Hillary Finally Gets Iraq Right

This post, written by Taylor Marsh, originally appeared on Taylor Marsh.com

In a nutshell.
"We cannot effectively address any of these challenges if we continue our military engagement in Iraq. As long as we stay there, our military strength will continue to erode. Our standing in the world will continue to decline. Our enemies in the region will continue to exploit our failures. Our occupation will continue to serve as a recruitment tool for terrorists. Our support for Afghan democracy, our conflict with the Taliban, and our hunt for al Qaeda will continue to be compromised. And our brave men and women will continue to lose their lives and suffer grievous wounds."
(snip)
"This will be a first step towards restoring Americans moral and strategic leadership in the world-- one that draws on the strength of our alliances and the power of our diplomacy, and uses military force as a last -- not a first -- resort. .... .." - Hillary Clinton
The above statement encompasses the U.S. reality in the wake of Mr. Bush's calamitous obtuseness on what our Iraq policy has meant to the future of this country's safety and effectiveness to engage and be a part of the solutions to world dangers. Candidate Clinton gets it. Whether she's your candidate or not, this is the type of speech Democrats need to be giving as we disengage from our Iraqi occupation and take up a new role in Iraq and the region.
There are more troops in Iraq today then ever before. The Iraqi government is more fractured and less effective. The right strategy before the surge and the right strategy now -- post-escalation -- is the same. Start bringing our troops home.
America needs a president with the strength and experience to end this war. I will be that president. Our brave men and women who wear the uniform of our country deserve nothing less. As a senator and as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I have had the privilege of meeting with many veterans in Iraq, here in Iowa and across America. They represent the very best of our country. When called on, they respond, serving with tremendous courage, dedication, and honor -- many of them from our national guard and reserves. And many of them not just once, but with multiple tours of duty.
Each mission they were given, they completed. They conducted a thorough search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq -- and found none. They removed Saddam Hussein from power -- and brought him to justice. They helped the citizens of Iraq organize elections -- and vote for new leaders. They gave the Iraqi government the space and time to act -- if they chose to do so. ... ..
IRAQ (speech from Iowa)
Exactly right. Our troops have given the Iraqi government every opportunity to step up. It is a choice they must make to die for a new Iraq. They didn't ask for Bush's preemptive move, which Clinton and many Democrats approved, but the Iraqis have been given a chance, though Bush's ineptitude and policy failures make it a moral obligation for the U.S. to continue to aid the Iraqis in some way, with Arab nations joining in to keep Iraq from becoming any more unstable than it already is.
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