The President’s speech reaffirms his policy of staying the course. He tried to paint an optimistic view, but our experience says otherwise. If the President said these things three years ago it would seem somewhat plausible. But saying them now after our experience with the Iraqis and the Iraqi government during these past three years makes the president's position implausible. As I told General Petraeus at the House hearings, optimism is great, but reality is what we really needed.

General Petraeus in his testimony this week also attempted to paint a rosy picture of Iraq while minimizing all the setbacks. As I pointed out to him, his op-ed piece in the Washington Post three years ago gave the same rosy picture, which has failed to materialize.

What the president offered by way of returning our troops home is what was originally scheduled to happen anyway. There can be no doubt this war has morphed into a civil war and our young men and women are fighting and dying in someone else’s civil war.


We need to let the Iraqis work out their differences politically. We need to see more from the Iraqi government. As I said to General Petraeus, Iraqis will not step up until we step out.

Our pullout should not be precipitous, but it certainly can not be so far in the future that no one can see the end. We must tell the Iraqi government that out presence is finite and our leaving is foreseeable. Ultimately, It is up to the Iraqi people to create the government that can stabilize that country, not us