[Marxism] Begin withdrawing, redeploying troops now

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Mon Dec 25 19:16:09 MST 2006

(While this is far from "immediate, unilateral and unconditional", it
can help make the discussion of withdrawal more acceptable in the
political world. It seems like a sign of the times. A rather good sign.)

Begin withdrawing, redeploying troops now

December 24, 2006


The time has come for the United States to begin the process of
getting our troops out of Iraq.

In Baghdad last week, I joined in a conversation with a West Point
graduate who is serving in Iraq. He said, "Senator, it is nuts over
here. Soldiers are being asked to do work we're not trained to do.
I'm doing work that State Department people are far more prepared to
do in fostering democracy, but they're not allowed to come off the
bases because it's too dangerous here. It doesn't make any sense."

After spending six days in the Middle East last week - which included
visits with the top leaders in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and
Israel - it's hard not to come to the same conclusion: Our strategy
in Iraq makes no sense. It never really did. It is as bad in person
as it appears on television. There are literally dozens of sects,
militias, gangs, warlords, foreign terrorists and others killing one
another for dozens of reasons in Iraq today, and American troops are
caught in the crossfire.

Our brave men and women have done everything asked of them with 
great courage and honor, but searching for military solutions in Iraq today
is a fool's errand. True peace and security in Iraq will not come at
the end of an American gun. It will only happen to the degree that
Iraq's leaders are willing to take responsibility for governing their
own country and securing their own future. America's position should
be clear: Iraqis must show they want a country now, or American
troops should begin to withdraw.

The good news is that Iraq has leaders who can make a difference. 
The bad news is that the Iraqi government feels no sense of urgency. 
I met with the Iraqi president, prime minister and minister of defense
last week - my third such visit to Iraq - and once again, I didn't
hear Iraq's leaders speak of any timetable for when they will take
over. As long as America is there, they can defer responsibility.

The proposal being considered by the administration to add between
15,000 and 30,000 soldiers in a "surge" of American troops will do
nothing to address this issue. If anything, "surge" is a tactic in
search of a strategy. How does it lead to victory? It won't solve any
problems; it won't force the hands of Iraq's leaders; at best, it
will simply be one more reason for delay - a delay that will be paid
with American blood. That's a price our troops and our nation
shouldn't be asked to pay any longer.

Instead, the president should announce in January that we will begin
withdrawing and redeploying our troops - to the Syrian border, to
stop the flow of terrorists; to the north of Iraq, to better train
Iraqi security forces; to Qatar, to form a quick-strike force if
necessary to defend our vital interests; to Afghanistan, to resume
the hunt for Osama bin Laden; and for those who have already
over-extended their tour of duty by one or two years - home. If the
Iraqis don't demonstrate the political will to unite, we should begin
this process - in consultation with our military leadership - of
reducing troop levels within weeks, not months.

We should then undertake a new American policy of intense diplomatic
and political engagement with the entire Middle East.

The war in Iraq has lasted longer than our involvement in World War
II and left nearly 3,000 Americans dead. If continuing this sacrifice
held the promise of achieving American goals, I would support it. But
our presence there has become a barrier to our goals. American troops
have demonstrated the courage to fight. Now, Iraq's leaders must
summon the will to lead. It's the only solution that makes sense.

Sen. CHRISTOPHER J. DODD is a Democrat from Connecticut.

Sen. Dodd argues for Iraq withdrawal

By JOHN DUNBAR, Associated Press WriterSun Dec 24, 5:55 PM ET


Sen. Chris Dodd, a Democrat who is considering a run for the White
House, argued in a column in an Iowa newspaper Sunday for the
withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

Iowa is home to the first contest for the Democratic nomination for

In an op-ed in The Des Moines Register, the Connecticut lawmaker
wrote: "The time has come for the United States to begin the process
of getting our troops out of Iraq."

Dodd, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, argued in
the column that the U.S. strategy in Iraq "...makes no sense. It
never really did. It is as bad in person as it appears on

Appearing on ABC's This Week on Sunday, Dodd said that he is "trying
to raise the necessary resources" for a possible run for the White
House and whether he will formally declare is "something I'll
evaluate over the next couple of weeks."

Dodd, who also visited Syria on his trip to the Middle East,
responded to remarks by White House Press Secretary Tony Snow that
trips by members of Congress to the country amount to a "PR victory"
for the leadership there.

The senator said in order to create stability in Iraq, "the job isn't
to go to garden spots" it is to go to "hot spots."

Dodd and Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., who also recently returned from
Iraq, and appeared with his Senate colleague on the news show,
illustrated the partisan split over what should be done in Iraq.

The Democrat argued for dialogue with nations like Syria which will
help lead to a political solution.

Graham argued that more troops are needed to stabilize Iraq and allow
for a political solution to become possible.

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