01.10.08

Whitehouse Statement on One-Year Anniversary of Bush's Iraq Surge

Washington, D.C. - A year after President Bush's speech to the nation announcing that he would significantly increase U.S. troop levels in Iraq, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) criticized the administration's continued failure to change course and begin bringing our troops home:

"In 2006, the American people sent a clear message to Washington that it was time to seek a new direction in Iraq. Instead, a year ago today President Bush escalated the war, sending tens of thousands more troops into harm's way with assurances that the leaders of Iraq would step forward and work towards political reconciliation. Today, one year later, our troops have performed their duties as directed with skill and bravery - but the Iraqis have not done their part, and the Bush administration has not in its own conduct measured up to their sacrifice.

"Iraq will never stand up until we prepare to stand down. I have told President Bush personally that the prospect of an American redeployment is our best pressure on Iraqi leaders to take responsibility for the security and governance of their country. America cannot continue pouring billions of dollars and thousands of lives and limbs into the sands and marshes of Iraq. The Bush Administration cannot shirk the tough choices it must make. We must announce the process of bringing our troops home."

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