Skip to comments.Kennedy: Pull out troops (and Social Security won't work BARF alert)
Posted on 02/07/2005 3:08:03 PM PST by LurkedLongEnough
Denouncing the president's policy on Iraq, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) lambasted George W. Bush during a speech Friday at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, condemning his reaffirmation of the war effort without clearly proposing an exit strategy during his State of the Union address.
Kennedy urged the Bush administration to develop an exit strategy, saying that the war is not winnable without one.
The 42-year Senate veteran, who has often butted heads with the president, called the Iraq war "a battle we are not winning."
"In the name of a misguided cause, we continued the war too long," Kennedy said. "We have reached the point where a prolonged American military presence in Iraq is no longer productive for either Iraq or the United States. The overwhelming and seemingly endless nature of the U.S. military presence has become part of the problem, not part of the solution."
The Boston Globe reported Friday that 1,439 American soldiers have died in Iraq since March 2003.
Bush said Wednesday that setting an "artificial timetable" for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq would only encourage the insurgency.
"We are in Iraq to achieve a result: a country that is democratic, representative of all its people, at peace with its neighbors and able to defend itself," Bush said. "And when that result is achieved, our men and women serving in Iraq will return home with the honor they have earned."
"America's goal - not a hard and fast timetable, but a realistic goal - should be to complete our military drawdown as early as possible in 2006," Kennedy said, adding that 12,000 U.S. troops should leave Iraq immediately.
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz announced Thursday that the Pentagon is planning to bring home about 15,000 U.S. troops from Iraq next month, lowering the total number to 135,000.
Kennedy compared the situation in Iraq to the Vietnam War.
"We lost our national bearings in Vietnam. We ignored the truth. We failed our ideals," he said. "We cannot allow that history to repeat itself in Iraq."
Kennedy said American troops' most important job is to train Iraqi troops to fight for themselves, but offered no specific plan for U.S. withdrawal.
"Our army has great expertise in training programs," Kennedy said. "If America can train the best military in the world in 13 weeks, why can't we train the Iraqis in eight or 12 or 15 months to fight and die for their country?"
Bush and Republican senators have stressed that America must not abandon the Iraqi people before democracy and stability have been established, but Kennedy blamed Bush for assuming the Iraq war would be a "cakewalk," saying the administration was unprepared for the Sunni insurgents who are now wreaking fear and violence across the nation.
The senator also criticized Bush for straying from the war on terror against Osama bin Laden, calling the al-Qaida terrorist "our greatest enemy in the world."
Kennedy hailed Sunday's elections in Iraq, the first in the country's history, as a success, but said the election does not serve as "a mandate for the administration's current policy."
"To enhance its legitimacy in the eyes of the Iraqi people, the new Iraqi government should begin to disengage politically from America, and we from them. We need to let the Iraqi people make their own decisions, reach their own consensus and govern their own country."
Kennedy warned that Iraqis and people all over the world are losing respect for America because of the United States' inability "to provide security and other basic services" to the Iraqi people.
He briefly discussed the future of Social Security, calling Bush's recent proposal to partially privatize the system a plan "that doesn't do anything about the problem."
In his State of the Union address, Bush said creating private accounts for working Americans younger than 55 would give people more control over their money, would not raise taxes and is the best way to stop Social Security from spiraling into bankruptcy.
But Kennedy is unconvinced.
"We have a long-term problem, but this administration doesn't have a solution. The losers are going to be the people who invest."
Privatizing Social Security will do nothing to reduce the deficit, he added.
I especially like the quote "The losers are going to be the people who invest." That tells you who's side Kennedy is on. Not the losers! No plan like that for him! He already has his OWN plan!
"The 42-year Senate veteran..."
The sure sign of an alcoholic, bloated, murderous liberal-demokkkRAT loser. Too bad he's an American; he could feed a medium-sized African village for 2 or 3 days.
Makes you wish Lee Harvey Oswald had a brother doesn't it?
I think when his old rum running daddy died he was given secret information of warehouses locations of booze and he is still 'tipping' out of them.
Soon Bloat Face will be giving speeches to the children at the local day care center. No one wants to listen Swimmer.
Havanudder tink, Ded.
I *love* the concept of announcing a strategy to your opponent.
Poker?? "HEY, I am BLUFFING!!!"
Chess?? "I'm gonna move this pawn so that in 4 moves, I can take your queen"
War?? "We are going to start pulling our troops out of the North and redeploy unexperienced troops on the 14th"
What absolute lunacy!
NBC's "Meet the Press" should be renamed "Meet a liberal"
Who cares what Oldsmobile Kennedy has to say about Iraq. Hey Ted, how is Mary? Oh wait, you killed her drunk driving then b/c of your name you got away with it. You should shut the hell up and go back under the rock you crawled out of.
Teddy, go jump in a river. Oh, wait. You already did...
You've heard of pre-9/11 or "September 10th" mentality? Well, Teddy the K is stuck in "pre-2004 World Series mentality" and is bent on snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory like the Red Sox of old.
Be glad he lost the Dem nomination in 1980; would have been worse than Carter. Once again, this past year, we were saved from a Kerry presidency. They're finished. God loves us. And there are more smart Americans than dumb Americans.
Kennedy: We'll win if we pull out. Genius. Ted, why don't you go back to doing something you do well, like hanging out in bars?
Carnac the Magnificent time...
Answer: Birdie, Benji, Paris Hilton, Ted Kennedy.
And the question is: Name a putt, a mutt, a slut, and a nut.
Answer: Big Ben, Tom Brady, John Kerry.
And the question is: Name a clock, a jock, and a crock.
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>Be glad [Kennedy] lost the Dem nomination in 1980; would have been worse than Carter<
Had Kennedy won the nomination in 1980, it would have been Reagan vs. Kennedy. And I'm not seeing how Kennedy would have run better than Carter against Reagan.
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