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Ending the Iraq War

Jeff Merkley opposed George Bush's Iraq policy from the beginning.

Gordon Smith blindly followed Bush's reckless agenda for war in Iraq. Smith strongly backed Bush's stubborn "surge" plan that's put even more soldiers in harm's way. Jeff Merkley—a former weapon's analyst for the Pentagon—knows the Bush-Smith policy just doesn't add up, and is fed up with their excuses for this foreign policy disaster.

Two days after the war began in 2003, Jeff Merkley gave a speech in the Oregon House which included strong doubts about the war:

Colleagues, I have not been and am not today persuaded that Iraq was a significant threat to the United States or that the war we fight today is the best strategy to fight terrorism or the wisest application of our superpower resources.

Jeff has laid out a five-point path for stability in the region that will redeploy American combat troops and engage the Iraqis in rebuilding their country. In order to secure the peace, Jeff knows Americans can’t be seen as an occupying force, so removing them from patrols and checkpoints should be job one. And Iraqis must feel they have a stake in their own future in order to move forward. Jeff’s five-point path includes:

• Removing all combat troops starting right away and completing the redeployment in six to 12 months
• Eliminating permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq
• Engaging Iraq’s neighbors in a diplomatic effort to secure the peace– particularly Turkey, Iran and Syria
• Removing all American contractors from the country and replacing them with Iraqi contractors, and
• Directing our attention toward stronger engagement with the Iraqi Parliament and Courts.

Jeff Merkley supports the Reid-Feingold Amendment, a responsible plan for redeploying troops from Iraq. The amendment reads:

(a) TRANSITION OF MISSION.—The President shall promptly transition the mission of the United States Armed Forces in Iraq to the limited and temporary purposes set forth in subsection (d).

(b) COMMENCEMENT OF SAFE, PHASED REDEPLOYMENT FROM IRAQ.—The President shall commence the safe, phased redeployment of members of the United States Armed Forces from Iraq who are not essential to the limited and temporary purposes set forth in subsection (d). Such redeployment shall begin not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall be carried out in a manner that protects the safety and security of United States troops.

(c) USE OF FUNDS.—No funds appropriated or otherwise made available under any provision of law may be obligated or expended to continue the deployment in Iraq of members of the United States Armed Forces after June 30, 2008.

(d) EXCEPTION FOR LIMITED AND TEMPORARY PURPOSES.—The prohibition under subsection (c) shall not apply to the obligation or expenditure of funds for the following limited and temporary purposes:

(1) To conduct targeted operations, limited in duration and scope, against members of al Qaeda and affiliated international terrorist organizations.

(2) To provide security for United States government personnel and infrastructure.

(3) To provide training to members of the Iraqi Security Forces who have not been involved in sectarian violence or in attacks upon the United States Armed Forces, provided that such training does not involve members of the United States Armed Forces taking part in combat operations or being embedded with Iraqi forces.

(4) To provide training, equipment or other materiel to members of the United States Armed Forces to ensure, maintain, or improve their safety and security.

America's standing in the world has been significantly eroded by the Bush administration's foreign policy. Jeff will bring the kind of oversight that Gordon Smith has been unwilling to offer, and help America restore its status as a respected world leader.

Posted November 13, 2007

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Paid for by Jeff Merkley for Oregon

© 2007. Jeff Merkley for Oregon. P.O. Box 29136, Portland, OR 97296. (503) 274-4439
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