the 
siding on, and pave the driveway. We might even sod the lawn and have 
that all penciled into our deal, and then we start.

  Down there, it is a different attitude. If they get a little bit of 
money together, they will go buy a few bricks and put that in the wall 
of the house. If they get a little more money, they do a little more. 
They might be building on that house for years and years and years.
  Maybe they don't ever get to live in it, but their children do. Maybe 
their grandchildren move into that because they don't have access to 
capital like we have because--guess what, Mr. Speaker--because they are 
not capitalists. They are Marxists. They live with the oppression of 
Marxism, and it has to be mind control and thought control.
  If you fear that your neighbors are going to report you to the 
regime, if you even fear that your family members that sit around the 
supper table with you, that one of them might be currying favor with 
the regime and report what you said at the supper table at night, after 
a while, it disciplines your thought to not think those things anymore 
because what you think eventually you might say and what you say might 
get you in trouble with the regime and might get you imprisoned, 
incarcerated. And then you can be the subject of the regime and have to 
suffer through the incarcerations that we know of, of the dissidents 
that are there in places like Cuba and Venezuela.
  I am amazed that one could be impressed with what Cuba has built. I 
don't know that anybody is particularly impressed with what Venezuela 
has. They do have oil. They are blessed with natural resources. They 
have got the wrong forum and the wrong system of government, Mr. 
  What gives people an opportunity, that gives them prosperity, that 
let's them plan not only for their future and put in capital 
investment, build a home, get it paid for, put some money in the bank, 
have an investment for a 401(k) so that you can live comfortably in 
your retirement, those things come from capitalism, from free 
enterprise--a free enterprise economy. They don't come from a Marxist 
state that has a central command that controls it all.
  I am very troubled that the inspiration that the United States is 
isn't being utilized to the extent that it needs to be. So as I look at 
the void in our foreign policy and I look at a President who has made 
it his foreign policy to lead from behind, and then I look around the 
world and I see where is the leadership vacuum--and power abhors a 
vacuum, so it rushes into that vacuum. Right now, there is a bit of a 
power vacuum in Venezuela.
  But I don't know that we have any kind of a plan or a strategy to 
even voice that strong support for the freedom-loving people that live 
in places like Venezuela and Cuba. Let our light shine, send the 
message to them, get this operation going so that one day we can see 
the Western Hemisphere not only just be the foundation of Western 
civilization in the modern world, but it can grow and prosper, and we 
can live in peace and harmony by free enterprise and free trade and 
open access to everybody's market on an equal basis, not on a 
preferential basis.
  When we passed the free trade agreement, the CAFTA-DR Free Trade 
Agreement, which is many of the Central American countries and the 
Dominican Republic, that opened up markets for us. We had already given 
them access to our markets. It opened up our markets.
  We need to go down there now and say thank you and meet people and 
build the kind of relationships necessary. An American presence--and I 
mean a United States of America presence in Central and South America--
should be grown and should be expanded, and it should be part of our 
strategy to strengthen our leaderships in this hemisphere.
  If we do a far better job than we have done in the past, then we also 
have the moral authority to strengthen our relationships outside of 
this hemisphere in the Eastern as well as the Western Hemisphere.
  Mr. Speaker, I am very troubled also by that strategy of leading from 
behind in country after country. I am troubled that President Obama, as 
he came into office, and he was elected in early November of 2008, and 
on the 17th of November of 2008, then-Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, 
who is a stellar public servant and an impressive individual as far as 
an Ambassador is concerned, and someone who, if you listen to him talk, 
you know that he has got a deep knowledge base on that part of the 
world. But Ambassador Ryan Crocker signed the agreement, the status of 
forces agreement, in Iraq. In it, it just simply cleared out all U.S. 
influence and all U.S. troop presence in Iraq, with the exception of a 
few marines inside the Green Zone at the new U.S. Embassy.
  I looked at the bases that we had established there, the airstrips 
that we had established there, the billions of dollars invested in 
military and logistical infrastructure. Essentially, our pledge was to 
sack up our bats and go home.
  I was troubled when I read that agreement. It was already signed on 
November 17 when I read it. I contacted the White House and said, You 
are pulling everything out of Iraq, with the exception of a few marines 
in the Green Zone near the U.S. Embassy, giving away air bases.
  And the answer was, We wanted to clear the field so that the incoming 
President will have free rein, and we hope and expect that he will 
renegotiate a U.S. presence on these bases in Iraq.
  Now, I don't know the depth of the agreement that took us to that 
point on November 17, 2008; I just know what that agreement said. Of 
course, Obama was already elected President. Later on, he was 
inaugurated January 20, the following year, 2009. He continued with 
this strategy of the pullout in Iraq.
  The negotiations that I think should have and had a real opportunity 
to be successful failed, so that agreement of November 17, 2008, 
essentially stood, and all of our military and our munitions, the 
foundation for security that we had established in the entire country 
of Iraq, gone, gone down to just an embassy security personnel presence 
was it. All the blood, all the treasure handed over to the Iraqis who 
were led by a Shi'a and Maliki.

