Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Worth Considering

There's a great interview article in Salon with Russ Feingold, who actually..like..shows some leadership? He has suggested a withdrawal of American troops from Iraq by December 2006:
Oct. 10, 2005 | WASHINGTON -- Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold has latched his political future to the third rail of American foreign policy. This summer, he proposed a date for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq: Dec. 31, 2006. The date raises a specter that no one in Washington -- and especially no Democrat -- has been willing to broach: that the American people should begin to prepare for a political failure in Iraq, at least a failure by President Bush's standard of establishing, before the troops leave, a fully functional, democratic Iraqi state.
The "failure" in Iraq was pre-ordained the day we attacked. The Dems have got to find a way to make this very very clear.

This, from a Q & A with Feingold in the same article:
I would then say to the president that I believe the Iraq war was a divergence from the real issue. Unfortunately, in many ways, it has played into the hands of those who attacked us on 9/11. I witnessed the connection that has grown between Osama bin Laden, al-Zarqawi and now Iraqis who have been radicalized because of our invasion of Iraq.


So the first thing is, I want the plan to recognize that drawing down our troops in a logical and safe way is a way to defuse the intensity of the insurgency, especially the continuing and growing presence of foreign insurgents. The second recognition of the plan should be that the current troops-on-the-ground military mission is not really the future for Iraq. Actually it calls into question the legitimacy of the current Iraqi government. The plan should recognize that it is our intention to continue joint military operations with the Iraqi government, with their permission, but targeted, laserlike attacks on terrorist elements, just as we are doing with other countries around the world, in the Philippines, Indonesia and other countries. In other words, we are not invading those countries. We are cooperating. We want to continue to have Iraq be part of the international fight against terrorism, but we need to have a course correction. That's the kind of effort where we would be on the offensive, instead of where we are now, which is on the defensive.


If we don't leave, our not leaving is a big part of the political instability. So it's an absurdity to talk in terms of, "How can we leave before it is stable?" In fact, the presence of this huge American, and other [countries'], occupation of this country is what is destabilizing the country even more. It's a completely illogical conversation for people to talk in terms of what is already, many believe, almost a civil war, if not already a civil war. What we need to do is recognize that Iraqis are going to have to stand on their own. When I suggest that we withdraw the ground forces in a reasonable manner, this does not mean that we do not continue reconstruction, it does not mean that we do not continue to help the government, it does not mean that we do not have a very strong partnership with the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people on non-military issues as well as military issues.

This is not just leaving as we did in Vietnam or as we did in Somalia. That's a mistake
We'll be keeping an eye on Senator Feingold.


At 1:18 PM, Blogger Lynne said...

Feingold is okay with me. He voted NAY on the bankruptcy bill. Tells me he is at least not in the pocket of the banking industry.


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