Sunday, December 17, 2006

Bill Richardson Disagrees with John McCain

The idea of John McCain as a reasonable, straight-talking maverick is over and has been for over two years. Only the illusion remains. Former Clinton official and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson calls for some reality in Washington; here's the story from The Hotline (via Firedoglake):
Here's what Richardson says:
“The leading advocate for escalating the war is Senator John McCain. I have served with John in Congress and I respect him. But John McCain is wrong, dead wrong to think that we can solve Iraq’s political crisis through military escalation.”

“There are no quick or easy answers to the crisis in Iraq. Our choices are between bad options and worse ones. Some prefer military escalation. Some choose staying the course. These options are illusions. The only realistic choice we have is to stand down militarily and let the Iraqis stand up and face the political crisis which only they can resolve.”

“I’ve been to Iraq and Afghanistan. I worked in this region...we should harbor no illusions. This withdrawal will not be pretty. People will die. But fewer will die than if we stay. There are no guarantees that our departure will end the civil war, but it is sure to continue so long as we stay. The Iraqis might, or might not, resolve their political crisis. It is up to them. They distrust and fear one another, and this makes it very tough. But they share one goal – they don’t want to destroy their own country. To save it, they need to stop killing each other and start compromising. And we need to get out of the way.”

When the time comes to withdraw, we will still have a military presence in the vicinity to keep Iraq's neighbors at bay. But it's time for Bush to give up his empire project and to restore a functioning foreign policy. Restoring a functioning federal government and a functioning foreign policy is the number one priority for our country, not saving Bush's failed schemes in Iraq. The roughly 25% of Americans who still support Bush's foreign policy are becoming increasingly irrelevant.

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