Our second Persian Gulf war has been costly in lives, money, American credibility around the globe, and here at home where it has divided our people and distracted us from finishing the job of finding and bringing to justice those who perpetrated the attacks of 9/11. As a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I have followed the situation in Iraq extremely closely, and like you I am deeply concerned about the potential outcome of our involvement in Iraq. As you may know, I voted against the Congressional resolution authorizing President Bush to use force against Iraq, primarily because there was no evidence of an Iraq connection to 9/11, because there was no evidence that Saddam posed an immediate threat to us with WMD, and because I believed the President's new-found enthusiasm for a "preemptive war" doctrine was both unconstitutional and dangerous. Further, if we did not know clearly why we were going to war in Iraq, how would we ever know when it was time to bring our solders home?
Iraq is at a crossroads. It is clear to me that the best way we can help the new Iraqi government gain legitimacy in the eyes of the people is to announce an immediate, phased withdrawal of our forces so that all Iraqis will know that we're keeping our word and ending the occupation. As my colleague Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA), a 37-year Marine Corps veteran, has observed, our troops have done all we've asked of them. It's time for them to be redeployed out of Iraq. Moreover, reducing our military profile in Iraq will do more to erode support for the insurgency than virtually any other unilateral action that we can take during 2006. We also must continue to provide all necessary support for the fledgling Iraqi security forces to help ensure that the country is protected by a competent, apolitical security force that owes its allegiance to all Iraqis regardless of their ethnicity or religion. Below you will find some of my most recent statements on Iraq, as well as links to other sources of information on the subject.