Richardson blasts Edwards, Hillary and Obama
In a much anticipated foreign policy speech at Georgetown University, Bill Richardson helped himself by taking a position that most Democratic activists agree with, and could vault him up a notch in Iowa and New Hampshire. More importantly, if he does become a top-tier candidate, his popular view on the war may force Obama, Hillary and Edwards to take a more dovish position. Richardson is the only major candidate in either party with a clear plan to get all troops out of Iraq.
Here is what I think was the best part of his
We must also remove the private mercenaries. As President, I will no longer privatize and outsource American security!By utilizing contractors who are not subject to the rules of war or theregulations of armed forces, George Bush has further underminedAmerica's reputation and global leadership.
And then he zeroed in on the other contenders:
After seven years of this Administration, we have come to expect thatGeorge Bush will make the wrong call on the important issues.
However, I expected more -- much more -- from my fellow Democrats in this race.
Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards have said we have towait and see how things go before we can know how many troops to bringout and how quickly. I say there has been enough waiting and seeing. Ifyou haven't seen enough to know that we need to get all the troops outthen you aren't watching the same war that I and the rest of Americaare seeing. I don't think just changing the mission is enough -- weneed to end the war.
Lastly, he exposed the fact that Clinton's Iraq plan would leave troops in Iraq for up to nine years:
Senator Clinton has reportedly said thatshe might well have troops still in Iraq at the end of a second term --9 years from now. Senator Obama and John Edwards are unwilling tocommit to removing all of the troops by the end of their first term --that's 5 years from now. I am opposed to 5 years or 9 years or any moreyears of our troops dying. My colleagues are wrong.
Military analysts have said that Senator Clinton's plan could require leaving up to 75,000 troops in Iraq.
That's changing the mission, not ending the war.
Maybe a question for Edwards, Obama and Hillary in the next debate should be how would leaving ANY combat troops in Iraq help our overall situation AT ALL? I want to listen to them try and defend that.
Obama is probably the closest to Richardson's position. However, for Obama, it's not enough to say, "I was against the war before it started." The past is history. What do you want to do now? How would keeping US combat troops in Iraq decrease terrorist recruitment throughout the world over the next generation? Answer it, please.
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