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Lee speaks out on troops’ tour extension

Here’s what Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, had to say about the Bush Administration’s announcement that all active-duty Army personnel in Iraq will see their tours extended by three months, from 12 to 15 months:

lee3.jpg“The news that the tours of all active duty troops in Iraq will be extended by three months is further evidence of how unsustainable the administration’s policy of open ended occupation of Iraq is. The President is threatening to veto legislation that would put a clear end date on the occupation. He is literally asking us to accept, without question, an open ended commitment to occupying Iraq. The American people oppose this, the Democratic Congress opposes this and its time to bring a responsible end to this failed policy. If the Bush administration won’t do it, Congress understands that we must.

“We must honor the sacrifice of our brave men and women and their families and recognize the unsustainable toll this war is taking on them. On average, 27 troops are killed and another 500 are wounded each month in Iraq. Leaving them in the position of refereeing an Iraqi civil war, without a clear mission, benchmarks, strategy or end date, as President Bush wants to do, is just unacceptable. We need to end the occupation of Iraq and bring our troops home.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.