Neal statement on the escalation of the war in Iraq
January 10, 2007
(WASHINGTON) Congressman Richard E. Neal (D-Springfield) issued the following statement on President Bush's speech to the nation tonight outlining his new plan for the escalation of the war in Iraq.
Since the war started, more than 3,000 brave and heroic Americans have been killed, 45 alone from Massachusetts. Over 22,000 of our men and women in uniform have been wounded in Iraq. The war is now costing taxpayers $8 billion per month. And there is no end in sight. In my opinion, President Bush should start bringing the troops home, not sending them back into harms way.
Tonight's speech by President Bush is another variation of stay the course. He has not acknowledged that Iraq has descended into a civil war with our troops caught in the middle. He has minimized the threat of the insurgency, mislead on weapons of mass destruction and mismanaged this conflict from the beginning. He no longer has the support of his generals, the troops or the American people. I believe it is time for an honorable exit strategy that will bring our troops back home.
Many of our top military leaders and foreign policy experts are opposed an escalation of the war in Iraq. They are convinced that a military solution is no longer achievable. The proposal put forward tonight by President Bush will not change the course in Iraq. That is the responsibility of the Iraq people. It will take real leadership from Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki to end the sectarian violence. And ultimately, the Sunnis and Shiites of Iraq will have to determine if they want a future of conflict or reconciliation.
Our troops have served this country with courage, honor and dignity. They have done all that has been asked of them. It is time for these heroes to come home."