Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) today reasserted his strong opposition to President Bushs plan to escalate the number of American troops in Iraq. Upon listening to the Presidents speech, Sen. Cardin issued the following statement:
The Presidents plan to send thousands of additional troops to Iraq is not the change in strategy that the American people hoped for; its an escalated version of the same stay the course policy that has not worked. The circumstances in Iraq have worsened. By choosing an escalation in troop levels rather than a drawdown, President Bush is ignoring the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group and the advice of many military experts, including several of his own generals. Even more troubling, he is ignoring the wishes of the American people, who last November spoke with a unified voice against the current policy in Iraq.
Like the majority of the American people, I believe we need to bring our troops home, not send more troops to war. Iraq is in the midst of a civil war and victory will not be achieved by flexing our military might. It will come only through aiding Iraq in establishing a government that protects the rights and enjoys the confidence of all its people. It must be a government that respects both human rights and democratic rights. The efforts of U.S. soldiers, no matter how heroic, cannot accomplish these objectives in Iraq. Our objective must be to escalate our political and diplomatic efforts, not our troop levels.
Senator Cardin has been named to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is currently holding hearings on the war in Iraq.
As a Member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Cardin voted against the war in Iraq. He has remained a consistent critic of the Presidents management of the war and has long called for a gradual drawdown in American troops.