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Edwards criticizes Iraq war as political race begins, condemns "surge" (Washington Post)

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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 03:44 PM
Original message
Edwards criticizes Iraq war as political race begins, condemns "surge" (Washington Post)
Edited on Fri Dec-29-06 03:50 PM by JohnLocke
Edwards criticizes Iraq war as political race begins
By Dan Balz--Washington Post
Friday, December 29, 2006

----
NEW ORLEANS--Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards opened his second campaign for the White House from this flood-ravaged city Thursday with a call for the United States to reduce its troop presence in Iraq and a plea for citizen action to combat poverty, global warming and U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
Edwards, 53, was sharply critical of the administration for its conduct of the war in Iraq, even as he again recanted his own vote authorizing President Bush to take the country to war, which he called a mistake.
"The biggest responsibility of the next president of the United States is to re-establish America's leadership role in the world, starting with Iraq," Edwards told reporters during an early-morning announcement. "We need to make it clear that we intend to leave Iraq and turn over the responsibility of Iraq to the Iraqi people."
Edwards said he favors withdrawing 40,000 to 50,000 troops from Iraq as a signal to Iraqis that the United States intends to turn over responsibility for the conflict to the government there. Wading into the current debate in Washington about Iraq, he forcefully rejected proposals to send more troops to help quell the bloody sectarian violence there.
"I want to be absolutely clear about this," he said. "It is a mistake for America to escalate its role in Iraq. It is a mistake to surge troops into Iraq. It sends exactly the wrong signal to the Iraqis and the rest of the world about what our intentions are there."
Edwards also said he favored rolling back some of the tax cuts given to the wealthiest Americans by the Bush administration and proposed a windfall profits tax on the oil industry, saying additional money will be needed to pay for vital domestic needs.
(...)
----
Read the rest here.
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. Guess he should not have voted for the war.
:-(
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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I think what he said in his announcement speech was compelling
"My vote -- for those of you who can't hear, he asked if I wish I could take back my vote on the war. My vote was a mistake and I should never have voted for this war. I now know that. I came to that conclusion some time ago. I didn't do it for the first time here today.
"I do think it's important to note, for anybody who voted for the war, that we didn't conduct the war. Bush, Cheney, those people -- Rumsfeld, they conducted the war. And they've been an absolute disaster in the conducting of the war.
"But none of that changes or affects my responsibility. I'm responsible for what I did.
"And I believe that my vote was a mistake. I also feel a responsibility now to tell the truth about the circumstances we're in, which are very, very difficult.
"I think America -- my own view is I think America can accept that we can't guarantee what the results are going to be in Iraq, no matter what path we take. And I think we should be honest with people about that."

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Sparkly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. "Bush, Cheney, those people -- Rumsfeld, they conducted the war."
Of course, he knew when he supported the IWR that they'd be conducting the war.

My question is: Has he spoken about what, specifically, he believes the mistakes were in the ways they "conducted" the war?
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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Sure.
Edwards has spoken with regularity about the Bush administration's bungling of the war. You can read Edwards' November 3, 2003 speech from the Senate floor on his vote against the $87 billion for Iraq:

We must launch a serious diplomatic effort to get more international troops and resources to Iraq -- an effort that will not only reduce the burden on our troops and American taxpayers but also transform the reconstruction into a genuine international mission. America's military presence in Iraq cannot be indefinite. As I have long argued, we should begin discussions immediately to get organizations like NATO more involved, as they are today in Afghanistan. We also need to accelerate the creation of Iraq's own security forces. Clearly, this Administration failed our troops by impulsively disbanding the Iraqi Army, a move that not only left many Iraqis angry and unemployed, but took away a pool of Iraqis ready to help take control of their own security.

(You gotta read the whole thing; it could be fairly called almost prophetic)

You can also see Edwards' May 2, 2004 CNN appearance for a long series of examples:

EDWARDS: "Well, one thing that, you know, the president was looking for something in his press conference that he may have made a mistake about. I've got a long list of things, by the way. If he needs that information, I would be glad to give it to him. And one of those things may have been to disband the army."

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Inspired Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. He feels the same way.
However....he is NOT responsible for the way the war has been fought.
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The Count Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
6. recanted his vote? How about sponsoring the IWR? Also recanted?
Edited on Fri Dec-29-06 05:28 PM by The Count
Is that something he also regrets, or is it too unpleasant to bring up...
Criticising 'the way they conducted the war" implies there could be a good way of waging it. Is that it John? Your way would have been better?
And will the dead be comforted by your recanting?
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Ninja Jordan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. John Edwards: "I was wrong...[i]t was a mistake to vote for this war."
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The Count Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #8
19. Thousands died? Oopsie! Now that I said it, vote for me! Next war I start will be
with a different country than Iraq, promise!
Is this like W said "if the government is responsible for NOLA, than I am responsible too?" And since when responsibility doesn't have consequences? How is it acceptable to say:
"I was wrong to help start that war and can say it now. Now, vote for me!"
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Pyrzqxgl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. Hey! Come off it man, the guy is saying he was wrong.
What more do you want? We need everyone who was wrong about supporting this war (or any war) to admit they were wrong. This should be a cause for celebration not condemnation. Don't, just because you were right in the first place, get so self-righteous. John Edwards is in a good place on that issue. Be happy that he's there.
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The Count Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. PEOPLE DIED! I DON'T WANT THEIR MURDERERS TO RUN FOR OFFICE.
At least until THIS war is over. Is that so much to ask?
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Tom Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 05:34 PM
Response to Original message
7. "Reduce"? What happened to completely eliminate US presence in Iraq?
He wants some to stay?
Last troops should be out by Easter, and anyone, especially someone so unwise to grant W. Bush authority to attack Iraq, should be able to do better than this.
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renie408 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. He's not David Copperfield.
He can't just make them disappear out of there overnight. He said that he thinks a permanent US presence in Iraq is a mistake.

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Tom Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. It was not Copperfield that finally ended US involvement in Vietnam,
nor was it President Ford, it is when the US congress finally refused to fund the continual bombardment and support for the conflict.

Support Rep James McGovern's bill to end the funding for this illegal war.
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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 05:35 PM
Response to Original message
9. Say it loud, John. No more fodder for this pointless war.
Edited on Fri Dec-29-06 05:44 PM by AtomicKitten
:)
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hijinx87 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 05:38 PM
Response to Original message
10. I quite honestly thought edwards was an empty suit . . . .

and I dismissed him as a viable candidate right up
until he kicked into high gear this week.

while it has only been a few days, he has me rethinking
my opinion of him.

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DemDogs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Great -- he has been doing great work for a while
but he hasn't been in the headlines. Working the trenches.
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hijinx87 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 05:47 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. clearly.

I knew he had been setting the groundwork for 2008, but
he is clearly a much more confident and polished candidate
that he was in 2004.

not that it matters much in the grand scheme of things, but I,
at least, am terrifically impressed.

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seashorelady Donating Member (170 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #12
22. Now we just have to get you inspired
Keeping an open mind is all that we can ask of potential supporters. I had the pleasue of seeing Edwards at a rally, I trust him.
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seashorelady Donating Member (170 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Pleasure that is, sorry
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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 08:05 PM
Response to Original message
14. I wonder how he came up with the figure of withdrawing 40,000 to 50,000 right away.
I am in agreement with Edwards that a troop surge will not solve the problem, which is political. Still, I wonder how he came up with those numbers. Has he said anything about his reasoning behind these particular numbers?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
The Count Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #16
20. Like...Sheldon?
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Adelante Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #16
21. Maybe you should
Get your head out of your own ass.
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