Iowa Congressman Jim Leach says he’d like to see the United States pull out of Iraq by this winter. Leach says if American troops stay longer, they will only cause instability in the region. He says if we can’t ever prove there were weapons of mass destruction, Leach says we should “hang our hat on democracy” and press for local elections as fast as possible — this winter if not earlier. Leach says the United States is a year behind schedule in Iraq. Leach, a republican from Iowa City, voted against going to war and he says the sooner we turn over full power to the Iraqi citizens the better. Leach says people in Washington were “misled by analogies to World War II,” because they knew that the US remained in Japan for five years, even longer in Germany, and instilled stability in those regions. But he says the situation in Iraq is not the same as the aftermath of the last world war. He says the world’s very different, and the Muslim world’s particularly different. Leach says the difference between intervention and occupation means our troops sent to keep order are becoming magnets for attack. Congressman Leach admits a democratically-elected Iraqi government will face problems once the United States pulls out. But he believes they will face those problems no matter how long US troops remain. Leach says he thinks the longer we stay, the less stability there’ll be. Leach says Sauda Arabia’s a situation where in the 1990s a large American troop presence became the center for political instability in the entire region. Leach made his comments to reporters after speaking at the Des Moines register’s soap box at the Iowa State Fair. He is running for re-election in Iowa’s First Congressional district after serving 27 years in the US House.
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