8.29.2007

Call at National Guard conference for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq greeted with standing ovation

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (David McFadden, AP - 8.25.07) - A call by Puerto Rico's [Governor Anibal Acevedo] for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq earned a standing ovation Saturday from a conference of more than 4,000 National Guardsmen.

''The war in Iraq has fractured the political will of the United States and the world,'' he said at the opening of the 129th National Guard Association general conference. ''Clearly, a new war strategy is required and urgently.''

Acevedo said sending more troops to Iraq would be a costly blunder.

''By increasing the number of National Guard and reserve troops, we put our soldiers in danger for the umpteenth time since the beginning of the global war on terrorism,'' said the governor, adding U.S. territories and states need Guard reserves in the event of natural disasters and domestic disturbances.

Col. David Carrion Baralt, the Guard's top official in the U.S. Caribbean territory, said Acevedo received a standing ovation.

The nonpartisan National Guard Association represents nearly 45,000 current and former Air and Army National Guard officers.

(Posted on Boricua Diaspora via truthout.org)