President Bush, right, shakes hands with Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of multi-national forces in Iraq, after making remarks at the CENTCOM Coalition Conference at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla. Tuesday, May 1, 2007. Adm. William J. Fallon,commander of U.S. Central Command, looks on at center. CLICK FOR LARGE
Isle delegates call Bush veto a mistake
He fails to grasp the reality and is ignoring U.S. citizens, say members of Congress
Disappointed, a huge mistake and "tragic."
Those are the feelings and assessments of Hawaii's congressional delegation of President Bush's veto of a military funding bill that sets a timetable to withdraw troops from Iraq.
Sen. Daniel Inouye said he is disappointed the president chose to "stay the course."
"By vetoing this bill -- which sets a goal for withdrawal, not a mandate -- the president is turning his back on the majority of American citizens who want our troops home," he said.
Inouye said the president continues to seek a military solution to a situation that has evolved into a civil war that the Iraqis themselves must end.
Sen. Daniel Akaka calls the veto another huge mistake by the president. He said 100 American troops and hundreds of Iraqis were killed last month because of Bush's failed policies.
"I do not support the president's policy. I support our troops," he said. "And we need to bring our troops back as soon as we can."
Akaka said the United States needs to place the burden of responsibility in the hands of the Iraqis to take care of their own government and urged the president to work with Congress.
Rep. Neil Abercrombie called it "tragic" that four years after the president declared "Mission Accomplished" on the deck of an American aircraft carrier, he still doesn't realize that the Iraq war is one of the greatest geopolitical blunders in U.S. history.
"It is even more tragic that his complete inability to grasp his mistake has come at the price of more than 3,300 American lives," Abercrombie said.
Rep. Mazie Hirono said she is disappointed with the veto but not surprised. She said she expects the congressional leadership to continue to press the political benchmarks the Bush administration set for the Iraqi government in exchange for a continued U.S. military presence.
"There needs to be an end in sight because it's not getting any better," Hirono said. "The surge is not working and more generals are coming out urging a political solution to the situation in Iraq rather than a military one."