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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Reid: Rumsfeld Resignation Should Be Followed by Policy Change

The dismissal of US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld should be just a first step by President Bush in reshaping American policy in occupied Iraq, the Senate's top Democrat says.

"By accepting the Secretary of Defense's resignation, President Bush has taken a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, the course in Iraq cannot be changed solely by changing personnel. We also need a change in policy, if this resignation is to mean anything for our troops or for the Iraqi people," says Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada.

Bush fired the unpopular Rumsfeld this week after Democrats beat Republicans for control of Congress. The president has nominated former CIA chief Robert Gates to take over at the Pentagon.

"Senate Democrats look forward to carefully considering the nomination of Robert Gates. He's a seasoned public servant who will get an expeditious and thorough hearing," Reid says. "If confirmed, we look forward to working with him and the President to change course in Iraq. Across the country Tuesday, Americans demanded a new way forward. Democrats stand ready to work with the President and his new Secretary of Defense to deliver it. We've called for the President to host a bipartisan Iraq summit. I hope the President will heed that call. It is time to put aside the partisanship and do what the American people have asked. We must change course in Iraq."


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