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Bill Richardson on Iraq

On Thursday, Senators Hillary Clinton and Robert Byrd introduced a measure to de-authorize the Iraq war by repealing the authority the Congress gave the president back in 2002 (Clinton voted for that authority; Byrd did not).

On Tuesday, shortly after the president vetoed the most recent Iraq funding bill, Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM) issued a press release demanding Congress de-authorize the war. Richardson is one of the Democractic candidates for president, and has one of the boldest plans for getting the country out of Iraq. In fact, he wants all U.S. troops out of Iraq before the end of 2007. He does not try to sugarcoat the challenge, or pull any punches. From his A New Realism in Iraq policy statement:

There is no military solution to Iraq's political crisis. We need to end this fiasco now, and start down the hard path back to a safer future and a more realistic foreign policy ... We should harbor no illusions. This withdrawal will not be pretty. People will die. But fewer will die than if we stay. There are no guarantees that our departure will end the civil war. But it is sure to continue so long as we stay.

The whole statement is worth a read. He may not be a top-tier candidate, but Richardson knows what he's talking about. Before becoming governor of New Mexico, he was Ambassador to the U.N. and Secretary of Energy under President Clinton, and a Congressman before that.

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