CHARLESTON, W.V. -- On the war's fifth anniversary, Hillary Clinton said "restoring America's leadership in the world starts with ending the war in Iraq" and accused President George W. Bush of trying to "run out the clock" while in office by keeping troops in the region.
Clinton took questions today at a high school rally in Charleston, West Virginia today, one of which concerned the war.
"I've been working on this in the Senate to try to persuade the Republicans to join us in requiring the president to change direction," said Clinton.
"Now, we have not had success..." she admitted.
Clinton accuses Iraqis of being given enough time to settle differences with the division of oil profits and the establishment of a working democracy amongst the country's religious sects. .
She also commended the American military men and women who have served in the region, but said it was not their job to fight in Iraq's "civil war."
"We also have to be sure we make clear to the Iraqis that they take more care of themselves because that's the crux of the problem," Clinton told the crowd of nearly a thousand supporters, many of which were high school students.
She contends that progress will only be made by Iraqis if the U.S. government decides to "end their blank check."
Clinton acknowledged that it would be difficult to remove troops by routes that they are already regularly attacked on and well known to enemies.
She restated her commitment to working with military leaders, if elected, to begin a troop withdrawal within 60 days and a troop removal rate of one to two brigades each month.