My Alternative to the President's Misguided Iraq Plan

On Wednesday night, the President announced his plan to send an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq. He stated that the new Iraqi government needs to meet political benchmarks; he said he made mistakes in the past by not sending more troops in sooner. The President is going against the wishes of a majority of the American public.

But what the President did not make clear is that the vast majority of the new troops will be engaged in a civil war, not fighting al-Qaeda. President Bush is not stating that he is setting the stage for a wider war in the region when he put the blame for the Iraq war on Iran.

The President is adding an aircraft carrier to the shores off the coast of Iran. He has promised to give Patriot missiles to ‘our friends and allies.’ Neither of these moves pertains to threats from the Iraqi insurgency.

Congress must deny more funding for the war by opposing another supplemental appropriation. I have taken this position one step further by stating that the United States needs to take steps to end the occupation, close U.S. bases in Iraq and bring our troops home.

On January 10, I introduced a Sense of Congress resolution in the House of Representatives, urging the President not to order an escalation in the total number of troops serving in Iraq. So far, the resolution already has 26 cosponsors in the House.

I have distributed a 12-point plan to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq and bring our troops home. I am the only Member of Congress who is offering a viable alternative to the President’s troop surge.

I have engaged more than 100 Members of Congress in discussion on the 12-point plan and I am hopeful my work will convince members to rally around a new process for peace.