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Since the United States invaded Iraq five years ago this week, nearly 4,000 American troops have lost their lives, and nearly thirty thousand more have suffered serious injuries, while as many as a million Iraqis may now be dead. We have already spent more than $500 billion, and the costs of the war to the U.S. economy are expected to ultimately exceed $3 trillion.

There is still no end in sight. And the war goes on endlessly at a time the U.S. economy is slipping into a very serious financial crisis, and hundreds of thousands of American families risk losing their homes to foreclosure.

For five years we've asked our leaders in Washington D.C., how are you going to end the war in Iraq? How do we bring our troops home?  How do we redirect the hundreds of billions of dollars being spent on the war to solving our problems here at home? And how do we prevent the mistakes that led to this fiasco from happening again in the future?

For five years we have asked our political leaders these questions, and for five years the answers never came.  Well, about six months ago, some fellow Democratic challengers and I got tired of waiting, and today we introduce the fruit of our impatience:  "A Responsible Plan For Ending The War In Iraq." It is intended to map out how we can end the war and prevent a mistake like this from ever happening again.

Working with such military experts as Major General Paul Eaton, who was General Petraeus' predecessor in Iraq, and building off the work of the Iraq Study Group and existing legislation, we have created a plan for congressional action to answer these questions and fundamentally change the debate on national security.  This is the conversation our public officials, citizens and the media need to be having, but have not – until now.

This plan presents a set of actions that Congress can take to remove all troops from Iraq while engaging in a diplomatic, political and economic offensive in the region. It is designed to convert our current costly and unsuccessful military approach to a more effective civilian one that addresses the root problems we face in Iraq. It moves us away from the use of military tools and enables more robust diplomatic and humanitarian work.  It offers a path to rebuild the military, the State Department, and a commitment to take care of returning veterans.

It also offers a deeper look at our decision-making problems, and fixes the breakdown in checks and balances by rolling back excessive executive authority, restoring civil liberties, and ending practices such as torture and the privatization of the military.  Ultimately we believe that restoring our Constitution is the only way to prevent a repeat of these mistakes and take us where we need to go to end this war responsibly.

The national media likes to say that Iraq is off the table, but voters in my district don’t seem to have gotten that memo. If anything, the public still gets it even when the media does not. Voters in national polls say that the economy is their top issue, but when you ask them what is the one thing we can do to fix our economy, they overwhelmingly cite ending the war.  And they are right; as a nation, we simply cannot afford this misguided war any longer.

But it will require more than just a plan to end this war; it will require both public pressure and political will.  It will require you.  Together we can build both grassroots and grasstops support around the ideas contained in our Responsible Plan.  Together, we can bring our troops home.

What can you do?  Responsible Plan PDF of "A Responsible Plan To End The War In Iraq" from, and then go to to learn how you can get involved.  Contact your challenger to ask them to sign on to the plan, or call your representative and ask them to support the cited legislation.  And of course, all the challengers who have taken the initiative to put forth this plan, and stake their campaigns on bring a responsible end to the war in Iraq need your financial support.  Please go to the Responsible Challengers page at Act Blue and contribute what you can to your favorite candidates or the entire slate.

Our presentation begins at 5:30PM ET.  Please watch the live stream here, and leave me your feedback in the comment thread.  And thank you for your support.

[UPDATE 6:45PM:  The presentation is now over.  Thank you for watching.]

Originally posted to Darcy Burner for Congress on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 02:27 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And thank you all... (253+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    N in Seattle, SME in Seattle, Devilstower, Pat K California, JekyllnHyde, paradox, Susan S, DavidW in SF, Bill in Portland Maine, Odysseus, Savage, ferg, SarahLee, teacherken, dbratl, abarefootboy, Rolfyboy6, FaithAndReason, AdmiralNaismith, Powered Grace, DebtorsPrison, Robespierrette, Avila, Emerson, sara seattle, Shockwave, Del C, ETinKC, islanddave, eeff, The Baculum King, Duncan Idaho, autoegocrat, leftyboy666, x, acuppajo, gypsy, SallyCat, bethcf4p, bumblebums, jancw, Creosote, Doctor Who, silence, jeepdad, kayebee, NumberTenOx, understandinglife, peace voter, jonah in nyc, Minerva, boilerman10, Katman, roses, tasch, peraspera, Miss Blue, MJB, Swordsmith, Thaxter, Sacramento Dem, wader, DemocracyLover in NYC, gobucky, Moody Loner, oldjohnbrown, Dallasdoc, gmb, hairspray, TX Scotia, joejoe, applegal, AbsurdEyes, RebeccaG, lecsmith, 2dot, zdefender, Nelsons, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, valadon, Illissius, rapala, sarahlane, Bluesee, Skaje, jrooth, blueyedace2, JanetT in MD, Bodean, irate, PBen, LtdEdishn, Hotspur18, Tod, Brooke In Seattle, cfk, LNK, majcmb1, jimstaro, lotlizard, wiscmass, sbdenmon, Tuba Les, oibme, Spathiphyllum, Erevann, maryru, begone, CCSDem, light typing, Coherent Viewpoint, dus7, MissInformation, The Sinistral, myboo, vigilant meerkat, whitewidow, Gorette, borkitekt, victoria2dc, buhdydharma, 123frenchwine, VictorLaszlo, TheBlaz, Marcus Tullius, reid fan, LokiMom, DarkestHour, tecampbell, Ashaman, gooderservice, imabluemerkin, DumpDoolittle, FireCrow, NearlyNormal, plf515, NY John, armadillo, CTLiberal, edgery, llbear, SingerInTheChoir, Helpless, doingbusinessas, VoteHarder, Stripe, lynneinfla, revgerry, lamdat, minimei, Granny Doc, Lurtz, henna218, markthshark, Aaa T Tudeattack, Reel Woman, seabos84, Tamar, One Pissed Off Liberal, tonyfv, beaukitty, factbased, BeninSC, willie horton, Fredly, dallasdave, threegoal, crodri, NCDem Amy, greenchiledem, DWG, joyful, drchelo, twinpeaks, davehouck, todd in salt lake, psycho liberal, Seneca Doane, geejay, Oreo, sabershadow, slowheels, malie, Brahman Colorado, scardanelli, willb48, Assaf, Neon Mama, gizmo59, Red no more, trivium, WhiteCenterLib, condorcet, oolali, sunshineonthebay, geez53, BlueTape, Satyanand, lineatus, Archangel, Oliver W Holmes the 3rd, mikeconwell, Greasy Grant, Mind That, Lujane, happymisanthropy, geomoo, Jeff Y, ankey, mofembot, noddem, change the Be, bubbalie 517, Cobbler, FLCitizen, Fallon, CatfishBlues, allie123, Spidey47, goshzilla, FudgeFighter, JGBfan, RedMask, Bule Betawi, cybrestrike, SuburbanGrrrl, Mr Tentacle, Texanomaly, Madeleine Crowd, rockwilder, DemocraticOz, mjoellnir, Johnny Pez, opedn, lzyltnin, Nailbanger, SciVo, Asherd, ncaldem, Fawkes, Daily Activist, llamaRCA, bedir than average, Ivey476, Joga, doctorgirl, sanglug, smchorse, Darius Shahinfar, JohnCos, sea2008, Indieman, seenaymah

    ... for making this possible!

