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Kerry: The President Needs to Address How He's Going to Fix the Instability in Iraq

Location: Boston, MA

Will Bush Lay Out A Detailed Strategy for Iraq Tonight?

April 13, 2004

For Immediate Release
Boston, MA -

This morning in Providence, RI, Democratic Candidate for President John Kerry gave a brief statement on the Bush Administration's failed policies in Iraq. Kerry has laid out a clear strategy to move beyond the Bush Administration's failed policies and create the conditions where democracy can take hold in Iraq by making the United Nations a full partner and getting greater international military support to take the target off the backs of our troops.

Kerry made the following statement:

"Tonight the President will address the nation about the instability in Iraq. It's been almost a year since the President declared 'mission accomplished,' - but after the last several weeks it's even clearer that the mission is not accomplished in Iraq. The President needs to address how he's going to fix this.

"As we stand here today, America is carrying virtually the entire burden of Iraq nearly alone. That has to change. I've laid out a specific approach today to stabilize the region and internationalize the effort. Key to this is diplomacy and real negotiations. The UN needs to become a full partner on the political side in Iraq, even as America maintains control of the military operations. The American taxpayer and American soldiers should not be carrying the burden of Iraq alone. The rest of the world has a stake in a stable Iraq, and its time that we brought them in. We can't afford to stubbornly cling to a failed policy when a new one is needed. He needs to understand that working with allies around the world is not a sign of weakness; friends are a sign of strength. It's time that America began to share the burden for the safety of our troops, for their families and all Americans who support them, and out of fairness to our taxpayers.

"We have to reverse the current security collapse in Iraq.

"It will require US forces (Abazaid) has asked for more) in the short-term.

"But it also requires diplomacy and negotiations, which is what Lakhdar Brahimi of the UN is doing.

"To support this short-term effort we need to go to the UN and make them a full partner on the political side, while we run the military side.

"And we need to go friends and allies and NATO for additional military contributions to share the burden over time."

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