How Many? For How Long?
[I posted this yesterday over at The Left Coaster, but didn't have time to post it here.]
Governor Bill Richardson has been asking these questions of all of the other Democratic candidates, yet none is able to provide a clear, decisive answer to how many troops they'll leave in Iraq.
Yesterday, I participated in a phone conference with Governor Richardson's Campaign Manager Dave Contarino, Chris Bowers and Matt Stoller of Open Left, and Christina Siun O'Connell of Firedoglake, to announce Governor Richardson's latest effort to get the American people an answer to the question of how many troops will be left behind in Iraq depending on which Democrat becomes the next President.
Governor Richardson has teamed up with Chris, Matt, and Christina to film a new ad that shows precisely the differences among the candidates on Iraq. The bottom line: Bill Richardson is the only candidate, among the top four, who has emphatically stated that he will remove all American troops from Iraq.
Opponents of Governor Richardson's plan have tried to muddy the waters by questioning whether the United States Marines who guard the embassy in Iraq are considered residual troops. They are not. All United States Embassies are considered sovereign U.S. soil and are guarded by a contingent of Marines. Bill Richardson, as with every other candidate, would leave the Marines in Iraq to guard the embassy, as is done with all other embassies in the world. The question is, in addition to those United States Marines who will guard the embassy, how many troops will each of the candidates leave in Iraq. Bill Richardson will leave no troops in Iraq. What about Senators Clinton, Obama and Edwards?
You can add your voice to the strong chorus of Americans calling on the candidates to tell us how many troops they'll leave in Iraq and for how long. Governor Richardson has set up a new website: Get Our Troops Out, where your voice can be heard. The website also has a very cool map that shows the location of people across the nation who have joined Bill Richardson's call to end the war now and get all the troops out. So go to Get Our Troops Out today and join the cause.
Don't be fooled by the kabuki dance or rhetorical gymnastics of the other candidates. Residual troops equals stay the course, and that's simply unacceptable.