Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Using "Catholic Birth Control" In Iraq?

From CNN.com:

Senate Democrats offered an amendment Monday that would demand that a pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq begin this year....The amendment would:

Begin the "phased redeployment" or pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2006. Require the administration to submit a plan by the end of 2006 for continued phased redeployment beyond 2006. Transform the role of troops left in the country to a "limited mission" of training and logistical support for Iraqi security forces, protection of U.S. personnel and facilities, and targeted counterterrorism operations.

President Bush, speaking at a Senate Republican fundraising dinner, said that he welcomed the debate but vowed that there would be "no early withdrawal" from Iraq "so long as we run the Congress and occupy the White House."

"I want to remind you of the consequences if those who want to withdraw from Iraq happen to prevail in the debate," he said. "An early withdrawal would be a defeat for the United States of America. An early withdrawal would embolden the terrorists. Talk about a deadline before we've done the job sends chills throughout the spines of Iraqi citizens, who are wondering whether or not the United States has the capacity to keep its word."

"An early withdrawal would embolden al Qaeda and [Osama] bin Laden. An early withdrawal before we've completed the mission would say to the United States military, 'Your sacrifices have gone in vain.' "

Sen. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat who is the ranking member on the Senate's Armed Services Committee, said Monday during a news conference that the amendment would not establish a "timetable" for withdrawal, but would signal to the Iraqis that the U.S. deployment is not open-ended.

"Our amendment does not address the speed or the pace of the phased redeployment that we call for. In other words, our amendment does not establish a timetable for redeployment," Levin said. "It does urge that a phased redeployment begin this year, partly as a way of moving away from an open-ended commitment and a way of avoiding Iraqi dependency on a U.S. security blanket."

Two solid, opposing opinions. Where do you stand? Should we withdraw? Should we have a plan to withdraw? Should we "stick it out" indefinately?

What's interesting to me is how conservative the Dems sound on this issue, and how "liberal" the Republicans sound. It seems as though no price is too high for Bush and Co. when it comes to Iraq. Conversely, it seems that the war's cost is pretty much always on the minds of the Dems.

There's no "right" or "wrong" answer to a conundrum like this. Especially when you're dealing with something as fundamentally unpredictable as the establishment of a democratic government.

I do think that, given this administration's track record, asking for essentially-unlimited patience from the American people is a bit unrealistic on Bush's part.


At 9:04 AM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

This "An early withdrawal would embolden al Qaeda and [Osama] bin Laden. An early withdrawal before we've completed the mission would say to the United States military, 'Your sacrifices have gone in vain.'" turns my tummy. No, an "early withdrawal" (and how can it be early when there's no deadline?) means that we are done. We've helped them set up their government. We've helped them get their police force set up. We've rebuilt some of their infrastructure. It's time for them to sink or swim. Sure we could stand by to help out (I think a staged withdrawal is the best way of doing it), but get our men out.

At 9:04 AM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

Nice title btw, took me a minute to get it.

At 10:10 AM, Blogger codemorse said...


And I'd tend to agree with you, Scott. Only, now that we've committed to this enterprise, there's a legitimate argument to be made that we need to be there to insure that Iraq stays on it's wobbly feet.

I personally feel as though, given the ludicrious lack of a real plan for occupation, we've wasted an inordinate amount of time and resources that could and should have been used more effectively. That makes me want to pull out now, and reorganize, re-energize, and start thinking about the real problem of peacekeeping on the global stage.

But if we pull out, and Iraq collapses, then we'll have made the situation even worse. And that makes me palpably nervous.

At 12:18 PM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

We have a proud history of making things worse. Why change now?


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