Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.), only Democrat to serve on both the House Armed Services Committee and House International Relations Committee, made the following statement today, following the news of a U.S.-led attack against Iraq:

“As the military action begins in Iraq, my thoughts are with the coalition troops and their families.  The sacrifices made by these brave men, women, and children are enormous.  I am especially grateful to the troops of McChord Air Force Base and Fort Lewis and our community’s National Guard and Reservists who are putting their lives on the line for freedom and liberty not only for America, but for the entire world.  We are honored to have you and your families as part of our community and are grateful for your service.

“In this time of such international instability, we must also come together to be ever-vigilant in protecting Americans and American interests from terrorism.  Our communities’ first responders – the police, medical, and fire personnel – also deserve our enormous gratitude and support in these trying times. 

“Finally, let us not forget about the countless innocent Iraqis who have suffered greatly under the rule of Saddam Hussein.  We must keep our commitment to them once Hussein is removed from power and work for a more stable, safe, and prosperous Middle East region.”