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October 01, 2007

Reno: Elizabeth Edwards clarifies her husband's position on Iraq

September 30 --   At a town hall at the Carpenter’s Union in Reno, local peace activist and Peace Action West volunteer Lisa Stiller asked Elizabeth Edwards to clarify her husband’s comments in debate in New Hampshire on September 26.  Edwards dismayed many peace voters when he said he could not guarantee that all the troops would be out of Iraq by the end of his term in 2013.  (See the MSNBC website,  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21013767/)

Remove all troops... within nine to ten months

P1010429     Elizabeth Edwards said that her husband's current plan to get of Iraq is to remove about 40-50,000 troops immediately,  “National Guard and reservists who shouldn’t be there in the first place.”   She said that her husband would then work with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to remove the rest of the troops within nine to ten months.

Except for one brigade to protect the embassy

    She said he would leave one brigade there to protect the embassy – about 3500 troops.   She said that this force was needed to protect the embassy staff. “The only way you can get all the troops out of there is to not have an embassy,” she said.

    She also said that there could also be some humanitarian efforts by American charitable institutions that would require protection.   In contrast, she said that Senator Clinton’s plan would leave some troops in Iraq with a combat mission.

Blackwater mercenaries need to go

P1010427    Another community member asked about the Blackwater mercenaries.   “The mercenaries paid for by the American government need to come home”  Elizabeth Edwards said to wild applause.  “Right now they are supposedly protecting the embassy staff,”  she continued, "but there is no reason that we should not have American troops” doing that job. 

“There should be no reason to have American forces there that are not governed by the rules of engagement,” she stated.

Reconstruction... hire Iraqis, don't import workers from Asia

She also talked about Bechtel and the reconstruction efforts in Iraq.   She said that we have been employing Asians for those jobs, and that we have not been employing Iraqis.  “The unemployment rate is 70 percent – and then we wonder why there is unrest."



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Lois Roberts

I like Elizabeth's positions on Iraq, unfortunately she is not the candidate.

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