Friday, April 18, 2008

A Responsible Way Out of Iraq

It’s about time somebody up with a sensible and well constructed way for us to get out of Iraq. Using a quote from General Patraeus. “There is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq.”, March, 2007 as a starting point, the following group of people has published a document titled, “A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq.”

DARCY BURNER candidate for U.S. House, Washington
DONNA EDWARDS candidate for U.S. House, Maryland
ERIC MASSA candidate for U.S. House, New York
CHELLIE PINGREE candidate for U.S. House, Maine
TOM PERRIELLO candidate for U.S. House, Virginia
JARED POLIS candidate for U.S. House, Colorado
GEORGE FEARING candidate for U.S. House, Washington
LARRY BYRNES candidate for U.S. House, Florida
STEVE HARRISON candidate for U.S. House, New York
SAM BENNETT candidate for U.S. House, Pennsylvania

MAJOR GENERAL PAUL EATON (U.S. ARMY RET.) former Security Transition Commanding General, Iraq
DR. LAWRENCE KORB former Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration
BRIGADIER GENERAL JOHN JOHNS (U.S. ARMY RET.) specialist in counterinsurgency and nation-building
CAPT. LARRY SEAQUIST (U.S. NAVY RET.) former commander of the U.S.S. Iowa and former Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary
of Defense for Policy Planning

As I know all of my regular readers agree, the military option as exercised by BushCo has been a complete failure. Others (neocons) contend that the problem is simply that W has handled the war improperly. They continue to push their agenda of American hegemony in the Middle East and, by extension through control of oil supplies, throughout the rest of the world.

The big, bottom line problem with that bunch, W included, is their foundational assumption that the U.S. has the best answers to the issues that face the world in the future, and the nice thing about the reasonable approach taken in the Responsible Way paper is that they don’t make that same assumption. In fact, they call for deep involvement with the international community in working out diplomatic and rebuilding solutions to Iraq’s dilemma.

This paper is long on ideas for what should happen, and a bit short on implementation plans, but at least it is a compendium of thought that is going in the right direction. Sadly, it is written by a group of retired military officers and yet-to-be-elected candidates for public office. It should have been created and published by a group of sitting Senators and Representatives along with a cadre of active military brass, but, of course, those folks have to put their jobs before their country.

I am proud to say that this paper does reflect a great many of the ideas I put forth in many of my blogs and especially in one called
A Speech for Mr. Bush
that won a contest on Helium, a site where writers judge each others’ work. It is gratifying to see that there are people whose voices might count who are espousing the same kinds of ideas that you and I hold dear. I just hope they can get somewhere with it.

They go farther than just talking about how to approach troop withdrawal, too. Topics touched on include the restoration of constitutional checks and balances, restructuring the state department and rebuilding the military.

In the later area, I didn’t think their recommendations went quite far enough. They talk about how to strengthen the military within the current structure, but as long term readers know, I am a staunch advocate of an American draft. My draft would not be limited to military service, but would require draftees to choose the area of service they would donate two years to whether that be military or some form of civilian service like medical, senior care, school assistance, peace corps, civil conservation corps or roads and construction.

I think the value that would come from that kind of service would be immeasurable and would include a more informed and “plugged in” society, so I think the paper has missed a valuable step in its march toward sanity, but it is definitely going in the right direction. Please take a moment to look at it.

Here is a link to the entire paper:

If your time is limited, this link will get you to a nice executive summary of the paper:

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls -

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