Iraq war - five years
We'll post statements as we get them, with most recent on top.
From Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky:
“The brave men and women who answer the noble call to defend our nation and the spouses, children and parents who support them are our nation’s most valuable treasures. Thousands of troops from Fort Campbell and the Kentucky National Guard are in Iraq right now. Many are on their third tour of duty. This week as we look back on our five years in Iraq, I hope that all Americans will take some time to remember the great sacrifices these soldiers have made in the name of our freedom.
“Our troops are succeeding in their mission under the new strategy being implemented by General David Petraeus. It is imperative that we continue to support our commanders on the ground and ensure that our soldiers have the resources they need to finish the job and return home as soon as possible.”
From Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio:
“Today President Bush held true to form, claiming we are safer when Osama bin Laden remains free, claiming progress when the Iraqi government has failed to meet most of the benchmarks set out, and claiming we are better off when nearly 4,000 troops have lost their lives and the financial strain is wearing our economy thin.
“Five years later, 130,000 of our military remain in harm’s way. Five years later, Ohio has lost 165 men and women, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, teachers and firefighters. Five years later, there still is no exit strategy. We continue to spend billions of dollars every week on the war – diverting money away from efforts to fight terrorism around the globe, choking off funds for important infrastructure and domestic programs.
“The president is recycling old rhetoric to defend his open-ended invasion. As his administration’s tenure comes to an end, the president should be focused on ending the war rather than on salvaging his legacy.”
House GOP leader Rep. John Boehner, R-West Chester:
“In the five years that have passed since the start of this conflict, our men and women in uniform have heroically ousted a terrorist dictator, freed a nation, and planted the seeds for political reconciliation that will pave the way for the first democracy in a part of the world that needs it most. Today, after countless obstacles to our success over the past five years, Iraq’s fledgling democracy is at long last taking important steps toward the ultimate goal of self-rule. Elections have been held, police and military forces have been trained, legislatures have been assembled, and infrastructure has been built. And most importantly, American troops are beginning to return home after victory, not defeat.
“While our nation rightfully thanks each and every serviceman and woman who returns home from Iraq, it will be our children and grandchildren – and their children and grandchildren – who truly will owe them a debt of gratitude. Their selflessness and courage in the face of a ruthless and soul-less enemy not only has brought increasing security and stability to a breeding ground for terrorists seeking to destroy us, but it has laid the groundwork for a safer and more peaceful world for generations to come. While more work is left ahead of us, the progress made under General Petraeus’ plan gives our troops and their Iraqi security forces counterparts the momentum they need to overcome not only the terrorist enemy they face in Iraq – but also the naysayers at home who claimed victory was never possible.”
Here's U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's:
“Last week, congressional leaders from both parties stood together in the Capitol Rotunda to pay tribute to the service of our troops. Though we will continue to engage in a spirited debate on the future of our national security, we can do so in a manner which honors the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country. We can rise above political fights and focus on continued security in the Middle East, instead of what will happen in November. And we can spend less time telling the troops their mission is unwinnable, and more time focused on providing them with the funding they need to succeed in their mission.
“On this fifth anniversary of U.S. military service in Iraq, we must provide our armed forces everything they need so that they can return to their families in success.”
Here's John McCain's
"Today in Iraq, America and our allies stand on the precipice of winning a major victory against radical Islamic extremism. The security gains over the past year have been dramatic and undeniable. Al Qaeda and Shia extremists -- with support from external powers such as Iran -- are on the run but not defeated. Tough fighting remains ahead, especially in places like Mosul. Important political gains have also been made, but far more must be done in coming months to cement the gains made in huge cost in American blood and treasure.
"Americans should be proud that they led the way in removing a vicious, predatory dictator and opening the possibility of a free and stable Iraq. Americans should be proud that once we implemented the surge and new counterinsurgency strategy, a dire situation has been dramatically improved. And, Americans know that the consequences of failure would leave our nation less secure for generations to come."
John McCain's campaign today further re-released a web feature on http://www.johnmccain.com/ that chronicles the Senator's leadership on Iraq and in the larger fight against Islamic extremists. The page, entitled "Fighting Islamic Extremists: Progress in Iraq," features a four year timeline of John McCain's unrelenting call for a new strategy for victory in Iraq -- the strategy currently winning on the ground.
Here's Victoria Wulsin's:
“Five years after the war in Iraq began, there is still no end in sight. The men and women of our armed forces have done everything we have asked, serving honorably and bravely; but our leaders have failed them, failed us and failed the Iraqi people.
We have lost 3,990 American soldiers in a war that now costs us $12 billion each month. The Bush Administration set 18 benchmarks for the Iraqi government before the surge, but only 3 have been met.
The price of oil has tripled since March, 2003 and still the President and his allies refuse to change course.The time is now to devote the same level of diplomatic and political effort that our troops have given on the battlefield and in security operations. And here at home, it’s time to reunite the hundreds of thousands of families affected by this war, ensure that our veterans get the care they deserve, and invest in our economy and our future.”