  •  I downloaded the Plan for reading later tonight. (8+ / 0-)

    Thanks, and keep up the hard work!

    Don't Legitimize Fox News.
    "Democrats have the heart to care."

    by jeepdad on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 02:32:04 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for all your efforts.. (9+ / 0-) bring government back to We The People!

    (1) D.I.E.B.O.L.D.: Decisive In Elections By Ousting Liberal Democrats.
    (2) R.A.T.S.: Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Scalia.
    (3) -8.75, -8.10

    by Archangel on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 02:32:17 PM PDT

  •  Keep up the good work (14+ / 0-)

    We desperately need you in Congress. You are just the kind of spine we need.

    I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. - John F. Kennedy

    by DWG on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 02:32:40 PM PDT

    •  She had me at "responsible plan" (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Robespierrette, gmb, 2dot, Helpless, Fredly, DWG

      The objectives we are aiming to accomplish include:
      • An end to US military obligations and costs in Iraq.
      • An end to wide-scale civilian deaths in Iraq, and broader protection for human rights there.
      • Reducing the threat posed to the rest of the world by an unstable Iraq, including the threat
      posed by the use of Iraq as a terrorist training ground.
      • A U.S. energy policy that frees us from our dependence on oil.
      • Repairing U.S. institutions to avoid making the same mistake again.

      This is perfect. We -really- need this kind of leadership in Congress. I happen to know my rep pretty well, and I am personally making damn sure he sees this.

      (-5.88, -6.46) Democracy is what happens between elections.

      by autoegocrat on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 03:45:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nice attempt but that isn't a serious plan (0+ / 0-)

        It doesn't answer basic problem: what to do with Israel/neocon. (they will sustain Iraq war and spread it to Iran+Syria) and what to do with oil companies.

        Iraq itself will sort itself out as long as we know what to do with surrounding countries specialy Iran and Israel. (probably revolving around some Sunni strongman backed by military. Basically Saddam version 2.0)

        after that. It's all a question of leaving it alone.

        •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

          It's not up to us, "what to do with surrounding countries."  We don't live there!  That's the basic problem with all of this.  It's not our country/ies!  We can help diplomatically if they ask us to, but we can't just assume that we're going to have a hand in anything.  At some point, we have to allow those nations to rule themselves without our interference.  Aren't we part of the problem???

          •  because (0+ / 0-)

            Iraq can takes care of itself (maybe with a little infighting, to be expected) But the war in Iraq is a neocon war. Israel can simply attack Iran once we leave and we have to get back in again (oil)

            Without addressing Israel, all the forces in Washington DC will keep pushing for more war.

  •  Thank You! (7+ / 0-)

    Thank you and good luck!

    "Salvation for a race, nation or class must come from within. Freedom is never granted; it is won. Justice is never given; it is exacted." A. Phillip Randolph

    by Savage on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 02:32:54 PM PDT

  •  Thank you. My concern is that (8+ / 0-)

    this may not get the publicity it should right now with  the Obama/Clinton battle sucking all the air out of the room. I hope I'm wrong.

  •  We can't thank you enough. (9+ / 0-)

    We need so many more like you in Congress.

    Because I'm tired of some of you: I do not support any candidate.

    by TheBlaz on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 02:34:01 PM PDT

  •  Get 'em Darcy! (12+ / 0-)

    1/20/2009 can't come soon enough and I hope you're standing right there for the swearing in ceremony. It'll be a relief to have another House member who has actually and and respects our Constitution.

  •  Looks like a late night for expats:) (4+ / 0-)

    Go get em Marcy!

    Another Proud Subscriber to the Mariachi Mama Candidate Bickering Moratorium!

    by borkitekt on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 02:37:58 PM PDT

  •  Darcy in 2008... (8+ / 0-)

    Thanks for keeping the war issue alive

    The NeoCOM (Corporate Owned Media) is Neocon.

    by Brahman Colorado on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 02:38:29 PM PDT

  •  Darcy, thanks (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueyedace2, Fredly, crodri, rockwilder

    for all you're doing. This war has GOT to end sooner rather than later. We need more in Congress like you!

    Frodo failed; Bush has the ring.

    by DixieDishrag on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 02:42:26 PM PDT

  •  Didn't have to read all of the plan... (5+ / 0-)

    to be assured that it's 1000 times better than John McCain's irresponsible plan for prolonging the war in Iraq.

    Are people aware that John McCain wants our troops to stay in Iraq?  His poll results have been improving in recent days, as if Americans are being distracted by tangential issues.

    "Some men see things as they are and say 'Why?' I dream things that never were and say, 'I need to quit drinking!'" - Greasy Grant

    by Greasy Grant on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 02:43:02 PM PDT

  •  Website not working.... But Darcy Rocks! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sara seattle, bubbalie 517

    P.S. Is anyone else having trouble with the responsible plan website? Mine is not loading

  •  darcy! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sara seattle, Fredly, drchelo, rockwilder

    thanks and good luck!

  •  I have hopes (6+ / 0-)

    For the first time in a long while I have some hope for Congress. First we have the FISA fight, where the Democrats, in the House at least, seem to actually be fighting on our behalf for a change, and now this.
    Will wonders never cease?
    Good job and thank you.

  •  keep up the pressure, Darcy! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sara seattle, Fredly, crodri, rockwilder

    Being responsible ... what a concept in George W. Bush's America.

    Looks like I need to drop a couple more bucks into that campaign across the lake...

