John Kerry: Tell Your Senators – Support Senate Joint Resolution 36 to Bring our Combat Troops Home in 2006by Pamela Leavey
Yesterday, after attending a speech that John Kerry delivered to the Pacific Council in Los Angeles, Kerry sat down with a group of L.A. bloggers and discussed a myriad of issues (off the record), including Iraq. During the conversation, he noted that was renewing his push for his call to withdraw our troops from Iraq. Today’s email brought this request to Call your Senators: and ask them to support Senate Joint Resolution 36 to bring our combat troops home in 2006:
It’s as simple as this. Most members of Congress, myself included, share some responsibility for getting us into Iraq. We’ve got to take responsibility for getting us out.
Since April, hundreds of thousands of you have joined me in calling for a change in policy, a change in course — for Iraq, and for Americans here at home. Now let’s turn the volume up higher. Washington needs to hear your voice.
The violence continues to spiral in Iraq. But, instead of a deadline to bring our troops home and put the future of Iraq in the hands of Iraqi leaders, we get half-hearted comments about past mistakes, and cynical political calculation.
Last month, I introduced Senate Joint Resolution 36 which calls for the withdrawal of our combat troops from Iraq by the end of this year. In the next few weeks, I am urging the Senate to take a strong stand on Iraq and pass this Resolution. It’s time to put the future of Iraq where it belongs – in the hands of the Iraqi people and their leaders. Our valiant soldiers have done their job.
President Bush wants to stumble along, perpetuating his mistakes for the remainder of his time in office. He’s even suggested that decisions about withdrawing all of our troops from Iraq will be for the next president to make.
And, instead of statesmanship, the president’s top advisor, Karl Rove, is worrying that the war has put voters in a “sour mood” for the 2006 elections. He should be worried about the safety of our troops, not the job security of Republican congressmen.
It took President Bush three years to admit he was wrong to say ‘bring it on.’ We can’t afford years to go by until he admits the standstill in Iraq today is wrong.
After months of squabbling and delay, we now hear that the new Iraqi government will complete its cabinet in a matter of days. So, it’s time to act — time to keep the pressure on.
Iraqi leaders have only responded to deadlines — a deadline to transfer authority to a provisional government, a deadline to hold three elections, and their own constitutional deadline to establish a unity government.
Now we must set another deadline to get our combat troops out and get Iraq up on its own two feet. We must agree with the new Iraqi government on a schedule for withdrawing American combat forces by the end of this year.
Doing so will empower the new Iraqi leadership, put Iraqis in the position of running their own country, and undermine support for the insurgency, which is fueled in large measure by the majority of Iraqis who want us to leave their country.
Our soldiers have done their job, and America is grateful to them for their honor and sacrifice. Now it’s time for the Iraqis to do their job of securing and governing their country and it is time to get our combat troops home in 2006. Only troops essential to finishing the job of training Iraqi forces should remain.
We need blunt talk and clear plans — and only pressure from you can force Washington to change course.
I am committed to forcing Congress to speak out on Iraq. Yesterday in Los Angeles I made it clear that I’m not going to stop fighting until we have a change in policy. I urge you to keep supporting our efforts to force action when lives are on the line and leadership is desperately needed.