Dean: Time for the troops to come home

The United States should begin pulling troops out of Iraq this year, the head of the Democratic Party said on Saturday as he accused Republicans of lacking a plan to move forward after more than three years of violence.

“The Republicans don’t have a plan,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said in his party’s weekly radio address. “‘Stay the course’ is not a plan. Saying the problems in Iraq will be left to the next president, is not a plan.”

The Republican-led U.S. Senate on Thursday rejected Democratic plans to begin drawing down U.S. forces this year, terming the efforts a “cut and run” strategy.

“We believe that we ought to focus on training, logistics, and counterterrorism and we can do that with a redeployment of our troops,” Dean said.

The Bush administration has said repeatedly U.S. forces would not leave Iraq until Baghdad was up to the task of providing for its own security.

© 2006 Reuters