Governor supports Congress' renewed effort to get US troops out of Iraq and renews call for no residual forces
SANTA FE, NM -- Governor Bill Richardson today praised Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for leading a renewed effort in the US Senate to end the war and get American troops out of Iraq. The Governor issued the following statement:
"Yesterday's New York Times editorial reiterated what I have been saying for quite some time: 'It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize and orderly exit.' Now, with a number of Republicans joining the growing ranks of those in Congress demanding that US troops begin leaving Iraq, the time is right to pass bipartisan legislation that can get it done.
"Our troops in Iraq are targets. We do not honor those who have given their lives in this war by sacrificing more of our soldiers. It is time to bring our men and women home. Every one of them. So long as we are there we not only play into the propaganda that we are bent on occupying the entire Middle East, but we also lack the true diplomatic leverage to bring all sides to the negotiating table. Only when the United States makes it clear that we are leaving, and that we will no longer put our troops in the middle of someone else's civil war, will the Sunni, Shia, and Kurds be able to come together to begin the process of stabilizing Iraq.
"Once we leave, say experts such as Lawrence Korb and Bruce Riedel, the Iraqis themselves will drive out the Al Qaeda foreigners. Moreover, with our ground forces no longer tied down in Iraq, our soldiers and marines will be redeployed to where they can be most effective; the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. There they can combat Al Qaeda and the Taliban, and save Afghanistan from becoming yet another of this administration's casualties."