  We were advised by some of our top foreign policy people that we 
shouldn't worry because Iran won't be exerting its influence in Iraq. 
There is a natural tension there. We should remember that they fought a 
war back in the eighties, and so they are not going to team up in a 
way; they are not going to line up against American interests; they are 
not going to be a thorn in our side or troublesome.
  Look what happened in Iraq instead. Yes, a strong influence on the 
part of the Iranians, the Iranians pushing military supplies through 
Iraq, reported in the news just a couple of days ago, and also, the al 
Qaeda flag flying in places like Fallujah and Ramadi, places I have 
been to, places that were all shot to pieces, places where their mayors 
and their local leadership said, We are going to rebuild this city, and 
we are going to live in peace and prosperity.
  We all know, Mr. Speaker, you can't live in peace and prosperity if 
you are living underneath that black al Qaeda flag. That is a result of 
leading from behind. That is a result of stepping out of Iraq and 
handing that country over. That is a result of not focusing on the 
negotiations necessary to establish a status of forces agreement in 
Iraq that could have provided the security and the stability and the 
training necessary for the Iraqis to protect themselves from the 
outside influence that now has a powerful influence in those places 
that were paid for, some of them more than once, and that includes 
Fallujah, in American blood, Mr. Speaker. That is Iraq.
  Afghanistan, the President found himself pushed into a situation 
where he had to order a surge, even though he rejected the surge that 
was ordered by President Bush in Iraq--and it was, by all objective 
accounts, a successful surge in Iraq. President Obama, Mr. Speaker, 
ordered the surge of a minimum number of troops in Afghanistan.
  I recall General McChrystal laying out those numbers. I don't have 
them exactly committed to memory, but something to the extent of 75,000 
troops will get the job done. With 50,000

[[Page H1933]]

troops, it will take a while. There will be a greater risk, and maybe 
we can get the job done. We kind of think so. And if you get down to 
35,000 troops, you hope that you can get the job done.
  The President opted for the lesser option and went in, in a 
minimalist attitude, and leaked out there and in a slow way reinforced 
our troops in Afghanistan. As soon as he ordered the surge, at the same 
time, he announced when the United States would pull out.
  I don't know how any military strategist would announce when they 
were going to pull out. That says directly to the enemy, You have to 
hold on past this date; you will no longer have anybody to fight when 
they are gone.
  I think, Mr. Speaker, that leading from behind has created a vacuum 
in Iraq that is being filled by al Qaeda and by the Iranians and the 
conflicting Iraqis again, and leading from behind in Afghanistan, that 
is creating a vacuum that is being filled by the Taliban.
  When we look at where this is going, I am asking, what is our 
objective there any longer? What are we trying to preserve? I haven't 
heard this President tell us his goal or his objective.
  But I do know this: in listening to the chairman of the Armed 
Services Committee in the news press conference just yesterday, how it 
boiled down, is what I heard from the esteemed chairman, Mr. McKeon, 
and that is this: If you are going to order our troops into battle, Mr. 
President, Commander in Chief, then you owe them, you owe them your 
support for them, but also for their mission. You can't say you support 
the troops without also supporting their mission.
  That needs to be, in a full-throated way, articulated by our 
Commander in Chief. If you support the troops, you can't do so, unless 
you also support their mission. If you are the Commander in Chief, you 
have to articulate that mission and let them know that the sacrifice is 
worth it and why the sacrifice is worth it. If you don't think so, you 
have to give a different order.

