Bachus: ‘Stunning’ military victory in Iraq

U.S. officials announced earlier this week that &uot;major combat&uot; could be finished, in Iraq but there is still much to do, Congressman Spencer Bachus said Monday while visiting Shelby County.

&uot;We’ve had a stunning military victory,&uot; Bachus said. &uot;We’ve lost less than 150 of our soldiers.

&uot;When you compare that to the battle of Iwo Jima we lost 6,821 lives in one battle, and that was an island only eight square miles.&uot;

The battle of Iwo Jima is known as one of the bloodiest battles of World War II.

U.S. Marines suffered heavy casualties before taking the island and raising the American flag. That famous image captured by a photographer remains a symbol of American military triumph.

Bachus said technology has played a major role in keeping the casualties low during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

&uot;One of the reasons we’ve been able to do that is because we are so high tech,&uot; he said.

Although U.S. casualties during Operation Iraqi Freedom are relatively few, their impact is strong, Bachus said.

&uot;We do want to remember the families of those killed, missing in action and wounded,&uot; Bachus said. &uot;The cost of freedom is always high.&uot;

He noted that Birmingham’s first casualty, U.S. Army Pvt. Kelley S. Prewitt, was killed last week when his unit was ambushed in Iraq.

Bachus went on to say the United States must make certain to continue advancements in technology and education to remain a strong nation.

&uot;With the war over there, it shows how high tech you are in the world, but you can lose that in five years,&uot; Bachus said to Alabaster Mayor David Frings and other city representatives.

He said the U.S. has seen more than 2.5 million manufacturing jobs cut during the last three years, a loss that threatens national security as well as the economy.

Bachus said Shelby County is home to a &uot;world class&uot; manufacturing plant with LaFarge North America’s plant in Calera.

LaFarge is known as a leading concrete manufacturer.

Education also plays a vital role in national security, Bachus said.

He said he considered teachers, responsible for the education and training of the next generation, an often &uot;overlooked&uot; resource.

&uot;The countries that are well educated have a tendency to persevere and overcome,&uot; Bachus said, indicating Shelby County could be one of those.

The county has already played a role in the battle against terrorism, but Bachus said residents must continue.

&uot;Continue to pray for our President, our armed forces and for their safe return,&uot; Bachus said