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Hillary Clinton: Begin Troop Drawdown in 90 D
In First "HillCast," Offers "Road Map Out of Iraq," Denounces Bush
02/18/2007 1:41 PM ET

Here's the full 3'13" video.

Although Clinton brands her advertisement as a "conversation" and touts her time on the ground, her total time "on the ground" in Iraq and Afghanistan was less than one day in both country. Her official record of her third trip to Iraq shows that in one day (January 13, 2007) she and her entourage met with dozens of people and encouraged her to form her opinion that the U.S. should pull out.

"I came back from Iraq more determined then ever to stop the President's escalation of troops into Iraq, and to start the long overdue redeployment of troops out of Iraq," Senator Clinton said. "The Iraq Troop Protection and Reduction Act that I proposed last month and introduced this week caps the number of troops in Iraq at the level before the President's escalation. It would be against the law to send more. The legislation also protects our troops who are performing so heroically, by making sure they aren't sent to Iraq without the body armor and training they need - empty promises from the President just aren't enough anymore. And it calls for the phased redeployment of our troops out of Iraq. I've been pushing for this for almost two years. Now it's time to say the redeployment should start in ninety days or we will revoke authorization for this war. This plan is a roadmap out of Iraq. I hope the President takes this road. If he does, he should be able to end the war before he leaves office."

Senators Bayh and Clinton, Congressman McHugh Visit Iraq

January 13, 2007

Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), and Congressman John M. McHugh (R-NY), completed a full day of briefings and visits in Iraq today. Their Congressional Delegation (CODEL) will now continue on to Afghanistan.

Below is a brief description of what the CODEL did on Saturday in Iraq:

• Met with General Casey, Commander of Multinational Force Iraq.

• Met with General Odierno, the new Commander of Multinational Corps Iraq.

• Met with General Martin Dempsey, Commander of Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq and Commander NATO Training Mission Iraq.

• Lunch hosted by U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad with Iraqi leadership, including the Iraqi Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hoshyar Mahmud Zebari, Mowaffak Al-Rubaie, Speaker of the Iraqi Council of Representatives Mahmud Dawud al-Mashhadani, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Rafea Al Assawi.

• Met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki.

• Senator Clinton met with Iraqi women leaders.

Below is Senator Clinton's trip report from Iraq...

CODEL Trip Report

Day 1 - January 12, 2007

Our Congressional delegation consisting of Senator Evan Bayh, Congressman John McHugh and myself, left Washington, DC from Andrews Air Force Base late on Thursday night for the Middle East. Like me, Senator Bayh of Indiana is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and over the past four years, he has sat next to me during Armed Services Committee hearings. Congressman McHugh is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and his district includes Fort Drum in upstate New York, home of the 10th Mountain Division, the most frequently deployed division in the U.S. Army. Indeed, soldiers from the 10th Mountain are currently deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan.

I wanted to travel to Iraq and Afghanistan at this critical time to thank our men and women in uniform for their service and also to get a first hand assessment of the current situation in both countries. This is my third factfinding trip to Iraq and Afghanistan – I previously visited both nations over Thanksgiving weekend in 2003 and in February 2005.

After a brief refueling stop in Shannon, Ireland, we arrived in Kuwait on Friday night and had dinner with Richard LeBaron, U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait and received an intelligence briefing which served as a useful primer for our trip into Iraq the next day.

Day 2 - January 13, 2007

We left our hotel in Kuwait before dawn to catch an early C-130 flight from Kuwait’s Ali Al Salem Airbase into Baghdad. The C-130 was filled with soldiers in full gear on their way to deploy to Iraq, including a couple of soldiers from New York's 10th Mountain Division and other soldiers originally from New York.

Ordinarily, a flight from Kuwait to Baghdad takes about an hour and 15 minutes. As fate would have it, about a half hour into the flight, we were told that there were poor visibility and weather conditions at Baghdad International Airport and that we would be unable to land. They offered to land at a city north of Baghdad until the weather cleared up or to take the chance that there would be an opening in the weather to let us land. The members of the CODEL decided to hope for the best and seek an opening into Baghdad. We circled Baghdad for about 90 minutes and learned that a small opening had emerged. Our talented pilot navigated masterfully through the fog and completed a perfect landing.

We were running a bit late so we hurried in a motorcade to make our first meeting of the day at Al Faw Palace with General George Casey and Lt. General Raymond Odierno. General Casey is the Commanding General of the Multi-National Force in Iraq and has been selected by the Pentagon to be the next Army Chief of Staff. Lt. General Odierno assumed command of the Multinational Corps-Iraq in December. Both before and after the meeting with Generals Casey and Odierno, the delegation had the chance to greet and take pictures with many soldiers, sailor, airmen and Marines who work at the palace. During our meeting, we expressed our gratitude for the service of the men and women in uniform serving magnificently in Iraq. We also had a wide-ranging discussion about the current situation in Iraq and the President’s proposal to add additional troops into Iraq.

After the meeting with Generals Casey and Odierno, the delegation moved into a group of vehicles on our way to a lunch hosted by U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad with leading Iraqi leaders. At the lunch we had a frank discussion with Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih, Foreign Minister Mahmud Zebari, National Security Advisor Mowaffak Al-Rubaie, Speaker of the Iraqi Council of Representatives Mahmud Dawud Al-Mashhadani and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Rafea Al-Assawi.

After lunch, we received a briefing from Lt. General Martin Dempsey, a New Yorker from Orange County, who is the Commanding General of the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq. Lt. General Dempsey heads up efforts to train the Iraqi Army and security forces. We then received a classified intelligence briefing as well from U.S. intelligence officials stationed in Iraq.

After the intelligence briefing, the delegation met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki at his residence. We discussed his views of the President’s proposal last week and also discussed engaging regional actors on Iraqi security issues.

After meeting with Prime Minister Maliki, I split from the rest of the delegation to meet with a group of Iraqi women leaders at the U.S. embassy. On my two previous trips to Iraq, I had also made efforts to meet with Iraqi women leaders and think it is important not to forget the difficult issues that women face in Iraq. They talked about the challenges facing women in Iraq but also their desire to make a difference. I pledged to do all that I could to assist their efforts.

After meeting these impressive Iraqi women, we rejoined the delegation at the Embassy helipad and flew in Blackhawk helicopters back to Baghdad International Airport where we boarded a C-130 for the return flight to Kuwait.

The day was challenging but informative. The meetings and discussions that we had today will be tremendously useful as we continue to assess what policies to pursue in Iraq


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