Republican congressman Walter B Jones, identified for altering the identify of French fries in authorities cafeterias to “freedom fries”, has died.
Mr Jones was a eager supporter of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and pushed for the identify change in protest towards France’s opposition to the battle.
However he later had a whole change of coronary heart, turning into some of the vocal critics of the battle in his occasion.
His workplace confirmed that he died on 10 February, his 76th birthday.
Mr Jones represented his district for 34 years, first within the North Carolina state legislature, then in Congress.
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On the time of his demise, he was being cared for in a hospice in Greenville, North Carolina, having damaged his hip final month. His workplace mentioned that his well being declined after his fall on 14 January.
“Congressman Jones will lengthy be remembered for his honesty, religion and integrity,” a press release from his workplace mentioned.
“He was by no means afraid to take a principled stand. He was identified for his independence, and broadly admired throughout the political spectrum. Some might not have agreed with him, however all recognised that he did what he thought was proper.”
Like most Republicans – and plenty of Democrats – Mr Jones backed President George W Bush’s decision to make use of army pressure in Iraq to oust its chief Saddam Hussein.
Mr Bush justified the invasion by claiming that Saddam Hussein had developed and hidden weapons of mass destruction.
France, which threatened to veto the UN’s decision authorising US-led army motion, was probably the most vocal in its opposition to the battle.
In response, Mr Jones and his fellow Republican Robert W Ney pushed for cafeterias within the Home of Representatives to rename their French fries and French toast “freedom fries” and “freedom toast”.
The 2 congressmen had been profitable, and the brand new names had been met with reward and derision in equal measure.
No weapons of mass destruction had been present in Iraq, and it was later revealed that the battle was justified utilizing defective info.
On the similar time, Mr Jones met grieving households whose family members had been killed within the battle. This brought about him to have a dramatic change of coronary heart, and in 2005 he referred to as for the troops to be introduced house.
He spoke candidly on a number of events about how deeply he regretted supporting the battle, which led to the deaths of greater than 140,000 Iraqi and American individuals.
“I’ve signed over 12,000 letters to households and prolonged households who’ve misplaced family members within the Iraq and Afghanistan wars,” he instructed NPR in 2017. “That was, for me, asking God to forgive me for my mistake.”