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Headlines Bring the Troops Home – Homeward Bound Act Introduced


Kiss my Converse
Friday, 17 June 2005

A Bi-partisan group of Members of Congress - two Republicans and two Democrats - introduced the Homeward Bound Act on June 16, 2005 to begin the process of putting in place an exit strategy from Iraq. The resolution calls for bringing the troops home no later than October 1, 2006. Below are statements from the website of three of the original co-sponsors. Two other Members immediately joined as sponsors Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and Martin Meehan (D-MA).

Dennis Kucinich (D-OH):

The Beginning of the End of the War in Iraq

On June 16, two Democrat and two Republican Representatives introduced a bi-partisan Resolution to begin the process of withdrawing American troops from Iraq.
Members of Congress Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Walter Jones (R-NC) and Ron Paul (R-TX) introduced the Bill along with additional cosponsors Martin Meehan (D-MA) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA). More cosponsors from both sides of the aisle are expected to sign on to the Bill soon.

The Homeward Bound Act, H.J. Res. 55, is a binding Resolution calling for President Bush to announce by the end of 2005 a plan for withdrawal from Iraq that would begin by October 1, 2006.

The Bill is intentionally crafted to avoid partisan finger-pointing and recriminations. In a press conference announcing the legislation, the Congressmen described having received large numbers of messages from their constituents that it is time to begin withdrawal and stated that influenced their decision. Take note, those of you who may not be making your feelings known to your Representatives, whatever their party affiliation.

Referring to the bi-partisan sponsorship of the Bill, Dennis said it was possible "because four Members of Congress put aside any kind of differences that we may have had in the run-up to the war and the conduct of the war, and we're saying this is the way to bring our troops home."

Cosponsor Rep. Walter Jones originally supported the war. He is the Congressman who advocated the renaming of French Fries "Freedom Fries" in the House cafeteria in response to the French government's unwillingness to go along with American wishes when the war was accelerated in March 2003. Rep. Jones said he began to have a change of heart after attending the funeral of one of his constituents, a Marine killed in action in Iraq.

"I am troubled by the past.... We need to take a fresh look at where we are and where we are going," said Rep. Jones. "The American people are going to contact their Member of Congress and say, 'Please, look at this resolution,'"
In response to questions from reporters about the likelihood of the Bill's passage in this congress, or its survival in Committee, the Congressmen predicted that, with continually-diminishing public support for the war and increasing discontent over U.S. casualties, their resolution would spur a public dialogue that could force President Bush to outline an exit strategy.

The New York Times wrote: (
/2005/06/16/politics/16cnd-exit.html&OP=1653f683/8Q3CHQ518N_ ... ) "With opinion polls showing a drop in support for the war, and a British memo asserting that the Bush administration had intended to go to war as early as the summer of 2002, the words 'exit strategy' are being uttered by both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill."

The financial cost of the war is a factor which could help to sway lawmakers who might not respond to other considerations. As pointed out by two people from Augusta State University, when all military-related expenditures are considered including interest on the national debt, the actual cost of our nation's "defense" is 68 cents out of every Federal dollar (
se.php ) . According to their report, "On a per-capita basis, the average American in 2004 then did not pay $1,488 for defense but $2,605. In a word, the military ran on $217.08 per citizen per month, while the remainder of the federal government ran on $103.83 per citizen per month."

In a Gallup Poll taken June 6-8, nearly six in ten Americans polled want at least a partial withdrawal to begin ( ). According to the Gallup News Service, "Most Americans [are] favoring a partial or complete withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq, and for the first time, a majority say they would be upset with the president if he decided to send more troops. This comes at a time when basic support for the war is as low as it has been since the war began.... Since last October, at least half of Americans have consistently said the war was not worth it."
I think the details presented in this article are somewhat misleading, the way it is written gives the impression that troops will be home be Oct 2006, when it fact, the resolution only calls for the withdrawal process to begin in Oct 2006. I'm glad that congree is stepping in a forcing the president to create a timetable, but the complete withdrawal of troops from the middle east could take 2-3 years to complete. Meaning we will still be there untill 2008, possibly 2009.