The most important function of our government is to keep our nation safe. Everyone agrees we need to protect our homeland from both internal and external forces that are intent on doing us harm. Homeland security is critical to our national defense and we should do all we can to secure our ports, mass transit facilities, and other potential targets of terrorism and sabotage. Overseas, we need to engage in activities that limit the capabilities of those who would carry out attacks against Americans at home and abroad.
Unfortunately, the Bush approach to the world has not accomplished the most basic goal of securing America. After the terrible misadventure in Iraq, it is becoming clear to more and more Americans that America needs to rebuild its relations with the community of nations after years of go-it-alone and aggressive policies on the part of the Bush administration. Re-engaging the world community is the best way to protect Americans at home and abroad.
The situtation in Iraq: Nowhere has the failure of the Bush approach been more evident than in Iraq. This is a war that did not need to happen and one from which we should begin to disengage immediately. Our troops have successfully laid the groundwork for the Iraqis to construct a political system of their choosing. The costs of a continued U.S. presence will far outweigh any conceivable gains. Nor should the removal of American combat forces from Iraq be followed by any kind of permanent or semi-permanent base presence in that country or even a redeployment "on the horizon" as called for by Congressman Murtha. The continued presence of U.S. troops near Iraq would only bring more instability to the region and place U.S. troops at constant risk from enemies of America. Complete disengagement from Iraq in the next year will serve to enhance America's security. The current legislation before the Congress that comes closest to my position on Iraq is H.J. Res. 73, introduced by Congressman Murtha last November. I support his efforts to end America's involvement in Iraq as quickly and effectively as possible.
Finally, a thorough investigation of the circumstances leading up to the invasion needs to be conducted and therefore I support the Barbara Lee Resolution of Inquiry into the pre-war intelligence estimates and the information provided to the American public to justify the war. We must find out how this war was conceived and why it occurred so we will not repeat the mistaken invasion and occupation of Iraq in other countries. We know that an investigation will not happen so long as the Republican Party maintains its control of congress.