Saturday, September 22, 2007

Time For Change! Time For Action!

I'm tired of hearing that the Democrats only want defeat in Iraq or that the Democrats have no plan. It has become clear that the President is the one who has given up. He doesn't want the failure to come on his watch so his plan is to stall and turn the mess over to someone else. There is hope for Iraq, but the new ideas are not going to come from this administration.

Senator Joe Biden has been talking about his Plan For Iraq for over a year. He has, with Senator Brownback and Senator Boxer, sponsored a bill to implement this plan. Please read his letter below and sign the petition. The vote on this measure is coming up next Tuesday and we need to put pressure on members of the House and Senate to get behind this approach.

The following is a letter from Senator Joe Biden sent to supporters.

As it becomes clear that President Bush plans to pass the Iraq war off to our next President, the debate over our policy there has reached a fevered pitch in Washington, DC and around the country.

Surge, Don't Surge, Timetables, Funding, Militias, Iran, Al Quaeda -- with all the lingo and spin being thrown around by everyone, it's easy to lose track of the most important factor that will determine what happens in Iraq.

That's the need for a political settlement in Iraq among Iraqis. Every Democrat and most Republicans agree there is no purely military way to stabilize Iraq -- there has to be a political settlement. That begs the question: what is that political settlement?

When you boil it all down, there are really only two choices in Iraq:

1. Continue to support, as President Bush has done, the idea that a strong central government will emerge in Iraq that will pull the country together, or

2. Realize that there is too much hatred and distrust for the various groups to reach consensus on the big issues, and begin to establish a federal system -- where each region of Iraq is given a great deal of control over its laws and government.
President Bush, and many Democrats continue to cling to choice #1, hoping against hope that if we just keep enough troops in Iraq long enough, or threaten to leave one more time, we can build or force unity where none exists.

Five years into this war, what's left for us to say to the Iraqi government? "We really, really, REALLY mean it this time."

It's time to abandon this strategy. It's not working.

I have called for a loose, federal system with strong regional governments for more than a year now, as Iraq's constitution provides. It would give Iraq's people local control over their daily lives -- the police, education, jobs, government services, etc. And people from both sides of the political aisle are joining me to try to make this a reality.

Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and I introduced the Biden-Brownback-Boxer amendment, which calls for working with the Iraqis to transition the country into a federal system, as their Constitution allows and securing the support of the United Nations and Iraq's neighbors for this plan.

Majority Leader Harry Reid has called on Dems to unite in support for the measure and Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Chuck Shumer (D-NY), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Blanche Lambert Lincoln (D-AR) and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) have joined us as co-sponsors. In an important display of bipartisanship, Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA), Gordon Smith (R-OR), and Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) are also supporting the amendment.


There are 3 things you can do today to help us reach the only viable political solution in Iraq and begin to bring our troops home without leaving a bloodbath behind.

1. Click here to sign our petition in support of the Biden-Brownback-Boxer amendment. We will send your signatures to other members of the House and Senate to convince them to support the amendment.

2. Call the presidential candidates in the Senate, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Chris Dodd to urge them to vote against the failed Bush administration's policy of propping up a central government by supporting our Biden-Brownback-Boxer amendment.

Hillary Clinton: (202) 224-4451
Barack Obama: (202) 224-2854
Chris Dodd: (202) 224-2823

3. Call the other presidential candidates, Bill Richardson and John Edwards, and tell them to support a federal system in Iraq by supporting the Senators behind the Biden-Brownback-Boxer amendment.

Bill Richardson: (505) 828-2455
John Edwards: (919) 636-3131

As I said earlier, the choice is pretty stark: you either think the central government in Iraq can get the job done or you don't. It's time for our nation's leaders, especially the ones campaigning to be President, to take a stand.

I know where I stand.

Join me to convince others that this is the best way to end the war and avoid a total catastrophe when we leave. Your action today will help shape this debate. Please act and forward this message to others who care about what's going on in Iraq.

Thank you,

Joe Biden

09/25/2007 Update. It looks like the vote won't happen today which means there is still time to call and ask the candidates and your Senators to support the resolution.

09/26/2007 Update. The bill passed the Senate today 75-23. Maybe we can change the course in Iraq before January, 2009. Thank you, Joe Biden!

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