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Clinton: 'Bring Our Troops Home'

Posted April 24, 2008
Updated April 25, 2008

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— Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said the way to restore the United States' moral authority is by ending the war in Iraq as responsibly and quickly as possible.

Clinton, speaking Thursday afternoon on the campus of Methodist University, said soldiers have done a “magnificent job, serving with honor and heroism” and giving the Iraqi people freedom.

 “Now it is up to the Iraqis to make the decision that only they can make for themselves, and it is time for us to bring our troops home,” she said.

After soldiers get home, Clinton said, it is important to make sure they are not neglected. She stressed the need for guaranteed funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs and the end of red tape that keeps veterans from getting treatment. The Department of Defense and VA could combine staff to make sure another military person does not get lost in the system, she said.

Clinton expressed support for the Helmets to Hardhats program, which helps veterans transition to civilian jobs. Those jobs could come from the creation of clean, renewable, alternative energy jobs, she said.

Clinton also proposed a "one-to-one" program that would give soldiers one month home for every month they have spent away. She also set a goal of ending the process of stop-loss, a program that extends the time military personnel must serve after their contractual obligations end.

The military-heavy event at the March Riddle Center was not surprising in a state where more than 102,000 troops are stationed.

Eight retired admirals and generals, including Gen. Hugh Shelton, the retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a former Fort Bragg commander, joined Clinton on stage.

Shelton said Clinton was the “only candidate that has expressed a responsible plan for bringing our troops home with honor.”

As for a possible debate in the Tar Heel state, Clinton said she hopes one could still happen before the May 6 primary.

“I have said, 'I’ll debate anytime, anywhere.' Look, I am so sleep-deprived, it doesn’t matter,” Clinton joked. “I hope we will, because I think you deserve your own debate.”

A caravan of North Carolina veterans will be traveling the state on her behalf this week, with stops at American Legion and VFW halls, to hold meetings on issues that are important to veterans in the country, Clinton said.

Clinton returned to North Carolina two days after her win in the Pennsylvania primary.

She was also scheduled to visit Asheville on Thursday. On Friday, she is scheduled to speak at 8:30 a.m. at Jacksonville Fire Department Station 4, at 100 Firehouse Lane. Clinton is scheduled to attend a rally with her daughter in Charlotte on Monday.

Clinton is ramping up her campaign ahead of the state's primary, when 115 delegates will be at stake. Chelsea Clinton stumped for her mother at Duke University in Durham on Tuesday, and former President Bill Clinton made a five-city campaign swing through North Carolina on Wednesday.

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  • NC is my home Apr 25, 2008

    That's not what she was saying 9/11! But then her truth meter comes from the Clinton store.

  • Libandproud Apr 25, 2008

    "Please tell me when our troops left Afghanistan." now

    Who said our troops left Afghanistan? Can you actually read AND comprehend?

  • now Apr 25, 2008

    Now, I will act like a Democrat and run. Have fun trashing the country and the President of the United States Lib.

  • now Apr 25, 2008

    "We SHOULD be in Afghanistan, because that's where Al Qaeda & OBL are."

    Please tell me when our troops left Afghanistan. When exactly did that happen because I keep up with current events and I believe a group of troops came home a couple of weeks ago and were replaced with others. Maybe I missed some and we really did leave because Liberals would never stir us wrong with cliche's.

  • Libandproud Apr 25, 2008

    wralblog: the only way the Iraqi government will step up to the plate is when they know that the American troops are going home and will no longer babysit a nation of disparate religious zealots that never intends to be a democracy.

  • now Apr 25, 2008

    One last thing and I will act like a Democrat and run. If we are unlucky enough to have one of the two socialist running on the Liberal side, I will be willing to bet all I have that they and their followers will take credit for the victory when it happens in Iraq. I bet everything I have because that is what Liberals do.

  • now Apr 25, 2008

    Libandproud, Sorry to break the news to you but our brave troops are winning in Iraq whether you want them to or not. When they do win (and they will) I want you to come in here and let us all know that this was "Bush's war" and thank him for his strong leadership against all odds including treasonous Democrats that have political power way ahead of National Security.

  • now Apr 25, 2008

    GO HILLARY! We need you to steal this nomination. I am pulling for ya!

    I have been saying for a long time that the Democratic Party of 2008 has fallen off the left cliff into an area that would shame JFK. Check this site out what the Liberals in Denver are planning:

    http://www.recreate68.org/

  • JustAName Apr 25, 2008

    Lib,
    Yes, the WMD's that EVERY intelligence agency in the world thought Iraq had. Even Mr. Bill Clinton who bombed a factory that he thought was making those WMD's. Iraq was an issue before Afghanistan was an issue. Before 9/11.

    Has the money for the war been handled poorly? Yes. Should we have gone into Iraq? Yes, but for the original reason; Iraq attack Kuwait, lost, and was sanctioned, but ignored those sanctions. No action was taken and Russia, France and other UN countries went around those sanctions to make money. Anti-American groups saw that they could do things without retribution and bombed our embassies and warships. By calling for our troops withdrawal and talking to the enemy (thanks Jimmy) Anti-American groups are just emboldened. They will only give up when they breathe their last breath, let our troops help them out with that.

  • Libandproud Apr 25, 2008

    wralblog: First of all, I'm talking about Iraq, not Afghanistan. We SHOULD be in Afghanistan, because that's where Al Qaeda & OBL are. Second, the basis for going to war was the non-existent WMD's (remember them?). Third, the "surge" was supposed to provide TEMPORARY breathing room for the Iraqi government to take control of their own country. Even General Petraeus admits that's not happening, so the "surge" is becoming permanent. That's escalation. Whether you're Republican or Democrat you have to admit the basis & prosecution war has been a disaster in every respect. Over 4000 American soldiers have given their lives, and Bush has turned a budget surplus into a trillion dollar deficit, and we're no closer to bringing OBL & the other 9/11 terrorists to justice than we were 6 years ago.

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