Congressman Returns from Iraq Trip - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/05/06

Congressman Returns from Iraq Trip

Wilson with the troops in Iraq. Wilson with the troops in Iraq.

US Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC Dist. 2) just returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan. It was all part of an Armed Services Committee Delegation trip. Today, he is back in the Low Country and spoke with us about his experience.

Congressman Wilson was visiting constituents today, but just days ago he was visiting troops and talking with top officials in Iraq.

"The morale of the troops is very high," he said. "There's a greater realization that the Iraqi forces are taking a lead in combat operations. They are participating fully. In fact, most of the combat operations now are conducted by Iraqis or in cooperation with coalition troops."

After six trips to Iraq, the congressman says our troops are making a difference in reshaping the country. "I believe progress is being made. That we are building up forces in Iraq. We're building an economy. The government has been sworn in. Step by step, a civil society is being created in Iraq, which enables us to decrease our troop strength."

So just how long does he anticipate coalition troops staying in Iraq? "A timeline is really up to the enemy. If they would stop killing innocent civilians as they did again today, that would enable us to pull down our troops, but as they are mercilessly killing, murdering people, we need to have a presence there to help engender a democratic society."

While the congressman is still concerned about the level of security in the country, he says he's proud of the progress troops have made since his last visit two years ago.

As part of the trip, Congressman Wilson also visited Pakistan and Jordan.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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