Opposing view: Bring all troops home now, I’ll vote for supplemental only if it funds U.S. withdrawal by Dec. 31
As one of the founders of the Out of Iraq Caucus, along with California Democratic Reps. Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey, I have been persistent and unrelenting in my efforts to bring pressure on the U.S. House of Representatives to vote to fully fund our safe and secure withdrawal from Iraq.
Not only did the American public speak loudly and clearly last Nov. 7, but poll after poll reinforces the message that Americans want their troops home now. The president's supplemental request is just what the word "supplemental" implies — additional funds to expand and continue this war. I believe that there is enough money available in the pipeline to fund a planned exit. I will vote against the supplemental unless the additional funds are used to fully fund the safe, secure and timely withdrawal of our troops by Dec. 31.
Our soldiers are being killed every day. So far this week, 12 U.S. troops have been killed, which brings the total to almost 3,200 dead and more than 24,000 injured. My greatest fear is that we will all awaken one morning to the news that hundreds or maybe even thousands have been killed in a massive attack. Contrary to the rhetoric of President Bush and his administration, we were not welcomed in Iraq with open arms. Rather, we were seen as occupiers by the Sunnis, Shiites and the Kurds alike. Day after day, from Fallujah to Sadr City, our troops are placed in the midst of a civil war that cannot be contained by American forces.
While the president is determined to continue this war and has adopted the "cut and run" sound bite to intimidate those of us who disagree with him, the American people are demanding leadership, not safe political nuances by politicians who believe they can have it both ways. Democrats can no longer afford to create the perception that we are against this war without taking meaningful action. The vote on the president's supplemental appropriation is an opportunity for this Congress to prove that members have heard the voices of the American people who want a fully funded safe, secure and timely withdrawal of our troops from Iraq.