WASHINGTON (CNN) – Members of the House of Representatives received over 2,000 petitions Wednesday from active-duty military personnel asking them to end U.S. involvement in Iraq.
Appeal for Redress, an organization that collects petitions from troops currently serving who are dedicated to removing U.S. troops from Iraq, held a press conference on Capitol Hill to deliver the petitions to Congress. Jonathan Hutto, co-founder of Appeals for Redress, announced that his organization would be sponsoring a forum for all presidential candidates to specifically address the war in Iraq, and to warn against military action against Iran.
If candidates accept, the forum will take place in South Carolina in February. Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee was among the five lawmakers who voiced their support at the press conference. Lee said although she wants the occupation in Iraq to end, she does not want U.S. forces to believe that troop withdrawal signifies failure. "I don't want [the troops] coming home to the allegation of defeat,” she said. “For it was not a defeat on the battlefield, it was a defeat at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”
– CNN’s Aspen Steib