09.06.07

Schumer: Our Troops Deserve Strategy Worthy Of Their Bravery, Professionalism And Sacrifice

Senator: Fickle Alliance with Tribal Leaders in Anbar is not a Foundation for a Successful Strategy - or the Result of the Surge

WASHINGTON- Returning to the Senate floor for the third day in a row to discuss Iraq, Senator Charles E. Schumer (DNY) today hailed the performance of U.S. troops and said the Bush administration's surge strategy was not worthy of their sacrifice.

 

"Make no mistake about it-the troops are doing their job," Schumer said. "I am concerned, however that their mission is not worthy of their sacrifice, especially the President's surge."

 

Schumer said the tribal factions who have momentarily cooperated with U.S. forces to bring calm to parts of Anbar Province could not be trusted in the long run.

 

"Some elements of the local population-and some of their leaders-have made common cause with the brave men and women of our military. They have cooperated with our troops out of distaste for the brutal methods Al Qaeda. While this is a welcome and helpful development, it is neither the foundation upon which a successful long term strategy can be launched, nor is it the result of the surge which was targeted in Baghdad," Schumer said.

A copy of the Senator's remarks, as prepared for delivery, appears below.

 

 

REMARKS BY SENATOR CHARLES E. SCHUMER

September 6, 2007

I rise today to discuss Iraq. First, I know we all have the deepest gratitude and respect for the sacrifice of the brave men and women serving our country so valiantly in Iraq. Make no mistake about it-the troops are doing their job.

I am concerned, however that their mission is not worthy of their sacrifice, especially the President's surge. The surge, despite the President's reports earlier this week has failed to meet the objectives set out by the President.

And the President can't change that fact by changing the goal.  He is now claiming progress in Iraq as evidence that the surge directed at Baghdad is working.  

While the President has claimed progress in Anbar, it was not the surge that brought the momentary calm to this region, because the surge was focused on Baghdad.

Its objective, as stated by the President himself, was to create breathing room for the central Iraqi government to make political progress.

Our brave troops have been in Anbar for years and years, doing the firstrate job they always do, in what is a very, very difficult environment.
 
Now, however, some elements of the local population and some of their leaders have made common cause with the brave men and women of our military. They have cooperated with our troops out of distaste for the brutal methods Al Qaeda.

While this is a welcome and helpful development, it is neither the foundation upon which a successful long term strategy can be launched, nor is it the result of the surge which was targeted in Baghdad.

Because we've heard about successes in the past. They're temporary. They're not based on any permanent structural change or any permanent change in the views of Iraqi citizens. We've heard about success in Baghdad and we've heard about success in Fallujah and they vanish like the wind.

So now, at a time when the American people are crying out for a change in course, some are pointing to a temporary situation in one province - Anbar - as a way to continue the present misguided policy? It makes no sense. It makes no sense because the fundamentals in Iraq stay the same. There is no central government that has any viability.

The Shiites, the Kurds and the Sunnis dislike one another far more than they like or want any central government, and these two facts doom the administration policy for failure. We should not have our brave soldiers fighting a civil war, caught between rival political and religious factions.



Previous Article Next Article