This is an August 2007 copy of a website maintained by the Center for International Policy. It is posted here for historical purposes. The Center for International Policy no longer maintains this resource.

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Last Updated:7/7/05
Speech by Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Illinois), June 28, 2005

   Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Kirk), a distinguished member of the subcommittee.

   Mr. KIRK. Mr. Chairman, this amendment will be defeated later on today because it would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Colombia. We see a close connection between narcotics and terrorism.

   The people of Colombia saw that. When the Medellin cartel killed three major candidates for president, the people elected the last candidate left who wanted to fight the narcoterrorists. In their last election, the people of Colombia chose the candidate who took the hardest line against narcoterrorists, and after September 11, who could blame them?

   President Uribe of Colombia has asked for our help, and so far, what has our assistance accomplished? Coca growing is down, kidnappings are down, terrorist attacks are down, opium growing is down, several hundred drug kingpins extradited to the United States, and desertions among terrorist groups are up.

   In a recent poll, 73 percent of Colombians said they supported the U.S. assistance under Plan Colombia. We have seen narcoterrorists in Colombia offer training to other terror groups in other countries; and with these international links, we see Colombian drugs not only poisoning our kids but the profits from their sale are now supporting international terror.

   If we give up on Colombia, a new narcoterrorist state will rise in our hemisphere, and when a narco-state took power in 1991 in Panama, it took the direct action of the U.S. military to restore democracy.

   I think we should not give up on democracy in Colombia. We should listen to the voices of their people through their elected president and make sure that he and his team remain in power and that this stays as a Colombian struggle and is not surrendered to become a full blown American one.

As of July 7, 2005 this page was also available at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/R?r109:FLD001:H05308

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