We Need To Change Direction In Iraq (Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones)

Today President Bush plans to lay out his plan for the next phase of the War in Iraq here in my district. This plan will outline what the White House calls 'his vision for the post-surge,' and according The Washington Post, 'will assure the American people that he wants to bring the troops home soon.'

The President's about face on this issue is long overdue. When Democrats proposed benchmarks to bring our troops home, the President was staunchly opposed. Now with growing dissent with the war within his own party, he is suddenly receptive to this idea. It seems to me that President Bush is, as the elders would say, 'talking out of both sides of his neck.' The true test for this plan will come when the details are fleshed out.

The non-partisan Congressional Research Service is now reporting that the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now costing the American taxpayers $12 Billion a month, with the total for Iraq alone nearing a half-trillion dollars. The $12 Billion cost is $2 Billion more than the Pentagon's estimated cost for both wars and is primarily a result of President Bush's decision to increase troop levels.

This month, the House will vote on legislation that would begin the responsible redeployment of our troops, with troops withdrawn from Iraq by April 1, 2008, with the exception of those remaining to fight Al Qaeda and protect our embassy. The comments from Republicans critical of the President's current plan in Iraq are appreciated, however if we truly want to see changes in policy with regards to the war in Iraq, we will need House Republicans to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk, and work together in a bipartisan fashion so that we can develop the best strategy to ensure the Iraqi people take control of their own country and bring our troops home as soon as possible."