Iraq Needs Political, Diplomatic Efforts, Not Military Build up

President Bushs decision to increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq by more than 20,000 ignores the will of the American people and perpetuates this administrations flawed policy, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said in a statement. (Dave Spector)
Statement by AFL-CIO President John Sweeney On the President’s Proposal to Expand American Troops in Iraq
January 11, 2007
No United States foreign policy can be sustained without the informed consent of the American people. Last November the American people spoke loudly and clearly that the President’s course in Iraq was flawed and that he should begin bringing our troops home rapidly.
Rather than heed the will of American citizens, or listen to military leaders speaking out against the current policy in Iraq, the President is choosing to make one last attempt to salvage his own legacy by putting in harm’s way more young American soldiers.
These soldiers – the men and women risking their lives in Iraq – come from America’s working families. They are our sons and daughters, our sisters and
brothers, our husbands and wives. They always answer when called to duty.
For that fundamental commitment to this nation, they deserve leaders who will call them only when the nation’s security is at risk and there is a clear plan for victory. This administration has failed and continues to fail that basic obligation.
As our generals on the ground in Iraq have said, there is no military solution to the civil strife that now wracks that country. Only a political solution – effected by the Iraqis themselves – can resolve what has become an internal struggle among Iraqis themselves.
What is needed in Iraq is an expansion of political and diplomatic efforts – not an increase in United States military performing police functions. Moreover, sustainable social and economic development and the guarantee of fundamental labor and trade union rights are absolutely essential. The President insists that we must succeed militarily in order to establish the conditions for a political settlement. In fact, the reverse is true. Unless there is first the political will to stop the violence, there can be no military solution involving American troops.
American policy in Iraq has been based on false premises and wishful thinking since the beginning. And we have tried to increase American troop presence in the most violent and dangerous areas of Iraq before without success.
We urge the Congress of the United States to perform its constitutional responsibilities and insist that the President, and his military leaders, clearly articulate the path for withdrawal of American troops from Iraq rapidly. The dedication and patriotism of those young men and women who answer the call to service deserve no less.