Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Russ Feingold: A Way Out of Iraq

A Way Out Of Iraq


By Russ Feingold
TomPaine.com & Truthout.org
Thursday 16 November 2006

On Election Day, the American people weighed in at the ballot box: They want to get our troops out of Iraq. Voters rejected the president's failed Iraq policy, putting Democrats in charge of Congress and responsible for setting a new direction for Iraq, and, most importantly, for our national security.

Democrats agree that we should begin redeploying troops, but some do not want to set a target deadline for the majority of troops to be withdrawn. That is a mistake. Without a target date, redeployment could drag on indefinitely. The president consistently refused to set a target date for withdrawal, and Democrats shouldn't follow in his footsteps. Democrats should move forward with a new Iraq policy that includes a target date for the redeployment of U.S. troops so that we can refocus on defeating global terrorist networks.

On Tuesday, I introduced legislation requiring U.S. forces to redeploy from Iraq by July 1, 2007. My legislation recognizes that a target date for the redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq will help pressure the Iraqis to get their political house in order. Simply announcing when we will begin redeployment, without any end date, is unlikely to put adequate pressure on the Iraqis.

A target date isn't just critical to our Iraq policy, it is essential for our national security policy. We cannot adequately focus on the pressing national security challenges we face around the globe when so many of our brave troops are in Iraq, and so many billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are being spent there. A timetable ensures that we can refocus our resources on fighting terrorist networks and on addressing trouble spots around the world that threaten our national security.

Because problems in Iraq won't dry up overnight, my legislation would allow for a minimal level of U.S. forces to remain in Iraq for targeted counterterrorism activities, training of Iraqi security forces, and the protection of U.S. infrastructure and personnel.

But our current Iraq policy is making the United States weaker, not stronger. The president has continually refused to change our current approach in Iraq, despite a growing number of policymakers and experts, including many Republicans, advocating for a change of course. Voters responded to his failed policies by putting Democrats in control of Congress. They want to change course, and they have given Democrats the chance to finally put our national security policy right by proposing a timetable for redeploying U.S. troops from Iraq.

The president's policy has us in Iraq with no end in sight. But the Iraqis need an end in sight to get their political house in order, and we need an end in sight so we can get back to fighting terrorist networks. Our disproportionate focus on Iraq has undermined our ability to confront the terrorist threat around the globe. Now Democrats can start to turn these wrong-headed policies around. But we won't do that by continuing our open-ended commitment of troops on Iraq. And we won't do it with tepid or muddled policies of our own. We will do it by setting a target date for redeployment, so that we can direct our resources to defeating the terrorist organizations that seek to harm this country.

*************

Russ Feingold is a United States senator from Wisconsin.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The West’s Existential Crisis About What To Do With Putin, And The Islamic State

Say one thing for Russian President Vladimir Putin. At least he’s given NATO a purpose in life. Right now, that consists of being something that Barack Obama and David Cameron can hide behind, point at Putin, and say : “Go get him, tiger.” Just what NATO is supposed to do about Putin’s armed advance into eastern Ukraine is less than clear. But there is a lot of “steely determination” around in high places. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The US Foreign Policy Somersaults Over Syria And Iran

Amidst the day-to-day reports about the military advances of the Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, one remarkable aspect of this war has barely been mentioned. More>>

ALSO:

Daphne Lawless: The Whale Oil Leaks: Anti-Politics From Above

As we go to press, the election campaign has been turned upside down by a new book by investigative journalist Nicky Hager. Dirty Politics is based mainly on a leak of 2 gigabytes of emails and Facebook messages from “Whale Oil”, the vicious ... More>>

ALSO:

Branko Marcetic: When John Key Was Concerned About Dirty Politics

If Nicky Hager needs some support in the midst of a whirlwind of government criticism for his allegations of “dirty tricks” by the National Party, he may find one unlikely ally – John Key, six years ago. More>>

Jim Miles: Israeli War Crimes In Gaza

Israel reveals its true colours and true aspirations every time it attacks Gaza (or any other self-perceived enemy) as being the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, even to the degree - as the references above indicate - to the act of genocide. More>>

David Swanson: Top 9 Reasons To Stop Bombing Iraq

1. It's not a rescue mission. The U.S. personnel could be evacuated without the 500-pound bombs. The persecuted minorities could be supplied, moved, or their enemy dissuaded, or all three, without the 500-pound bombs or the hundreds of 'advisors' (trained ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Comedian’s Death: Robin Williams And The Virtues Of Suicide

The Grim Reaper never runs out of converts. Put another way, death never gets his full due. Comedians do not figure well in this – they are particularly attractive targets in the business of death. More>>

Suzan Mazur: "Oomph" & Origin Of Life At Hydrothermal Vents

The notion that life originated in hydrothermal vents was for a long time a sleepy area of scientific inquiry because the vents first found, known as 'black smokers,' were way too hot and acidic. But in 1989, Michael Russell, a British geochemist who ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news