Feb 01 2007

Graham to Introduce Resolution Supporting Petraeus Strategy in Iraq

WASHINGTON-  U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) joined Senators John McCain (R-Arizona) and Joe Lieberman (I/D-Connecticut) in authoring a Senate resolution supporting General Petraeus’s new strategy for victory in Iraq and laying out benchmarks for Iraqi political leaders.  The Senators will introduce the resolution in the coming days. 

Graham made the following statement:

“These could be the most consequential nonbinding resolutions in the history of the Senate.  I believe General Petraeus’s new strategy of sending more troops and economic aid, and improving the political climate in Iraq is our best chance for success.  This resolution will send a clear message to General Petraeus and the men and women under his command charged with implementing this strategy that we believe in their mission and will give them the support they need.

“A nonbinding resolution stating that the war is lost 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.  If you don’t have the political courage to keep our troops at home, then cheer them on.  If the United States Senate passes a resolution that is essentially a vote of no confidence in General Petraeus, we will wake up the next morning to headlines in the Middle East that say, ‘Congress Disapproves of War, Baghdad is Lost.’

“This new strategy is our best chance for victory.  It makes up for past mistakes, allows breathing room for the Iraqis to begin political reconciliation, provides economic aid to counter high unemployment, and provides enough troops to clear, hold, and build.

“If we lose in Iraq or withdraw our troops, we will be back in a bigger war down the road.  The bloodbath will spill into the region, and Sunni and Shiite nations will feel compelled to get involved.  A failed state in Iraq is a disaster for our long term national security interests.

“We’re in a global struggle between extremists and moderates and we can not afford to lose.  The United States and our allies are committed to bringing out the best in the Iraqi people; Al-Qaeda stokes fear and prejudice to bring out the worst.  Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds can live together in peace.  We must help the Iraqi people seize the moment, so the forces of moderation will win over the forces of terror.”