Thursday, August 18, 2005

Feingold Continues to be Right on Iraq

Sorry if the title for this post looks like something you'd see on one of the Senator's press releases, but it is the most accurate thing I could think of to describe Today's Big (Feingold) News.

As reported in the Washington Post, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and across the liberal blogosphere Senator Feingold proposed a tentative deadline of December 31, 2006 for having all US troops withdrawn from Iraq.

As the Journal Sentinel wrote:

"The situation is becoming more and more untenable because of a lack of a clear plan to finish the task and leave," said Feingold in a telephone interview while he traveled between listening sessions in northern Wisconsin.

Feingold said he planned to put out a public proposal Thursday on the issue.

The Bush administration and even some critics of the war have argued that setting target dates for the withdrawal of troops would be artificial and embolden insurgents in Iraq.

Feingold said he rejected that argument because he was convinced that the indefinite presence of troops and the lack of a withdrawal plan fueled the insurgency.

Feingold said a deadline for full withdrawal- he proposed Dec. 31, 2006-should be flexible and subject to changing conditions. But he contended that setting even a target date would "help us to undermine the recruiting efforts and unity of the insurgents, encourage Iraq ownership of the transition process "and reassure the American people our Iraq policy is not directionless."

I don't know what more to say, except the man is right. In a saner America his position would be the position of the majority of American politicians, rather than just a very small, very brave minority. A timetable with concrete goals for the reconstruction of Iraq and the withdrawal of US troops would be beneficial to both the United States and Iraq, and I think it is clearly the best possible policy. The alternative of full immediate withdrawal that some would like to see is unrealistic and would be unfair to the Iraqi people, while the Administration's policy of keeping US forces in Iraq indefinitely, without a clear goal, as the insurgency stays bad or gets worse-well, that's not doing anyone any good. Looking at the president's approval ratings, it's certainly not doing him any good.

I sincerely hope the president listens to Senator Feingold and comes forward with some kind of timetable telling us what our goal is in Iraq and giving some estimate of when the mission will truly be accomplished. I also sincerely doubt that there is any chance of him doing that. So the next best thing would be for all the Democrats in Congress to get behind this proposal, and to make it one of the main issues of the 2006 midterm campaign. I'd just like to say that it would be okay for Congressional Democrats who voted for the war to support Senator Feingold's plan now. Many of them were misled, I'd guess most of them thought it would be over by now. I hope they can see that supporting this proposal would be the best thing they could do for our troops and for the Iraqi people: it would be showing them that eventually things will get better, their nightmare will be over, that there is a plan.

OTHER NEWS: Also, if you haven't already: sign the petition encouraging Russ to run for President. And if you just realized this site was still active, check out my Grand Reopening post below. It has some more Feingold news and, I think, some kind of reference to the Olsen Twins. I don't know, it's long so I didn't really read it...

I'll write more this weekend if I have the time.



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At 1:47 PM, Blogger Phil said...

Hot damn! I think this gives Feingold a real chance. He's the first prospective Democratic presidential nominee to speak out against the occupation and to call for a timetable of withdrawal. Spineless corporate Democrats like Hilary and Biden might get the corporate funding, but Feingold's struck political gold by speaking so forcefully against the war. I sure hope he runs. If nothing else, to force the other Democrats to finally start speaking out against the indefinite US troop presence in Iraq.

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