Kucinich Warns Against Escalation

Mon Dec 18, 11:26 AM ET

To: National Desk

Contact: Andy Juniewicz, 216-409-8992, for the Office of Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich

CLEVELAND, Dec. 18 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich warned that today's news reports of a planned "surge" of up to 50,000 additional troops to Iraq, plus the extraordinary increase in proposed FY 2007 funding for the war, clearly points to a sharp U.S. escalation of the conflict.

Kucinich (D-OH) once again called on Congressional leaders to reverse course on planned approval for the next round of funding for the war in Iraq.

The New York Times //www.nytimes.com/2006/12/16/world/middleeast/16military.html?th&emc=th today reported that the Administration is considering a "surge proposal" that could send as many as 50,000 more troops to Iraq. Critics of the surge proposal told the Times that "the military benefits would be short-lived unless the higher troop levels were sustained."

Kucinich, who announced his candidacy on Tuesday, has consistently maintained that the $70 billion which Congress appropriated for the war just two months ago should be used to: bring the troops home now, fund a plan for international coalition forces to secure Iraq, and provide for reconciliation of the Iraqi people and reconstruction of their country, without privatization mandates.

"The new Democratic Congress must stop the President from escalating the war. We must not appropriate any new funding. Up to $160 billion for the war will be asked for in the spring. That would bring the total for the war for FY 2007 to $230 billion. This amount is almost double the $117 billion spent in all of FY 2006.

"The news reports that up to 50,000 more troops could be sent to Iraq, together with a request to double the funding for the war, clearly points to an escalation of the Iraq war at a time when it is widely stated by military and policy experts that the war cannot be won militarily.

"The Democratic Congress has a mandate from the people to stop the war, bring the troops home, and help Iraq take a new direction. We cannot do that if we appropriate more funds which set the stage for a sharp escalation of the war."

For further information:

Editable broadcast quality audio and video comment by Kucinich is available to download at //www.kucinich.us

Kucinich, a Democratic Congressman from Ohio and ranking Democrat on the Government Oversight Subcommittee of National Security, International Relations and Emerging Threats, organized 125 Democrats to vote against the war resolution in October of 2002. He has been the leading spokesperson for diplomacy as a means of creating conditions for Human Security.





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