The following news article shows that the Republican "stay the course" in the military occupation of Iraq policy has been discredited:
"WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Democrats on Wednesday praised a bipartisan report on Iraq as a step forward, with key senators calling it a rebuke of White House policy.
The newly released report says the United States must change its Iraq strategy to tackle a "grave and deteriorating" situation there that could lead to chaos.
Sen. Carl Levin, the incoming chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, took a jab at the White House.
"The report represents another blow at the policy of 'stay-the-course' that this administration has followed," the Michigan Democrat said. "Hopefully, this will be the end of that stay-the-course policy." (Watch Democrats claim vindication on Iraq )
Levin, referring to Democrats' election victory in November said, "the American people rose up against staying the course in Iraq, because it was not working."
"Only a political settlement by the Iraqis can end the violence in Iraq, and the military force that we have there cannot do that for the Iraqis," said Levin, who spoke after a briefing on the report by its co-chairmen.
White House spokesman Tony Snow said the report does not represent a repudiation of the administration's Iraq policy.
"No, it's something we have acknowledged," Snow said. "It's an acknowledgement of reality."
"Stay the course is not the policy and it's been that way for months," said Snow during his daily White House briefing for reporters. "We look at this as a very positive document."
Throughout the Iraq war, Bush administration officials said it was critical to "stay the course" in Iraq. But in October, White House spokesman Dan Bartlett dismissed assertions that the Bush administration's strategy for Iraq was to "stay the course," saying instead it was only to "win in Iraq."
Specifically, the report says objectives set by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the United States on "national reconciliation, security and governance" represent a "good start" but must be "expanded to include milestones that can strengthen the government and benefit the Iraqi people." (Highlights from the report)
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh said Wednesday that the report was in line with his government's plans, but warned there was no "magic wand" to resolve the nation's woes, The Associated Press reported.
But AP reported that Sheik Mohammed Bashar al-Fayadh, a spokesman for the Sunni Arab Association of Muslim Scholars, on Al-Jazeera TV blasted the report for placing American interests ahead of Iraq's. (Read more reaction from Iraq)
Abdul Aziz Hakim, Shiite leader of the largest bloc in Iraq's parliament, was critical of the report, telling CNN that problems in Iraq had nothing to do with the situation in the greater Middle East.
"Of course this report was made by a group of respectable people. But there are differences in some views between me and them. I see that some information that was mentioned is not precise.
"The problem of Middle East is very important and there are many issues there, but the problem in Iraq (has) specifically nothing to do with the situation in the middle east today."
Concerns about Iraq's government
Democrat Sen. Joseph Biden, who said that although he didn't disagree with anything in it, he has "concerns about what may not be in the report relating to urging the Iraqis to have a political settlement."
Biden, from Delaware, is expected to lead the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee when Democrats take control in January.
"The most significant thing of the report is it has moved the debate in a fundamental way from not 'if' but 'when' and 'how' we move our forces in Iraq," Biden said.
He said Iraq's government must guarantee that oil, its major resource, is equally distributed, and "allow more local autonomy over the physical protection of the people in that particular region."
Iraq's makeup of rival Sunni and Shiite Muslims and Kurds in the nation's north has posed major difficulties within Iraq's fledgling government. Al-Maliki announced Tuesday a Cabinet reshuffling and the creation of conferences aimed at national unity and stability.
Iraq Study Group co-chairmen -- James Baker, a former secretary of state under George H.W. Bush, and former Democratic Rep. Lee Hamilton -- said the report offers 79 recommendations for change in U.S. Iraq policy. (Watch report co-chair explain why the "current approach is not working" )
It warns of impending disaster for the U.S.-led war in Iraq if U.S. policy is not changed. It calls on Washington to change the makeup of U.S. forces there, begin direct talks with Iraqi neighbors Iran and Syria, and to launch a new initiative to end the "Arab-Israeli" conflict. (Full story)
Syrian Expatriates Minister Buthaina Shabaan on Wednesday told Al-Jazeera that she welcomed the report "as a very important step," Reuters reported.
"It means, God willing, the end of this era of American intervention in the region and the American occupation of Iraq, which brought catastrophic ramifications on the whole region."
Republican House Majority Leader John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, described the group's recommendations as "a constructive review of the current situation in Iraq. There are also other ongoing reviews that will make recommendations and provide counsel to the administration for moving forward."
The White House has said it would also taken into consideration the findings of separate reviews under way at the Pentagon, State Department and National Security Council.
Bush: 'Tough assessment'
Earlier, the co-chairmen briefed Bush on their report. Bush said it offers a "very tough assessment of the situation in Iraq," and the White House will take every proposal "very seriously."
"We probably won't agree with every proposal," Bush said, but he added that it offers an opportunity for the White House and Congress to work together. The "country is tired of pure political bickering that happens in Washington," the president said.
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, praised the report as a "tremendous step forward" and said the group's report was "a rejection of the policies of the Bush administration."
"The president has the ball in his court now," Reid said. "It is up to President Bush to implement the recommendations of this commission."
"We're going to be watching very closely after the first of the year with oversight hearings" conducted by the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Armed Services Committee and the Intelligence Committee, Reid said."