Welch continues to oppose President Bush’s Iraq policy

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(Host) Congressman Peter Welch says he hasn’t changed his opposition to President Bush’s Iraq policy.

Welch has just finished a two-day visit to Iraq and is headed to Beirut before returning home.

He says he saw signs that the military has made progress in reducing the violence in Iraq.

But he says Iraqis are still relying too heavily on the U.S. military and American contractors to do everything from building prisons to picking up trash.

Speaking on a conference call from a layover in Cyprus, Welch says there hasn’t been sufficient progress since he visited Iraq last April.

(Welch) "What isn’t different – and this is the thing I was hoping would be different – was I’d get some positive reports about progress with the Malaki government. And I really didn’t get any.”

(Host) Welch says the point of sending a "surge” of American troops into Iraq last year was to give the government time to take up its responsibilities.

He says his visit has reinforced his belief that the surge hasn’t worked.

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