                              {time}  2030

  Those are those parts of the world.
  Now I take us to Egypt, and these are the foreign policy discussions, 
Mr. Speaker, the ones that we don't have very often in this Congress. 
We can go a whole year and not have a debate on foreign policy. 
Throughout the Middle East--Egypt and Libya and Lebanon and Israel--
these are countries that I visited with a small delegation of Members 
right before Christmas, so it is fairly fresh. Egypt was a very 
interesting stop. The things that I learned there and the view that I 
have on Egypt don't match up with our State Department's view, which, I 
think, is mirrored in an effort to reflect the President's view. Mr. 
Speaker, in September, which is when we went in and met with the 
interim President, Mansour, and also with General el-Sisi, the 
commander of the military, it was only just June 30 through the 3rd of 
July that the Egyptians had come to the streets.
  I think I have to back up on the history a little bit more in that, 
yes, Mubarak was a heavyhanded dictator. He was there for a lot of 
years as a heavyhanded dictator. Yet he was someone we had done 
business with. If you look back through the history of our relationship 
with Egypt, it warmed up considerably when Dwight Eisenhower told the 
British the Suez Canal is not yours. You need to move out of there, and 
the Egyptians will control the Suez Canal. In '54, that built a bond 
between the United States and Egypt. It was the right call on the part 
of Dwight Eisenhower. The British did pull back from their operations 
going on in the Suez, and it brought about a greater degree of 
stability in that part of the world.
  Then take us to 1979--'79 is the year, as I recall, that we began 
doing joint operations with some Egyptian troops and other interests--
but with American troops--and some of them were National Guard 
personnel from my neighborhood. It was joint operations in the Sinai. 
We have conducted those operations since 1979, up until this year, so 
we have a strong relationship with Egypt. Since 1979, their military 
equipment has been, by and large--and I don't know that I can say it 
has been exclusively the U.S., but it has been vastly, predominantly 
the U.S. The Russian influence in Egypt has been minimal, so that is 
how I want to keep it. If we are going to have peace in the Middle 
East, Mr. Speaker, Egypt is an anchor that is necessary for peace in 
the Middle East.
  When our President went to Cairo and gave his speech in Cairo on June 
9 of 2009, he seated the Muslim Brotherhood in the front row. Now, that 
is something that would have been missed by me at the time because I 
don't recognize the faces of the Muslim Brotherhood, but Egyptians do. 
They knew that the Muslim Brotherhood, which was formed in Egypt, was 
pushing to do a takeover of Mubarak, and they didn't understand why the 
message that was sent by President Obama was at least implied or 
implicit support for the voices of those folks sitting in the front 
row. Shortly after that speech--sometime after that speech--our then-
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the statement that Mubarak 
needs to be gone yesterday. The Egyptian people didn't understand why 
it appeared to them that the new administration at the time was 
supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and opposing Mubarak and implying 
that the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood should come to power, which 
is what happened.
  As they demonstrated in the streets, the unrest brought it about that 
Mubarak was pushed out, and into power and into elected office was the 
leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. This was incompetence in the 
government. Plus, each move that was made was assuring the Egyptians 
they would never see another election again, that their individual and 
their human rights that they had were going to be diminished as Morsi 
strengthened his power grip on the control of Egypt. There were 83 
million Egyptians, of which only 5.6 million voted for Morsi as 
President. He did an incompetent job in Egypt. As the economy went into 
shambles and they saw their freedom go, they thought, What could be 
worse? We were better off under Mubarak. It wasn't so great, but we 
were better off under Mubarak.
  On June 30 of last summer, the Egyptian people emerged into the 
streets. Of the 80 to 83 million Egyptians, 30 to 33 million went to 
the streets to protest peacefully to remove Morsi and put in a 
government of the people of Egypt.
  What happened from that, after that June 30 to July 1, 2 and 3, is 
that they pleaded with the military to step in and take over. At that 
point, General el-Sisi and others stepped in to take over the 
Government of Egypt, and they provided that stability. Yes, it was 
bloody in the streets of Cairo and in other places in Egypt, but 
throughout that, you saw radical Islamists who were going in, raiding 
Christian weddings and slaughtering the wedding parties and others 
there at churches. While we were there in September, they burned down 
70. Then I learned it was as many as 100 Christian churches in Egypt.
  How is it that the Christians were caught in a conflict in a mostly 
Sunni country and were being attacked in that fashion?
  The reason was the Muslim Brotherhood wanted the Christians to enter 
into it to create more of a civil war and more chaos because they 
believed that they could take power in the chaos. Instead, the 
Christians said--and there are less than 9 percent who are Christians 
and over 90 percent Sunni Muslims in Egypt--we are going to pray for 
these people who are destroying our churches and killing us. We are 
going to forgive them, and we are going to pray for peace. That was a 
component that brought about the demonstrations in the streets last 
summer that I mentioned from June 30 until at least July 3.
  Out of that came the stability from the turmoil, however bloody, with 
interim President Mansour and with General el-Sisi in command of the 
military, who told us in September of last year, as did President 
Mansour, We are writing a constitution, and we are going to offer it to 
the people when we get it polished up and ask them to go to the polls 
and ratify the constitution in Egypt. That was September when they made 
that promise.
  When I returned in December, shortly before Christmas, I sat down 
with the chairman of the constitution committee, and I remarked as they 
had written the constitution, which had been published a couple of 
weeks before we got there, You promised us that you were going to 
produce a constitution

