Reality Check: Where is the Political Reconciliation in Iraq?

Our Troops Sacrifice While Bush Administration Refuses to Place Real Pressure on Iraqi Government

In January, the President announced the so-called troop “surge” to give Iraq's government the “breathing space” to achieve political reconciliation. Eleven months later, Iraqi politicians have failed by every measure to make the necessary political progress.

The American people — especially the brave men and women in uniform and their families — deserve more from the Bush Administration than a 10-years, trillion dollar war in Iraq. Democrats are committed to a New Direction in Iraq that holds the President accountable, provides real support to our men and women in uniform and will bring our troops home safely, honorably, and soon.


“I’ve made it clear to the Prime Minister and Iraq’s other leaders that America’s commitment is not open-ended. If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people — and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people. Now is the time to act. The Prime Minister understands this.”
— President Bush in January


“With American military successes outpacing political gains in Iraq, the Bush administration has lowered its expectation of quickly achieving major steps toward unifying the country, including passage of a long-stymied plan to share oil revenues and holding regional elections.”
[New York Times, 11/25/07]

The Facts on Iraqi Government's Failure to Make Political Progress

· Days since President Bush announced the surge: 324

· U.S. troops killed in Iraq since January 10th: 865

· Iraqi Parliament Passed National Oil and Gas Law: No

· Iraqi Parliament Passed De-Baathification Law: No

· Iraqi Government Held Provincial Elections: No

Recent stories in the news:

Baltimore Sun, “Boycott by Iraqi lawmakers halts vote on 2 Cabinet posts”

“Lawmakers from several Iraqi parties boycotted a parliamentary session yesterday, essentially derailing efforts by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to get approval for nominees to fill two vacant Cabinet posts… Yesterday’s boycott underscored the entrenched political divisions that remain despite reduced sectarian violence. Lawmakers have failed to make significant progress in tackling key legislation that Washington views as crucial for fostering reconciliation among the country’s majority Shiites and minority Sunni Arabs.” [11/30/07]

Washington Post, “Iraqis' Quality of Life Marked by Slow Gains, Many Setbacks”

“American officials remain concerned about the ability of the Iraqi government, which often seems paralyzed by internal dissent, to take advantage of the decrease in violence to boost services.” [11/30/07]

Los Angeles Times, “Iraq's numbers don't add up, U.S. says”

“As U.S. forces begin to scale back in Iraq, the military is becoming increasingly reliant on Iraqi forces to report a wide array of crucial statistics, from the number of attacks on the local infrastructure to how many Iraqi civilians have been killed or wounded…And just as Iraqi forces have had a mixed record in fighting insurgents, they have been spotty at providing data from the regions where they have taken command.” [11/30/07]

New York Times, “Iraq Lacks Plan on the Return of Refugees, Military Says”

“As Iraqi refugees begin to stream back to Baghdad, American military officials say the Iraqi government has yet to develop a plan to absorb the influx and prevent it from setting off a new round of sectarian violence.” [11/30/07]

New York Times Editorial, “Still No Way Out”

“Without a serious effort at national conciliation, American troops are just holding down the lid on a pressure cooker. Iraq's rival militias, the insurgents, the bitter sectarian resentments and the meddling neighbors haven't gone anywhere… Americans need to ask themselves the questions Mr. Bush is refusing to answer: Is this country signing on to keep the peace in Iraq indefinitely? If so, how many American and Iraqi deaths a month are an acceptable price? If not, what's the plan for getting out?” [11/30/07]