This is the text of Larry Syversonís speech at a press conference for the local anti-war group in Richmond, VA regarding the June 28th phony power transfer in Iraq.
Iím Larry Syverson of Chesterfield County.
The jury is still out concerning the transfer of power. Two important groups of people hope and pray that this transfer results in peace and security in Iraq: the Iraqi people and the soldiers serving in Iraq and their families. The Iraqis hope that this transfer is genuine and allows them to control their destiny. The soldiers in Iraq and their families pray that the transfer is not hollow and allows the soldiers to return to their families.
An early transfer should be something to celebrate. But because of the circumstances for this early transfer, it is hard to celebrate. The transfer occurred early, not to give the Iraqis their country back, it occurred early, to surprise the insurgents. Fear is no reason to base the giving of a people the control of their destiny. It should be based on hope!
I have a guarded interest in the transfer going well. My youngest son, Bryce, was deployed to Baghdad in May of last year. Bryce was one of those soldiers whose tour of duty in Iraq was extended. Bryce has served in Iraq for 14 months. Yesterday, I received an e-mail from Bryce that he was in Kuwait. The last time he was in Kuwait on his way home, he was sent BACK into Iraq. I hope and pray that this time he will be able to leave the Middle East. He has served his time proudly, and it is time for him to leave.
On Monday, the President said: ďThe Iraqi people have their country back. We have kept our word.Ē If the Iraqis have their country back, why is my son stuck in the area? There are over 130,000 American troops in Iraq. If the transfer of power means the end of the occupation, why are our troops there? The end of the occupation should mean the end of our troopís deployment in Iraq. For the transfer to be genuine, for the Iraqis to control their destiny, our troops must come home. Letís show the occupation is truly over.
Bring my son home!! Bring ALL the troops home now!