The following is a statement from Republican presidential candidate John Cox:"The Iraq Study Group’s report proposes talks with the neighbors of Iraq - Iran and Syria - as well as a phased withdrawal. In other words, gradual surrender and failure.
The substantial risk is that this country and its sizable oil reserves will fall under the influence and control of forces opposed to freedom and to us.
I do agree with the commission that one of the components of success in Iraq is economic success - a part of the puzzle that has been largely neglected, but one that could very well be the most important thing we do in Iraq.
I have been saying for months that Pres. Bush should implement what I’ve called "Operation Economic Opportunity" in Iraq to stabilize that nation’s economy, get its oil flowing and give hope and prosperity to its people.
Like my proposal, the Study Group recommends re-deploying military assets within the country. My plan would have them guarding the oil fields and other infrastructure.
The effort of our country in this region was noble and worthwhile if it carried the message that we stand for prosperity and freedom, not just military conquest. Unfortunately, the public relations aspect has been lost in the bombings and murders by the insurgency and militias.
We have spent over $400 billion in Iraq and we have little to show for it. The post-invasion Iraq effort has been badly mishandled, largely because the Bush Administration has failed to address that nation’s economy.
It is not too late to turn things around, and we must.
John H. Cox, 51, is the first announced Republican candidate for president in 2008. He has active campaign organizations in 26 states and county coordinators in over two-thirds of the counties in early primary and caucus states Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. He is a CPA, real estate broker, attorney and investment advisor. He is the former president of the Cook County (IL) Republican Party. John Cox lives in Chicago, IL with his wife and four daughters. For more information, visit www.cox2008.com