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Governor Thompson Again Wins on Iraq Question

Press Release

Location: Columbia, SC


Governor Tommy G. Thompson said that the Iraqi government must take ownership of its future and decide whether it truly wants U.S. support in building a prosperous, strong and safe nation.

In the second Republican presidential debate, Governor Thompson once again proved that he is the only candidate in either party who has a comprehensive plan on the most important issue facing America today - winning the war and winning the peace in Iraq.

"The Iraqi government must step up and take ownership of their country, and the United States must work with them to build a strong political and economic infrastructure," Governor Thompson said. "I am the only candidate with a plan, and it will work to win the long-term peace in Iraq."

Governor Thompson has a three-step program for Iraq:

First, the Iraqi government should vote on whether they want United States in their country. If they do, we have greater world standing to be there and it further legitimizes our efforts domestically. If not, the United States should leave. Iraq has a duly elected government and we should listen to its wishes.

Second, the United States should work with Iraqi leaders to form democratically elected governments in the nation's 18 self-governing provinces that would operate under a national government. This will give Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds their own pieces of Iraq - their own land and their own say in how it is run.

Third, the United States should encourage the Iraqi government to give every Iraqi a stake in the nation's rich oil reserves. Oil revenues should be divided in thirds among the national government, the provincial governments and individual Iraq citizens. This will create great incentive for all Iraqis to protect their oil reserves, while helping ensure that their federal and provincial governments govern fairly. And it will create wealth among all levels of society, inspiring entrepreneurship and economic growth - two major keys to bringing peace to Iraq.

"Taken together, these three steps will give the Iraqi government and its citizens an ownership stake in their newly free nation," Governor Thompson said. "With this ownership will come newfound hope and opportunity in a nation too long ruled and terrorized by dictators."

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