WASHINGTON - December 16 - Irony defined. On the same day the United States House of Representatives debates a bill to have the House of Representatives decided the length of the US occupation of Iraq, Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) and Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) introduced bipartisan legislation calling on the United States to support a vote in the Iraqi Parliament on the future of the US occupation of the country.
Kucinich issued the following statement today on his legislation:
"The new permanent elected body in Iraq, not the US House of Representatives, should vote on the length of the US occupation. It is their country. What Iraq needs and what Iraq wants in terms of continued US military occupation should be determined by the Iraqis, not the US occupying force or politicians in Washington.
"Over and over this Administration has compared Iraq's progress towards democracy with our nation's struggle over 200 years ago. Using the Administration's own analogy, it is time to allow Iraq the chance to write its own Declaration of Independence.
"Iraq has passed a Constitution, and has held elections to have a permanent elected body. Iraq, by all measurable means, is a sovereign nation. As such, it should be able to debate and vote on the most important issue facing their nation-the US occupation. The Administration has repeatedly stated that if the Iraqis ask us to leave, we will leave. Poll after poll in Iraq indicate that the Iraqi people overwhelming oppose the US occupation.
"It is now time for this Administration to live up to its word, and allow Iraqis to make the most important and basic decision about the future of their country. The Iraqi people cannot fully be free until decisions about their future are made in Baghdad and not Washington."
The Kucinich/Paul resolution will make it the sense of Congress, "that the new permanent Council of Representatives should debate and vote on whether or not a continued U.S. military presence in Iraq is desired by the government of Iraq; and that such a debate and vote should be conducted in an open and transparent manner, and occur as soon as practicable."