As we approach the 5th anniversary of the Iraq War, there is a movement building to end the war. The Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq is a growing coalition of congressional candidates and military leaders who are pushing a swift and responsible withdrawal plan. The coalition includes candidates like Darcy Burner WA-8 and Donna Edwards MD-4, Major General Paul Eaton who was the former Security Transition Commanding General in Iraq and Dr. Lawrence Korb who is the former Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration. The coalition to end the war just got gained another endorser, Oregon Senate candidate and current House Speaker Jeff Merkley.
Yesterday, the Darcy Burner campaign posted a diary about the Responsible Plan to End the Iraq War. Here’s a snippet from Darcy about how the whole movement began:
For five years we have asked our political leaders these questions, and for five years the answers never came. Well, about six months ago, some fellow Democratic challengers and I got tired of waiting, and today we introduce the fruit of our impatience: “A Responsible Plan For Ending The War In Iraq.” It is intended to map out how we can end the war and prevent a mistake like this from ever happening again.
Working with such military experts as Major General Paul Eaton, who was General Petraeus’ predecessor in Iraq, and building off the work of the Iraq Study Group and existing legislation, we have created a plan for congressional action to answer these questions and fundamentally change the debate on national security. This is the conversation our public officials, citizens and the media need to be having, but have not – until now.
This plan presents a set of actions that Congress can take to remove all troops from Iraq while engaging in a diplomatic, political and economic offensive in the region. It is designed to convert our current costly and unsuccessful military approach to a more effective civilian one that addresses the root problems we face in Iraq. It moves us away from the use of military tools and enables more robust diplomatic and humanitarian work. It offers a path to rebuild the military, the State Department, and a commitment to take care of returning veterans.
Here in Oregon, my preferred Senate Candidate Jeff Merkley has signed on to the plan. Jeff Merkley was opposed to the Iraq War from the beginning and has been a staunch proponent of a withdrawal, so it’s no surprise that he’s joined the movement. Here’s a snippet from his website:
On the eve of the five-year anniversary of the Iraq war, House Speaker Jeff Merkley endorsed A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq, authored by Major General Paul Eaton (U.S. ARMY RET.) former Security Transition Commanding General, Iraq; Dr. Lawrence Korb former Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration; Brigadier General John Johns (U.S. ARMY RET.) specialist in counterinsurgency and nation-building; and Capt. Larry Seaquist (U.S. NAVY) and presented by Washington Congressional candidate Darcy Burner and other House candidates around the country.
“I opposed this war publicly from the very beginning. It’s now long past time to bring our sons and daughters home, repay the debt we owe our veterans, and restore America’s standing in the world,” said House Speaker Jeff Merkley said. “Gordon Smith and the Bush Administration led us into this war and have never offered a plan to get us out. Smith has manipulated and confused the media and the public and done nothing to bring an end to this war.”
If you’d like to read more about Merkley’s endorsement of the plan go here. I hope that more candidates like Jeff Merkley join the House candidates and the Military leaders in supporting this growing movement. It’s encouraging that numerous Democratic candidates are taking the lead on this issue. What about our current Senators and Reps? Where are they? Democrats were not successful at gaining a sixty vote majority to override Bush’s veto to pass a timetable for withdrawal. We can’t let them give up! They should be joining this coalition and adding strength to the movement to end the war. Please contact your Senators and Reps and encourage them to sign on to the plan.
As of today, We’ve lost 3,990 soldiers in Iraq and tens of thousands have been injured. How long can we afford to let Congress do nothing?
To learn more about the Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq go here.