    The way to win is not to move to the right wing; the way to win is to move to the right policy. -- Nameless Soldier

    by N in Seattle on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 02:49:14 PM PDT

  •  OK (4+ / 0-)

    If anyone else can't Get the site, try this:

    A 'Responsible Plan' For Iraq Launches Today, Massa, Harrison On Board

    It's at 'The Albany Project'!

    " Every war, when viewed from the undistorted perspective of life's sanctity, is a "civil war" waged by humanity against itself." - Daisaku Ikeda

    by jimstaro on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 02:50:20 PM PDT

  •  I have just one question: (9+ / 0-)

    How come, after a hundred-plus years, no one seems to know how to make a microphone that woorks dependably?


    "Judge me on the content of my character, not the underwear on my head."

    by Bill in Portland Maine on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 02:50:36 PM PDT

    •  As an audio engineer... (6+ / 0-)

      ...I can tell you that it is just a question of money. Throw me a few large checks, and I can set you up with a flawless redundant system that will fail only during a major natural disaster.

      I will assume you are referring to CSPAN's "oops", both today and chronically, it seems.

      CSPAN seems to have some chronic problems, probably exacerbated by the fact that the feeds in the House and Senate chambers are controlled by the congressional leadership, while committee feeds are controlled by CSPAN.

      What on earth, my dear BiPM, makes you think that the congRessional leadeRship of the past decade has wanted ANY investment in A/V infrastructure, allowing congressional proceedings to be easily accessible by the public? ;)

      Comments Signature: This will get attached to your comments.

      by Gravedugger on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 05:19:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you... (3+ / 0-)

    Darcy for doing this.  I'm behind you all the way!

  •  This is exceptionally well done (6+ / 0-)

    Loved the military quotes.  Love the comprehensiveness.  Love the part about supporting refugees.

    Especially love the bit about presidential signing statements. ;-)

    We're pro-choice on everything! - Libertarian slogan

    by CA Libertarian on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 02:55:15 PM PDT

  •  I heard you plan to rebuild Iraq... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldjohnbrown, rockwilder

    Will there oil money pay for any of this at long last?  I really am tired of the money this war is taking away from the US.  We are mortgaging our children's futures and destroying our economy while China eats our lunch.  Please, lets just give them back their oil and let them spend their own money to hire their own people to fix their own country.  How many ways can they tell us, Americans go home.  

    ...once you're willing to say whatever it takes to win, you lose. ~~Dean

    by dkmich on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 02:58:14 PM PDT

    •  That is unrealistic and irresponsible...since we (6+ / 0-)

      have created many of the problems. We will have to pay for a large part of the reconstruction. It is the only moral way to go. We should stop paying in blood, however.

      •  We should stop paying Halliburton (6+ / 0-)

        What a good day it will be when those thieves never get a penny of our money again.

        •  Paying for reconstruction (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          paradox, 2dot

          will ultimately cost a lot less than what we've been paying to maintain the occupation.

          Darcy's plan is a vast improvement on the "plans" offered by Clinton and Obama. It doesn't pretend the Iraqi government has to meet "benchmarks" before we'll relax our grip on its throat; it doesn't obfuscate about relinquishing claims to permanent bases or leaving "small" (i. e., unspecified) forces behind to "eliminate" the threat from al-Qaeda in Iraq; and it doesn't leave in place the arrogant and autocratic executive branch usurpation which committed the invasion crime in the first place.

          But what we can do to make sure this plan isn't ignored, like the Iraq Study Group recommendations on which it is based?

      •  We? I didn't have a thing to do with it. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Let Bush and the rest of them of who wanted and voted for this war pay for it with their money.  I am watching my retirement, all my savings, and my children's future go down the drain because of this war and the greatest heist of American resources in human history.  You can talk about morality all you want. Where's our moral responsibility to our kids?  

        Iraq is solvent and has assets (at least until we claimed them).  This country has been looted and is on the verge of financial disaster.  We have sold every thing in this country to Kuwait, China, and a few other countries.  We have nothing left but debt and some guy printing money faster than we can count.  The dollar is going to be worth 10 cents.  Just where do you propose we get the money?  I know.  We can pay them with the money from oil that we stole from them.   Yankee go home!    

        ...once you're willing to say whatever it takes to win, you lose. ~~Dean

        by dkmich on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 11:53:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      2dot, skrekk

      We are mortgaging our children's futures and destroying our economy while China eats our lunch.

      If everyone had listened to us 'Focus Groups' it Never would have happened!!

      We Destroyed It, And The People Of, We Own It!!!!!!

      Responsibility Is ALL OURS, not those We Destroyed!!!

      " Every war, when viewed from the undistorted perspective of life's sanctity, is a "civil war" waged by humanity against itself." - Daisaku Ikeda

      by jimstaro on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 03:55:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  IMO (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I have similar worries about our economy, but I strongly feel that we have a moral obligation to help the Iraqis rebuild their country after helping to destroy it. We can never undo the damage that we caused them, and helping them to rebuild their country would be in our best interest. There's no guarantee that after what's happened some Iraqi children won't grow up hating Americans and becoming terrorists, but withholding help will guarantee that outcome.    

      •  They have more money and assets than we do. (0+ / 0-)

        Maybe we can ask them to bail us out - for free.  My moral obligation and priorities are to my family.  I am tired of carrying the world on my shoulders.  I am tired of all the responsibility and none of the benefits.  I am tired of "free" markets that government can't regulate but can bail out.  I'm tired of wars and war machines.  I'm tired of being an ATM, and people using my credit card without my permission.  I'm fucking done.

        ...once you're willing to say whatever it takes to win, you lose. ~~Dean

        by dkmich on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 11:58:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is Great - I'm from Seattle (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paradox, rockwilder

    I was at YearlyKos both times and glad you are hooked up with such progressive organizations where you can get support.  We have also worn out some shoe leather for you and plan to do it again!

    I put this video up at our blog with another one about stopping the lies of FOX.

    Good luck with this project!

    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

    by DiAnne on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 02:59:30 PM PDT

  •  Read the pdf...excellent, common sense (5+ / 0-)

    ideas. Thank you, make us proud.

    I would have liked to have seen more co-sponsorship/support from fellow Dems and the Republicans are few and far between. I hope that now that you have launched this, many more names of our congresspeople will add their names to finally end the war in Iraq. We owe it to the Iraqi people, we owe it to our men and women in uniform, we owe it to our country to end this war.

  •  Can We Call It An OCCUPATION? (10+ / 0-)

    We already won the war. Bush flew down and told us so. And I always believe the Commander in Chief. Especially wearing a codpiece.

