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Congress Must Begin to Exert Pressure on Iraqi Government to Meet the President's Own Benchmarks

March 20, 2007

             American involvement in Iraq should not be an open-ended proposition, and we should not be sending more troops there to serve as referees in that nation's devastating civil war. 

 The status quo simply cannot continue.  It's time that this Congress seriously level with the Iraqi Government that it must meet the benchmarks the president himself outlined earlier this year, and if they cannot meet those benchmarks, it's time to start bringing our troops home. 

 It's time the Iraqi Government is held accountable for its actions.  The Maliki Government must realize that it has to meet political, economic and diplomatic benchmarks in the region, and that if serious improvements are not seen in the coming months then we will begin the process of redeploying our troops out of Iraq. 

 This week, we will have an opportunity to exert pressure on the Iraqi government to meet the president's own benchmarks.

 If the Iraqi Government continues to believe that our involvement there is indefinite, what kind of pressure are they going to have to make the necessary reforms?  They're not, and that's why this change in direction is needed.