June 25th, 2007
03:44 PM ET
9 years ago

Richardson calls for full troop withdrawal

Watch Richardson's Iraq comments on CNN's American Morning.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson defended his previous calls to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year, telling CNN Monday that diplomacy in the region cannot work until all U.S. troops are out.

"I believe the solution is the diplomatic work that cannot begin until our troops are out," the presidential hopeful said on CNN's American Morning.

Richardson explained that such work entailed “a reconciliation conference - led by the United States - of the three groups in Iraq to have a coalition government [and] to divide the country into three entities.” He also called for “an all-Muslim peacekeeping force involving Iran and Syria to bring stability to the region and then, at the same time, trying to diffuse the Middle East crisis, the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Hamas, Fatah, [and] the breakdown there of any potential negotiations."

In the latest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll, Richardson registers at 5 percent, behind New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.

Filed under: Bill Richardson
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. DJ, Los Angeles

    He is right to an extent. We will need a UN peacekeeping military force however.

    Otherwise the US military can do no more. I'm tired of my tax dollars get burned up for a police mission when the UN can do the same thing for a fraction of the cost. Also my family suffered the pain of losing someone in Iraq.

    The US forces are needlessly being worn down and depleted when the UN can do the same job.

    We particular need our arab allies in the UN to help by contributing to a UN peacekeeping mission. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or Egypt probably would do so.

    Though I seriously doubt Iran or Syria should have any involvement in a UN mission.

    June 25, 2007 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. Ann Brunswick ME

    This is such a naive position. Even a child would know to ask the question, "...and what happens then...?"

    June 25, 2007 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  3. Alison, Skaneateles, NY

    Richardson is the only candidate calling for complete troop withdrawal! He's also the candidate best prepared to lead the diplomatic efforts after we finally leave Iraq.


    Richardson on Iraq:
    Richardson on Foreign policy:

    June 25, 2007 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  4. Fabio Escobar, Amherst NY

    Nuts! This would be the wholesale collapse of American power in the region. It puts the importance of diplomacy above the importance of retaining U.S. hegemony, a statement that should never issue from the mouth of a president.

    Here's why: (1) Any withdrawal that forces Iraqi troops to patrol Baghdad will leave large chunks without any patrols. This would make the situation riper for civil war, particularly without the U.S. deterrent in the country. (2) If diplomacy can be used to support U.S. interests, so much the better. But if there's a chance that this won't work, the safer course is to simply continue on the present course. A pullout might just lead to the cancelation of all negotiations, after all. That's a high risk to U.S. interests, and shouldn't be tolerated for that reason alone.

    The President's job is to maximize, not minimize, American power.

    June 26, 2007 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  5. Amy - Cedar Grove, TN

    Since when does diplomacy work when you've already declared a surrender? Is this guy on crack? All Muslim 'peace' keeping force? Did I stumble onto the Comedy Central website?

    June 26, 2007 08:39 am at 8:39 am |