Obama Statement on Iraq Redeployment Plans
"Today, 1518 days after it began, the war in Iraq rages on, with no sign of a resolution."
"The Iraqi people appear no closer to the settling their differences. The Iraqi government is more divided and dysfunctional than ever. The Iraqi parliament speaks of adjourning for the summer, without addressing the major issues standing in the way of a ceasefire. And our brave young servicemen and women are still fighting and dying to police someone else's civil war."
"I opposed this war from the start for all the reasons that are now clear."
"In January, I introduced a plan that already would have begun redeploying our troops out of Iraq, with the goal of removing all of our combat troops by March 31. But it also would offer enough flexibility to delay our exit in the event that the Iraqis responded with meaningful steps toward peace. I still believe in that approach, which the President vetoed earlier this month. Ultimately, I think it will become the framework for a bipartisan coalition the President can't resist."
"Today, I have reintroduced that plan."
"Tomorrow, I expect cloture votes on two other proposals. One is the Reid-Feingold plan, which would begin a withdrawal of troops in 120 days and end all combat operations on April 1. The other is Senator Levin's proposal, which would create standards and benchmarks for additional funding."
"I will support both, not because I believe either is the best answer, but because I want to send a strong statement to the Iraqi government, the President and my Republican colleagues that it's long past time to change course."
"Meanwhile, I'll continue to press for my own plan, and work to find the 16 votes in the Senate to pass it with a veto-proof majority and bring our troops home quickly, safely and responsibly."