Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Richardson Speaks Out On Iraq War

There are four major candidates in the Democratic Party vying for that party's nomination to run for president, but only one of those candidates has a coherent position on the Iraq war. This candidate was against the war from the beginning, and he wants to pull all of our troops out of Iraq. This candidate is Gov. Bill Richardson. Here is his position on Iraq in his own words:

Some say that all of the Democratic Presidential candidates have basically the same position on Iraq. I disagree.

I'd pull all of our troops out in 6-8 months. The other major candidates would leave some troops behind indefinitely.

That's a major difference -- any way you look at it.

On Sunday, at the ABC debate in Iowa, I asked the other candidates point blank: how many troops would you leave behind? 25,000? 50,000? 75,000? For how long?

I didn't get an answer.

The big campaigns, with their huge media budgets, think they can drown out our differences and control the conversation on Iraq.

The Iraqis must rebuild their own country, and they won't make the tough political compromises until they know we're serious about turning the country over to them. It is becoming increasingly clear you can't end the war AND leave troops behind. Pulling our troops out won't cause a civil war; our troops are targets in a civil war right now. We must redeploy them out of Iraq and then secure the region.

The Bush Administration has been using half-measures since this war started, and now we have to make a decision -- it is either in or out; now or after more people die. You can't have it both ways.

Saying that all Democrats have the same position because "any" Democrat would end the war eventually is a cop out. Saying there is no military solution in Iraq and then advocating leaving US troops behind to find the military solution you just said doesn't exist is nuts.

There are options. There are solutions. We don't have to choose between change and experience. We don't have to leave troops behind. There is another way.

Bill Richardson

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