    Remember, THEY hate us for our Freedom! The freedom for the President to do as he damn well pleases.

    by Tuba Les on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 03:11:56 PM PDT

  •  the plan is great (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paradox, Fredly, rockwilder

    and every Congressional candidate we have should run to Darcy's website and inquire about how they can sign on to it.

    D-Day, the newest blog on the internet (at the moment of its launch)

    by dday on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 03:13:25 PM PDT

  •  Donna Edwards.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    N in Seattle, bethcf4p, 2dot, Fredly

    phenomenal candidate. Her words are heartbreaking.

  •  This is wonderful (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    N in Seattle, bethcf4p, DarkestHour

    People need to hear this.  The millions of Americans who support the war because they don't see an alternative to keeping our troops there need to hear this.  Progressives needed a coherent plan for how to leave Iraq without abandoning the Iraqis and, from what I have read, this is it.

    Now the challange is to go tell everyone about this plan and get the center and even, gasp!, the right to buy in.

  •  Don't just sit there, do something. (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you so much.  On behalf of the soldiers, on behalf of the Iraqis, on behalf of our country, on behalf of all of us who are suffering through this.  Thank you.

    The only frame change that matters: the corporate media = propaganda machine. Americans must find their news elsewhere.

    by geomoo on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 03:26:01 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for doing this....candidates are the (0+ / 0-)

    future. Too many in congress have succumbed to the DC conventional wisdom. Stay grounded, stand your ground, and give 'em hell. Diplomacy trumps violence every time.

  •  Thanks Darcy. I live in your district... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paradox, sara seattle

    ...and I'm looking forward to voting for you again.

    Dan in Redmond....

  •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There is no legislative goal more worthy. The future of our country depends on it. The war is draining our future away and creating generations of future terrorists.

    I support your planning and look forward to seeing it in action.


  •  I love the plan, but I have to tell you.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    N in Seattle, paradox, drchelo

    That little eyebrow arch that Darcy Burner has in the ad where she says "take back America (arch) for good" was--dare I say--saucy?  

    I...I am filled with shame.  

    Mark Penn as a strategist ranks right up there with Vincenzo the Sicillian

    by LarsThorwald on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 03:31:33 PM PDT

  •  Finally, more and better Democrats. (6+ / 0-)

    Thank you to all the following:

    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

    Damn the neo-cons! Full speed ahead!

    by Aaa T Tudeattack on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 03:32:30 PM PDT

  •  Thanks Darcy, but no mention of a War Tax (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    2dot, drchelo, Neon Mama, Kickemout

    or how we will pay for this enormous debt that the NEOCONs have laid on us.  It shouldn't be paid on the backs of the poor.  It should be paid SOLELY BY THE TOP TAX BRACKET.  Only a War Tax will do that, and only a WAR TAX will make sure this never happens again: pushed into a war for the pursuit of profit.  Your opponent will have NO ANSWER TO THAT.

  •  Go Darcy! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hyperstation, drchelo, condorcet

    Congress is important, especially with people like you there

  •  Thanks, Darcy I am one district over. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paradox, sara seattle, drchelo

    She has a tongue that could clip a hedge

    by TX Scotia on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 03:47:47 PM PDT

  •  A quick read of the Plan reveals a good start... (3+ / 0-)

    at getting us out of Iraq.  I need to study it further. I possibly have a few issues with some of the recommendations but overall I like what I see.  

    I worry about people who agree with me. I know why I'm this way but I have to wonder what's wrong with them.

    by George Gould on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 03:51:39 PM PDT

  •  Very good, well-written... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    2dot, DarkestHour, bedir than average

    This is an important and useful document.
    I do have a suggestion, and a concern:
    The suggestion (which cannot be part of the proposal, for political reasons) is that Iraq will continue to need outside help... and that we will need to obtain this help from Iraq's neighbors, including countries the current administration chooses to shun and/or threaten.

    President Obama (Gawd willing!) will have the intelligence and credibility to reach out to Iran, Syria, Jordan, and other neighboring countries, and offer to support -- and fund -- a local multinational force to secure Iraq both internally and externally.

    My concern is that the obviously permanent bases we have built on Iraqi soil will be strategically difficult -- or politically impossible -- to abandon. The Bush "strategy" has painted us into a corner: to leave Iraq completely will mean that we are militarily abandoning the Middle East.

    Again, I'm counting on President Obama to help us reduce our need for the region's oil and create and improve political security in the region.

    I'm not a Democrat, I'm a liberal. Democrats go to meetings.

    by willie horton on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 04:00:54 PM PDT

  •  you'll never be able to... (0+ / 0-)

    Hold perpetrators of war crimes responsible

    I don't see this happening in a society where every arrest like this will be seen as an assault on the "tribe." (For lack of a better word. I'll take suggestions on this.)

    Arresting private security firm operators who are guilty of excessive use of force, and trying them in Iraqi courts? I don't think that'll fly here.

    Freedom, like responsibility, is a choice you have to make everyday.

    Civil discourse if the best indicator of clear thought.

    by papicek on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 04:06:56 PM PDT

  •  Makes me truly proud to live in WA, Darcy! n/t (5+ / 0-)
  •  Yes!! (0+ / 0-)

    Many mistakes were made in the course of this war, and our systems of checks and balances have failed us at critical moments. To prevent repeating those mistakes, we must repair the underlying Constitutional framework of our republic and provide checks to executive authority.
    Balance must be restored between the executive and the judicial branch (for instance through the restoration of habeas corpus),
    between the executive and the legislative branch (for instance through clarifying that the President does not have the Constitutional authority to unilaterally alter legislation through signing statements), and
    between the executive and the people of the United States (for instance by clarifying that the Fourth Amendment requires probable cause and a warrant for the government to spy on Americans).

    This is a good start.

    Bush Administration: Proving the saying, "You can fool most of the people some of the time, and 30% 24% 19% all the time."

    by Helpless on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 04:14:17 PM PDT

  •  Go Darcy, and go Larry! (0+ / 0-)

    I'm delighted to hear that Larry Seaquist (who ably represents the 26th LD in Olympia) has signed off on this as well. I'm recommending it to Norm Dicks' challenger and hope he will sign off on it, too. Don't count on getting anything out of Norm.

