Congressman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) :
...since day one of the war in Iraq, Democrats have provided the President with everything he asked for, yet Republicans have denied the President the one thing he needed: oversight.Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-CA):
...simply calling Iraq an intelligence failure ignores the larger policy failures that created the false momentum toward war.Congressman John Dingell (D-MI):
... Like many other members of this body I supported the President’s father when he came to Congress seeking authorization to liberate Kuwait.
There the process was honest, open, and truthful. The intelligence was clear; the mission was finite; and the world was united. Here the process is closed, the debate filled with hyperbole and half-truths, the world is alienated, and our mission is murky and indefinite...
Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA):
...our country is at war. Men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, Republicans and Democrats, are making the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq to defend our freedom, with 2500 men and women having lost their lives. They deserve our respect and admiration. But we do not honor them with this debate today.House Minority Leader Nancy Palosi (D-CA):
Instead of discussing ideas and long-overdue course corrections, we are being confronted with slogans. My colleagues on the other side of the aisle would like this country to believe that their party will “stay the course” in Iraq, while we want to “cut and run.” That kind of gross distortion may resonate on right-wing talk radio, but nothing could be further from the truth. We need to make sure the job is done right in Iraq, and leave as soon as possible.
Our men and women in uniform are striving, sometimes without the necessary troop strength and without adequate equipment, to make the effort in Iraq a success. And here the House majority is undermining the democratic process and the very principles that these brave servicemen and women have gone abroad to defend...
“On every important aspect of the Iraq war, President Bush and his advisors have been wrong: wrong on the reason to go to war; wrong on the reception our troops would receive; wrong on the rapidity with which the Iraqi economy would be able to pay for the war and reconstruction; and wrong on the willingness of the international community to join in efforts to stabilize Iraq.
“But don’t take my word for it. This gross incompetence has driven some of our fighting generals to level devastating public criticism. Major General John Batiste who led the First Infantry Division in Iraq, has said: ‘My own decision to speak out goes back to watching first hand the arrogant and contemptuous attitude of Rumsfeld as he ignored the advice of military experts during preparations for war, and then living with the impact of those strategic blunders as a division commander in Iraq. Secretary Rumsfeld and his team turned what should have been a deliberate victory in Iraq into a prolonged challenge.’ That is why, over two years ago, I asked for the resignation of Secretary Rumsfeld, and I do so again today. No one has been held accountable for all of these mistakes in Iraq.
“This incompetence comes at great cost. The Bush Administration is so obsessed with the effort to paint an optimistic picture of the situation in Iraq that it refuses to face the facts. The facts are these: more than 2,500 American troops have been killed, more than 18,000 have been injured – over half permanently, and as the war costs have grown over $400 billion, key reconstruction projects remain unfinished. As defense and intelligence expert Anthony Cordesman recently wrote: ‘The U.S. aid process has failed…it has wasted at least half of the some $22 billion in U.S. funds and much of the $34.6 billion in Iraq funds it attempted to use to secure and develop Iraq’s economy.’ This is outrageous. Where is the accountability? In fact, Mr. Cordesman concludes that the U.S.-managed Iraq reconstruction efforts have been as failed as our response to Hurricane Katrina.
“The Bush Iraq policy has diverted resources and attention from what should be the focus of our effort against terrorism in places like Afghanistan. The lack of stability and deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan is a casualty of the war in Iraq. The war has not made our country safer, it has not made our military stronger, it has caused great damage to our reputation in the world, and it has hindered the fight against terrorism.
“In the face of all of the incompetence and cost of this war, the President urges us to stay the course. ‘Stay the course,’ Mr. President, is not a strategy, it’s a slogan. I will vote against this resolution because it is an affirmation of President Bush’s failed policy in Iraq.