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|Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Santa Clara Counties, CA||June 6, 2006 Election|
End the War in Iraq Now
By Stevan E. "Steve" ThomasCandidate for United States Representative; District 11; Democratic Party
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Iraq is a foreign policy disaster and a dangerous distaction from the fight with Al Qaeda. It is making the world a more dangerous place and bankrupting our grandchildren.I feel strongly we should stop the war right now and start bringing troops home now! We need to immediately wage diplomacy and hold discussions with the insurgent groups and the neighboring countries. We are not. See http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/050406L for a May 3, 2006 Associated Press story titled "Iraqi Insurgents Not in Contact With US Anymore."
The only people who are glad we are in Iraq are Al Qaeda, Iran and China. We are weaker militarily, every day. We are weaker financially, every day. They all know this.
Our military is over-extended, over-deployed, under equipped, nearly worn out and bogged down in a quagmire.
This war is bankrupting our Country, our children and our grandchildren. We can't afford to steal their future, it is profoundly irresponsible.
There are numerous current and former C.I.A. professionals who feel strongly that Iraq is a dangerous distraction from our fight with Al Qaeda. This includes the man who was head of the Bin Laden unit for eight years.
I have spoken with Iraqi-Americans who have visited their families in Iraq. What Iraqis are saying to each other is "Look at the 14 permanent bases the Americans are building, look at Korea, look at Okinawa, look at the Philippines. The Americans aren't leaving. They are here to steal our oil."
Scotty can't "beam us up." Any troop withdrawal will take months and needs to be safe and orderly, with a strong message that "We are not staying, we are leaving." We must cease offensive operations while engaging in serious diplomacy with all relevant parties.
Lt. General William Odom wrote a piece titled "Cut and Run? You Bet!" in the May/June 2006 issue of Foreign Policy. View this at http://truthout.org/docs_2006/050206B.shtml for a list of coherent political and military reasons for leaving now. I do not think the title accurately reflects the truth of his article. "Withdraw immediately or stay the present course?" is the first line and would have been a better title.
Iraq means "the place of the black mud." The Fertile Crescent is where these various people have lived for 7,000 years. In spite of the fact that the borders were completely made up by the British, the people identify as Iraqis. We have given them a constitution that does not share power. That is why there is now a civil war in progress. If we leave, even Jack Murtha has said there are only about 1,000 Al Qaeda and foreign fighters in Iraq. They will be killed or expelled when the Iraqis don't need them to help fight us. When the Iraqis know we are really leaving, they will work it out.
The current policy in Iraq is a foreign policy disaster that cannot succeed. Special Forces doctrine is very simple, if an insurgency is growing, it is winning. Setting aside that we should not have gone into Iraq in the first place, had we gone in with the same "New Deal" principles that were used as the Marshall Plan to rebuild Germany and Japan, it would be a wholly different story. The Marshall Plan was based on strong labor unions, national healthcare and protected industries so the shattered countries could build wealth for their people. It worked.
The NeoCons in charge of Iraqi reconstruction want a model to show that their ideas of libertarian, free market capitalism, private contractors and corporate looting of the public treasury is a better model. The proof is in the pudding. Billions are being made by private contractors while Iraqis suffer over 40% unemployment, the electricity doesn't work, the sewage doesn't work, the water doesn't work and the middle class is fleeing the country. The sooner we engage in serious diplomacy and disengage our troops, the sooner we can start to undo the damage done.
Position Paper 2
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