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Reply #28: I said that Kerry disagreed with Kennedy's suggestion to [View All]

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ladjf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-05 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #22
28. I said that Kerry disagreed with Kennedy's suggestion to
start withdrawing troops immediately.

"MR. RUSSERT: Specifically, do you agree with Senator Kennedy that 12,000 American troops should leave at once?


MR. RUSSERT: Do you believe there should be a specific timetable of withdrawal of American troops?



His subsequent remarks :

"MR. RUSSERT: What would you do?

SEN. KERRY: I understand exactly what Senator Kennedy is saying, and I agree with Senator Kennedy's perceptions of the problem and of how you deal with it. I would--in fact, last summer, if you'll recall, I said specifically that if we did the things that I laid out--the training, the international community, the services and reconstruction, and the elections and protection--we could draw down troops and begin to withdraw them. I think what Senator Kennedy is saying--and here I do agree with him--is that it is vital for the United States to make it clear that we are not there with long-term goals and intentions of our presence in the region. I agree with Senator Kennedy that we have become the target and part of the problem today, if not the problem. Now, obviously, you've got to provide security and stability in order to be able to turn this over to the Iraqis and to be able to withdraw our troops, so I wouldn't do a specific timetable, but I certainly agree with him in principle that the goal must be to withdraw American troops.

Now, I wouldn't be surprised if the new government, as soon as it's possible, begins to negotiate some modality like that. And I wouldn't be surprised if they even asked us to leave in some way over a period of time. I wouldn't be surprised if the administration privately, behind closed doors, asked them to ask us to leave. I think there are plenty of ways to skin this cat. But the most important thing is that you've got to have stability.

What Iraq is after this is important to the world. It cannot be a haven for terrorism. It cannot be a completely failed state. Now, you'll notice the administration has backed off significantly of its own high goals of full democratization and so forth, and I don't think you're going to hear them pushing that. There are a lot of conservatives, neo-cons and others in Washington debating now sort of what the modality of withdrawal ought to be."

were the same slippery rhetoric that he used throughout the campaign.

Did he or did he not say that he disagreed with Kennedy's plan?

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