Tuesday, May 8, 2007

De-Authorize the War Now, No Residual Troops

Gov. Bill Richardson


I first called for de-authorization of the war in Iraq in January, and I have repeated that call all around the country -- because I believe immediate de-authorization and removing all of our troops from Iraq this year is the only way to end Bush's war.

Congress should de-authorize the war today and demand that the President begin redeploying our troops.

There would be no need to negotiate the withdrawal with the President, and he could not veto the resolution.

The time has has come for Congress to stand up to this President who refuses to recognize that his war is bleeding our military and weakening our country. He believes mere stubbornness is a foreign policy and that he can just ignore the will of the American people. In the interest of our national security, he must be stopped.

Congress has the ability to end this war under the War Powers Act -- let's not wait or waver while more people die. And de-authorizing the war should mean removing all our troops. Every last one.

This is essential, because our presence in Iraq worsens the violence and enables our enemies to portray us as imperialist occupiers. If we announce that we are getting out completely, we undercut this propaganda. We need to get all our troops out of the crossfire of this civil war.

Anything less than immediate de-authorization, and beginning the process to remove all troops, is not a real plan to end this war. I know this region well, and understand how people there see the world.

I have served as US Ambassador to the UN, President Clinton's Special Envoy, and as Secretary of Energy. I have been there. I even met with Saddam Hussein and secured the release of hostages. I applaud Senators Clinton and Byrd's steps to begin the process of getting us out of this disastrous war. But I urge them and their colleagues in Washington to commit to the full task at hand:

Immediate de-authorization, and the removal of all U.S. troops.

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