Vast Majority of Americans Have Lost Confidence in President's Iraq Strategy, Says Hoyer

WASHINGTON - Southern Maryland's U.S. Representative and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer released the following statement yesterday regarding the ongoing U.S. occupation of Iraq:

"President Bush said nothing new in Cleveland today, and instead continued to urge the American people to stay the course with a failing policy.

"For more than four years, President Bush has made representations to the American people regarding our military action in Iraq that have proved inaccurate or at odds with the reality on the ground. It is long past time for a real change in policy that includes the redeployment of American forces in Iraq, and a new strategy that emphasizes the training of Iraqi security forces, counter-terrorism efforts and border protection, as well as a robust new diplomatic initiative.

"Americans have lost confidence in the President's Iraq strategy because we have yet to see demonstrable progress in Iraq. Instead, our brave armed forces are being maimed and killed as they are called on to mediate a civil war that only gets worse.

"Six month ago today, the President told the nation that 'America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced.' But the Administration shows no intention of changing course even as the Iraqis have failed to meet those benchmarks, and have shown no ability to arrest the spiraling violence.

"In the days ahead, Democrats will schedule votes in the House and Senate to hold the Administration accountable for the war in Iraq, and to force a change in direction."

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