Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI): “While today’s speech by the President was billed as yet another attempt to lay out a plan for finishing the military mission in Iraq, the only new thing the administration gave the American people was a glossy 35-page pamphlet filled with the same rhetoric we’ve all heard before. Today’s action by the White House isn’t a step forward, it’s a step back. In fact the booklet the administration released to accompany the President’s speech is described as a “…document [that] articulates the broad strategy the President set forth in 2003…” That alone makes it clear that the President seems more dug in than ever to the same old “stay the course” way of thinking. This is not a strategy, and it certainly is not a plan to complete the military mission in Iraq.
The American people, an increasing number of elected officials, and more and more military and intelligence officials understand what the President doesn’t - that our seemingly indefinite presence in Iraq, and the lack of a plan to redeploy troops, feeds the insurgency and hurts our national security. We need leadership, and we need a policy on Iraq that includes a flexible timetable for completing our military mission there, so that we can focus on our national security priority – defeating the global terrorist networks that threaten the U.S. The President missed a vital opportunity today. Our brave service members, their families, the American people, and the Iraqi’s themselves deserve and demand more.”
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) released the following statement to RAW STORY on President Bush’s speech at the Naval Academy.
“Just two weeks ago, a bipartisan majority of the United States Senate registered a vote of no confidence in the president’s current policy in Iraq. Democrats and Republicans called on the president to change course and release a strategy for success in Iraq with specific benchmarks by which the progress could be measured. Today, President Bush failed to meet this call. Instead, he recycled his tired rhetoric of ‘stay the course’ and once again missed an opportunity to lay out a real strategy for success in Iraq that will bring our troops safely home.
“After nearly 1,000 days of war in Iraq, our troops, their families, and the American people deserve more than just a Bush-Cheney public relations campaign. They deserve a clear strategy with military, economic and political measures to be met in order to successfully complete our mission. The president's continued refusal to provide that plan does nothing to support our troops or their families. Simply staying the course is no longer an option, we must change the course. We can do better.”
House Minority Leader (D-CA) Nancy Pelosi will respond to Bush's speech at a noontime press conference, aides tell RAW STORY...
Originally published on Wednesday November 30, 2005