Rep. Waters Says Petraeus is White House Messenger
U.S. Representative Maxine Waters (CA-35), Chair and Co-Founder of the ‘Out of Iraq' Congressional Caucus, released the following statement in reaction to the testimony to Congress from General Petraeus:
Rep. Waters said, "President Bush has found his newest messenger in General David Petraeus. While we in Congress respect General Petraeus' service to our country, it is our duty call into question his findings showing progress in Iraq. General Petraeus' suggestion that the surge is working runs in direct contradiction with other official reports, the opinion of the American people, and the overwhelming majority of the Iraqi people themselves.
"General Petraeus claims that there has been a decrease in violence and an increase political reconciliation in Iraq, but his findings are not supported by other recent reports on either subject. The latest reports from the General Accountability Office, the National Intelligence Estimate, and General Jones' independent review of the Iraqi Security Forces all describe an increasingly grim outlook for the military involvement in Iraq.
"By Petraeus' own admission, there is no military solution to the conflict in Iraq. The entire premise of the ‘surge' strategy was to provide breathing room so that political reconciliation could occur. With nearly half of the Cabinet officials refusing to participate in the Iraqi government, and nearly all Sunni members boycotting parliament, the very legitimacy of the Government of Iraq must be called in to question.
"Because the Iraqi people see our military as an occupying force in Iraq, our presence in Iraq is actually making the situation worse. In fact, seventy percent of Iraqis interviewed in a recent survey said security has worsened where the added U.S. forces were sent. Very simply, the longer we stay in Iraq, the worse the situation will be when we leave.
"In repeated cross examination, General Petraeus admitted his responsibility was only to the military operation in Iraq, and not to our national security interests as a whole. The U.S. must redeploy our forces from Iraq and focus our efforts on matters of U.S. national security, including the hunt for bin Laden and the protection of our homeland. The only responsible strategy for Iraq is to fully fund the safe and timely redeployment of all U.S. troops and military contractors from Iraq."