September 13th, 2007
09:34 PM ET
11 years ago

Democrats respond to Bush on Iraq

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., provided the Democratic response to President Bush's speech on Thursday night.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush once again failed to provide a plan to successfully end the war in Iraq, Democrats said after his primetime address Thursday while touting their strategy "to responsibly and rapidly" begin pulling U.S. forces out of the war zone.

"The president rightfully invoked the valor of our troops in his speech, but his plan does not amount to real change," said Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, who delivered the Democratic response.

"Soldiers take a solemn oath to protect our nation, and we have a solemn responsibility to send them into battle only with clear and achievable missions. Tonight, the president provided neither," he said.

U.S. successes in Iraq mean some troops can begin to come home, but others will have to stay there into 2009 and beyond, the president announced Thursday night.

Bush also acknowledged the Iraqi government has not met its own legislative benchmarks and its success would require U.S. engagement that would extend beyond his presidency.

Full story: Nation is at a critical moment on Iraq, Democrats say

Filed under: Iraq • President Bush
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Celt17

    Just when is the word "impeachment" appropriate? The guy is planning to destroy this country in order to avoid losing His War. He is willimg to expend precious human lives in a cause that even General Petreus admits does not make America safer. He who did what he could NEVER to have to put his own precious life on the line for his fellow American. do we need an outright revolt in order to save the country?

    September 13, 2007 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  2. Cristobal Morales

    How pathetic is it to have to hear the same counter productive rhetoric from the Democratic party in response to another Presidential address?

    When will they ever learn that you can't be attractive by always whining and pining about their dislike for Bush, and yet at the same time still not provide one viable option or counter proposal?

    As an independent, there isn't a candidate from either party who has stepped forward with a new direction and it may eventually come down to settling for more status quo from our elected officials. Truly Pathetic!

    September 13, 2007 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  3. Peter, Wausau, WI

    This is depressing... just how many politicians are going to start advocating that we condemn the innocent people of Iraq to a life of fear and danger, just to gain an advantage in upcoming elections?

    September 13, 2007 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  4. DJ, Los Angeles

    Yes this was simply a smokescreen and Bush in 2003 had no real intentions of pulling out until the very end of his Presidency. Starting the war almost guaranteed he would win the election as no president has lost an election during a time of war.

    Even Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and other Democrat war hawks have announced intentions to keep up to 50,000 troops in Iraq permanently.

    September 13, 2007 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  5. Jeff K, Cheyenne WY

    ""Soldiers take a solemn oath to protect our nation, and we have a solemn responsibility to send them into battle only with clear and achievable missions. Tonight, the president provided neither," he said."

    Interesting comments. Since the Senator was also a West Point Instructor and Infantry Officer, I would like to ask some history on the 82nd Airborne. Did every battle and conflict that the 82nd was in have "clear and achievable missions"? You might try World War Two in particular for your research. My point is, in war you don't win if you only take on clear and achievable missions. Sometimes you must stick your neck out and try for the difficult and the sometimes seemingly impossible missions to win.

    September 13, 2007 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  6. bprossersme

    I have never been so ashamed of a Statesman of our country. Reed's tongue fairly dripped with venom. Someone needs to remind these people that their behavior will be their downfall.

    September 13, 2007 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  7. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    I'm with Edwards: no timeline, no funding, no war. Reasonable and honorable generals can disagree. The people want out now.

    September 14, 2007 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  8. Jesse Pittsburgh, PA

    Well said Mr. Reed. The whole premise for the GOP keeps changing with one thing staying the same... the Iraqis refuse to make political progress. Start withdrawing some troops. That will get their attention. Of course, I am sure the private contractors want to stay in Iraq as long as possible (Blackwater/ Halliburton).
    Also, I find it ironic that on the 6th anniversary of 9/11, our President is trying to inextricably link Iraq today to 9/11. This is disturbing when the Bush Administration recently has downplayed the importance of capturing and killing Osama Bin Laden, which is what we should be doing.

