In statements from his Congressional office and on the campaign trail, Kucinich continued today to urge a change of direction in Iraq. His advocacy of a U.S. to U.N. transition is in stark contrast to other Democratic candidates; Howard Dean, for example, supports sending additional U.S. troops to Iraq (Meet the Press, 6/22).

Kucinich said today: "This weekend, with the deaths of 5 US troops, we were once again reminded of the dangers facing US troops in what has become a quagmire. To date 243 U.S. troops have died in Iraq. It is time that the United States begins the process of withdrawing our troops, and allow a UN peacekeeping force to take over the reconstruction of Iraq.

"In their rush to war, the Administration failed to adequately prepare for the post-invasion period. Negotiations for an exit must begin now. An exit agreement with the United Nations must involve the US letting go of the contracting process.

"The UN must also take over management, accounting and distribution to the Iraqi people of Iraq's oil profits. Additionally, a transition from UN control to self- determined governing structure by and for the Iraqi people must be planned. Finally, the Administration, which unwisely ordered the bombing, must fund the reconstruction."