Rep. Waters Expresses Sympathy to Families of Troops Killed in Iraq
Today, U.S. Representative Maxine Waters (CA-35), chair and co-founder of the ‘Out of Iraq' Congressional Caucus, released this statement following reports of increased violence in Iraq:
"Over the past two days, 9 U.S. troops have been killed in combat in Iraq. My deepest sympathies go out to the families of those whose lives were cut short while bravely serving our country. The troops in Iraq have performed honorably and expertly under the most difficult of circumstances and continue to prove why the men and women of the United States military are the most capable in the world.
"The most recent spate of killings should serve as a warning to President Bush and those who are claiming the success of the surge. We cannot allow our policy makers, the media, or the American people to be lulled in to complacency with our policies in Iraq and assume that the surge in troop levels has solved our problems.
"Our troop's lives are still at great risk, and the military is being strained toward its breaking point. We still do not have an effective strategy to protect our soldiers from Improvised Explosive Devices, and we have come up short on nearly every benchmark for political progress. Our presence in Iraq is widely viewed as an occupation, and is deeply resented by a large majority of the Iraqi people.
"The President's tactics ignore the fact that there is no military solution to the problems in Iraq. Conditions for success in Iraq have never been identified and no plan for withdrawal has been presented. Many observers have concluded that instead of acknowledging the obstacles we face in Iraq, the President intends only to run out the clock on his tenure in the Oval Office and pass the chaos he created along to the next Administration.
"We must stay firmly in touch with the reality that Iraq is and will remain a very dangerous place. The longer our military remains stuck in Iraq's civil war, the harder it becomes for competing Iraqi factions to accept eventual compromises necessary for reconciliation and peace. In the absence of political reconciliation, instability in Iraq will not subside.
"I remain committed to the position that our number one goal should be to bring our troops home from Iraq. For the sake of our country, we should not detour from that mission. We must provide the necessary planning and funding for this to be done as safely, securely and swiftly as possible. I hope we don't have to endure the loss of another American life in Iraq."