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Press Release - Governor Bill Richardson Rips Presidential Veto -- Calls on Congress to Pass Resolution to De-authorize the Iraq War and Remove All American Troops from Iraq

May 01, 2007

SANTE FE, NM -- New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson today blasted President Bush's veto of Democrat sponsored legislation that would have set a timeline for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. The Governor called on Congress once again to immediately pass a resolution, under the War Powers Act, that would de-authorize the Iraq War and provide a rapid timetable for the withdrawal of US forces.

"The President is defying the will of the American people so it is time for Congress to take action that cannot be vetoed," said Governor Bill Richardson. "It is clear to all but the President that no military solution remains in Iraq. Mr. President, stubbornness is not foreign policy. The death of more than 100 U.S. soldiers there last month underscores the need to withdraw our brave men and women now. To continue with more of the same is not a strategy, it is a tragedy. The only solution is strong diplomacy and real political progress led by the Iraqis. Our troops have performed bravely, with honor and sacrifice, but it is time to get them out of the crossfire of a civil war. We need to redeploy all of our forces out of Iraq leaving no residual forces. Al Qaeda and other anti-American forces benefit from our continued presence in Iraq- it enables them to portray the US as imperialist occupiers- we need to deprive them of that propaganda. The truth is our enemies want us mired and bleeding in Iraq rather than fighting the real war against the real terrorists who attacked this country on 9/11."

Governor Richardson stated that only Congress has the authority to authorize war, and can also vote by resolution to de-authorize the war- which would require the military to remove all American troops from Iraq. Such a resolution does not require a Presidential signature and would therefore not be subject to veto.

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 Queda 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 Rips Presidential Veto -- Calls on Congress to Pass Resolution to De-authorize the Iraq War and Remove All American Troops from Iraq Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/294644

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