As today was the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the group didn't have as much access to Iraqi officials as they normally would, but apparently they have been able to meet with at least some of them. He mentioned that the group he was part of had visited an outpost today that was manned by both American and Iraqi forces and that it "seemed to be working well" but that the Iraqi police was seriously understaffed.
When asked Wilson said that he hadn't actually seen any fighting but clearly saw the remnants of past fighting and a few times they had to take the Humvee's off the highway because of holes created by roadside bombs.
When the issue of withdrawing troops came up Wilson emphasized that he didn't favor a "quick withdrawal" because of concerns about losing the little progress that we have made. He did say he favors a troop redeployment though, and furthermore that "the sooner and the bigger we do it, the better off we're going to be". I tend to agree with Wilson on this one, I don't want our troops there any longer than necessary but I also think we have to give the Iraqi people (not the government) a chance to improve their safety and standard of living. After all, we created this mess.
On that subject, my only question for Wilson was whether the basic needs of the Iraqi people were being met. Specifically I asked about the availability of food, water, and electricity. Wilson replied that the Iraqi's are only able to draw power from the electrical grid for two hours each day and that otherwise they either had to buy a generator or share someone else's. As for water he said that a limited amount of homes have access to potable water. He best summed up the situation though by saying that "the Iraq people are feeling the pain of this as well".
While talking about the troops themselves Wilson was very complimentary, saying that the troops are doing an exceptional job but also questioned whether we could ask for anymore from them (you can hear this part below). He also mentioned that there were several Ohio troops where they ate lunch today and he described their mood as upbeat but said that they were eager to return home. If wasn't mentioned if our Ohio troops were able get a hold of any Appalachian State merchandise over there.
You can hear Rep. Wilson's opening statement (but not the question and answer session) below or download it from here.