“This bill should be named the Date Certain for Surrender Act”

27Mar07

Associated Photo of Senator McCainIn an act of supreme shortsightedness, the Democrat-led Senate passed a spending bill today that included a call for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq by March 31, 2008.

Prior to the bill’s passage, Senator John McCain gave an impassioned speech on the Senate floor.

You might not know it from reading newspapers or watching the evening news, but in Iraq today there are real signs that the new strategy is working,” he began.

Conditions have changed in Iraq. The Baghdad Security Plan – the “surge” – is working far better than even the most optimistic supporter had predicted. The progress is tangible in many key areas despite the fact that only 40 percent of the planned forces are in Iraq.”

The Senator also outlined the consequences of a premature withdrawal.

“If Iraq descends into chaos, the power vacuum there will invite further Iranian interference, at a time when Tehran already feels emboldened. Iraq’s neighbors, from Saudi Arabia to Egypt to Turkey, would feel their own security eroding, and may intervene on the side of particular factions. This uncertain swirl of events could spark regional war severely damaging to America’s fundamental security interests. And we would then face a terrible choice: watch the region burn, watch the terrorists establish new bases, with profound implications for the safety of Americans and their economic well-being, or send troops back into Iraq once again.”

“Now, the proponents of withdrawal state that they envision no such catastrophe; they are not advocating a precipitous withdrawal but something more gradual, and they would leave American troops in place to focus on three limited objectives: protecting coalition personnel and infrastructure, training and equipping Iraqi forces, and conducting targeted counter-terrorism operations. But if these three missions sound familiar, Mr. President, that’s because they formed the centerpiece of the strategy that was failing up until the beginning of this year.”

“This bill should be named the Date Certain for Surrender Act,” John McCain said. “A second-year cadet at West Point could tell you that if you announce when the end will be, it’s a recipe for defeat.”

Click here for full text of Sen. McCain’s speech.

Click here for Associated Press coverage.

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