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Boxer Asks General Petraeus to Take Off Rose-Colored Glasses and Face Realities in Iraq

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) used her time at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing today to ask General David Petraeus to face realities in Iraq and stop giving Congress and the American people rosy scenarios to justify a long, continuing U.S military presence in Iraq.  

“This war is the biggest foreign policy mistake ever,” Boxer told General Petraeus.  “It took our eye off defeating the terrorists, led by Osama bin Laden, who killed our people, six years ago today.  The greatest mistake because it has strained our military and our national guard.  And it is the greatest mistake because we have lost so many of our own and so many are wounded.”

Senator Boxer reminded General Petraeus that he told the Boston Globe in November 2003, “We want to be seen as an army of liberation and not an army of occupation…there is a half-life on our role here, you wear out your welcome at some point. It doesn’t matter how helpful you are.  We aren’t here to stay.”

Boxer also pointed to a new BBC/ABC News Poll that shows 79 percent of Iraqis oppose the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq, and 70 percent of Iraqis believe that the surge has made the security situation worse.

Boxer told General Petraeus, “We are sending our troops where they’re not wanted, with no end in sight, into the middle of a civil war, into the middle of the mother of all mistakes.  Please, General, don’t do what you did in 2004 when you painted a rosy scenario.  Consider that others could be right.  Listen to the Iraqi people, the American people, the majority of the Congress.” 

Boxer concluded, “Call me old fashioned—you have a country, you defend it.” 

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