Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Reid Renews Pledge For New Direction In Iraq

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) opened the Senate work session following the Spring recess today by quoting Pope Benedict's recent statement about the Iraq war and renewing his call on the White House to listen to the American people who want a new direction out of Iraq.

"Billions throughout the world celebrated the Easter holiday on Sunday. But on that joyous day, Pope Benedict spoke of the human condition with a heavy heart," said Reid on the Senate floor this morning. "'How many wounds -- how much suffering there is in the world,' he said. 'Nothing positive comes from Iraq, torn apart by continual slaughter as the civil population flees.'"

And Reid pledged that the Senate's Democratic leadership will continue to push George W. Bush to accept that his failed Iraq policy has done nothing but drain the treasury, kill and maim American troops and make the United States less safe.

An excerpt:
"We concluded the last work period by passing an emergency supplemental appropriations bill that fully funded our troops while also setting forth a new course in Iraq.

"The President has put our troops in the middle of a civil war. That was never supposed to be their mission - and every day, the price we pay grows worse: soon to be 3,300 American lives lost. Tens of thousands more wounded. And nearly 1/2 trillion dollars spent. Yet still no end in sight for our troops or taxpayers.

"Let me be very clear: Democrats are committed to giving troops the funds they need. The supplemental appropriations bill we send to President Bush will provide every dollar our commanders have requested. And it will go further by providing funding to address the unconscionable conditions at Walter Reed and other military health care facilities that the President's budget left out.

"Democrats are united in our commitment to fully fund our troops on the ground in Iraq and here at home. But we are also determined to provide our troops a strategy for success in Iraq, which President Bush has failed to do from the very start of this war over four years ago."
Reid ended his speech by again invoking the Pope's words and saying that the situation in Iraq will not be allowed to stand.

"Heaven knows we have tried, but the President is charging forward with the same mindless strategy in Iraq that the Pope calls a continual slaughter," said Reid. "Defined in the dictionary - slaughter is to kill in a bloody and violent manner and to kill in large numbers. This slaughter must end - for the sake of humanity and our country, it should be no more."