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A Look Back: What Democrats Were Saying About The Surge

Written By : John Hawkins
July 25, 2008

The enormous improvement in Iraq’s security situation caused by the surge has been so undeniable that even the mainstream press has started alternating between ignoring Iraq completely and acknowledging, albeit reluctantly, that the surge has put victory within reach in Iraq.

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So with that in mind, it’s worth taking the time to look back at what the crème de la crème of the Democratic Party has had to say about the war and the surge over the last few years.

“We cannot support the increase in troops unless George Bush disavows the NeoCon strategy and presents a new strategy. George Bush has been using the troops for the past four years trying to divide the country between those who support the war and those who do not. President Bush is trying to divide us again with his expected call this week for a ‘surge’ of up to 20,000 additional U.S. troops into Iraq. What the surge would do is put more American troops in harm’s way, further undercut the morale of U.S. forces and risk further alienating elements of the Iraqi populace.” — Wesley Clark

“I think that the reports that you (David Petraeus) provide to us really require the willing suspension of disbelief. In any of the metrics that have been referenced in your many hours of testimony, any fair reading of the advantages and disadvantages accruing post-surge, in my view, end up on the downside.” — Hillary Clinton

“(The) idea that we’re going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong.” — Howard Dean

“We don’t need a surge of troops in Iraq–we need a surge of diplomacy and politics. Every knowledgeable person who has examined the Iraq situation for the past several years–Baker and Hamilton, senior military officials, junior officers–has drawn the same conclusion–there is no military solution in Iraq. To insist upon a surge is wrong.” — Christopher Dodd

“By carefully manipulating the statistics, the Bush-Petraeus report will try to persuade us that violence in Iraq is decreasing and thus the surge is working. Even if the figures were right, the conclusion is wrong.” — Dick Durbin

“An escalation, whether it is called a surge or any other name, is still an escalation, and I believe it would be an immense new mistake.” — Ted Kennedy

“We owe our troops a strategy that is worthy of their sacrifice, and it’s clear that the current strategy – the President’s escalation – has failed to achieve its goal of bringing about a resolution of the fundamental conflict between Sunni and Shia.” — John Kerry

“…I’m absolutely convinced right now the surge isn’t working and I’m convinced that if they don’t pay attention to what I’m saying and a lot of other members of Congress are saying they’re going to have a disaster on their hands…” — John Murtha

“I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse. I think (the surge) takes pressure off the Iraqis to arrive at the sort of political accommodation that every observer believes is the ultimate solution to the problems we face there. So I am going to actively oppose the president’s proposal.” — Barack Obama

“The gains have not produced the desired effect, which is the reconciliation of Iraq. (This surge) is a failure. This is a failure.” — Nancy Pelosi

“I believe … that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything, as is shown by the extreme violence in Iraq this week.” —

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