More headlines: Bill Richardson on War & Peace

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Dayton-type accord & division of three Iraqi entities

Q: Sen. McCain says that if the US were to [exit Iraq as] youíre recommending, it could lead to disaster:
MCCAIN: I am convinced that if we fail and we have to withdraw, they will follow us home. It will be a base for Al Qaida.
Q: Iraq would then become, McCain says, the new Afghanistan, from which Al Qaida would start launching attacks against the US. What do you say to Sen. McCain?

A: Well, heís wrong, although I respect him deeply. What we now have in Iraq is a sectarian conflict. And only after we start withdrawing our troops can the real diplomatic efforts begin to bring a reconciliation conference of the three groups in Iraq, get some kind of Dayton-type accord, a division of three entities, sharing of oil revenue, a strong federal government, and then an all-Muslim peacekeeping force to keep security there with the Iraqi forces bringing Syria, bringing Iran in. What we need is diplomatic leadership coupled with a withdrawal. So I disagree with the senator.

Source: CNN Late Edition: 2007 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer Jun 10, 2007

De-authorize the war; withdraw during 2007

I was UN ambassador; 80 percent of my time was spent on the Iraq issue. I talked to the leaders there, and there is a fundamental difference between my position and the position of my good friends here. I believe that itís a civil war and there is sectarian conflict already. There is enormous turmoil. Seven Americans died today. I would have a resolution, under Article I, to de-authorize the war, to move forward with a timetable-the end of this calendar year-no residual forces.
Source: 2007 Dem. debate at Saint Anselm College Jun 3, 2007

Iraq policy is a massive failure; Iraq is in civil war

Right now, our current policy is a massive failure. What we have is a civil war. Sectarian violence. We have 30,000 surge of American troops at a time when we need these troops for instance, with graver threats like in Afghanistan, and what we have is a foreign policy that is has been so obsessed with Iraq that we have not focused on the real dangers affecting this country, like the threat of international terrorism, like global climate change, like the threat of nuclear proliferation, or a loose nuclear weapon. This is my plan for Iraq. It would be clear, it would be succinct, it would be strong, it would be almost immediate. I would withdraw within the next 8 months and I believe with this strong diplomacy, we give Iraq a chance to survive security-wise in the future and we protect our interests.
Source: Virtual Town Hall on Iraq, sponsored by Apr 10, 2007

Congress should de-fund and de-authorize the war

Q: Are you for or against stopping Iraq war funding and why?

A: Itís the constitutional right of Congress to start a war and to stop a war. We have a President that is not listening, that has threatened to veto very clear legislative language that basically says this war must end, and there should be benchmarks, and there should be withdrawal timetables. I am for a time table of withdrawal. I would be for a cut-off of appropriations. What I would do, however, is one step further: this Congress several years ago, the Republican Congress, authorized this war. I would pass a Congressional resolution, de-authorizing the war based on the War Powers Act. I served in Congress for 15 years. I believe this is the cleanest and quickest way to deal with this issue, otherwise weíre gonna be in endless debates, vetoes. I believe itís important we proceed with cutting off funds and ending this war, but de-authorizing this war based on the War Powers Act, I believe, is the most important step.

Source: Virtual Town Hall on Iraq, sponsored by Apr 10, 2007

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