Today, more than 150,000 members of our armed forces are caught in a civil war. According to the Pentagon, overall levels of violence in Iraq have not decreased since the surge began. The last three months have been the deadliest period for American troops since the start of the war. It is time for the waiting to end and for our troops to start to come home.Excellent points. Clearly, the surge is not working. Basra is increasingly becoming a lost cause. Turkey has amassed 140,000 troops on Iraq's northern border and threatens to invade. The car bomb this past Saturday, one of the deadliest yet (over 150 killed). A no-confidence vote looms over Iraq's PM. Iraqi civilians are called upon to take up arms. Defense Secretary Gates is proposing a deal to withdraw troops. Republican support is fast dropping off. Oh, and it will soon be reported that Iraq has met none of its benchmarks.
That is why we propose to end the authorization for the war in Iraq. The civil war we have on our hands in Iraq is not our fight and it is not the fight Congress authorized. Iraq is at war with itself and American troops are caught in the middle.
At a recent Senate hearing, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was asked if the 2002 authorization still applies to Iraq. His response was surprisingly candid: "I don't know." Four years into the conflict in Iraq, longer than American involvement in World War II, after years of White House misjudgment and miscalculation, as our troops fight and die in the midst of an Iraqi civil war, the answer could not be clearer.
The 2008 defense authorization bill is now before the U.S. Senate. This legislation presents a vital opportunity for Congress to step up and force the President to change course in Iraq. Amending the bill to deauthorize the war would do exactly that. We intend to lead that effort.
Yet, the likes of Sen. Lieberman will say otherwise, with a straight face. Don't we have more than enough denial emanating from the White House?