    Want to be a living kidney donor? I need one from someone with a bloodtype of B or O. Drop a note at

    by Kitsap River on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 04:16:05 PM PDT

  •  Stay Away From DCCC Vacuity! EXCELLENT! (0+ / 0-)

    I know in happy happy go-along-to-get-along don't be negative affluent world, only negative angry bitter people

    do stuff like make analysis and make conclusions,


    It is f'ing obvious what go along to get along has accomplished:

    1. Congress full of losers used to getting beaten,


    1. Another bunch who are just plain sell outs to those who are most endangering the American Experiment for the globe - OUR rich classes of elitists,


    1. A ruling clique out to turn the USA into a Russia / China / Nigeria / Brazil / India ...

    99.9999% ruled by a government for the elite, of the elite, and by the elite


    1. Iraq, Katrina, 'Health' High Living for consultants ...


    This is excellent.

    Robert Murphy
    PCO 36-1392
    Ballard, Seattle.

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 04:20:46 PM PDT

  •  Bush's wars are draining the nation's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    treasury -- they must be ended.  No federal taxpayer will tell you that the Iraq War is "off the table."

  •  Sat 5 April - Ballard High, Seattle, OVER 1000 (0+ / 0-)

    activists ! will be meeting for the 36th Legislative District Caucuses

    Jim McD is gonna win without breathing - you should send your troops over to recruit from the Thundering 36th

    (I might have another candidate I'm working for - I'll know on the 29th of Mar by 6:00 p.m.)

    Robert Murphy
    PCO 36-1392
    Ballard, Seattle.

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 04:23:25 PM PDT

  •  It's not a war (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bedir than average

    We're occupying Iraq, the war ended when Bush declared Mission Accomplished. Calling Iraq a war empowers conservative frames--spin, talking points, etc

  •  here is another good plan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sara seattle

    I. Start Bringing Our Troops Home

       * Bring Our Troops Home. As President, one of Hillary's first official actions will be to convene the Joint Chiefs of Staff, her Secretary of Defense, and her National Security Council. She will direct them to draw up a clear, comprehensive plan for withdrawal that starts removing our troops within 60 days. The plan for withdrawal will incorporate the most effective on-the-ground strategies and tactics to move personnel and equipment efficiently out of combat zones and then out of the country, and will focus on protecting our troops and reducing the risk of attacks as they come home

       * Hillary knows that as we bring our troops and contractors home, we cannot lose sight of our very real strategic interests in this region. Al Qaeda terrorist cells continue to operate in Iraq, cells that did not exist before President Bush’s failed policy. Under Hillary’s plan the United States will retain counterterrorism forces in Iraq and the region to fight al Qaeda and will not permit terrorists to have a safe haven in Iraq from which to attack the United States or its allies.

       * Protecting Those Who Protect Us. As President, Hillary will ensure that our troops receive sufficient time at home between deployments to rest, reconnect with their families, and receive appropriate training for their next mission.

       * Reduce Strains on Our Troops. The war is placing tremendous strain on our armed forces, courting strategic risks posed by a force that is stretched to the breaking point. As President, Hillary will adopt the recommendations of Rep. John Murtha to ensure that our Army troops have as much time at home as they have spent deployed. So for every month they spend in the field, they will be guaranteed one month here at home. Our Marines will have a similar standard appropriate for their service in the Corps. As President, Hillary will also require that the Secretary of Defense certify to the Congress full combat-brigade readiness before they are deployed.

       * Assess Impact of Iraq Deployments on Readiness. In the Senate, Hillary won approval of measures to provide greater transparency about the strains on our armed forces, particularly in light of deployments in Iraq. Her amendment to the 2008 Defense Authorization Act requires the Government Accountability Office to assess the ability of ground forces to meet the requirements of increased force levels in Iraq and Afghanistan and to identify and evaluate strategic and operational risks. As President, she will direct the Secretary of Defense to develop a readiness strategy that responds to the findings of these assessments.

       * Remove Armed Private Military Contractors in Iraq. As U.S. troops begin to withdraw, we should not be leaving unaccountable, often irresponsible private military contractors to carry arms and engage in combat-oriented missions and security functions. Hillary has co-sponsored the Stop Security Outsourcing Act, which seeks to end this practice. As President, Hillary will work toward a ban on armed private military contractors providing security for diplomatic personnel and performing mission-critical functions.

       * Stop Wasting Money on No-Bid Contracts. Spending on federal contracts has been the fasting-growing part of the discretionary budget over the past six years, yet has received little attention. Under this Administration, the number of no-bid contracts has more than doubled, and between 2000 and 2006, spending on these contracts has increased 121 percent to $103 billion, representing more than half of federal procurement spending. During this time, companies like Halliburton have enjoyed record profits, thanks to a 700 percent increase in taxpayer funds awarded to them. A recent Congressional report identified a wide range of contracts, running into the hundreds of billions of dollars, where federal auditors found massive overcharges, wasteful spending, and poor oversight. Hillary has proposed a measure that would create a new "point of order" against any spending bill in Fiscal 2009 that does not explicitly require a federal agency’s compliance with competitive contracting rules. As President, Hillary will work to ensure that this becomes law and that we stop wasting money on no-bid contracts.

    II. Secure stability in Iraq as we Bring our Troops Home.

    Greater political and economic stability means safer conditions for our departing troops and a smoother disengagement from our military’s missions across Iraq. In order to foster stability as U.S. troops begin to redeploy, Hillary will focus on political reconciliation inside Iraq and holding the Iraqi government accountable for political and economic progress. She will:

       * Call Upon the United Nations to Play a Greater Role in Addressing Domestic Strife in Iraq. As President, Hillary will press the United Nations to play a central role in bringing about national accommodation in Iraq, as it did with positive results in Bosnia, East Timor, and elsewhere. Not having been a party to the mistakes of the past five years, the UN, which has already provided valuable technical assistance to Iraq, is far more likely to be viewed as a neutral, honest broker than the United States – especially when it acts on behalf of a broad coalition of concerned states and the international community. The new UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has indicated he is willing to play a key role in assisting the Iraqis, and Hillary will ensure that the UN envoy in Iraq has the necessary authority by obtaining the Security Council’s explicit endorsement of a strengthened UN mandate to promote reconciliation.

