Las Vegas Sun

April 23, 2019

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2008 Elections

Democrats on Iraq


Hillary Clinton
She voted to authorize the war in Iraq in 2002, but has continued to question the Bush Administration’s policies concerning America’s involvement in Iraq. She has never formally withdrawn her vote. Wants to end the war in Iraq and remove the majority of troops from the region, but says the U.S.’s national security interests in the region require a minimal amount of troops to stay in Iraq. She cites Iraq’s proximity to Iran, al Qaida, oil and the relationship we’ve forged with the Kurds as reasons that troops are still needed in Iraq. However she does not want to establish a permanent presence in Iraq; she is against the installation of bases as well … more | Other issues | Bio


Barack Obama
Opposed the war in Iraq as an Illinois State Senator in its inception in 2002. Called it an “undetermined” war that would keep America in Iraq for an unknown period of time and cost an unknown amount of money. Introduced legislation in Jan. 2007 to end the war in Iraq by the end of 2008. Plan to end the war calls for the immediate withdrawal of troops over a gradual period of time; removing one or two units per month. Supports leaving unspecified number of troops in the region to protect America’s national security interests and train the Iraqis … more | Other issues | Bio


Mike Gravel
Gravel played a key role in bringing the Pentagon Papers, which exposed decades of decision-making secrets regarding the Vietnam War, into the public eye. He takes a strong stance against the ongoing war in Iraq and calls it a repeating of the Vietnam War. According to Gravel’s plan, all U.S. troops would return home within 120 days in an immediate and orderly withdrawal. Gravel supports aggressive diplomacy by working with Iraq’s neighboring countries to promote peace and end the civil war … more | Other issues | Bio


John Edwards (dropped out)
This war needs to be brought to an end. Combat troops should be removed from inside Iraq because they have a target on their forehead and because it continues the perception that America is occupying Iraq. Instead, quick reactive troops should be stationed outside of Iraq, probably in Kuwait, that would be focused to move in on Al Qaida forces, not general terrorist activity. We should remove 40,000 to 50,000 combat troops from Iraq immediately and make a complete withdrawal in nine to 10 months. We should leave behind a brigade of 3,500 to 5,000 troops to protect the U.S. embassy and possibly a few hundred troops to protect humanitarian workers … more | Other issues | Bio


Dennis Kucinich (dropped out)
He is the only Democrat running for president who actually voted against the war in Iraq. Moving toward an end to the war in Iraq can only be fulfilled through “strength in peace.” He proposes an international call to peace keepers and negotiators to move into the region as troops leave the region. The U.S. troops cannot begin leaving until voting for funding them ends. A vote to fund the troops is essentially a vote to prolong the war … more | Other issues | Bio


Bill Richardson (dropped out)
All troops need to be withdrawn from Iraq by 2009 to begin a new political direction and end the violence. Richardson’s plan does not include leaving any residual troops behind on bases or for training purposes. Post withdrawal, Richardson proposes U.S. diplomacy to gather the three religious factions in Iraq for negotiations … more | Other issues | Bio


Joe Biden (dropped out)
He is in favor of political solution to Iraq as opposed to a military solution. He pledges to bring troops home during his administration if there is not a political solution in place. He proposes the decentralization of Iraq, which would give the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds their own states within the country. Successful execution of decentralization would allow troops to stay in Iraq and function like the troops America has kept in Bosnia … more | Other issues | Bio


Chris Dodd (dropped out)
In 2002, he voted to invade Iraq, but openly admits to having made a “mistake.” He emphasizes diplomacy over any other plan of action. It is time to hand over leadership of Iraq to the Iraqi people. America’s resources are not enough to continue military occupation. A year-long mission would successfully bring troops out of Iraq. Post Iraq-involvement includes initiating direct negotiation with the entire Middle East and holding a summit with the countries in the region … more | Other issues | Bio


— Las Vegas Sun new media managing editor Dave Toplikar and interns Jenna Kohler and April Corbin contributed to this report.

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