Iraq is George Bush's Vietnam, and we cannot allow history to repeat itself any longer. Our troops deserve better. We must act now.
Today, I introduced legislation to reclaim the people's right to a full voice in the president's plan to send more troops to Iraq. My bill will say that no additional troops can be sent and no additional dollars can be spent on such an escalation unless and until Congress approves the president's plan.
Congress must exert its constitutional authority and demand a vote before any escalation in Iraq. In October 2002, Members of Congress authorized a war against the regime of Saddam Hussein, not to send our troops into a civil war. I voted against that resolution and feel an escalation of this war only compounds the original mistake of going in the first place.
A military escalation in Iraq would not strengthen our national security -- instead it would further weaken it by enabling the Iraqis to avoid taking responsibility for their own future. More than 3000 American soldiers have died in Iraq and more than 22,000 have been wounded.
Instead of continued mistakes and shoot-from-the-hip policies, it's time to get this right. The President must make clear the mission of our troops and lay out a path to bring them home, and Congress must stop being a rubberstamp for failed policies and stand up and act.
Never before has our system of checks and balances been so important. Join the thousands who have already shown their support by signing our petition:
I hope you'll take a moment to learn a little more about this legislation and then spread the word. We have posted video of my speech at the National Press Club. I have also posted a diary at DailyKos.com earlier today. That post includes an email sent to TedKennedy.com members.
Watch the video of today's speech below and use the "share" feature to build support in your community for a new direction in Iraq.