Kennedy: Bush Stalling On Iraq Decision

Sen. Edward Kennedy, Face the Nation
Ted Kennedy, Face the Nation, 090907

The Bush administration is leaving the ultimate decision on whether to keep troops in Iraq to the next president, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., said Sunday on Face The Nation.

"It's clear that ... this administration is trying to delay the ultimate judgment till the next president gets into office, that's what this president has said, and then let them take the burden on it," Kennedy told Bob Schieffer.

U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Gen. David Petraeus are expected to warn Congress on Monday that making any significant changes to the current war strategy will jeopardize the limited security and political progress made so far.

Later in the week, Mr. Bush plans a national address.

"I mean, we thought we had a president that was the decider, and all we're finding out now is the first judgments were going to be made in the early summer, midsummer, late summer," Kennedy said. "Now it looks like General Petraeus is going to ask for six more months."

Kennedy was among a handful of lawmakers who voted against giving Bush authority to invade Iraq nearly five years ago.

"I was against the war, I continue to be against the war, and I'm going to do everything I possibly can to bring American troops home at the earliest possible time," Kennedy said.

Kennedy said that U.S. troops are being held hostage by Iraqi politicians who have not made progress on national reconciliation.

"We have been a crutch for too long," Kennedy said. "We have been the survival blanket for the Iraqi government, and the only way they're going to make the tough decisions and judgments is to start bringing those troops home."