Oct 24 2006

Graham Statement on the Situation in Iraq

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on comments made by the U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and General George Casey. Graham said: “I’m not for cutting and running in Iraq. I’m not for a phased withdrawal from Iraq. I’m for winning. “To win in Iraq will require a readjustment of our strategy and for us to show the resolve to finish the job. Iraq has been and continues to be a central front in our efforts to fight and win the War on Terror. If we do not fight and win, we will only embolden the terrorists and terrorist-supporting states such as Syria and Iran. “Osama Bin Laden understands what is on the line in Iraq. He would love nothing more than to see us fail in our efforts to bring freedom and democracy to a Middle Eastern nation. “There’s no doubt we need a better security apparatus in Iraq. “We are on the verge of chaos and the current security plan is not working. If it means we need more American troops on the ground, a position I have long been supportive of, then we need to get it done. “The statements made today by the U.S. Ambassador and General Casey are very encouraging. They understand the security situation is lacking and working with our Iraqi allies, they understand the need to get it right. I’m very encouraged the Iraqi government understands the need to deal with the armed militias. You cannot have democracy where you have armed political parties. “We need to look forward in Iraq. The international community needs to be held to account for what happens there. In fact, we should all be held accountable. A failed state in Iraq is a loss for the whole world. “It is important we do not set artificial timetables for the withdrawal of American troops. This will only serve to embolden our enemies. History will not judge us by when we left Iraq but by what we leave behind.” ######