PAKISTAN EARTHQUAKE RELIEF; Congressional Record Vol. 151, No. 166
(Senate - December 20, 2005)

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[Pages S14176-S14177]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                       PAKISTAN EARTHQUAKE RELIEF

  Mr. ALLEN. Mr. President, I rise today to salute the outstanding 
ambassadors for our enduring principles of freedom, justice, and 
individual rights--our brave men and women in uniform who show the 
heart of America by their good deeds.
  As the Iraqi people slowly count the ballots from their historic 
parliamentary election, we are reminded once again of America's far-
reaching power to be a force for good in this world. Over the past 2\1/
2\ years, our brave soldiers have fought courageously and nobly 
sacrificed to extend the sphere of liberty into what was--up until 
their arrival--one of the darkest, most despotic alleys on Earth. Their 
heroic work has helped deliver a new free and just country into the 
family of nations.
  We here at home watch the developments in Iraq with a feeling of 
pride. We are proud of our troops who have borne so much to advance the 
cause of freedom. We are proud of the Iraqi people, who risked their 
own lives to cast ballots three times this year for a better future. 
And we are proud of the heritage of our country--from the American 
Revolutionary secession from the British monarchy to the Second World 
War against fascism to the Cold War against imperial communism to 
today's fight against global terrorists, America has been the shining 
city on a hill--an ally to all men and women--on every continent, in 
every country--who yearn to breathe free.
  In addition to Iraq, we have extended our hand of friendship to the 
people of Pakistan. A little more than 2 months ago, a devastating 
earthquake ripped through northern Pakistan. The toll from this tragedy 
is almost impossible to comprehend: 79,000 men and women lost their 
lives, an additional 72,000 were injured, and a total of 2.9 million 
people are now homeless.
  Last month, my wife Susan cochaired a charity event near our home in 
Virginia to raise money for the earthquake victims. She then joined me 
when I traveled to Pakistan to visit some of the victims, and the 1,200 
U.S. troops who are now stationed in Pakistan to assist in the 
recovery.
  We presented a check to the Citizens Foundations charity, which will 
use the money to rebuild the Bagh School for Girls and other schools. 
When we visited a Pakistani classroom for children needing medical 
treatment, we

[[Page S14177]]

saw children on the floor, singing in English, learning new words, and 
painting artwork as well. On the wall behind the teacher was a drawing 
of a green Chinook helicopter and on the side of the helicopter was a 
big painted smile across the length of the helicopter.
  That is the way these young people look at the United States. They 
are looking at these vessels of our military not as weapons of war but 
as machines that bring relief, and help. Later, Susan and I had supper 
with our troops there at the airfield. We told them how proud we are of 
their outstanding relief effort, about what great ambassadors they are, 
not just for the strength of America but also for the caring heart of 
America.
  Today, in Pakistan, the heart of America is needed more than ever. As 
international attention fades and funds dry up, millions of earthquake 
survivors are now facing a harsh, cold winter. In the remote Himalayan 
region, villages at altitudes of 5,000 to 7,000 feet will soon be 
covered in snow. By leaving the earthquake victims exposed to the 
Himalayan winter, there is the real risk of seeing perhaps hundreds of 
thousands of preventable deaths.
  We should not let such deaths happen. And thankfully, avoiding this 
tragic scenario is in our power. Our U.S. administration has pledged 
over $500 million in aid, but these funds are urgently needed today and 
must reach the devastated people of Pakistan as soon as possible.
  During this holiday season, and beyond, we should continue to help 
Americans in Louisiana and Mississippi and extend our arms to the 
people of Pakistan. By saving hundreds of thousands of lives during the 
harsh Himalayan winter, we can transform this tragic event into a story 
of hope, courage and perseverance.

                          ____________________