DETROIT, MI -- Governor Bill Richardson today issued the following statement responding to President Bush's news conference updating the deteriorating situation in Iraq. The Governor is in Detroit participating in the NAACP Presidential Forum.
"The President apparently read the benchmark report through rose colored glasses, and is now trying to spin the progress- or lack of progress -- in Iraq to support his failed strategy and continue the status quo. Even if we believe the President's claim that eight benchmarks out of 18 showed 'satisfactory' progress- in any classroom that's still a failing grade. The harsh reality is that the Iraqi government has failed to take the action required to begin unifying the country and create a strong central government. The so-called surge is not showing the results we were promised. Terrorism is flourishing, and deadly violence continues.
"Our troops have done a magnificent job and the country owes them an enormous debt of gratitude. We have the bravest soldiers and the best military in the world, but there is no military solution in Iraq. We must withdraw all US troops as swiftly and as safely as the military can get it done, with no residual troops. None. Redeploy the troops necessary to regain stability in Afghanistan, and keep forces in the region to respond to crises and to focus on the true enemy- al Qaeda and terrorism in general. Only then can the tough diplomatic and political work begin in earnest."