Hare Responds to Petraeus Testimony
Washington, Sep 10 -
Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) today released the following statement in response to General David Petraeus' testimony before Congress about the Iraq war:
"General Petraeus is a decorated military officer and he is leading a group of exceptional men and women through a difficult conflict.
"While he says President Bush's surge is working, the facts on the ground show a civil war continues to rage in Iraq. No amount of wishful thinking can change that.
"The surge was designed to reduce violence to the point where the warring factions in Iraq could reach a political settlement. That has not happened.
"We are coming off the bloodiest summer for U.S. troops since the war in Iraq began.
"A new independent GAO report shows that the Iraqi government has failed to meet 15 of 18 benchmarks for success.
"Another report by retired Marine General James Jones described Iraqi security forces as dysfunctional.' When Iraqi forces don't step up to the plate, it is our brave servicemen and women who must bear the brunt of their failure.
"American troops continue to be killed at an alarming rate. One hundred and thirty-five Illinoisans have made the ultimate sacrifice.
"U.S. taxpayers are spending $10 billion a month in Iraq while many national priorities go unaddressed.
"And President Bush's stay-the-course policy in Iraq is hurting our ability to fight the war on terror, as evidenced by the most recent National Intelligence Estimate which stated that Al-Qaeda is regaining strength and reconstituting in Afghanistan.
"The President's call for more money and more time is one we've heard before. And it's one I can't support. It is time to bring our troops home."