Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
– U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) tonight made the following statement on the State of the Union Address delivered by President Bush.
On Iraq and the War on Terror
“I completely agree with President Bush that the outcome in Iraq is part of the overall War on Terror. We’re in a global struggle between extremists and moderates and we can not afford to lose. Success in Iraq with a functioning democratic government will empower moderates throughout the Mideast. Failure in Iraq will lead to regional chaos.
“A failed state in Iraq would empower Iran, as they could install a puppet government in southern Iraq; it would create tension between Turkey and the Kurdish north; and sectarian violence in Baghdad, if unchecked, could result in a bloodbath where Sunni and Shiite nations feel compelled to get involved.
“I believe General Petraeus’s new strategy of sending more troops and more economic aid, and improving the political climate in Iraq is our best chance for success, and I support his new effort. To my colleagues who believe Iraq is a lost cause, I urge you to have the courage of your convictions and vote to stop sending more troops into Iraq by cutting off funding.
“A resolution declaring the new strategy a failure before it is implemented is the worst of all worlds. It is a vote of no confidence in General Petraeus, will empower our enemies, and be demoralizing to our own troops.”
On Increasing the Size of the Army and Marine Corps
“I enthusiastically support President Bush’s decision to grow the Army and Marine Corps. A larger military would provide us with additional combat capability in Iraq and Afghanistan and allow us to deal with other threats looming on the horizon. We need additional combat capability and in war, there is no substitute for boots on the ground.”
On Energy Independence
“I completely support President Bush’s call to reduce gasoline usage by twenty percent over the next ten years. The sooner we get away from Mideast oil, the better for our nation and the world.
“I strongly support more nuclear power, hydrogen and ethanol for automobiles, and other alternative energy sources that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels from the Middle East. The President’s energy independence plan should be embraced in a bipartisan fashion.
“South Carolina is leading the way in terms of nuclear power production and the development of alternative fuel sources like hydrogen, and we stand to be a big winner as the President’s plan is implemented.”