       * Pursue an Integrated Strategy to Bring Stability to Iraq. The surge has emphasized a bottom-up strategy that has reduced violence in the short term but, in the absence of an effective national strategy, risks deepening sectarian divisions within Iraq in the long run. For example, the United States has established and armed local security elements – the Awakening in Anbar, for example, and other "Concerned Local Citizens" elsewhere – without getting the Iraqi government to live up to its agreement to integrate significant numbers of these local militias and "volunteers" into provincial police forces or the national Army. As President, Hillary will pursue a strategy that seeks to empower local leaders, but she will prioritize national accommodation, which is essential to stability. She will do this by using U.S. and international influence and assistance as leverage to press the Iraqis to reach agreement on key issues, including provincial elections, the hydrocarbon law, and on the overall nature of federalism. Hillary will press the United Nations into a central role in this effort.

       * Appoint a Special Counsel to Make Reconstruction Funds Accountable. As Iraq’s oil production increases, the potential revenue accumulated from oil production should increasingly fund Iraq’s reconstruction, instead of U.S. taxpayer money. Since 2006, Iraq has earned more than $80 billion from oil, and that figure is growing rapidly. Nevertheless, since the beginning of the war, the U.S. has provided roughly the same amount of money as the Iraqi government to rebuild the country (the United States has appropriated roughly $47 billion; the government of Iraq $50 billion). Even as we send billions to Iraq while they earn billions in oil revenues, there are increasing reports that the Iraqi government is not spending its budget allocated for reconstruction. The Comptroller General of the U.S. testified that the capital expenditure rate for the central ministries in Iraq was only 7% as of November 2007. Hillary is committed to ensuring that Iraqi oil revenue is dedicated to reconstruction funding – and that the money is actually spent, so that Iraqi citizens receive basic services, such as electricity and clean drinking water, which are currently lacking for so many. As President, Hillary will appoint a special counsel to investigate where Iraq’s oil profits are going and how reconstruction funds are being spent – or not spent. She will ensure that reconstruction funds are spent wisely before providing the Iraqi government with more.

       * Combat the Black Market in Oil to Dry Up Funds for the Insurgency. Corruption and stolen oil sold on the black market constitute a critical funding source for the insurgency. As President, Hillary will boost joint U.S.-Iraqi efforts to combat corruption and protect the oil supply. She will direct her Secretary of Defense to plan a nationwide U.S.-Iraqi crackdown on oil black marketers, ensuring that U.S. and Iraqi personnel have the resources and manpower necessary. This effort will be designed to disrupt lines of funding for the insurgency, to increase stability, and to reduce attacks on our troops during the withdrawal. Hillary will direct the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction to conduct regular reports on corruption in the oil industry. She will be prepared to withhold portions of aid if the Iraqi government does not show meaningful results in its anti-corruption efforts. Finally, Hillary will double the funding for oil pipeline exclusion zones, which prevent illegal tapping and attacks on pipelines; and she will also provide resources to stop cross-border smuggling of black market oil.

    III. A New Regional Diplomatic Initiative

       * Enlist the International Community to Stabilize the Region. Our allies and friends in the region all have a stake in a stable Iraq. Until now, in part because of the way the Bush Administration has behaved, they have gotten a free pass. No longer. As President, Hillary will have a unique opportunity to reach out to our allies and partners in the region and press them to take greater responsibility for what happens in Iraq. She will hold a major regional stabilization meeting early on in her Presidency. This group will be composed of key allies, other global powers, and all of the states bordering Iraq. The mission of this group will be to develop and implement a strategy to create a stable Iraq. In advance of that meeting, Hillary will confer with our treaty allies as well as our friends in the region to coordinate policy before gathering with the larger group of nations. One of her first international meetings as President will be with these leaders, including Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Jordan, and Egypt, as well as our European allies in order to push for greater responsible action towards Iraq, including more assistance. This will send a strong signal of our country’s determination – as we draw down our forces – to ensure that the rest of the world plays its part in stabilizing Iraq. Hillary will then convene a regional stabilization group composed of key allies, other global powers, and all of the states bordering Iraq. The mission of this group will be to develop and implement a strategy to create a stable Iraq.

       * Provide for Refugees. As our forces redeploy out of Iraq, Hillary will also organize a multi-billion dollar international effort under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to address the needs of Iraqi refugees. The UN will also play a role, helping to deal with the resettlement of refugees and others displaced from their homes, a number which now exceeds four million. With the price of oil at record levels, the government of Iraq now has considerable financial resources available. As President, Hillary will also press the UN to establish a mechanism by which some of those Iraqi funds could be used to feed, clothe, shelter, and otherwise provide for these millions of refugees. Addressing the upheaval caused by this displacement will facilitate a smoother exit and a less risky end to the war.

    •  and here is another (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sara seattle, bedir than average

      Barack Obama's Plan
      Judgment You Can Trust

      As a candidate for the United States Senate in 2002, Obama put his political career on the line to oppose going to war in Iraq, and warned of "an occupation of undetermined length, with undetermined costs, and undetermined consequences." Obama has been a consistent, principled and vocal opponent of the war in Iraq.

         * In 2003 and 2004, he spoke out against the war on the campaign trail;
         * In 2005, he called for a phased withdrawal of our troops;
         * In 2006, he called for a timetable to remove our troops, a political solution within Iraq, and aggressive diplomacy with all of Iraq’s neighbors;
         * In January 2007, he introduced legislation in the Senate to remove all of our combat troops from Iraq by March 2008.
         * In September 2007, he laid out a detailed plan for how he will end the war as president.

      Bringing Our Troops Home

      Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months. Obama will make it clear that we will not build any permanent bases in Iraq. He will keep some troops in Iraq to protect our embassy and diplomats; if al Qaeda attempts to build a base within Iraq, he will keep troops in Iraq or elsewhere in the region to carry out targeted strikes on al Qaeda.
      Press Iraq’s Leaders to Reconcile

      The best way to press Iraq’s leaders to take responsibility for their future is to make it clear that we are leaving. As we remove our troops, Obama will engage representatives from all levels of Iraqi society – in and out of government – to seek a new accord on Iraq’s Constitution and governance. The United Nations will play a central role in this convention, which should not adjourn until a new national accord is reached addressing tough questions like federalism and oil revenue-sharing.
      Regional Diplomacy

      Obama will launch the most aggressive diplomatic effort in recent American history to reach a new compact on the stability of Iraq and the Middle East. This effort will include all of Iraq’s neighbors — including Iran and Syria. This compact will aim to secure Iraq’s borders; keep neighboring countries from meddling inside Iraq; isolate al Qaeda; support reconciliation among Iraq’s sectarian groups; and provide financial support for Iraq’s reconstruction.
      Humanitarian Initiative

      Obama believes that America has a moral and security responsibility to confront Iraq’s humanitarian crisis — two million Iraqis are refugees; two million more are displaced inside their own country. Obama will form an international working group to address this crisis. He will provide at least $2 billion to expand services to Iraqi refugees in neighboring countries, and ensure that Iraqis inside their own country can find a safe-haven.

