Tom Vilsack on War & Peace
Democratic IA Governor
Iím here today because thatís not my America and itís not your America. Five-year-olders should not be frightened in this country. And so I want to challenge every single one of you and ask the simple question: What have you done today to end this war in Iraq? It needs to be ended now, not six days from now, not six months from now, not six years from now, it needs to be ended now! And itís up to you.
A: Congress takes the authority they have under the Constitution, and the moral authority that we expect them to show, and we say to the president, ďMr. President, weíre no longer going to fund this war.Ē
Weíre in the middle of a civil war inside a civil war. It is not going to be responded to and answered militarily. Itís a political solution that is required, and only the Iraqis themselves have the power and the capacity to do it. As long as we are in the middle of this, that political resolution is actually being sidestepped; it is being delayed; it is not being enhanced by our presence there.
If we have troops to take anyplace or put anyplace in the world, letís put them back in Afghanistan and letís get the job done that we were supposed to do a number of years ago. Letís find bin Laden. Letís hold those folks who hurt us responsible.
Vilsack's comments made him the first major presidential candidate to urge Congress to use its spending power under the Constitution to bring U.S. fighting in Iraq to an end. "Congress has the constitutional responsibility and a moral duty to cut off funding for the status quo," said Vilsack. "Not a cap--an end. Not eventually--immediately."
The former governor still supports keeping a U.S. troop presence in the northern Kurdish part of the country in an effort to dissuade Iran from moving into any power vacuum created by the end of U.S. military engagement in central Iraq.
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