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Silence is Betrayal: John Edwards on Iraq, MLK Day [VIDEO]

<i>Congress must step up and stop the president from putting more troops in harm's way.</i>

John Edwards took the podium at Riverside Memorial Church in Manhattan on Sunday to speak against escalation in Iraq and to push for withdrawal. It's the same podium at which Dr. Martin Luther King spoke out against the Vietnam war back in '67.

The speech is broken into three parts. An excerpt:

Escalation is not the answer, and our generals will be the first to tell you so. The answer is for the Iraqi people and others in the region to take responsibility for rebuilding their own country. If we want them to take responsibility, we need to show them that we are serious about leaving - and the best way to do that is actually to start leaving and immediately withdraw 40-50,000 troops.

That is why I have spoken out against the McCain Doctrine of escalation. That's why Congress must step up and stop the president from putting more troops in harm's way.

If you're in Congress and you know this war is going in the wrong direction, it is no longer enough to study your options and keep your own counsel. Silence is betrayal. Speak out, and stop this escalation now. You have the power to prohibit the president from spending any money to escalate the war - use it.

And to all of you here today - and the millions like us around the country who know this escalation is wrong - your job is to reject the easy way of apathy and choose instead the hard course of action. Silence is betrayal. Speak out. Tell your elected leaders to block this misguided plan that is destined to cost more lives and further damage America's ability to lead. And tell them also, that the reward of courage is trust.

Evan Derkacz is an AlterNet editor. He writes and edits PEEK, the blog of blogs.

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