Udall calls for 2006 exit from Iraq
BRECKENRIDGE – Eagle County Congressman Mark Udall last week called on the Bush Administration to set a target date for withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. In an appearance in Breckenridge, the Boulder Democrat said he looks to Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Republican, for leadership on the issue. Hagel has said the U.S. should consider pulling troops out by the end of 2006.
After two fact-finding trips to Iraq in the past two years, Udall said his view troops should leave by the end of next year is based partially on estimates that Iraqi security forces should be adequately trained by then.Udall also said he thinks the U.S. should make clear it does not want military bases in Iraq. That could ease Arab fears about U.S. intentions in the region, he said.Udall voted against the war, but said that U.S. and Iraqi interests would not be best served by a hasty, premature withdrawal.
Udall also said the U.S. should acknowledge mistakes made in the handling of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, and supports efforts to establish due process for those prisoners. He has also visited both those facilities and said he thinks the handling of prisoners has already improved. Such measures could be significant steps toward rebuilding America’s reputation as a world leader in the area of civil rights, he said.Udall also called for the establishment of a commission to look into war profiteering, similar to the Truman Commission established after World War II. He said he believes there has been profiteering by American companies in Iraq.