By Reps. Barbara Lee, Jim McGovern, and Sam Farr
At a time when the media is concentrating on what divides us as Democrats -- our preferences for whom our party should nominate for president -- we think that it is important to speak out on matters that unite us. The debacle in Iraq and the failed foreign policy that led us there is of grave concern to the American people. It also offers a clear contrast between the Democratic and Republican parties, regardless of who our presidential nominee is.
On the issues of Iraq and foreign policy, Democrats cant be vague or fuzzy. We need to be clear, strong and unequivocal: the war must end; we must reach out to all parties in the region in a diplomatic effort; and we must rebuild our standing in the world by ending the use of torture and closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay.
Regardless of when the nomination is decided, the Democratic Platform that will be ratified at the Convention in Denver will form our core statement of principles as a party for the next four years, principles that we will unite around in both the general election and beyond. With only months remaining before we unite as a party in August, it is critical that we take action now to ensure that a clear statement is made in our platform: we will end the war in Iraq; the Republican Party will not.
That is why we are coming together -- as supporters of Barack Obama, supporters of Hillary Clinton, and those who are still undecided in the nominating contest -- to press for the inclusion of strong language in the platform that addresses the war in Iraq, the need for a fundamental change in our foreign policy, and the need to end the use of torture including the closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison.
These are positions that unite the vast majority of Democrats -- and, we would argue, the American people as a whole, who are ahead of their government on this issue -- and it is long past time that we made them a firm plank in the platform that defines what we stand for as a party.
Today we have begun to circulate this statement among our fellow super delegates encouraging the Democratic Party to incorporate clear language about the war in Iraq into the 2008 party platform:
We, Super delegates to the Democratic National Convention, support the incorporation of language into the Democratic Party platform that calls for:
- An end to the war in Iraq by initiating the safe and secure withdrawal of all U.S. combat forces, leaving no permanent military bases behind;
- A robust diplomatic surge in the Middle East and beyond that includes negotiations with the Iranian government without preconditions that make sitting down to talk impossible; and
- An end to the use of torture and the closure of our prison at Guantanamo Bay.
Over the coming weeks, we will be working to convince our fellow superdelegates of the importance of including this language in our party's platform. We invite you to join us in this effort by signing on to an open letter to the Democratic superdelegates that is being hosted by one of our important allies in this effort, Win Without War. You can click here to sign on to this letter today!
The online community has consistently been at the forefront of the debate as we work to fix our failed foreign policy, and we sincerely thank you for your work in this effort. While the nominating process has clearly stirred passions throughout our party, we feel that the unity among Democrats on the issue of Iraq overwhelms our current disagreements and should not be overlooked. And with your help, it won't be.
Rep. Barbara Lee
Barack Obama Supporter
Rep. Jim McGovern
Hillary Clinton Supporter
Rep. Sam Farr