During a speech tonight in Des Moines, Democratic presidential candidate Christopher Dodd lambasted the way President Bush has conducted foreign policy and challenged his competitors to back a plan that would cut-off funding for the troops in Iraq on March 31st of next year.
"What is clear is that the six years of the Bush Administration have made America…far less secure, not more secure — our place in the world less certain than ever before," Dodd said.
Dodd called the troop surge in Iraq "very, very wrong" and Dodd laid blame not only on President Bush, but on fellow Senator John McCain, a Republican candidate for president who’s backing the president’s latest plan for Iraq. "We don’t need a surge of troops in Iraq. We need a surge of diplomacy," Dodd said. "Every knowledgeable person who has examined the Iraqi situation for the last several years has drawn the very same conclusion."
Dodd backs a plan that would immediately get U.S. troops out of Iraq’s urban centers, reassigning some of the troops to patrol the borders of Iraq and deploying others to Afghanistan. "It is time to bring an end to a war that at every turn has failed to make America an even safer place," Dodd said. "…The moment has arrived for leadership that stands up and announces without equivocation that prolonging this war will not make us more secure. Ending it will, in my view."
Dodd also contrasted himself with Barack Obama, one of his competitors in the race for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Obama is in his first term as a U.S. Senator while Dodd has been a Senator for 26 years. "Hope alone will not bring back our allies and hope alone will not restore America’s leadership," Dodd said. "Like never before, we’re going to need national leaders…(and) a president who is ready to lead from day one."
Dodd said he not only had more experience, but the "conviction and vision" to take the country in a new direction. Find a text of Dodd’s remarks on The Blog.