Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Impending U.S/British withdrawal from Iraq reported

The Times of London reported yesterday that a phased pullout from Iraq by American and British forces would begin as soon as a permanent government was installed in Baghdad. This report comes despite repeated denials by U.S. administration sources that a pullout is imminent. The report says that Iraqi officials are apparently aware that some sort of withdrawal is in the works, because members of Iraq’s provisional government are quite concerned about it.

In addition to the Times report yesterday, Lt. Col. Oliver North, on location as an imbedded reporter for Fox News in Ramadi, said yesterday on Sean Hannity’s radio program that he believes American forces could begin withdrawing from Iraq as early as January.

If the reports of a soon-coming withdrawal from Iraq are true, such a pullout has two major consequences, one military and one political:

1. It finally allows America to define what its goals were in this situation and to establish whether those goals have been met. My guess would be that the administration will say that the goal was to put a freely-elected non-Bathist government in control of the country. This is a goal that, at this point, is both laudable and doable. Once it is done, the military can say that its job in Iraq has, for the most part, been completed.

2. It takes the war off the table as a political issue in next year’s (2006) General Election. In terms of raw politics, the Democrats would like to use the war to their advantage to make huge Congressional gains, while the Republicans would like to be rid of the war as fast as possible so that it may be off of the minds of voters before Election Day. If a pullout begins in January, whether it is completed by November or not is irrelevant-it is a big election advantage for the GOP.


At Wednesday, December 14, 2005 5:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard today that President Bush admitted that he took this country to war based upon false intelegentce. Now, I know we have somewhat differing views on whether we should have gone there or not to begin with; but, surely, now that we are there, would it not be better to stay and thoroughly do the job that has to be done? Could it be that Bush is caving in to the enemy; the Democratic party? Or, does he have something else in mind. My thinking at present is this. We MUST make certain the people of Iraq can EFFECTIVELY defend themselves. That means staying until we can be assured of their ability to do so with a reasonable amont of success. Everything the left has tried has blown up in their face; as this will. That's why I'm not too worried about it.

At Friday, December 23, 2005 1:36:00 PM, Blogger sevenpointman said...

(You are living in a historical bunker.

Howard Roberts

A Seven-point plan for an Exit Strategy in Iraq

1) A timetable for the complete withdrawal of American and British forces must be announced.
I envision the following procedure, but suitable fine-tuning can be applied by all the people involved.

A) A ceasefire should be offered by the Occupying side to representatives of both the Sunni insurgency and the Shiite community. These representatives would be guaranteed safe passage, to any meetings. The individual insurgency groups would designate who would attend.
At this meeting a written document declaring a one-month ceasefire, witnessed by a United Nations authority, will be fashioned and eventually signed. This document will be released in full, to all Iraqi newspapers, the foreign press, and the Internet.
B) US and British command will make public its withdrawal, within sixth-months of 80 % of their troops.

C) Every month, a team of United Nations observers will verify the effectiveness of the ceasefire.
All incidences on both sides will be reported.

D) Combined representative armed forces of both the Occupying nations and the insurgency organizations that agreed to the cease fire will protect the Iraqi people from actions by terrorist cells.

E) Combined representative armed forces from both the Occupying nations and the insurgency organizations will begin creating a new military and police force. Those who served, without extenuating circumstances, in the previous Iraqi military or police, will be given the first option to serve.

F) After the second month of the ceasefire, and thereafter, in increments of 10-20% ,a total of 80% will be withdrawn, to enclaves in Qatar and Bahrain. The governments of these countries will work out a temporary land-lease housing arrangement for these troops. During the time the troops will be in these countries they will not stand down, and can be re-activated in the theater, if both the chain of the command still in Iraq, the newly formed Iraqi military, the leaders of the insurgency, and two international ombudsman (one from the Arab League, one from the United Nations), as a majority, deem it necessary.

G) One-half of those troops in enclaves will leave three-months after they arrive, for the United States or other locations, not including Iraq.

H) The other half of the troops in enclaves will leave after six-months.

I) The remaining 20 % of the Occupying troops will, during this six month interval, be used as peace-keepers, and will work with all the designated organizations, to aid in reconstruction and nation-building.

J) After four months they will be moved to enclaves in the above mentioned countries.
They will remain, still active, for two month, until their return to the States, Britain and the other involved nations.

2) At the beginning of this period the United States will file a letter with the Secretary General of the Security Council of the United Nations, making null and void all written and proscribed orders by the CPA, under R. Paul Bremer. This will be announced and duly noted.

3) At the beginning of this period all contracts signed by foreign countries will be considered in abeyance until a system of fair bidding, by both Iraqi and foreign countries, will be implemented ,by an interim Productivity and Investment Board, chosen from pertinent sectors of the Iraqi economy.
Local representatives of the 18 provinces of Iraq will put this board together, in local elections.

4) At the beginning of this period, the United Nations will declare that Iraq is a sovereign state again, and will be forming a Union of 18 autonomous regions. Each region will, with the help of international experts, and local bureaucrats, do a census as a first step toward the creation of a municipal government for all 18 provinces. After the census, a voting roll will be completed. Any group that gets a list of 15% of the names on this census will be able to nominate a slate of representatives. When all the parties have chosen their slates, a period of one-month will be allowed for campaigning.
Then in a popular election the group with the most votes will represent that province.
When the voters choose a slate, they will also be asked to choose five individual members of any of the slates.
The individuals who have the five highest vote counts will represent a National government.
This whole process, in every province, will be watched by international observers as well as the local bureaucrats.

During this process of local elections, a central governing board, made up of United Nations, election governing experts, insurgency organizations, US and British peacekeepers, and Arab league representatives, will assume the temporary duties of administering Baghdad, and the central duties of governing.

When the ninety representatives are elected they will assume the legislative duties of Iraq for two years.

Within three months the parties that have at least 15% of the representatives will nominate candidates for President and Prime Minister.

A national wide election for these offices will be held within three months from their nomination.

The President and the Vice President and the Prime Minister will choose their cabinet, after the election.

5) All debts accrued by Iraq will be rescheduled to begin payment, on the principal after one year, and on the interest after two years. If Iraq is able to handle another loan during this period she should be given a grace period of two years, from the taking of the loan, to comply with any structural adjustments.

6) The United States and the United Kingdom shall pay Iraq reparations for its invasion in the total of 120 billion dollars over a period of twenty years for damages to its infrastructure. This money can be defrayed as investment, if the return does not exceed 6.5 %.

7) During the beginning period Saddam Hussein and any other prisoners who are deemed by a Council of Iraqi Judges, elected by the National representative body, as having committed crimes will be put up for trial.
The trial of Saddam Hussein will be before seven judges, chosen from this Council of Judges.
One judge, one jury, again chosen by this Council, will try all other prisoners.
All defendants will have the right to present any evidence they want, and to choose freely their own lawyers.

At Friday, December 23, 2005 2:38:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

You know, this sevenpointman has posted this "Seven point plan" that is so canned that peaches in syrup look more original.

If you are going to post something, make it look your own, pal...


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