Rep. Waters Calls on the President to Honor Iraq's Sovereignty and Redeploy our Troops from Iraq
Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-35), chair of the Out of Iraq Caucus, today renewed her call on President Bush to redeploy American troops and military contractors from Iraq in a letter to the President and in a newly introduced resolution, H. Res. 1326.
The resolution, H. Res. 1326, Calling on the President to Respect and Honor Iraqi's Sovereignty, and the letter, delivered today, were coauthored by Reps. Waters, Woolsey and Lee. The introduced resolution, H. Res. 1326, calls for the President to respect Iraq's sovereignty and redeploy our military if asked to do so by the Government of Iraq – as President Bush previously pledged to do – and to present a plan to Congress for how this will be carried out.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki expressed support for this position this week, calling for a timetable for redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq to be included in the security agreement being pushed by the Bush Administration. Iraq's national security adviser, Mowaffak al-Rubaie, said "We will not accept a memorandum of understanding without having timeline horizons for the cessation of combat operations as well as the departure of all the combat brigades."
Rep. Waters said, "I am pleased to see that the Government of Iraq has risen in support of our position that a timetable is needed for the redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq. I call on President Bush to end the war in Iraq and bring our troops home. Otherwise, as many of us have feared, President Bush and his supporters' vision of an ‘enduring relationship' with Iraq amounts only to an endless and unlimited military occupation in the Middle East."
The text of the letter is as follows, and the resolution is attached:
July 9, 2008
The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20502
Dear Mr. President:
We write to you to reiterate our strong support for setting a timeline for the redeployment of our troops from Iraq. As you are surely aware, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has risen in support of this position, calling for a timetable for redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq to be included in the security agreement currently being negotiated. He said "The direction we are taking is to have a memorandum of understanding either for the departure of the forces or to have a timetable for their withdrawal."
Further, his National Security Adviser, Mowaffak al-Rubaie, has said "We will not accept a memorandum of understanding without having timeline horizons for the cessation of combat operations as well as the departure of all the combat brigades."
On May 24, 2007 you stated, "We are there at the invitation of the Iraqi government. This is a sovereign nation. Twelve million people went to the polls to approve a constitution. It's their government's choice. If they were to say, leave, we would leave."
We are calling on you to honor your commitment to respect Iraq's sovereignty and redeploy our military when we are asked to by the Government of Iraq. Otherwise, our military presence amounts to an open-ended occupation of Iraq, particularly as seen through the eyes of Iraq's neighbors in the Middle East.
In stating your opposition to a redeployment timetable for our military in Iraq, you will be disregarding the wishes of the American public, the will of Congress, and the Iraqi people, who all favor setting a timetable for the redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq.
The fact is that there is no military solution to the problems we face in Iraq. This war has cost more than 4,100 American lives, wounded hundreds of thousands of our troops, cost the lives of perhaps hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and displaced millions.
Meanwhile, the war in Iraq has cost taxpayers trillions of dollars. Continuing to spend $10 billion a month in Iraq while American families continue to struggle to make ends meet is a case of misplaced priorities.
Instead of coercing Iraq into signing a long term security agreement—without the approval of the U.S. Congress—we urge you to fully fund the redeployment of our military from Iraq, and bring our troops home safe and sound. This remains the only acceptable solution to the problems we face in Iraq. We must support Prime Minister Maliki and the people in Iraq in their quest for full sovereignty. Thank you for your consideration of our request.
Maxine Waters, Lynn Woolsey, Barbara Lee
Members of Congress