Lieberman and Graham Urge Senate to Acknowledge Strategic Success of Surge in Iraq
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2008
Contact: Erika Masonhall (Lieberman), 202-224-4041
Wes Hickman (Graham), 202-224-5972
Lieberman and Graham Urge Senate to Acknowledge
Strategic Success of Surge in Iraq
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and Lindsey Graham today urged the U.S. Senate to adopt a bipartisan resolution that recognizes the reality of the strategic success of the surge in Iraq:
“It was exactly one year ago today that General David Petraeus returned to Capitol Hill to testify before Congress about the progress of the surge in Iraq. At the time, many members of the Senate argued that the surge — despite growing evidence of its success — was not working and should be abandoned. One left-wing group, Moveon.org, even made the despicable and outrageous accusation that General Petraeus would try to ‘cook the books’ to justify the surge when he appeared before Congress.
“One year later, it is clear: the critics of the surge were wrong.
“Had we heeded their advice to retreat from Iraq in 2007, the United States would have suffered a catastrophic defeat in the heart of the Middle East that would have had terrible consequences far beyond Iraq for years to come. Fortunately, we did not abandon General Petraeus and his brave troops, and as a result, the situation in Iraq has completely reversed. We have witnessed substantial progress on the political, economic and military fronts. Our enemies are weaker, and America is safer.
“We congratulate the Iraqi people for coming together in the face of so much adversity to further the peace and prosperity of their country. We honor their sacrifices and share in their desire to continue to build on success.
“The situation in Iraq remains fragile and complex. The war is not over. Our two deadliest enemies — al Qaeda and Iran — will seize any opportunities we hand them to come back.
“However, because of the strategic success of the surge, more and more American troops are coming home, not in defeat, but in honor.
“In withdrawing our troops from Iraq, however, it is critical that we do not jeopardize the hard-won gains they have achieved. That means any withdrawal must be based on the recommendations of General Petraeus and our commanders on the ground, not on an arbitrary timeline invented in Washington. Our brave military has fought too hard, and sacrificed too much, for American politicians to throw away the gains they have achieved with an arbitrary timeline.
“What is needed now, therefore, is not more partisan politics over Iraq, but for Democrats and Republicans alike to come together and recognize reality: to acknowledge that the surge was not just a tactical success but a strategic success; to give thanks to our courageous men and women in uniform who made it possible; and to pledge that we will do nothing that might squander these hard-won gains.
“For that reason, we have introduced a bipartisan resolution that recognizes the reality of the strategic success of the surge. We hope that the Senate can unite to take up and adopt this resolution this week, on the one year anniversary of General Petraeus’ testimony before Congress and as he prepares to depart Baghdad to take command of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). The moment has come for the Senate to speak with one voice and admit the strategic success of the surge.”
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