April 5, 2008

Feingold rips Dems on Iraq

Sen. Russ Feingold ripped his fellow Democrats today for their stance on the Iraq war. Dems leaders laid out their position in a letter to President Bush. The leaders called on Bush not to send more troops to Iraq, change the mission of troops already there, and begin a phased redeployment within six months. Here's the relevant graph:
Rather than deploy additional forces to Iraq, we believe the way forward is to begin the phased redeployment of our forces in the next four to six months, while shifting the principal mission of our forces there from combat to training, logistics, force protection and counter-terror. A renewed diplomatic strategy, both within the region and beyond, is also required to help the Iraqis agree to a sustainable political settlement. In short, it is time to begin to move our forces out of Iraq and make the Iraqi political leadership aware that our commitment is not open ended, that we cannot resolve their sectarian problems, and that only they can find the political resolution required to stabilize Iraq.

Feingold's main contention seems to be Democrats are wavering on calling for a full withdrawal from Iraq. Here's his statement:
"I am deeply disappointed with the letter sent by Democratic leaders to the President regarding Iraq. Rather than calling on the President to redeploy our troops from Iraq, it endorses a plan put forward by General Petraeus that could entail leaving tens of thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq indefinitely. This would be dangerous for our troops, further the perception that we are occupying Iraq, provoke instability in the country and the region, and keep us from focusing on the global al Qaeda threat.

"Contrary to what the letter suggests, we should not be waiting around for a 'political accommodation which will allow us to reduce U.S. troop levels substantially.' We must redeploy our troops to break the paralysis that now grips U.S. strategy in the region."

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