Sunday, September 09, 2007

Richardson: Why We Should Exit Iraq Now

Bill Richardson has an op-ed piece in the Washington Post called Why We Should Exit Iraq Now.

Here is part of what he wrote...

Those who think we need to keep troops in Iraq misunderstand the Middle East. I have met and negotiated successfully with many regional leaders, including Saddam Hussein. I am convinced that only a complete withdrawal can sufficiently shift the politics of Iraq and its neighbors to break the deadlock that has been killing so many people for so long.

Our troops have done everything they were asked to do with courage and professionalism, but they cannot win someone else's civil war. So long as American troops are in Iraq, reconciliation among Iraqi factions is postponed. Leaving forces there enables the Iraqis to delay taking the necessary steps to end the violence. And it prevents us from using diplomacy to bring in other nations to help stabilize and rebuild the country.

The presence of American forces in Iraq weakens us in the war against al-Qaeda. It endows the anti-American propaganda of those who portray us as occupiers plundering Iraq's oil and repressing Muslims. The day we leave, this myth collapses, and the Iraqis will drive foreign jihadists out of their country. Our departure would also enable us to focus on defeating the terrorists who attacked us on Sept. 11, those headquartered along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border -- not in Iraq.

Logistically, it would be possible to withdraw in six to eight months. We moved as many as 240,000 troops into and out of Iraq through Kuwait in as little as a three-month period during major troop rotations. After the Persian Gulf War, we redeployed nearly a half-million troops in a few months. We could redeploy even faster if we negotiated with the Turks to open a second route out through Turkey.

When looking closely at all the of the candidates plans on Iraq, you can see some differences. Richardson has been clear from the beginning of the race that he will withdraw all troops from Iraq. His plan differs from others who say they will bring our troops home, when they really mean they will be some or most of the troops home.

4 comments:

The Real Sporer said...

"The day we leave, this myth collapses, and the Iraqis will drive foreign jihadists out of their country"

1. How?
2. How will the Iraqi's reist Iranian hegemony. The Iranians again reiterated their intent to fill the vacuum that US withdrawal would create?
3. How many "innocent" Iraqis would die in the wars that would follow a US withdrawal?
4. How many jihadists would be created by news of US defeat. The NIE and the Jihadists themselves claim US defeat would produce a recruiting windfall for the global jihad.
5. Where would all these new Jihadists go to fight?
6. If your answer to 5 is "Afghanistan", why? Especially if we announce a major diversion of resources to Afghanistan?
7. Why will Afghanistan not just become the new Iraq. It is a far more remote and dangerous country. The terrain negates our technological advantage. The border with IRan is much longer and more remote. Increased effort means increased casualties.

Just a few questions for advocates of surrender in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Noneed, I thought Big Tent Democrat's take on the Richardson op-ed was persuasive. Here is the link.

desmoinesdem

noneed4thneed said...

Not sure if these are Richardson's plans, but here are my thoughts.

1. The Iraqi's don't like al Qaeda anymore than we do. Once we leave they will weed out al Queda.

2. 2 of the 3 groups in Iraq aren't associated with Iran and would resist Iranian influence. We would work diplomatically throughout the region to fill the vacuum.

3. Probably not more than the 100,000+ civilian deaths that have happened during the US invasion. Add that to the over 1 million Iraqi's that have fled the country during this time.

4. Our military men and women have done everything asked of them. The mission was accomplished when Saddam was overthrown and captured. The only people talking about defeat are Republicans who have their heads stuck in the sand and can't recognize these basic facts.

5. You call them Jihadists, I would call them Iraqi's. These people would stay in Iraq and rebuild their country. I believe fewer Jihadists were be created by us leaving than by us blowing up their families, water supply, and power plants.

6. New Jihadists can be recruited all over the world, not just in Iraq or in Afghanistan. Our Iraq centric policies have taken away from us having positive affects in other areas around the world like Indonesia and in Africa. Staying in Iraq doesn't help solve this basic fact, it only makes it worse.

Since Jihadists that want to kill us live worldwide, we must have a worldwide policy to counteract that. Our military can not, and will never be able to, be involved in military fronts in all of these areas, so we must involve mainstream religous groups and Governments to root out Islamic fundamentalists in their own countries. To accomplish this we must win the hearts and minds through diplomacy.

7.We won't be stuck in the middle of a Civil War. We will be tracking down bin Laden and bring him to justice.

noneed4thneed said...

desmoinesdem-
The points made are irrelevant to Richardson. First, he is in position to move the discussion by talking about removing all troops from Iraq. There is nothing wrong with leading on the issues. Second,
he isn't in Congress.

Iraq is hard issue because it is very fluid. The candidates are campaigning on how Iraq is now or on how Iraq will be in 2009 when the next President takes office and no one knows what it will be like in Iraq in 2009.