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Rep. Waters Responds To President’s Statement Following His Meeting At The Pentagon

July 30, 2009
Press Release

Representative Maxine Waters (CA-35) today issued the following statement in response to the statement made by President Bush at the conclusion of his meeting at the Pentagon with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the heads of each major branch of the armed services in the United States Armed Forces:

"Incredibly, the President, in his opening remarks today said, ‘I thank these men who wear our uniform for a very candid and fruitful discussion about how to secure this country and how to win a war that we now find ourselves in [emphasis added].'"

"The President's statement implies that this war was either accidental or that it was a war we had no choice but to wage.  However, there is nothing accidental in the fact we find ourselves in this war.  President Bush, from an early stage in his presidency, was intent on going to war with Iraq.  The President, the Vice-President, and his war cabinet used the tragic events of September 11th to scare the American people into believing that Saddam Hussein was a greater threat to the United States than he actually was.  The President was determined to invade Iraq no matter what our intelligence community told him regarding the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, the costs to our military or to our reputation in the world community."

"That fateful decision has cost 2,933 US troops their lives, injured 23,000 more servicemembers and cost US taxpayers more than $350 billion.  The President's policy has failed.  The sooner he accepts responsibility for this war and admits the reality in Iraq, the sooner we can develop a strategy to conclude our involvement in Iraq."

"Mr. President, when are you going to initiate and implement a plan to get us out of Iraq?"

Representative Maxine Waters is Chair of the 73-member ‘Out of Iraq' Congressional Caucus.  The Caucus was founded in June 2005 to pressure the Bush Administration to conclude the Iraq war as soon as possible.