Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Fallon Challenges Boswell Stand On Iraq

Today, Ed Fallon questioned Congressman Leonard Boswell's stand on the Iraq War. "Congressman Boswell has been disingenuous of late in trying to portray himself as being against the Iraq War," said Fallon, who is challenging Boswell in the June 3rd primary. Fallon noted that the public record shows Boswell voted with a minority of House Democrats to authorize using military force in Iraq in 2002, and that he was still voting as recently as last May (H.R. 2237) against timetables for withdrawal and as late as June in support of funding that didn't contain timetables (H.R. 2764). Fallon challenged Boswell to a public debate on the issue, saying, "Congressman Boswell should either acknowledge that his consistent support of the war for five years was a mistake and apologize for it, or come out in the open and defend his record."

"Congressman Boswell has said that he 'voted five or six times' for withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, but he never gives references to those votes," Fallon said, citing an article in The Des Moines Register on March 8th. "I know of three votes on H.R. 1591 and one vote on H.R. 4156. I'd like to see to what votes he is referring."

Fallon also listed three questions he would ask General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker if he were already in Congress. Both the American commanding general for Iraq and the U.S. ambassador to Iraq are scheduled to testify before Congress today and tomorrow.

Noting that Gen. Petraeus himself recently acknowledged that there has been insufficient political progress in Iraq- the purported reason for the surge - Fallon said he would ask if the surge has been a strategic failure. In response to Army figures that 25% of soldiers on their third and fourth tours of duty are suffering serious mental health problems, Fallon said he would ask what is being done to address these issues to help our troops and veterans. Finally, given the fact that we are less safe today than when the war began, the human cost in American and Iraqi lives, and the estimated three trillion dollar price tag of this war that is crippling our economy, he asks how they justify the continued presence of American forces in Iraq.

"I've opposed the Iraq War since before it began," Fallon said, "but now we have to clean up the mess that the Bush Administration has made and redirect funding from the war to address problems here at home, beginning with our economy."

Pointing out that Gen. Petraeus himself said a year ago, "There is no military solution to a problem like Iraq," Fallon said he has endorsed A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq, an initiative supported by many congressional candidates, retired military officers (including a former commanding general in Iraq), and assistant secretaries of defense.

"I support this plan because it does more than simply end U.S. military action in Iraq," Fallon said. "It calls for the use of U.S. diplomatic power to restore stability to Iraq and the region, and it addresses humanitarian concerns. It restores our military and supports our veterans. And, to help prevent such a war in the future, it takes steps to restore our Constitution and independence to the media, and creates a new U.S.-centered energy policy."

1 comment:

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