Washington, D.C. — Representative Raúl M. Grijalva released the following statement today concerning the vote on the Iraq Redeployment Bill, which passed 223 to 201, and the Bush Administration’s release of their “assessment report” to Congress on the continuing war:
“Today, I voted in support of the Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act which requires American forces to begin redeploying within 120 days and to complete the transition to a limited presence in Iraq by April 1, 2008.
“This resolution came to a vote the same day the Bush Administration released the interim report to Congress on the results of troop escalation and the progress on ‘benchmarks’ included in the last Iraq Supplemental. The interim report shows that no progress has been made on half the benchmarks, and the validity and significance of the claims on the others are either transparently false or highly questionable.
“In January of this year, President Bush doubled down on his wager in Iraq with tens of thousands more US troops. He said ‘America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced.’ The lack of progress shown in this report holds the President to the accountability he promised.
“President Bush has been saying ‘progress is being made,’ and that we are close to a ‘turning point’. The Bush Administration has been moving the goalposts and changing its definitions of ‘progress’ and ‘success’ for years now.
“This report makes it clear that this nation can no longer continue with the same approach. We cannot let another soldier die based on this President’s flawed judgment.
“President Bush’s predictions are misleading and are contradicted by the private assessment of the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Michael Hayden who in November of 2006, told a meeting of the Iraq Study Group that the Iraqi government is ‘unable to govern’ and ‘cannot function.’ He described the situation as ‘irreversible.’
“Today’s resolution stands up for the American forces and the American people. It requires a redeployment of American forces, a development of a comprehensive strategy for U.S. policy in Iraq and limits missions any remaining forces in Iraq may undertake.
“We cannot wait until September to change course. Brave Americans and innocent Iraqis are dying, the American people are demanding change, and action today begins the process to bring our troops home.”