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Press Release - Governor Bill Richardson Pleased Senators Clinton and Byrd Support His Proposal to De-authorize Iraq War

May 04, 2007

Governor calls on Senators to embrace full withdrawal of US troops with no residual forces

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson today applauded Senator Hillary Clinton for agreeing that the Governor's proposal for Congress to de-authorize the Iraq War is the best chance Congress has of reversing the President's failed policy and getting US troops out of Iraq. The Governor urged Senator Clinton to also support his call for a complete withdrawal of US forces with no residual troops. Senator Clinton has previously proposed leaving thousands of US troops in Iraq for an undetermined length of time.

"As I said in my February speech to the DNC and have repeated many times since, this is the best course of action. It's the only way to avoid an endless 'Groundhog Day' cycle of legislation and veto that would not accomplish the goal of getting our troops out of Iraq," said Governor Richardson. "I welcome Senator Clinton's endorsement of my approach, and I urge Congress to embrace this course of action and show the President that his defiance of the will of the American people and a vote of Congress will not stand."

Governor Richardson also called for a resolution to be introduced immediately, not in October as proposed by Senators Byrd and Clinton.

Governor Richardson, a former Congressman, has been calling for Congress to de-authorize the Iraq War for several months. The Governor's plan calls for a complete withdrawal of US troops, coupled with intensive diplomacy to assure stability in the region and to facilitate ongoing reconstruction in Iraq.

Bill Richardson's 7 Point New Realism Plan for Iraq:

  1. Troops Out in 2007: We should get our troops out of Iraq this year. Our continued presence there only enables the Iraqi factions to delay making the hard political choices they need to make to end the civil war.
  2. No Residual Forces Left Behind: We must remove ALL of our troops. There should be no residual US forces left in Iraq. Most Iraqis, and most others in the region, believe that we are there for their oil, and this perception is exploited by both Al Qaeda, other insurgents, and anti-American Shia groups. By announcing that we intend to remove all troops, we would deprive them of this propaganda tool.
  3. Congressional De-Authorization of War: President Bush has demonstrated neither competence nor honesty nor a sense of reality in his conduct of this war. I support the Feingold-Reid bill to force the President to end the war.

    Congress must continue to use the power of the purse without cutting funds for troops on the ground, but we should also go one step further. Congress should assert its constitutional authority and pass a resolution de-authorizing the war under the War Powers Act. Congress can then set a military pull-out date and appropriate funds accordingly for the re-deployment of troops.

  4. Promote Iraqi Reconciliation: We should promote an Iraqi Reconciliation Conference to bring the factions together to seek compromises and to begin confidence-building measures, including the end of militia violence. Our redeployment will give us more leverage than we have now, caught in the crossfire, to get the Iraqis to reconcile.
  5. Work With All Neighbors and Allies: We should convene a regional conference to secure the cooperation of all of Iraq's neighbors -- including Syria and Iran -- in promoting peace and stability. Among the key objectives of such a conference should be guarantees of non-interference, as well as the creation of a multilateral force of UN peacekeepers, should the Iraqis request one. The US should support such a force, but it should be composed of non-US, primarily Muslim troops.
  6. Global Cooperation in Reconstruction: We should convene a donor conference to fund Iraq's reconstruction. The United States needs to show the world that we intend to return to our tradition of being a trusted leader, not a unilateralist loner. The process of disengagement is an opportunity for us to show that we have turned the corner, and that we intend to rebuild our alliances, respect international law, and work with the international community.
  7. Redeploy to Address Real Threats: We must redeploy some of our troops to stop the resurgence of the Taliban and to fight the real terrorists who attacked this country on 9-11. While all American troops in Iraq must be removed, we need to maintain a military presence in the region, including in Kuwait and in the Persian Gulf. We must have the regional capacity to use air power, special forces and other means to strike Al Qaeda anywhere. We do not need American troops in Iraq to perform this essential task.

    We also must bring our National Guard home where they are needed for homeland security, and we must focus our energy and resources on real threats, such as nuclear proliferation, Al Qaeda, public health, and global warming.

Bill Richardson, Press Release - Governor Bill Richardson Pleased Senators Clinton and Byrd Support His Proposal to De-authorize Iraq War Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/294624

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