Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada made the following statement today, following President Bush’s speech at the American Legion’s National Convention in Reno, NV:
"President Bush’s speech today missed the mark yet again. All Americans agree that we must continue to fight extremists and that we must help the Iraqi people build a better future. Our differences are over the right strategy to do so. The President continues to stubbornly pursue a flawed strategy that has mired our troops in a civil war in Iraq and diverted our attention as Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda grow stronger. Most Americans, and a bipartisan majority in Congress, believe this strategy is not in our national interest and the time for a major change in strategy is now.
The President’s flawed escalation strategy has failed to deliver the political solution necessary for Iraq’s stability that he promised. The President’s flawed strategy has reduced the readiness of our troops to levels not seen since the Vietnam War and left us with no strategic reserve to respond to unexpected crises elsewhere in the world. The President’s flawed strategy has cost more than 3700 American lives, nearly half a trillion dollars and shattered America’s power and prestige around the world.
In short, the President’s strategy is costing America dearly – and leading America exactly in the wrong direction. A change of course in Iraq is long overdue. In the coming weeks, Democrats will once again press Republicans to join the fight to make that change – a change that is essential for America’s national security."