six years since the attacks,
and bin laden is free, and defiant.
what was once a strong-armed, unitary
iraq, is now an overlapping patch-
work of tribal, ethnic and religious
factions -- mostly at war from within. . .
our presence is no longer welcome, nor
wanted there. no doubt, we've shattered
a countless number of lives over there,
but the iraqis are smart enough to see
that our attempts to "fix" what we've
broken are simply making things worse.
we need to stand down. now.
Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
On The Testimony Of
General Petraeus And
On The Continued Deployment
Of U.S. Troops In Iraq
September 10, 2007
The Bush Administration misled the nation into one of the costliest blunders in our history, wrongly connecting Iraq to the attacks of September 11. Ever since then they have attacked anyone who has dared to question their poor judgment, their lack of a coherent strategy and their incompetence.
Six years ago our troops had cornered Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. Then the Bush Administration diverted our military resources to Iraq, and he slipped away. He remains on the loose today, and terrorism has increased worldwide. Meanwhile, the war in Iraq has lasted longer than World War II, squandering hundreds of billions of U.S. tax dollars. The President wants to keep the pedal to the floor in this war, dumping the Iraq mess onto the next President’s doorstep.
The inescapable reality remains that the Iraqis are no closer today to any kind of political settlement to end this conflict. No surge of additional military force will change the situation when the Iraqis themselves are not willing to make these hard choices. In the meantime, our presence discourages the Iraqis from taking responsibility for their own future.
With no light at the end of the tunnel after more than five years of war, the answer is not to keep lengthening the tunnel. The answer is to begin bringing our troops home from the middle of Iraq’s civil war.