Released last night:
ARLINGTON, VA — U.S. Senator John McCain today sent the following letter to Senators Biden, Clinton, Dodd and Obama urging them to reject MoveOn.org’s campaign to block funding for our troops and their mission in Iraq:
December 10, 2007
I understand that today you received a petition from the anti-war group MoveOn.org asking that you filibuster the Pentagon’s request for additional funds to sustain American combat operations in Iraq unless such funding is tied to a troop withdrawal timeline. I am writing in the hope that you will reject such a course, particularly at a time when our troops, commanded by General Petraeus, are succeeding against the enemy.
As you know, for many years I was a harsh critic of Secretary Rumsfeld’s conduct of the war. We did not have nearly enough boots on the ground and our strategy for victory was non-existent. Back in 2003, I began calling for a surge of forces into Iraq to implement a serious counterinsurgency campaign to uproot the enemy and to take and hold territory in partnership with Iraqi forces.
Today, under the leadership of General Petraeus, we have made great strides to secure Iraq and protect America’s interests there. The surge of forces that began in January has generated positive results that even some of the harshest critics of the surge now concede. Violence is down dramatically, and many Iraqis have turned on al Qaeda and are working with us to build a new Iraq. Now is not the time to acquiesce to the demands of a fringe group that only a short time ago smeared General Petraeus’s good name.
The road ahead is not without serious difficulties, but we are, at long last, succeeding in Iraq, and we have a better chance than we’ve had in years of helping Iraq to become a stable, self-governing nation that can defend itself, isn’t used as a sanctuary by terrorists and doesn’t threaten the stability of the Middle East and our interests there. But that won’t happen if MoveOn.org calls the shots in Congress. It is difficult, I know, particularly in the middle of a presidential campaign, to stand against the loudest voices in your party demanding action. But to heed this demand would be a tactical political decision that is at odds with the national security interests of the American people. I am confident you will make the right decision and reject the demands of MoveOn.org and vote to fund our forces.