Bush Should Sign Troop Withdrawal Bill, Retired General Says


Saturday, April 28th 2007, 6:20 pm
By: News On 6


WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Bush should sign legislation starting the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq on Oct. 1, retired Army Lt. Gen. William Odom said Saturday.

``I hope the president seizes this moment for a basic change in course and signs the bill Congress has sent him,'' Odom said, delivering the Democrats' weekly radio address.

Odom, an outspoken critic of the war who served as the Army's top intelligence officer and headed the National Security Agency during the Reagan administration, delivered the address at the request of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. He said he has never been a Democrat or a Republican.

The general accused Bush of squandering U.S. lives and helping Iran and al-Qaida when he invaded Iraq.

``The challenge we face today is not how to win in Iraq; it is how to recover from a strategic mistake: invading Iraq in the first place,'' he said. ``The president has let (the Iraq war) proceed on automatic pilot, making no corrections in the face of accumulating evidence that his strategy is failing and cannot be rescued. He lets the United States fly further and further into trouble, squandering its influence, money and blood, facilitating the gains of our enemies.''

Odom said he doesn't favor congressional involvement in the execution of foreign and military policy, but argued that Bush had been derelict in his responsibilities. This week Congress passed an Iraq war spending bill that would require Bush to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq on Oct. 1.