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Web Letter

The basic error of this article is the blind assumption that the War in Iraq will still be continuing thru next year. If it draws to a successful conclusion, where does that leave those Democrats who have made it their centerpiece?

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, PA

Dec 4 2007 - 2:06pm

Web Letter

I am responding to the following statement in this article:

Further working to her advantage is the failure of her top rivals to draw a clear distinction between themselves and Clinton on Iraq. War opponents here often point to a September debate in New Hampshire where Edwards and Obama refused to commit to withdrawing all troops from Iraq by the end of their first term, in 2013. That answer gave an opening to the so-called second-tier candidates, notably Richardson, who began highlighting his plan to get all the troops out within a year and has doubled his Iowa staff. "The most important issue affecting this race is the war," Richardson said at the Iowa Democrats' Jefferson-Jackson dinner on November 10. "There is a difference with the candidates on how to end the war." To stress their point, his campaign supporters draped banners that said "2013?" and "GetOurTroopsOut.com." After his speech, the usually attack-shy Richardson campaign distributed Clinton quotes indicating that she might leave as many as 60,000 troops in Iraq for years to come.

Somehow, John Edwards was misunderstood and misquoted. His speeches have repeatedly stressed a very clear distinction between himself and Clinton on the issue of Iraq. Just so I'm not misquoted, here is a copy of John Edwards's stand on Iraq taken from his website. This is the way it has read all along.

There is no military solution to the chaos in Iraq. Instead, the Iraqi people must solve the problem politically by taking responsibility for their country. By leaving Iraq, America will prompt the Iraqi people, regional powers, and the entire international community to find the political solution that will end the sectarian violence and create a stable Iraq. We must show the Iraqis that we are serious about leaving by actually starting to leave, with an immediate withdrawal of 40,000-50,000 troops and a complete withdrawal within nine to ten months. We should leave behind in Iraq only a brigade of 3,500 to 5,000 troops to protect the embassy and possibly a few hundred troops to guard humanitarian workers.

I believe it was the NH debate where Clinton said something about "it not being wise to make a commitment fifteen months in advance and that no one could predict what would happen between then and when they took office (her usual dance around the question routine). The remaining candidates said there would probably be some number of troops left and Edwards said there would need to be some troops there to guard the embassy. He was not allowed to continue or explain.

When John Edwards is allowed to finish his point, he is crystal clear. John Edwards is an antiwar choice.

Marilyn Armstrong

San Luis Obispo, CA

Nov 30 2007 - 11:19pm

Web Letter

But we do have an antiwar candidate who can win the general election!

John Edwards at Riverside Church during the Martin Luther King Day Commemoration at Riverside Church in New York: "We don't need debate; we don't need non-binding resolutions; we need to end this war... By leaving Iraq, America will prompt the Iraqi people, regional powers, and the entire international community to find the political solution that will end the sectarian violence and create a stable Iraq. We must show the Iraqis that we are serious about leaving by actually starting to leave, with an immediate withdrawal of 40,000-50,000 troops and a complete withdrawal within nine to ten months. We should leave behind in Iraq only a brigade of 3,500 to 5,000 troops to protect the embassy and possibly a few hundred troops to guard humanitarian workers. "

Lauren Coodley

Napa, CA

Nov 30 2007 - 5:41pm

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