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LETTER TO PRESIDENT BUSH FROM 16 MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
January 12, 2005
The Honorable George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President,
We write to urge you to take immediate steps to begin the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.
Although the initial invasion of Iraq may have occurred with minimal troop deaths, the subsequent occupation of the country has been anything but successful. Already more than 1,300 American troops have lost their lives since the war began on March 19, 2003. At least 10,000 American troops have been injured as well, and it is impossible to know exactly how many thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians have been killed. Despite the enormity of the war’s casualties, the Iraqi insurgency continues to grow stronger with every passing day.
Iraq is no closer to becoming a stable democracy today than it was two years ago, as evidenced in recent weeks by the daily torrent of insurgent attacks on American forces and Iraqi civilian leaders. On January 4th, insurgents assassinated Ali Haidari, the governor of the Iraqi province that includes Baghdad. Just as devastating to the prospect of democracy, on December 30th, al-Jazeera satellite channel reported that all 700 electoral workers in Mosul quit their posts out of fear of being killed. Two weeks later, on January 10th, the entire 13-member electoral commission in the Anbar province, just west of Baghdad, resigned after being threatened by insurgents. If even Iraqi election officials fear for their lives, how can we possibly expect Iraqi citizens to feel safe going to the polls? How can we continue to put our own troops in harm’s way, the continued targets for Iraq’s thousands of malcontent insurgents?
It has become clear that the existence of more than 130,000 American troops stationed on Iraqi soil is infuriating to the Iraqi people - especially because Saddam Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction and did not have a connection to the tragic events of September 11th, 2001 or to the al Qaeda terrorist organization. Indeed, the very presence of Americans in Iraq is a rallying point for dissatisfied people in the Arab world. The events of the last two years have not only intensified the rage of the extremist Muslim terrorists, they have also ignited civil hostilities in Iraq that have made Americans and Iraqis substantially less safe. Therefore, by removing our troops from the country, we will remove the main focus of the insurgents’ rage.
Again, while it may be logistically difficult to immediately remove every American soldier, we urge you to take immediate action to begin the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. This is the only way to truly support our troops. Thank you for your consideration of this request.
Lynn Woolsey (CA-06) 202-225-5161
Danny Davis (IL-07) 202-225-5006
Lane Evans (IL-17) 202-225-5905
Sam Farr (CA-17) 202-225-2861
Raul Grijalva (AZ-07) 202-225-2435
Alcee Hastings (FL-23) 202-225-1313
Maurice Hinchey (NY-22) 202-225-6335
Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL-02) 202-225-0773
Dennis Kucinich (OH-10) 202-225-5871
Barbara Lee (CA-09) 202-225-2661
John Lewis (GA-05) 202-225-3801
Jim McDermott (WA-07) 202-225-3106
Grace Napolitano (CA-38) 202-225-5256
Major Owens (NY-11) 202-225-6231
Jose Serrano (NY-16) 202-225-4361
Pete Stark (CA-13) 202-225-5065