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March 6, 2021
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HOEKSTRA-IRAQ
(2008-05-28)
(wgvu) - SLOWLY BUT SURELY, IRAQ IS MOVING TOWARD INDEPENDENT SELF GOVERNMENT. A WEST MICHIGAN CONGRESSMAN JUST BACK FROM A THREE DAY FACT FINDING MISSION THERE HELPS SHED SOME LIGHT ON THE SITUATION.
REPUBLICAN PETER HOKESTRA (R-HOLLAND) WAS JOINED BY TWO OF HIS COLLEAGUES FOR THE TRIP, KEPT SECRET UNTIL IT WAS OVER.
HOEKSTRA SAYS THE COUNTRY'S ECONOMIC SITUATION, WHILE GRADUALLY IMPROVING, IS STILL A MIXED BAG. ELECTRICITY IS MORE PLENTIFUL, MORE OF THE MARKETS HAVE RE-OPENED, BUT UNEMPLOYMENT IS STILL VERY HIGH.
AND HOKESTRA ADDS THAT WHILE THE NATION HAS A FAIRLY RESPECTABLE INCOME STREAM FROM SELLING OIL, THERE'S NO GOVERNMENT INFRASTRUCTURE IN PLACE TO ALLOW PROPER CAPTURE AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE REVENUE.
MAIN FOCUS OF THE THREE MEMBER GROUP WAS AN UPDATE ON INTELLIGENCE, MOST OF WHICH HOEKSTRA SAYS IS CLASSIFIED.
HOEKSTRA IS THE RANKING REPUBLICAN ON THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE, AND SERVED AS ITS CHAIR UNTIL DEMOCRATS GAINED CONTROL OF THE CHAMBER TWO YEARS AGO.
ON THE MILITARY FRONT, HOEKSTRA FIGURES PRESIDENT BUSH WILL LIKELY LEAVE TROOP LEVELS AT THEIR CURRENT STRENGTH FOR THE REST OF HIS TERM IN OFFICE. IT'LL FALL TO THE NEXT PRESIDENT TO MAKE ANY SIGNIFICANT DRAWDOWN IN U-S MILITARY STRENGTH, SOMETHING HE HOPES WILL HAPPEN NOT TOO LONGER INTO THE NEXT YEAR.
HOKESTRA WILL SHARE SOME DETAILS OF HIS TRIP WITH THE HOLLAND ROTARY CLUB THURSDAY AT NOON AT NOON.
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