Monday, December 18, 2006

Kucinich: We could exit Iraq in sixty days

Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich detailed the platform on which he plans to once again seek the Democratic nomination for President in an interview conducted last week with Congressional Quarterly.

Kucinich followed Governor Tom Vilsack of Iowa as the second Democratic office holder to announce his run for the presidency. He told CQ that "People aren’t looking for the Democrats to be better managers of the war, they want the Democrats to end the war and to bring our troops home."

To further this point, the Ohio Congressman emphasized that his plan for withdrawing from Iraq in sixty days was feasible. He explained that "if you go back to Oct. 1 when the appropriation of $70 billion began, the money’s in the pipeline right now to bring the troops home. Not only is it in the pipeline to bring the troops home, but to simultaneously provide for the security of the Iraqi people through supporting an effort by the international community and through inviting the international community and helping to sustain it. ... So why would we leave the troops in the field if we have the money to bring them home? Why would we continue the war by supporting another appropriation?"
The full interview, conducted by Marie Horrigan, can be accessed at the website. An excerpt is provided below.

CQ: This is your second consecutive shot for the presidency. How do you feel 2008 will be different from 2004 for you?

Kucinich: Well, it’s already different in the sense that I was right. I go into the 2008 election as the one person who campaigned continually on opposition to the war, who from inside the Congress challenged the war. And everything I said was right, so people can now look to me and say, “Well, there’s a leader. There’s somebody who had the foresight to challenge the war from the beginning.”

But there’s something else that’s happened. And the other thing that’s different is that the American people have given the Democrats the power of the government. We are now the majority, and we are a co-equal branch of government. The people gave that to us on one issue and one issue alone: Iraq.
So I’m in a singular position of encouraging my party to rise to the occasion, to accept the mantle of responsibility, to confirm the will of the people, and to take steps to bring our troops home. ... People are waiting for Democrats to take this direction so my position is to protect the ability of the Democratic Party to have a Democratic president in 2008, and to take the nation in a new direction that’s consistent with the aspirations of Democrats.

But everything that we care about —health care, education, housing, job creation, the environment — all of those issues are going to be swept aside by war, by the fiscal drain of the war. ... If Democrats go through with their plan to put the war on budget, that means cutting the very programs that we care about.

We shouldn’t be in this kind of Hobbesian choice. We should be having a clear position that accepts the verdict of the people in November. The people said we want the Democrats to take over, the issue is Iraq, we want the Democrats to give us a new direction, that direction obviously is out.


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