Iraq war heartbreaking: Senator Hillary Clinton
US Senator Hillary Clinton said on Saturday during a visit to Iraq that she doubted the United States or Iraqi government can pacify the country.india Updated: Jan 13, 2007 23:51 IST
US Senator Hillary Clinton said on Saturday during a visit to Iraq that she doubted the United States or Iraqi government can pacify the country.
"I don't know that the American people or the Congress at this point believe this mission can work," she told ABC news.
"And in the absence of a commitment that is backed up by actions from the Iraqi government, why should we believe it?"
Clinton, a likely candidate for the 2008 presidential race, joined a bipartisan delegation including Democratic Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana and Republican Representative John McHugh from the state Clinton represents, New York.
She spoke after meetings with top US commanders General George Casey and Lieutenant General Ray Odierno.
Clinton said that the level of security during this trip was far greater than on her prior visits.
"This is heartbreaking," she said. "This is my third trip to Iraq. I've seen the violence and security problems increase, not decrease.
"The first time I was in Iraq, we were not ... Asked to wear body armor and put on helmets. We were not shepherded very narrowly from place to place. I went to Kirkuk the first time when actually General Odierno was there," she said. "We went into the city. We had a meeting in the town hall with people."
US President George W Bush, under great political pressure to implement a new strategy in the nearly four-year-old war, has pledged to send an additional 21,500 troops, a move opposed by as many as two out of three Americans, including Clinton, who would draw down troops.
"That would really demonstrate to the Iraqis that we don't have an open-ended commitment," Clinton said. "We are not going to be here providing protection for their leaders, which we do.