Caucus Chairman Emanuel Says Gates Was Right

April 18, 2007
Blog

Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel:

"During his tour of the Middle East yesterday, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said, 'The debate in Congress has been helpful in demonstrating to the Iraqis that American patience is limited.'..."

Full transcript:

"During his weekly radio address, President Bush accused Democrats of spending '68 days pushing legislation that would undercut our troops.'

"During his tour of the Middle East yesterday, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said, 'The debate in Congress has been helpful in demonstrating to the Iraqis that American patience is limited.'

"He goes on to say that it has had a positive impact 'communicating to the Iraqis that this is not an open-ended commitment.'

"So who's right?

"Either the Secretary of Defense who is calling on the Iraqis to take ownership of their country. Or President Bush who is playing politics here at home.

"The Congress has provided the President with the one thing he has refused to develop after four years of war--a policy to get the Iraqis off the sidelines and onto the field.

"So after years of chaos and bloodshed when the Administration asks for more troops, more time and more of the same, we are calling for accountability of the Iraqis and a responsible redeployment of US troops.

"Our troops are bearing all of the responsibility for the President's policy, and the Iraqis have no accountability.

"Secretary Gates, thank you for your honest assessment of what it takes to bring a New Direction to Iraq."

President Bush, April 14, 2007: "But instead of approving this funding, Democrats in Congress have spent the past 68 days pushing legislation that would undercut our troops."

Defense Secretary Gates, April 18, 2007: "The debate in Congress . . . has been helpful in demonstrating to the Iraqis that American patience is limited... The strong feelings expressed in the Congress about the timetable probably has had a positive impact . . . in terms of communicating to the Iraqis that this is not an open-ended commitment."