U.S. lawmakers to Iraqi leaders: Shape up

Jan. 8, 2006 at 9:49 PM
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BAGHDAD, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- U.S. congressmen told Iraq's political leaders they need to start showing some progress before the United States loses its patience and goes home.

A bipartisan congressional delegation on a whirlwind tour of Iraq said the continued U.S. commitment to Iraq is becoming a tougher sell back home and Iraqis need to start showing signs of progress, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"It's going to be hard to convince American taxpayers to pour water into a leaky bucket," said Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.

Obama, Sen. Christopher Bond, R-Mo., Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and Rep. Harold Ford Jr., D-Tenn., arrived in Iraq on Saturday.

Bayh outlined a half dozen milestones that he and his colleagues said they would like to see Iraqis achieve over the next six months, to be able to convince American voters that the continued commitment to Iraq was worthwhile, the newspaper said.

Among the goals were: the quick formation of a government; signs of economic progress; acceptance of the political process by Sunni Arabs; and the formation of a civil service and security forces that reflect Iraq's various ethnic and sectarian groups.

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