Saturday, September 08, 2007

Harry Reid On The "Bush Report"

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has provided the Huffington Post with a copy of his Sunday radio address:
On Iraq -
"And Democrats have voted time and time again this year to change the
mission in Iraq. Unfortunately, only a handful of Republicans have
had the courage to vote with us. The vast majority have chosen to
stick with President Bush and his failed policies.
 
"Many Republicans spent the summer saying that that September would be
the time to change direction. September is here. Now they must
finally stand with Democrats, our troops and the American people by
voting to responsibly end the war.
 
"Just days after September 11th, President Bush said of bin Laden:
"There's an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, 'Wanted: Dead
or Alive.'" He went on to say: "One thing for certain is we're going
to get him running and keep him running and bring him to justice."
 
"Now six years have passed, and bin Laden has not been killed. He has
not been captured. He is not on the run. To the contrary, our
intelligence indicates he has used this time to rebuild his terrorist
organization. President Bush's failed policies have been bin Laden's
best recruiting tool. It is bin Laden who has used the breathing room
created by the war in Iraq to regroup, re-tool, and recruit.
 
"So, Mr. President, on this sixth anniversary of 9/11, we ask you to
honor the lives we lost on that tragic day by keeping your promise to
bring bin Laden to justice and destroy his terror network once and for
all. The families of those we lost on September 11th, our troops
serving overseas and all Americans deserve no less. This is Senator
Harry Reid. Thank you for listening."
 
Here is the full address:

Washington , DC--Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid delivers this week's
Democratic Radio Address. He discusses the President's flawed war
strategy ahead of the White House and Gen. Petraeus's report to
Congress this week. As the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks
approaches this Tuesday, Reid also calls on the President to honor the
memory of those lost by working with Democrats to change course in
Iraq and make America safer by refocusing our resources on a resurgent
Al Qaeda.
 
The text of the radio address, as delivered, is below:
 
"Good morning. This is Senator Harry Reid of Searchlight, Nevada -
Majority Leader of the United States Senate. This Tuesday is the
sixth anniversary of September 11th, and our thoughts and prayers
remain with the victims and their families. In the days following
those terrible attacks, the country's pain and despair were quickly
replaced with a steely resolve to bring those responsible to justice.
The world stood by our side, ready to join us in this effort.
 
"But before he'd finished the job of destroying al Qaeda, President
Bush chose a different path, misleading us into an ill-planned war in
Iraq. As his own counter-terrorism chief said, attacking Iraq after
9/11 was like attacking Mexico after Pearl Harbor. And today, the
results of his choice could not be clearer:
170,000 brave Americans are mired in a civil war in far-away Iraq;
Osama bin Laden remains on the loose, making videos, mocking America,
planning attacks;
Al Qaeda and its leaders are resurgent;
And international support for the United States has crumbled.
"Our military is not to blame for those setbacks. The men and women
who serve us in uniform have met every challenge and surpassed every
goal with remarkable courage. These are President Bush's failures -
and it is long past time for him to change his flawed policies.
"This week, President Bush will send General Petraeus to Congress to
report on the war -- but before the report arrives in Congress, it
will pass through the White House spin machine, where facts are often
ignored or twisted, and intelligence is cherry-picked.
 
"President Bush told us the purpose of his troop surge, his escalation
in Iraq, was to give the Iraqis the space and safety to forge
political progress and build a sustainable government. Unfortunately,
that has not happened. Nonpartisan reports released this past week
show that:
the Iraqis have failed to meet 15 of 18 key benchmarks;
Iraqi police forces are more interested in igniting rather than ending
a civil war;
and violence has not subsided despite the President's assurances to
the contrary.

"The unfortunate truth is that Iraq's leaders have not taken
meaningful steps toward building a country that can stand on its own
in spite of President Bush spending almost $3 billion each week on
this war.
 
"The release of the Bush/Petraeus report this week is yet another
chance to evaluate these shortcomings and finally change course. We
must responsibly end the war and return our focus where it belongs:
defeating Al Qaeda and fighting a real, effective war on terrorism.
"If President Bush again refuses to do so, it will be up to the
Congress to show him the way - and that is exactly what Democrats
intend to do. When President Bush had a Republican Congress, they
ignored the bipartisan and unanimous recommendations of the 9/11
Commission. The Democratic Congress passed these recommendations
within months of our taking charge and they're now law.
"And Democrats have voted time and time again this year to change the
mission in Iraq. Unfortunately, only a handful of Republicans have
had the courage to vote with us. The vast majority have chosen to
stick with President Bush and his failed policies.
"Many Republicans spent the summer saying that that September would be
the time to change direction. September is here. Now they must
finally stand with Democrats, our troops and the American people by
voting to responsibly end the war.
 
"Just days after September 11th, President Bush said of bin Laden:
"There's an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, 'Wanted: Dead
or Alive.'" He went on to say: "One thing for certain is we're going
to get him running and keep him running and bring him to justice."
"Now six years have passed, and bin Laden has not been killed. He has
not been captured. He is not on the run. To the contrary, our
intelligence indicates he has used this time to rebuild his terrorist
organization. President Bush's failed policies have been bin Laden's
best recruiting tool. It is bin Laden who has used the breathing room
created by the war in Iraq to regroup, re-tool, and recruit.
 
"So, Mr. President, on this sixth anniversary of 9/11, we ask you to
honor the lives we lost on that tragic day by keeping your promise to
bring bin Laden to justice and destroy his terror network once and for
all. The families of those we lost on September 11th, our troops
serving overseas and all Americans deserve no less. This is Senator
Harry Reid. Thank you for listening."


  
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