[[Page H1934]]

and have it delivered to the people of Egypt in November, and I noticed 
that it didn't show up until December.
  He looked at me, and he said, We were only 72 hours late, 72 hours 
into December. I think that is pretty good for government, don't you?
  I smiled and laughed, and said, If you were in my country and asked 
me a similar question, I would hope that I would be astute enough to 
give a similar answer that you gave to me.
  Seventy-two hours into December they produced a constitution. They 
put it on the ballot after we left, which was January 14 and 15. It 
passed overwhelmingly by a vote of the people of Egypt. It sets up 
elections in Egypt in a couple of months and then elections for a new 
President down the line, less than 3 months after that. We are seeing 
the pieces being put in place.
  Even though the news media reports every outburst of unrest that is 
there, I see stability being anchored in Egypt, but it is not being 
anchored by the leadership of our administration, and it is not being 
anchored by the leadership out of our State Department. It is being 
anchored by the voice of the people of Egypt and by the good judgment 
of those whom they have empowered and, I think, whom they will continue 
to empower in the upcoming elections.
  We are told we don't have to worry about the Russians doing business 
in Egypt because they don't give anything away, because they don't give 
any military equipment away. They have to sell everything. If the 
Egyptians don't have any money, it would seem that there wouldn't be a 
calculation done for the loans that were offered out of the Saudis and 
out of the United Arab Emirates, but now we have the Russians, who have 
negotiated a military equipment deal with the Egyptians for the first 
time that I know of since 1979 or, I will say, pre-1979. We didn't need 
the Russians in Egypt. They filled a vacuum--a vacuum due to a lack of 
leadership, a vacuum created by the implication that the President and 
our administration is supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.
  The Egyptian people ask us: Why do the Americans support the Muslim 
Brotherhood? We are trying to get them out of here. My answer to them 
in a press conference in Cairo twice was this: the American people do 
not support the Muslim Brotherhood. In fact, the American people oppose 
the Muslim Brotherhood.
  I believe this administration is on the wrong side of the issue in 
Egypt, and I think they will have to turn that giant ship of state 
around slowly because the administration will have to save face. I 
can't expect that the President is going to go out into the Rose Garden 
and step behind the podium with the Great Seal of the United States of 
America and say, ``I came to confess that I was wrong in Egypt.'' No, 
there will have to be some smoke and some mirrors. If things go as well 
as they can over a period of time, we can ratchet our policy around to 
get behind the voice of the people in Egypt and strengthen our 
relationships there--the economic relationships, the trade partnership 
relationship and the military relationships--so at least they have the 
equipment that we had promised them so they can fight off al Qaeda in 
the Sinai.
  So we say al Qaeda is growing in the Sinai, and we say to the 
Egyptians, You are going to have to go short of some of the equipment 
you expected from us because we don't like the idea that there was a 
duly elected Muslim Brotherhood president that was so bad that 30 to 33 
million Egyptians poured into the streets.
  Can you imagine, Mr. Speaker, if that percentage of the population--
say, roughly, 40 percent of the population--of the United States were 
all in the streets on the same day? Can you imagine what that would be 
like? If 125 million Americans came to the streets and stayed there 
from June 20 until July 3, do you think it would bring about a change 
in the policy and in the government of the United States with that kind 
of unrest? That is the magnitude. I have only seen this magnitude a few 
  I can think of a time when we had the magnitude of that kind of 
response in the nation of Georgia, when the Russians went in and 
invaded South Ossetia and the other client state. They went in and 
invaded and occupied. It was shortly afterwards--a week or so after 
that--that they had hands across Georgia, where they said a million of 
the, roughly, 4 million Georgians were in the streets. I saw thousands 
of them with their flags wrapped around their shoulders and their 
babies wrapped up in their flags, standing together in unity. When 
people come out of their homes to the tune of 25 or 40 percent of their 
population, you know something is wrong, Mr. Speaker.
  That didn't get the attention of this administration enough for them 
to start to ratchet our policy around and get behind the voice of the 
people. Still they insist that there was a duly elected Morsi, and 
despite whatever happened after that, we are going to stick with the 
guy because the people of the Muslim Brotherhood were sitting in the 
front row, and our President gave a speech in Cairo. It sent a message, 
and it was a factor in the change in power in Egypt. It was helpful to 
bring Morsi to power. When Morsi came to power, the Muslim Brotherhood 
was in power. They did consolidate their power, and they did begin to 
shut down the rights of the people of Egypt, and the Egyptians rose up.

