Duckworth to Roskam: Stop Ducking the Iraq Debate
Sixth District Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth today challenged her opponent, State Senator Peter Roskam, to "stop ducking the debate" on U.S. policy in Iraq.
"As I campaign across the district, the situation in Iraq is on the minds of many voters," Duckworth said. "Yet Peter Roskam has steadfastly avoided discussing the issue. His position on Iraq doesn't even appear on his campaign website."
"Roskam's campaign has been supported by the architects of U.S. policy in Iraq, including Vice President Dick Cheney, who came here to raise money for him," Duckworth said. "And he's taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign money from the leaders of this Congress, who have failed to provide the oversight that the American people deserve."
"I know that Peter Roskam would prefer this election to be limited to the purely local issues he's gotten used to addressing during his 13 years in the state legislature. But the Constitution requires Members of Congress to engage in national and international issues. And there's no issue more pressing today than our policy in Iraq."
Duckworth served in Iraq as a member of the Illinois National Guard. During her campaign for Congress, she has called for a much more aggressive plan than the Bush Administration has offered for training the Iraqi police and armed forces, and transferring to the Iraqis the responsibility for securing their own country.
Duckworth would begin with an immediate accounting by the Secretary of Defense of the readiness level and the training of the Iraqi forces, followed by aggressive benchmarks for progress and redeployment of U.S. troops linked to the stand up of Iraqi troops. She believes we should proceed by standing down a defined number of U.S. units for every Iraqi battalion that can be properly trained and certified as combat-ready.
A firsthand witness to the waste of our tax dollars in Iraq by big defense contractors like Halliburton, Duckworth has proposed a bipartisan task force to end the blank check for defense contractors by holding them accountable for waste, fraud and abuse - a task that the current Congress has failed to perform.
"The voters of this district deserve to know Peter Roskam's position on our policy in Iraq before they're asked to send him to Congress," Duckworth said. "I intend to press him on his views in the four debates scheduled between us, since we may not otherwise hear from him on this issue that he'd obviously prefer to duck."