Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Leading Democrats Speak on 2,000 Dead

The following were statements or comments from leading Democrats on the grim milestone reached yesterday, with 2,000 American military dead in Iraq:

Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ)

"Mr. President, there is a dark cloud hanging over our nation. That cloud emanates from Iraq, and has rained countless tears on American families from across our nation who have lost loved ones... And as our troops go it alone, they have to live with President Bush's taunt to our enemies: 'Bring 'em on.' I ask the President: have they sufficiently brought them on?"

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)

"Regrettably today, we have reached a solemn milestone in Iraq: 2000 U.S. troops killed. There has been - and will continue to be - heated debates about our involvement in Iraq, about the flawed prewar intelligence, the selling of the war by administration officials, the poor planning and the ideologically driven attempt by the president and others to reshape the Middle East through the force of arms."

Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA)

"Our armed forces are serving ably in Iraq under enormously difficult circumstances, and the policy of our government must be worthy of their sacrifice. Unfortunately, it is not, and the American people know it.''

Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH)

“Iraq has been a colossal failure of American foreign policy. From the beginning this Administration has waged a campaign of misinformation and has continued to deliberately mislead the public about the realities on the ground. As Americans we mourn the loss of every American life, and particularly those who give the ultimate sacrifice in service to this nation. We mourn the first causality as much as the two thousandth causality. Now more than ever we need to support the troops. Support the troops by bringing them home.”

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

"The U.S. military death toll reached 2,000 in Iraq, a figure that I - and every American - hoped we would never reach. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones.

"As the current investigation into the leak of CIA agent Valerie Plame reminds us, this Administration took us to war on false intelligence, misstatements, and exaggerations.

In rushing to war, in twisting and revising the case for war, and in failing to plan for the aftermath of the war, this Administration broke the trust with these young men and women at a catastrophic cost.

"These 2,000 young men and women have sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, friends and extended family, all of whose lives have been forever changed by the consequences of this reckless war. Today, let us remember these 2,000 brave Americans. Let us honor their lives and their memory by bringing this war to an end."

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)

“Words of tribute are in order to honor the sacrifice of these brave men and women and their loved ones. But words are not enough. We owe them leadership and a clear strategy to bring our troops home with their mission truly accomplished. America cannot stand by as we drift into an open-ended long-term commitment in Iraq. We owe these fallen soldiers and all who serve a clear strategy of accountability.”

Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)

“We honor their service and sacrifice, not just with words, but with deeds. First, we must support our troops with pay, protection and the equipment they need to stay safe and accomplish their mission. Second, we need a workable plan to drawdown our troops – there are159,000 U.S. troops in Iraq today.

“Our strategy for Iraq must be worthy of sacrifices they have made. We need to involve the U.N. more – seal Iraq’s borders and keep out foreign fighters and terrorists. Our military men and women have sacrificed in Iraq. They honored our country by volunteering to serve. We must honor them with an effective plan to finish their work and bring our troops home.”