      •  i must admit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sara seattle

        clintons plan is a bit more specific and fleshed out

        •  Every time I hear this sentence... (0+ / 0-)

          She will direct them to draw up a, comprehensive plan for withdrawal that starts removing our troops within 60 days.

          ...I start diagramming it in my mind.  

          The phrase, within 60 days is referring to what?  "She will direct them to draw up a ...plan ....within 60 days?"  

          Or "she will direct them to draw up a... plan that starts removing our troops within 60 days?"

          The phrase never changes no matter how it's used in context of her remarks.  So it is very carefully phrased for some reason.

          I am uncomfortable with the phrase starts removing our troops because it doesn't give a time line for complete withdrawal or tell me how many troops will be withdrawn.  

          It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them. Alfred Adler

          by Quicksilver2723 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 07:39:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  this statement gives specifics (0+ / 0-)

        Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months. Obama will make it clear that we will not build any permanent bases in Iraq.

        It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them. Alfred Adler

        by Quicksilver2723 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 08:05:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Darcy, Eric, Steve and the rest (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew C White, 2dot, Asherd

    here in NY-21 we are very excited by this plan and having given it a thorough read I am endorsing it in my own campaign for Congress in New York's 21st Congressional District.

    Thank you for taking the lead in putting this plan forth.

    Democratic Candidate for New York's 21st Congressional District

    by Darius Shahinfar on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 05:59:40 PM PDT

  •  I Donated to Darcy twice and I live on the East (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    N in Seattle, sara seattle

    coast. If we want to clean up Congress we have to all chip in money to help get better people elected.

    Don't assume anything...Verify! It's as easy as 3.14159265

    by Mr SeeMore on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 06:10:08 PM PDT

  •  Question: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leo in NJ

    Would you say that spending $13 billion/month in Iraq in retaliation for a $1 million attack on 9/11 means that we have lost this war?

    Can we finally state that this war is lost because Al Qaeda has achieved their goal of draining the US economy?

    My two biggest inspirations are George W Bush and Barack Obama.

    by glutz78 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 06:45:41 PM PDT

    •  EXACTLY!!!!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      After 9/11, bin laden stated quite clearly that one primary goal of the attack was to draw us into a lengthy conflict that would bleed us to point of collapse like they did with the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

      Given the current state of the US economy, I suspect the terrorists are throwing a party somewhere in the mountains of Pakistan.  It literally puts a knot in my stomach, especially when you consider how many Americans still don't get how thoroughly Bush screwed the pooch with the Iraq invasion and how our continued presence there just plays into Al-Qaeda's hands.

      Seriously, could Bush have screwed our country over any more if he was a Manchurian Candidate?  By the end of his presidency our economy will be destroyed, oil will be traded in Euros and, and the dollar will no longer be the world's reserve currency.  Add that to the stack along with a severly degraded military, strained relationships with our allies, and general loss of world standing.  We should be checking W's brain for implanted microchips.

      Sorry, I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but sometimes a rant does a body good.

      Treasure each day like it will be your last, but treat the earth like you will live forever. -me

      by protothad on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 12:18:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is basically Bill Richardson's plan (0+ / 0-)

    I still regret that MoveOn and the DFA didn't support Richardson.  This plan is the same direction that Richardson proposed.  The Democratic Party would be in a lot better shape, and would be unified, if the progressives had backed him.

  •  Saw you on C-Span earlier and you were (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sara seattle, condorcet

    just great in your remarks, very clear and well spoken. I was very impressed with your campaign last time and I'm sure you will be elected. You are too good not to be!

    Thank you so much for doing this. I'm going to read through the plan. It's about time this was done.

    Thank God the Democrats won control of the Senate... otherwise, think of how different everything would be. -G.Greenwald

    by Gorette on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 07:11:04 PM PDT

  •  Excellent that some dems see how huge... (0+ / 0-)

    ...having a defensible plan will be in the fall.

    "But it all goes to the syndicate. And everybody has a share. Don't you understand?" - Milo Minderbinder in Catch 22

    by Minerva on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 07:31:30 PM PDT

  •  Where can we find an enlightened despot? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm afraid that the current tribe of misfits now running the gov't has screwed things up so badly that the two party system may not be able to turn things around quick enough to do the country the good that it needs.
    Unless we, the progressives, can achieve majorities in both houses and not have a return of Dixiecrats and blue dogs our movement will not be able to undo the abuse and disease the nation is burdened with.
    Dallasdoc has some very good suggestions. We need to hold those who have led the country astray to ridicule and penalty. We need to stop worrying about Iraq and start applying ourselves to us. We need to call Iraq what it is, a mistake. And not  an honest mistake but an unmitigated blunder and criminal waste.
    And no, I don't want a king. I just said that to sound as silly as the boy who would be king.
    Thanks for the plan Darcy, good on you. I hope we can get enough people to wake up to reality before the reality of a world wide recession smacks us all in the face.

  •  I just read the full plan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    N in Seattle

    Excellent, excellent work. Thank you.

    Harry Taylor for Congress, Courage is Contagious

    by Fredly on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 07:55:34 PM PDT

  •  YAY Darcy! (0+ / 0-)

    Have other people noticed the parallels between the Responsible Plan and the 1994 Newtist "Contract with America"?

    I mean, except for the fact that the Responsible Plan is a thing of beauty (taking after its creator), while the Newtist plan was a pile of ripe cow flops (also taking after its creator).

    I meant in terms of political strategy. Getting the best of our not-yet-elected candidates together to pledge support for various things they intend to do when sent to Washington.

    We've got us a winning issue here.  I say we gather as many red-to-blue netroots powerhouses around it as possible.

    "...And I woulda got away with it, if it hadn't been for that meddling Kos!" ---attributed to Tom DeLay

    by AdmiralNaismith on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:03:30 PM PDT

  •  Good work. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If you want lead, act like a leader. Tackle the problem. People will catch on soon enough.

    typo pp6 executive summary:

    End U.S. military action in Iraq:
    There is no military solution in Iraq. Our current course unacceptably holds U.S. strategic fortunes hostage to events in Iraq that are beyond our control; we must change course. Using diplomatic, political, and economic power, we can responsibly end the war and removing all of our troops from Iraq.

