Salazar Says Bush Is Dividing America on Iraq

Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) held a press conference this morning to discuss a letter he sent to President Bush regarding the discussions over funding for the Iraq War.  Salazar said of Bush “He is being a divider of our country, instead of a uniter.”

In his letter to the president, Salazar states he was troubled “by your statements about Democrats in Congress and your view that they do not support our troops. I have no doubt that both Democrats and Republicans in Congress fully support our troops.  I am afraid your statements will further build the extreme partisan divide over this fundamental issue of war and peace.”

Salazar’s suggestion for the president in video after the jump:

Here is the full text of Senator Salazar’s letter to the President:

Dear Mr. President:

I write to you concerning Iraq.  I am deeply concerned about the extreme political polarization over the future of Iraq and the funding of the war effort.

I listened to your press conference on Tuesday, and I was very troubled by your statements about Democrats in Congress and your view that they do not support our troops.  I have no doubt that both Democrats and Republicans in Congress fully support our troops.  I am afraid your statements will further build the extreme partisan divide over this fundamental issue of war and peace.

At this time in our Nation’s history, there is an urgent need for us to unite as Americans.  Unless we are able to do so, the United States of America will not be able to effectively address the enormous challenges that face us at the beginning of the 21st century.

We need desperately to find a path of unity and bipartisanship to address the major issues upon which we can most certainly agree, including energy security, supporting our defense capabilities and our troops, homeland security, and immigration reform.  Therefore, we must, and should, find a way to transcend the current partisan divide to address these critical issues for our Nation.  However, it will be much more difficult to do so unless we resolve a common path forward on Iraq.

As one United States Senator, I do not believe that we can or should cut funding for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan while we anticipate that our troops will be in harm’s way.

Therefore, with respect to Iraq, I strongly urge that you and the United States Congress work in a bipartisan manner to embrace and legislatively endorse the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group.  Indeed, many of those recommendations are already being implemented.  I pledge my support to this effort.

The Iraq Study Group had no political or partisan agenda to advance.  Instead the elder statesmen who authored that Report did so upon extensive study and deliberation to advance a new way forward in Iraq.  That group of respected and experienced leaders represents some of the best America has to offer.

I appeal to you as President of the United States to move forward in a manger that develops a united effort to bring about a successful conclusion in Iraq.  I believe we can unite the Nation, rather than deepen the division that currently exists.  As complex as the situation in Iraq appears today, I do believe that we can find a way forward that helps us create a stable Iraq and Middle East.  And in so doing, we can also create the atmosphere to address the other difficult challenges our Nation faces.

Respectfully,

Ken Salazar
United States Senator

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Mark Mehringer

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