WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement this morning in response to remarks by President Bush in Ohio regarding the continuing war in Iraq:
“Once again today, President Bush painted a rosy picture of the continuing war in Iraq that is divorced from the reality on the ground, and that seems little more than a vain effort to justify his failing policy there and to divert attention from the repeated, egregious misjudgments made by his Administration throughout the course of this war.
“Our troops in Iraq have performed their duty with courage and honor. And, no one doubts that the insertion of thousands of additional American forces into Iraq during this so-called surge has temporarily made a difference. But even as the President insisted today that his policy is working and progress is being made in Iraq, the objectively verifiable facts on the ground undercut those very representations.
“The reality is, rockets continue to rain down on the fortified 'Green Zone,' which houses the U.S. Embassy and Iraqi government offices in Baghdad; Iraq’s second largest city, Basra, has fallen into chaos, violence and bloodshed; and car and suicide bombs continue to kill scores of innocent Iraqis almost daily. More than 4,000 American troops have been killed and 30,000 have been injured, and the costs to the American taxpayer for this war - now in its sixth year - will be well over $1 trillion. Meanwhile, the President counsels the American people to be ‘patient’ even as the Iraqis fail to take the steps necessary to achieve political reconciliation.
“The American people have made their judgment on this war and on this Administration’s prosecution of it. It is long past time that we demanded that the Iraqis step up and take responsibility for the future of their nation; that our troops begin to responsibly redeploy; that the United States begin to repair the readiness of our armed forces; and that we engage the international community in a diplomatic surge in Iraq.”