Time for Action -- Not Rhetoric -- In Iraq

As I have stated in the past, as long as U.S. military forces remain in Iraq, the Iraqis will allow our men and women to bear the brunt of all security actions and our forces will be targets. The Iraqi government, security forces and military have to be put on notice that we will redeploy our forces and that they will be responsible for their own country. It's their country, they need to fight for it, just as we did in the American Revolution and our own Civil War.

Just yesterday, Sen. John Warner, one of America's most respected military experts, returned from a trip to Iraq and observed that parts of Iraq have taken "steps backwards" and that efforts to control an increasingly violent Baghdad are at risk of being lost.

He blamed the Iraqi leaders for failing to improve conditions. Sen. Warner went on to say, "You do not see them taking the levers of sovereignty and pulling and pushing them and doing what is necessary to bring about a situation in Iraq whereby the people are able to live, have sufficient food and fresh water, and have a sense of confidence in their government that they're going forward."

In another Washington Post article, Sen. Warner stated that if current actions "...by the Iraqi leadership and their government do not bring about a reduction in the killings and all of the other disruption and do not point to a clear direction that Iraq is going...then I think we have to make some bold decisions here in our country..."

On her most recent trip to Iraq, Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, recognized, "The security situation is not one that can be tolerated and is not one that is helped by political inaction."

Furthermore, as has been repeatedly reported, our continuing occupation of Iraq is fueling terrorism.

The Christian Science Monitor just reported that a letter translated and released by the US military indicates that Al Qaeda itself sees the continued American presence in Iraq is a boon for their terror network, as there have been signs of Al Qaeda expansion into the Palestinian territories and North Africa.

There has been too much rhetoric concerning Iraq. The time for responsible debate is now. The time for action is now. The situation in Iraq has been deteriorating for some time; it's time for action; for our military's sake, for our country's sake and for our children's sake.