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