Dems Back Phased Withdrawal

Dems Back Phased Withdrawal
Republicans: Stay and Stay, Spend and Spend

Senate Democrats have come up with two resolutions, with most of the coalescing around the vaguer one.

AP describes the more popular resolution:

‘ The resolution would urge _ but not require _ the administration to begin “a phased redeployment of U.S. forces” in 2006 and, by year’s end, give Congress its plan for “continued redeployment” thereafter. Additionally, the resolution calls for American troops, which have been focused on combat operations in Iraq, to more quickly switch to “a limited mission of training and logistic support of Iraqi security forces, protection of U.S. personnel and facilities, and targeting counterterrorism activities.” It also maps out steps Senate Democrats say the fledgling Iraqi government must take to lay the foundation for a successful democracy and calls for an international conference to help Iraq overcome problems it faces. ‘

My hero, Russ Feingold, and other heroes Barbara Boxer and John Kerry, are pushing a more specific withdrawal plan with a July 1, 2007 deadline for withdrawal of most US forces. AP says:

‘ It would require the administration to withdraw all combat troops from Iraq by July 1, 2007, leaving in place only U.S. troops essential to training Iraqi security forces, conducting counterterrorism operations and protecting U.S. personnel and facilities. “A deadline gives Iraqis the best chance for stability and self-government, and most importantly, it allows us to begin refocusing on the true threats that face our country,” Kerry and Feingold, two Democrats eying potential presidential candidacies in 2008, said in a joint statement. ‘

The old traitor Karl Rove, who revealed the identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame to the Iranians (and everyone else), castigated the Democrats’ proposals as “cut and run.” Rove wants us to go on spending $5 billion a month in Iraq, and to go on losing thousands of maimed young people.

Here are some other examples of cutting and running:

The United States withdrew from the Philippines in 1946.

Britain withdrew from India in 1947.

France withdrew from Morocco and Tunisia in 1956.

France withdrew from Algeria in 1962.

Rove only has two choices. He either has to agree that these withdrawals were a good thing, or he has to blame Britain and France for cutting and running. Does this mean he thinks the US should try to re-colonize the Philippines? Does he want France to take back over Algeria? By the way, neither India nor Algeria was stable when the colonial power withdrew.

Either, Mr. Rove, the US is a Republic among independent nations, or it is a Colonial Power intent on subjecting other peoples. If it is a Republic, it should be leaving Iraq to the Iraqis. If it is a Colonial Power, then it is doomed. Because no instance of successful foreign colonialism on the nineteenth-century model has been implemented in the past 50 years, for the simple reason that the peoples of the global south are socially and politically mobilized– literate, urban, industrial, skilled, networked– in a way they never were before in history. And no mobilized people can be successfully occupied.

The US military presence in Iraq is retarding a political settlement. It makes the Shiites and Kurds cocky and unwilling to compromise with the Sunni Arabs. It keeps the Iraqi army weak and ineffective, lacking proper armor or an air force. And US military tactics of search and destroy are turning progressively more Iraqis against us over time. The longer the US stays in Iraq, the more likely it is that one day one of our cities will be attacked by Iraqi terrorists bearing a grudge for Fallujah or Tal Afar or whatever other Iraqi cities we plan to destroy.

And, about that $5 billion a month. I live in the Detroit area. This is what my city looks like:

Could we please have just one of those $5 billion dollar installments you are squandering in Iraq, Mr. Rove, to — you know– fix up Detroit a little bit. I’d say those windows need replacing. And since you painted all those schools over there, maybe you wouldn’t mind painting some of the buildings in my area. We don’t have any oil, but we have a helluva port and enormous industrial capacity. It is just that, you know, the Federal government has been busy rebuilding a foreign country (which somehow still seems to be in flames and run down, despite having its own petroleum). And somehow my city just isn’t a priority. In fact, you can correct me if I’m wrong, Mr. Rove, but my recollection is that neglect of Detroit has driven its population below 1 million, and that as a result, the Federal government actually cut back on the aid it gives the city. Is that really good urban policy? Wouldn’t it make more sense to bring Detroit back to life and reinvigorate the American Midwest?

Is it cut and run? Or is it ‘withdraw and spend American money on Americans’?

And what is the Republican plan? Is it “Stay and stay, and Spend and Spend?”

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