Come January, Americans are going to have to start making a very important choice: do we want to end this war or keep it going? Do we want a President who will end this war or not?
At the DNC Dartmouth debate on Wednesday night, Clinton, Obama, and Edwards all refused to commit to getting our all of our troops out of Iraq by 2013.
John Edwards pointed out that there are major differences between the candidates on Iraq. He was absolutely right. But the major difference is not between him and Senator Clinton. It's between the other candidates and me.
They all change the mission and leave troops in Iraq. I end the war and get all the troops out.
Edwards and Obama have said that they will get the combat troops out of Iraq. But they would leave behind tens of thousands of other troops unprotected, in the middle of a civil war, indefinitely. It doesn't make any sense.
Clinton told her own military advisors that she expects to have troops in Iraq at the end of her second term in office, in 2017.
Congress can end this war, they have the power to end this war, but so far they aren't getting it done. If they won't do it, our next President has to -- not in 2017, or 2013, but in 2009.
I know the region -- I met with Saddam Hussein himself and negotiated the release of American hostages. I know that we cannot begin the hard work of diplomacy until all our troops are out. I know that there will not be a political reconciliation until all the troops are out.
And we all know that the war will not end until all the troops are out.
Clinton, Obama, and Edwards would leave tens of thousands of American troops in Iraq. I would leave zero.
It's a very simple difference -- so simple it seems to have eluded the mainstream media -- but it a fatally important difference. American lives hang in the balance.
So let's not confuse their rhetoric with resolve.
Edwards, Obama, and Clinton say they want to end the war, but they won't commit to getting our troops out in even five years from now. Are they serious? Five more years is longer than we've already been there under George Bush.
It really isn't complicated: we need to end this war. For the stability of the region, the safety of our troops, and the security of our nation, we need to end this war. I am the only major candidate who will get all of our troops out of Iraq, with no troops left behind.
I am the only candidate who will actually end the war.
You can read more about the differences between the candidates, read my plan, and see our video and ad on the issue of no residual troops at www.getourtroopsout.com
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