                              {time}  2045

  It is because of a vacuum, and it was because of leading from behind, 
and it is from having sympathy for people who carry within them the 
values that are contrary to that of the United States. That is the 
Muslim Brotherhood. That is just Egypt.
  Now, if I go on and I look at the things that have happened in the 
more than 2\1/2\ years of the Arab Spring, and in each of those things, 
when the Arab Spring erupted within country after country, across North 
Africa and across and around the Mediterranean, each change that was 
brought about went against the interests of the United States.
  But somehow, the myopic belief that I think was in the mind of Jimmy 
Carter when he saw the Ayatollah Khomeini return to Iran from London, 
if I remember where he was based back in 1979, another watershed year, 
because there was a religious leader we ought to be supportive of him 
instead of the Shah of Iran.
  Look what that got us, the beginning of the radical Islamic uprising, 
and we have been fighting that ever since, but not with the knowledge, 
the full knowledge base of what is going on.
  In Libya, you have got a civil war that really hasn't ended, it just 
is suspended, and you have terrorists and radical Islamists that are 
controlling Benghazi.
  You hear people that go to Libya, and you get the idea that somehow 
they went to Benghazi and walked around the ashes and the ruins where 
Ambassador Chris Stevens and our three other heroic Americans died. But 
they are not going there. They can't go there. We don't have the 
security personnel to go there. Neither do the government officials 
from Tripoli.
  The country is divided at this point, and the terrorists are in 
control of most of Benghazi, and they go into Tripoli once in a while, 
and they have surrounded the Parliament and other government buildings 
and exerted their control there, Mr. Speaker.
  There is still a void and a vacuum. We didn't get it resolved in 
Libya, in spite of all of the treasure and some of the blood that was 
spilled, thankfully, not American blood.
  In Lebanon, it is an even bigger mess with a less decisive future, 
and you have Hezbollah controlling a significant component of that 
country and standing out on the streets in their uniforms under their 
yellow flags with their weapons, defiant. They are a terrorist 
organization, and they are occupying parts of Lebanon, parts of the 
  The results in Israel: constantly, the pressure is on Netanyahu and 
the Israelis. Don't you have a little more land that you can sacrifice 
in the belief that somehow you can trade land for peace?
  There is no model in history that I can find that you can 
successfully trade land for peace, but still, our administration 
pushes, negotiate to give up something. A two-state solution. Let's 
move the Jews out of the West Bank because, after all, doesn't 
everybody know that they have no business living in a place like Judea, 
where they have lived since antiquity?
  It is their ancestral homeland. What justice is there in pushing 
people out?

[[Page H1935]]

  If 20 percent of the population of Israel proper is Arab, and they 
can live in peace and harmony there--remember, the fence is to keep 
people out, but the 20 percent of Arabs that are inside are peaceful. 
They are happy enough to live there. They vote. They serve in the 
Knesset. They serve in the Supreme Court. They have a voice that many 
will say is equal to that of Jews that live there. There is some 
question about it.
  But if they can live in relative harmony in Israel proper, why is it 
that the Jews don't have a right to live in places like Gaza or the 
West Bank?
  Then the problem is Netanyahu; the problem is the Israelis.
  I don't think so, Mr. Speaker. I think we need to be in full-throated 
support with every kind of commitment necessary to bring about the kind 
of solutions that promote God-given liberty and things that we know 
here as American ideals.
  We need to elect the next President, a very astute foreign policy 
president who believes in free enterprise, who believes in the pillars 
of American exceptionalism, and believes in exporting them to the rest 
of the world, because we are far better off with an American policy and 
a promotion of our beliefs and our ideals in other places in the world, 
where they want to embrace our way of living, than we are pulling back 
and allowing that vacuum to be filled by the power-hungry despots of 
people like a Castro, a Chavez, a Maduro, a Putin.
  That is the mission for America. It is one of the missions for 
America. When the Presidential candidates come to Iowa, Mr. Speaker, I 
want to ask them, speak on foreign policy, become a student of foreign 
policy. Go travel, draw your own conclusions.
  But, in the end, we are a world player. We have been a world player 
for a long time. We need to stay a world player.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.