Senate Democrats

Senator Jack Reed Responds To President Bush’s Address On Iraq (Excerpts)

Washington, DC—Senator Jack Reed tonight will deliver the Democratic response to the President Bush’s address to the nation on Iraq. 

Excerpts of his speech follow:

“…Tonight, a nation eager for change in Iraq heard the President speak about his plans for the future.

But once again, the President failed to provide either a plan to successfully end the war or a convincing rationale to continue it.

The President rightfully invoked the valor of our troops in his speech, but his plan does not amount to real change.

Soldiers take a solemn oath to protect our nation, and we have a solemn responsibility to send them into battle only with clear and achievable missions.

Tonight, the President provided neither…”

“…So tonight, we find ourselves at a critical moment.

Do we continue to heed the President’s call that all Iraq needs is more time, more of our money, and the indefinite presence of 130,000 American troops — exactly the same number as nine months ago?

Or do we follow what is in our nation’s best interest and redefine our mission in Iraq?

Democrats believe it is time to change course.

We think it’s wrong that the President tells us there’s not enough money for our veterans because he is spending $10 billion a month in Iraq.

We have put forth a plan to responsibly and rapidly begin a reduction of our troops in Iraq…”

“…An endless and unlimited military presence in Iraq is not an option.

Democrats and Republicans in Congress and throughout the nation can not and must not stand idly by while our interests throughout the world are undermined and our Armed Forces are stretched toward the breaking point.

We intend to exercise our Constitutional duties and profoundly change our military involvement in Iraq…”