Jun 08 2006
Senator Shelby’s floor statement, as prepared, is included below:
Mr. President, last night, the United States military, working hand-in-hand with their Iraqi counterparts, located and killed al Qaeda terrorist, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
A brutal terrorist, al-Zarqawi repeatedly encouraged violence against Americans and Iraqi citizens. He is credited with ordering kidnappings, beheadings, and killing thousands of innocent civilians with insurgent attacks.
Al-Zarqawi was the operational mastermind of the al Qaeda network in Iraq. He sought to destroy America and our coalition partners to create a sanctuary for the al Qaeda organization in the Middle East. His death marks the fragmentation of al Qaeda’s primary leadership and the silencing of a ruthless terrorist.
The military operation against al-Zarqawi was performed by our dedicated, professional armed forces in concert with our coalition partners. Our military servicemembers should be commended for their remarkable efforts in eradicating the enemy of a free and democratic Iraq. Our warfighters worked tirelessly with their Iraqi counterparts tracking the movements of al-Zarqawi’s followers, leading to his demise in last night’s air strike. We are proud of the success of this operation, but even prouder of the job our armed forces have accomplished in their commitment to peace and stability in Iraq.
Although this is a positive development and significant step in the Global War on Terror, our fight in Iraq is not over. We are making significant strides towards eradicating terrorism, developing a free government, and reviving the economy, but Iraq will not become a democracy overnight. While our involvement continues to be difficult, our resolve must remain strong.
We must remain focused on our fundamental goal – preserving the freedom and security of the United States.
This is an enormous challenge that will take determination, global cooperation, and fortitude to succeed. I am confident the United States will triumph over global chaos and tyranny, as it always has.
Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor.