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Kucinich: The War in Iraq is Binding; This Resolution Is Not

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"As we debate this nonbinding resolution on Iraq, the Administration is preparing for the next war, in Iran. We are losing our democracy to war, massive debt, fear and fraud. The American people need Congress to surge toward the Constitution, surge toward the truth.

"Some call this resolution a first step. I would like to believe that Congress will respond to the will of the American people expressed in the November election. They expect us to take real action, to assert our constitutional power, to take America out of Iraq by refusing to provide any more funding for the war. That is our right. That is our duty. We have a duty to restrain an Administration which is conducting an illegal war. We have a duty to hold to a constitutional accounting a President and a Vice President who led us into a war based on lies.

"I led the effort against the Iraq War resolution. With unanimous consent I ask to put into the record an analysis of the President's war resolution which was given to members of Congress back in October of 2002. It pointed out that there was no proof that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, anything to do with 9/11, anything to do with Al-Qaeda's role in 9/11. It is not as if Congress had no idea the war was based on untruths.

"Now we must tell the truth, not just about escalation, but about the occupation: We are illegally occupying Iraq. We attacked a nation which did not attack us. We must recognize the wrong that has been done and move to right it.

"Instead of debating the end of the war, Congress is ironically preparing to give the war a new beginning. Some have made it clear long before this particular resolution that they will continue to vote to fund the war by approving the upcoming supplemental appropriation, even though money exists to bring the troops home now.

"When we equate funding the war with supporting the troops we are dooming thousands of young Americans who are valiantly following the orders of their Commander in Chief. If we truly cared about the troops, we would not leave them in the middle of a civil war. If we truly cared about the troops, we would not leave them in a conflict for which there is no military solution.

"The war is binding. The resolution is not. This resolution will not end the war. It will not bring our beloved troops home. It will not even stop the Administration from sending more troops. That is because this resolution is non binding.

"The war is binding. The resolution is not. 3,100 U.S. troops are bound in death. 650,000 innocent Iraqi civilians are bound in death.

"The war is binding the resolution is not. American taxpayers are bound in debt. The war could cost $2 trillion. We are borrowing money from Beijing to fight a war in Baghdad. Worse, each and every time Congress votes to fund the war, it votes to reauthorize the war. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but there are weapons of mass destruction here at home: Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction, lack of education is a weapon of mass destruction. Poor health care is a weapon of mass destruction. We must find and disarm those weapons of mass destruction which threaten the security of our own nation. But first Congress must take responsibility.

"The Federal Court has made it abundantly clear that once a war is well underway, Congress' real power is to cut off funds. Funding the war is approval of the war.

"The American people are waiting for us to provide real leadership to show the way out of Iraq. My 12-point plan responds to that demand. This plan, drafted with the help of experts in international peace-keeping. Specialists with UN experience and veteran military advisers, creates a peace process which will enable our troops to come home and stabilize Iraq.

The Kucinich Plan to End the War in Iraq includes the following:

1. Congress must deny more funds for the war.
2. The President will have to call the troops home, close the bases, and end the occupation.
3. Initiate a parallel peace process which brings in international peace keepers.
4. Move in the international peace keeping and security force and move out U.S. troops. Peacekeepers will stay until the Iraqis are able to handle their own security.
5. Order U.S. contractors out of Iraq.
6. Fund an honest process of reconstruction.
7. Protect the economic position of the Iraqi people by stabilizing prices in Iraq, including those for food and energy.
8. Create a process which gives the Iraqi people control over their economic destiny without the structural adjustment policies of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
9. Give the Iraqi people full control over their oil assets, with no mandatory privatization.
10. Fund a process of reconciliation between the Shias, Sunnis and Kurds.
11. The U.S. must refrain from any covert operation in Iraq.
12. The U.S. must begin a process of truth and reconciliation between our nation and the people of Iraq.
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Dennis Kucinich is former US Congressman and two-time presidential candidate from Ohio who served 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Visit his website at  KucinichAction

Follow him on Twitter at @Dennis_Kucinich
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