RNC Statement on Obama and Iraq

    WASHINGTON, June 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Republican National
 Committee (RNC) Chairman Robert M. "Mike" Duncan released the following
 statement today:
 
     (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080519/RNCLOGO )
 
     "Barack Obama has no credibility discussing the future of Iraq. He was
 wrong to oppose the surge and now he is wrong to not follow the advice of
 our commanders on the ground. Obama's withdrawal plan ignores the improving
 facts and exposes his failure to visit the country since the surge began.
 Obama's position is based on an uninformed ideology -- not our troops'
 progress over the 885 days since he last visited."
 
     Obama Has Not Been To Iraq In 885 Days:
 
     Obama Has Not Been To Iraq In 885 Days. (GOP Website, www.gop.com,
 Accessed 6/11/08)
 
     In January 2006, Obama Took His Second Trip As A Senator To Qatar,
 Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq, Israel And The Palestinian Territories. "Obama's
 second trip abroad as a U.S. senator starts in Qatar and, in addition to
 Iraq, will include stops in Kuwait, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian
 territories, according to a statement from his Washington office." ("Obama
 To Visit Middle East, Including Iraq," The Associated Press, 1/4/06)
 
     Obama's First Day In Iraq Was January 7, 2006. "Anti-war U.S. Sen.
 Barack Obama's first day in Iraq did nothing to change his view that if the
 country's various factions can't achieve political peace, no amount of U.S.
 involvement will bring stability. 'If we don't see significant political
 progress ... over the next six months or so, we can pour money and troops
 in here until the cows come home, but we're not going to be successful,'
 Obama told reporters in a Saturday [January 7, 2006] conference call."
 (Eric Krol, "Obama: 'Everything's Up For Grabs' In Iraq," Chicago Daily
 Herald, 1/8/06)
 
     Obama Was In Iraq For Two Days. "Obama, the nation's only black
 senator, met with U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and Iraqi President
 Jalal Talabani on Saturday. He said before his two-day trip to Iraq that he
 wanted to ask U.S. commanders what a realistic time frame was for bringing
 troops home." (Jason Straziuso, "Obama Says Minorities Must Be More
 Involved In Iraq's Government," The Associated Press, 1/7/06)
 
     The Surge Was Announced On January 10, 2007:
 
     On January 10, 2007, President Bush Called For A Surge In Troops Into
 Iraq. "President Bush appealed directly to the American people last night
 to support a renewed campaign to pacify Iraq, calling for an additional
 21,500 U.S. troops to help the beleaguered Iraqi government regain control
 of Baghdad while warning that he would not support an 'open-ended' U.S.
 commitment." (Michael Abramowitz and Robin Wright, "Bush To Add 21,500
 Troops In An Effort to Stabilize Iraq," The Washington Post, 1/11/07)
 
     "Bush Signaled Last Night That He Is Essentially Choosing To Deepen
 U.S. Involvement In Iraq, Calculating That Improved Tactics And What He
 Hopes Will Be Greater Commitment From The Iraqi Government Will Result In
 The Success That Has Eluded The United States." (Michael Abramowitz and
 Robin Wright, "Bush To Add 21,500 Troops In An Effort to Stabilize Iraq,"
 The Washington Post, 1/11/07)
 
     The Military Has Recently Achieved Notable Progress In Iraq:
 
     "America Is Very Close To Succeeding In Iraq." "America is very close
 to succeeding in Iraq. The 'near-strategic defeat' of al Qaeda in Iraq
 described by CIA Director Michael Hayden last month in the Washington Post
 has been followed by the victory of the Iraqi government's security forces
 over illegal Shiite militias, including Iranian-backed Special Groups. The
 enemies of Iraq and America now cling desperately to their last bastions,
 while the political process builds momentum." (Kimberly Kagan and Frederick
 W. Kagan, Op-Ed, "How Prime Minister Maliki Pacified Iraq," The Wall Street
 Journal, 6/10/08)
 
     "The Remaining Challenges In Iraq Are Eminently Solvable." "Compared
 with the seemingly insurmountable obstacles already overcome, the remaining
 challenges in Iraq are eminently solvable -- if we continue to pursue a
 determined strategy that builds on success rather than throwing our
 accomplishments away. No one in December 2006 could have imagined how far
 we would have come in 18 months. Having come this far, we must see this
 critical effort through to the end." (Kimberly Kagan and Frederick W.
 Kagan, Op-Ed, "How Prime Minister Maliki Pacified Iraq," The Wall Street
 Journal, 6/10/08)
 
     Military Officers Have Noted Significant Progress In Iraq. "[T]he
 military situation in Iraq has improved so much that normally sober and
 pessimistic military and intelligence sorts are simply stunned. 'I would
 never have believed that the Iraqi Army could simply walk into Sadr City
 and take over without firing a shot,' a military intelligence officer told
 me. 'Don't ask me what it means. I have no idea. But peace begets peace --
 and we've seen that when Iraqis live in secure neighborhoods, they are much
 less tolerant of those who would disturb the peace.'" (Joe Klein, "Progress
 In Iraq...And What To Do About It," Time's "Swampland" Blog, www.time.com,
 6/11/08)
 
     Al Qaeda "Has Been Weakened To The Point Of Defeat" In Iraq. "Daily
 attacks continue, but at a fraction of 2006 levels -- indeed, at levels not
 seen since before the Sadrist and Falluja rebellions began in April of
 2004. Al Qaeda in Iraq still has the capability to ignite the occasional
 car bomb, but it has been weakened to the point of defeat. The real estate
 market in Baghdad is beginning to blossom. And on a broader front, as
 reported in The New Yorker and The New Republic, Al Qaeda's wanton butchery
 is facing an intellectual challenge from within its own ranks." (Joe Klein,
 "Progress In Iraq...And What To Do About It," Time's "Swampland" Blog,
 www.time.com, 6/11/08)
 
     Levels Of Violence In Iraq Are The Lowest They've Been In Four Years.
 "U.S. and Iraqi military officials said violence in Iraq has decreased
 significantly in recent weeks to levels not seen in four years...A
 significant difference the drop in violence announced Sunday: It came
 following concerted efforts by Iraqi security forces backed up by American
 and allied firepower -- not the other way around, as has been mostly the
 case in the five-year Iraq war." (Gina Chon, "Violence In Iraq Reaches
 4-Year Low, Military Says," The Wall Street Journal, 5/26/08)
 
     Paid for by the Republican National Committee. Not authorized by any
 candidate or candidate's committee.
 
 
 

SOURCE Republican National Committee

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