WASHINGTON – Mention of the war in Iraq clouded a House resolution marking the third anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks (search), and 16 lawmakers voted Thursday against the otherwise non-controversial measure.
Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., one of 15 Democrats and one Republican to cast "no" votes, said linking the Sept. 11, 2001, act of terrorism to the war in Iraq was "blatantly untrue" and had turned a resolution honoring the sacrifices of Sept. 11 victims into a political document.
"Why are we putting together a resolution that convolutes the issue?" asked Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., another no vote. The vote was 406-16.
The sponsor of the resolution, International Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde, R-Ill., (search) responded to the critics, saying "there is a direct connection between the war in Iraq and the bombing of Sept. 11."
U.S. troops in Baghdad, added House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, are "fighting the same evil and upholding the same virtues" as the passengers aboard Flight 93 who battled the hijackers or the police and firefighters who lost their lives at the World Trade Center. "It is one and the same conflict," he said.
The introductory section of the resolution noted that "since the United States was attacked" on Sept. 11, "it has led an international military coalition in the destruction of two terrorist regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq."
The resolution extends sympathy to the victims, honors military and civilian personnel for their sacrifices in the war on terrorism, thanks foreign nations that have assisted the United States in that war and vows that the United States will continue to do whatever is necessary to disrupt terrorist activities. It discourages "any effort to confuse the global war on terrorism with a war on any people or any faith."
The Senate had a moment of silence Friday morning to mark the anniversary of the attacks.