Rep. Waters and Leadership of “Out of Iraq” Caucus Send Letter to Speaker Pelosi Urging Vote on Legislation Against Escalation of Iraq War
Today, Representative Maxine Waters, Chair of the "Out of Iraq" Caucus and its leadership sent a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi expressing support of her efforts to encourage opposition to President's Bush's decision to send more U.S. troops to Iraq. The letter also urged Speaker Pelosi to hold a vote by the House of Representatives on legislation that opposes escalation of the Iraq war.
The letter was signed by Representative Maxine Waters (CA-35), Representative Woolsey (CA-6), Representative John Conyers, Jr. (MI-14), Representative Charlie Rangel (NY-15), Representative Barbara Lee (CA-9), Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL-9), Representative William Delahunt (MA-10), Representative John Lewis (GA-5), Representative Maurice Hinchey (NY-22), Representative Nydia Velázquez (NY-12), and Representative Jim McDermott (WA-7).
A copy of the letter is below.
Text of the Letter
January 10, 2007
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Speaker Pelosi:
On behalf of the "Out of Iraq" Caucus, we urge you to oppose any efforts by the Administration to escalate the Iraq war, including deployment of additional U.S. troops to Iraq and urge the House Democratic Caucus to adopt a resolution which expresses opposition to such escalation. The resolution should then be brought up for a vote by the entire House of Representatives. We do not believe that deployment of additional U.S. troops to Iraq will end the violence in Iraq created by militias that roam Iraq's streets or the death squads that operate under the guise of Iraqi security forces nor reverse the deteriorating situation in the region.
In the period preceding the war and the nearly four years that have followed, the Administration promoted the war by claiming that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. The Administration continued to mislead the American people by claiming that Iraq posed an imminent threat to the United States and its allies; that U.S. troops would be greeted as liberators; and, as Former Budget Director Mitch Daniels stated, "[t]here's just no reason that this can't be an affordable endeavor." However, the Administration ultimately has had to admit that there were no weapons of mass destruction and that Iraq did not pose an imminent threat to the United States or its allies. Clearly, with a tab of $350 billion and growing, the war has been a significant financial burden for the U.S. taxpayers.
The war has also posed a significant burden to our servicemembers. Since the Iraq war started on March 19, 2003 more than 3,000 U.S. servicemembers have died and more than 22,000 more have been injured.
Iraq is in a civil war. As the Iraq study Group stated in its report:
Attacks against U.S., Coalition, and Iraqi security forces are persistent and growing. October 2006 was the deadliest month for U.S. forces since January 2005, with 102 Americans killed. Total attacks in October 2006 averaged 180 per day, up from 70 per day in January 2006. Daily attacks against Iraqi security forces in October were more than double the level in January. Attacks against civilians in October were four times higher than in January. Some 3,000 Iraqi civilians are killed every month (page 10).
Furthermore, our troops are being deserted by their Iraqi counterparts at crucial moments. With Iraqi security forces having been infiltrated by militias, our troops do not know whom to trust. The daily acts of suicide bombers and attackers who use Improvised Explosive Devises (IED) will not be abated by the proposed increase of 20,000 troops.
After being mislead for so long, and with so much death and destruction as a result of the President's decision to invade Iraq, the "Out of Iraq" Caucus cannot, in good conscience, support an escalation of the U.S. involvement in Iraq. We urge the Democratic Leadership to review the current legislative proposals that express opposition to an escalation of U.S. involvement in Iraq and to develop a resolution that incorporates the strongest points of these measures for adoption by the Democratic Caucus.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Representative Maxine Waters (CA-35)
Representative Woolsey (CA-6)
Representative John Conyers, Jr. (MI-14)
Representative Charlie Rangel (NY-15)
Representative Barbara Lee (CA-9)
Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL-9)
Representative William Delahunt (MA-10)
Representative John Lewis (GA-5)
Representative Maurice Hinchey (NY-22)
Representative Nydia Velázquez (NY-12)
Representative Jim McDermott (WA-7)