WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A group of 44 conservative leaders released on Monday a Declaration warning Americans of the catastrophic consequences of a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq .
The Declaration is sponsored by the Forgotten American Coalition. While the Declaration's signers include some defense/foreign policy conservatives, most are recognized Values Voter leaders -- social conservatives who rarely speak out on the War on Terrorism. The include Don Wildmon (American Family Association), Pat Robertson ("700 Club" and Regent University), Paul Weyrich (Free Congress Foundation), John Hagee (Christians United for Israel ), Lou Sheldon (Traditional Values Coalition), Tim and Beverly LaHaye (Concerned Women for America) and Phil Burress (Citizens for Community Values).
Former presidential candidate Gary Bauer is the Coalition's chairman. He noted: "Many of the signers -- who lead organizations with millions of members -- are usually associated with issues like abortion, marriage and the family. Still, they feel compelled to speak out against a cut-and-run strategy being pushed by isolationists inside and beyond the confines of Congress."
Don Feder , a member of the steering committee of the Forgotten American Coalition observed: "By signing this declaration, religious conservatives are saying: 'Yes, we care about marriage, the family and the unborn. But we also care about national security, the morale of our servicemen and women and the war on terrorism.' The left, which thinks neo-cons are the only ones on the right opposing an Iraq withdrawal, had better think again."
Quoting from the Declaration: "The Iraq war must be seen in the broader context of Islamo-fascism's war on America and Western Civilization... . If we pull out now, or announce a timetable for withdrawal, the region will be destabilized and Israel further endangered. Iran and Syria , two legs of the axis of evil, will become far more powerful..."
"The Iraqis who supported our presence and trusted America will be subjected to vicious reprisals by fanatics who have demonstrated their utter ruthlessness..."
"It took 20 years to recover from the demoralizing experience of our failure in Vietnam... . How will we convince young Americans to enlist in the next effort to combat terrorism, if -- by withdrawing now -- we tacitly admit that more than 3,600 of our service men and women died in vain?"
The Declaration -- The Tragic Consequences of A U.S. Withdrawal From Iraq -- is below, along with a complete list of signers.
The Iraq Declaration is the first project of the Forgotten American Coalition (FAC). The first 10 signers are member of the FAC Steering Committee.
As leaders of the conservative movement and concerned citizens, the undersigned wish to make our fellow Americans aware of the tragic consequences of a precipitous U.S. withdrawal from Iraq .
Historically, conservatives have always been cautious about foreign intervention and the concept of nation-building. Moreover, conservatives have always viewed national security as the principal reason for foreign intervention.
Still, regardless of what one thinks of the president's decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein and to try to bring representative government to Iraq , we have been engaged there for the past four years at a cost of over 3,600 American lives.
Our military leaders warn us that a withdrawal under fire would be a geopolitical disaster.
The Iraq War must be seen in the broader context of Islamo-fascism's war on America and Western Civilization. It is one front in a global conflict fought from Europe and the Middle East to Africa , the Balkans, the Indian Subcontinent and, finally, to the streets of our cities.
If we pull out now or announce a timetable for withdrawal, the region will be destabilized and Israel further endangered. Iran and Syria , two legs of the axis of evil, will become far more powerful. Reformers in the region will be correspondingly weakened -- perhaps fatally so.