    `removing' should be `remove'

  •  I LOVED your presentation at the conference. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I just saw it on CSPAN. The person before you, the man from Iraq Veterans Against the War was also very inspiring to me. I am so happy about the leadership that is emerging out of the progressive net roots! Our leaders are very smart and very honest. It is thrilling to see.

    If Hillary wins the nomination through anti-democratic tactics and sheer bullying, she has already lost the election.

    by lecsmith on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:13:54 PM PDT

  •  Saw the video and loved it. (0+ / 0-)

    Please join the March 19th Blogswarm against the Iraq War

    The life you save may be that of a loved one about to go to Bush/McCain's hell.

    Thanks in advance.

    Today, 3/17/08, 3990 Americans, and untold Iraqis are dead, tens of thousands more maimed. Bush lied, how soon before your family pays for that?

    by boilerman10 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:22:23 PM PDT

  •  Iraq is our watershed (0+ / 0-)

    What's the real reason we went to war with Iraq, and why are we still fighting this war?

    The Pentagon report confirms what many of us suspected: it wasn't because of WMDs or a link between Al Queda and Saddam Hussein, although they were throw out as bait. Was it because of Peak Oil, to protect the US dollar (in Sept 2000, Saddam Hussein started negotiating oil contracts in euros), or corporate greed? We were never told the reason why, and I personally want to know the truth.

    If it's about doing the right thing, we would have ended the war yesterday, so why are we still there and why would McCain, after visiting Iraq as the Republican Party presidential nominee, state that we are going to be in Iraq for a long time knowing how unpopular the war is? I don't think it is just about ensuring the political viability of the Iraqi government. I believe that there are downside is to ending the war that aren't being discussed by both parties.

  •  What's the media plan? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    N in Seattle

    Not everyone watches YouTube, reads the newspaper or political blogs, or owns a TV. I hope that the media plan includes using several different approaches to get the message out, so everyone will hear about it.

    •  What's the elected official plan? (0+ / 0-)

      Timing this for the Easter recess gives us time to ask our Senators and Members of Congress for their assessment of this document.

      I've already sent a copy to my USRep. I'll be asking for a response on Wednesday.  As i say in my comment,this is a very concrete collection of objectives, assessments and a plan for going forward. I think it is more than fair to ask your elected official for a response that is at least as clear and concrete as this document is.

  •  Solid construction (0+ / 0-)

    What's most important about this document is that it puts something on the table that is both concrete and makes clear choices. The ISG report was long on assessment, but short on practical recommendations, with wiggle room all over the document.  This was presumably intentional, to give Bush the opportunity to build his own plan for working the occupation down to the 50,000 troops that has been the plan all along.  But it meant that the report did not serve as a useful foundation for discussion.

    This document is an extremely useful foundation for discussion.  It's very crisp; if you disagree with some element of it, you're really forced to say what you would do instead.  Moreover, it lays out real objectives. One of the most frustrating elements of the public discourse on the occupation is the complete unwillingness of anybody, from David Petraeus to the presidential candidates Obama/Hillary Cinton, to state the objectives.  There's much handwringing about the situation and even more handwringing about what will happen in the absence of US forcs. But nobody will state an objective that is sought, beyond airy-fairy Bushisms.

    This document lays out objectives.

    Because of this, the Republican slogans sound even more vacuous than they do without anything on the table (which has been the state of affairs throughout the occupation).  It also takes away the presidentials deep commitment to maintaining as much wiggle room as possible.  If you're going to argue for a residual force, you have to be able to respond to this:

    This solution requires that no residual U.S. troops remain in Iraq.  The continued presence in Iraq of so-called "residual" forces beyond the minimum needed for standard embassy-protection would be a serious mistake. Any such troops would become a magnet for insurgent attacks and unless they did nothing at all would inevitably become players in Iraq’s domestic political disputes, thus forcing the United States to continue to play referee to Iraq’s civil conflicts. Soldiers tasked with training missions would, to be effective, have to be embedded in Iraqi combat formations necessarily involving them directly in combat, thus continuing to hold American strategic fortunes hostage to events
    in Iraq that are beyond our control.

    The argument here states, correctly IMO, that US forces contribute to instability, and that no stability is possible as long as there are US troops operating, as they necessarily must, in support of one faction or another.  

    No elected official or think tank analyst has laid this out so clearly and succinctly.  It is a bucket of cold water dumped on all the people who shilly-shally on the question of indefinite occupation. I've long believed this is the consensus Washington view, which is why we get half-baked, Joe Klein talk like this:

    I am certainly disappointed that Clinton didn't use this opportunity to address the Iraq problem for real--to say, "Look, even though Samantha Power called me a monster, what she said about Iraq is true. Both Senator Obama and I would like to be able to pull a brigade a month out of Iraq, and I'm sure we'll both try to do that. But truth in advertising requires me to say to you that it's a best case scenario. I have no idea what the situation on the ground is going to be on January 20, 2009. I have no exact idea how we can use the prospect of our withdrawal to leverage the Iraqis into getting their political act together, but it's the only real leverage we have--and a new President needs to point the military and our diplomats in that direction. So my policy will be different from John McCain's, which is to use Iraq as a permanent U.S. base in the region. That's a bad idea. Permanent U.S. bases would be a permanent irritants in the region. So we're going to try to leave. But it won't be easy and it won't be as quick as we'd all like it to be."

    The presence of US troops is destabilizing. Pining for a diplomatic solution while keeping American forces there locks the US into an endless series of FUs. So the question for the candidates Darcy's Challengers (we need a name!! at least as memorable as "Blue Dogs") are running against is to explain exactly how American forces can bring stability, given this analysis.

    This is just one aspect of the strength of  the document.  The use of existing legislation and the ISG assessments and recommendations provide the warp and weft for weaving together a series of objectives that are clear and attainable--and clearly in the interests of the citizens of the United States, and Iraq.

  •  The fundamental problem (0+ / 0-)

    with all of this (not just this diary, I mean the whole Iraq issue) is that people have bought the term "war" when referring to it.  We are not at war, never have been.  The term is being bandied about because even after someone says "invasion," he or she doesn't want to continue pressing the point. I don't know why.

    If the government of the United States declares war on Iraq, I will accept "Iraq War" as a term but for now, I deplore it.  What we have is a military occupation and I don't know why we have to keep saying "the war in Iraq."  The Iraqi people have done nothing to us and we are not at war with them or their government.  Or perhaps we are and someone forgot to tell us....??  

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