"History will remember this war in Iraq as a colossal blunder. When we leave Iraq - as I hope we will, starting immediately - no one will wish that we'd stayed a little longer. No one will look back and think the current course could have ever been successful."
-Rush Holt, June 15, 2006
Rush Holt voted against the resolution that authorized President Bush to go to war with Iraq because the evidence did not support it. Since then, Rush Holt has consistently opposed this poorly-planned and misguided war of choice, which has cost the country in lives (more than 2,800 soldiers), dollars (hundreds of billions so far), and international prestige.
American troops have done everything they have been asked and their service has been heroic, but now they are in the middle of a civil war. Regardless of how well they are performing, our presence in Iraq is making neither Iraqis nor Americans any safer. Our own intelligence agencies confirm that the war in Iraq has become a "cause celebre" for terrorists around the world.
It is time for a more sensible course of action in Iraq, which includes bringing our troops home. On September 30, 2005, Rush Holt wrote an open letter to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arguing that the US redeployment from Iraq should begin immediately.
Securing Iraq and building a democratic government is something that only the Iraqis can do. Rush Holt was the first Representative from New Jersey to cosponsor the Murtha redeployment plan, which would withdraw United States forces from Iraq at the earliest practicable date. It would also place a quick-reaction force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S. Marines in the region. Rush Holt is also a cosponsor of House Concurrent Resolution 197, which declares that the United States will build no permanent bases in Iraq, a vital assurance to the Iraqi people that the United States has no intention to occupy the country permanently.
The war in Iraq is also detracting to accomplish other priorities that require international cooperation, including fighting terrorism, responding to crises in other countries, and combating global climate change and the impoverishment of our oceans. In order to stop losing American lives, make Americans and Iraqis more secure, and improve our ability to accomplish other objectives, we need a new direction in Iraq.