Ashdown on the Iraq War
June 22, 2006
Brett Garner
Office: (801) 983-7383
Cell: (801) 573-4759

Ashdown Calls for Iraqi Vote, Not US Senate Vote

"Cut through the slogans and put it to the Iraqis"

SALT LAKE CITY, UT--US Senate candidate Pete Ashdown (D-UT), stated he would
vote against both Democratic proposals to withdraw US troops, but would propose
giving the Iraqi people the right of referendum on the US military presence in
Iraq.  Ashdown also criticized his opponent's continued politicization of the
war in Iraq, quoting a Republican Senator's cautions that "Catchy political
slogans debase the seriousness of war."

"We need a solution in Iraq that will cut through the American partisanship to
get what the Iraqi people really want," Ashdown said today.  "I agree with
Senator Chuck Hagel's comments that our war in Iraq 'should be taken more
seriously than to simply retreat to focus-group tested buzz-words and phrases
like cut-and-run.'"

Ashdown reiterated his proposal that the Iraqi people should be given the
freedom to choose whether to have American troops there or not.  "Since
October, when an anonymous American put forth this idea on my wiki, I have
pushed for a solution that puts this thriving Iraqi democracy to the test." 
Ashdown has detailed his proposal that:

"The answer to Iraq is simple: let the Iraqis vote on how long they want the US
to stay, then do what they say. If they vote for us to leave, then the military
has a mission: within sixty days, move to friendly countries such as Kuwait and
Qatar to prevent Iranian invasion until the Iraqis can stop it on their own. If
they say stay, then there is a mandate. Whether the result of this vote is a
mission or a mandate, both should be executed with maximum transparency to the
American people and the rest of the world."

Quoting Senator Chuck Hagel's (R-NE) speech yesterday on the Senate floor,
Ashdown criticized his Republican opponent in the upcoming election for
politicizing the issue.  "Senator Hagel put it bluntly and correctly: 'War
should not be drug down into the political muck. America deserves better. Our
men and women doing the fighting and dying...deserve better.'"

"My proposal originated from democracy and supports democracy," Ashdown said.
"Instead of the endless back and forth between politicians, it is a solution
that can be acted upon today and will lay a path to peace."

Ashdown will be speaking tomorrow at the AFL-CIO Endorsement Convention at the
Utah Cultural Center, 1355 W 3100 S, West Valley.  He is available for further
comment at any time via the above information.