WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today issued the following statement regarding the Senate’s continuous session, failure of the Levin/Reed amendment, and withdrawal of the Defense Authorization bill by Majority Leader Harry Reid:
“Last night’s press stunt further politicizes a situation that, now more than ever, requires a strong dose of thoughtful discussion and honest debate. Harry Reid’s orchestrated political theatre was never intended to be a serious consideration of Iraq and the War on Terror, but merely a shameless publicity event.
“We’ve gone from fighting against a timeline for withdrawal to fighting against Congress micromanaging the war to now fighting against immediate surrender. At what point do the Democrats in the Senate stand up and start fighting for victory?
“While the final surge force began operations only two weeks ago, I personally saw the positive results of the newly implemented ‘bottom-up’ approach in both Anbar Province and Baghdad last May. I witnessed first-hand the successes of the joint security stations and tribal coalitions that have turned the tide in Anbar. A majority of the Senate voted to give General Petraeus until mid-September to implement a successful new surge strategy, and any effort to cut short this timeline and set an arbitrary withdrawal deadline is premature and irresponsible.
“I, for one, do not think the path to victory in Iraq and the War on Terror is to cut-and-run. If we can assist the Iraqis in reaching a point of sustainable self-governance, then we can bring defeat to our enemies and stability to the region. This is a commitment that we must keep to our allies and to ourselves. A crisis is assured if we vote to leave before the job is done. It is a slap in the face for all of our troops who are over there fighting so bravely for our freedom at home and abroad.
“The brave men and women of our military are the finest young people in the world. They understand their mission, the threat facing our nation and the consequences of defeat. Let’s not turn our back on them nor Iraq now in their moment of need.”