    September 14, 2007 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  9. Colleen Apple Valley, Ca.

    Those men and women serving our country should have been home last year. Shame on Bush for acting like he was giving in when he really just beat our service people into the ground with injuries and mental issues. Impeach.

    September 14, 2007 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
  10. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Bush's failure is sure to last way beyond his presidency,I hope that these theocrats are ready for their exile to Iraq.We haven't taken the steps to defend ourselves from these retarded people in our midst.It should be obvious now that the war supporters are themselves the enemy.Their mental ineptitude will doom us, democracy is something they hate and want changed into a christian theocracy.Their war cry against America is that it's a "christian nation,"and we're at "war with islamists."Neither is true, nor are these people, who have no apparent education or ability to learn,qualified in any way to even vote.Re-classify these mental patients and start the re-population of Iraq with them,the sectarianism will make them feel right at home.

    September 14, 2007 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  11. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    "It seems to me that our goal in Iraq is no different now than in the beginning," Giuliani said. "The goal of the mission in Iraq is to provide safety and security so we can have an ally in Iraq against the Islamic terrorists."

    Does Giuliani not know that the Terrorists are in Afghanistan?

    Given that the US hasn't enough troops to keep up the present surge level. And given they have to rely on Navy to protect American interests should a terrorist attack occur on their homeland, his concern for Americans' sercurity is truly repulsive.

    But, it is indeed heartwarming to hear Giuliani's concerns for the safety and security of Iraq. However, it would be much more heartwarming if he showed this same level of concern for the Americans he is hoping to serve.

    An Ally in Iraq is a very interesting concept. But what particular ally is Giuliani referring to?

    And just how do our brave military soldiers identify an Iraq Ally? Our Troops find it difficult to identify and distinguish between foe and ally on the battle fields. So I wish Giuliani would enlighten us as and our military members as to the particular characteristics that identify an Iraq ally. Aside from the distinctive markings of a Republican, I mean.

    Can the Republicans show any more indifference or disregard to the Americans they serve?

    September 14, 2007 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  12. pete, T.S. FL


    Don't waste your opportunity to do what is right for our country. The time has come to put an end to these lies and the deception carried out by "W" and his administration.

    If you waste this chance you too will be replaced........America is demanding action! Words alone won't do!

    Impeachment should not be off the table.

    September 14, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. James, Phoenix AZ

    "Does Giuliani not know that the Terrorists are in Afghanistan? "

    Much of the significant improvement in Anbar Province was when the local Iraqis began rejecting Al Qaeda and helping the US Soldiers fight and kill these extremists.

    Al Qaeda in Anbar. Anbar is in Iraq.

    Fact is there are terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iran, Palestine, Canada, US, Germany, UK, Spain, Phillipines, ....... so what?

    Our efforts in Iraq are to help the Iraqi people get on their feet, create an ally, and CONTINUE fighting terrorists wherever they are found.

    September 14, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  14. Steve, New York

    The democrats need to get on it and force Bush to pull them out. Bush knows it’s a failed and illegal war. He knows there is no way of winning. The only reason we are still in Iraq is because he does not want to clean up the mess HE made. He wants to get out of the white house and leave it up to the next president to pick up the peaces, which will be next to impossible.

    September 14, 2007 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  15. alan St Louis mo

    That nice. But the sad truth is that Dems dont have enuf power to stop a republican phillybuster or a president veto. But this election you will have all the power to do what needs to be done. Try do what ya can but i understand if Bush gets his way. And if he does it be doom doom doom for the republican party.

    September 14, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. alan St Louis Mo

    DONT BLAME THE DEMS IF BUSH GETS HIS WAY. They cant stop a republican phillybuster or a presidental veto.

    September 14, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  17. anna, Appleton, WI

    Who died and made him judge and jury of our President or anyone else for that matter. I can't stand people who think they are better than everyone else. How much can we dig up on this guy if we were given the opportunity? He made me sick!

    September 14, 2007 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |