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John Kerry's Plan for the U. S in Iraq

Old 04-11-06, 07:15 PM
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John Kerry's Plan for the U. S in Iraq

He announced it on the floor of the U. S. Senate last week a long and detailed speech.

Basically his plan (in a nutshell) calls for the U. S. to issue an ultimatum to the Iraqis. Establish a functioning government within 45 days or we'll withdraw our troops. Even if they do establish a functioning government, we will draw down our troops where we will have only a border security number by the end of 2006.

I never thought I would come to be saying this, but I'm in basic agreement with the position taken by Kerry. All the partisan bickering, delay, and stalling among the leadership of the different factions in Iraq has become intolerable. It's time for them to either shit or get off the pot.

The crowning blow for me came when those ungrateful (I won't call them what I consider them to be) 'persons' told the U. S. Secretary of State & the British Foreign Secretary, in effect, to go fuck themselves. Who were they (Rice & Staw) to dictate terms about the partisan bickering and wrangling that the Iraqi politicians were carrying on.

Later they apparently relayed the same message to Rumsfeld.

Yes, I'm fully aware of the geo-political consequences that may result from the above action. But enough is enough.

Last edited by classicman2; 04-11-06 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 04-11-06, 07:34 PM
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So, we're blaming the Iraqis now? I predicted as much last year. The US is almost entirely responsible for the way things are going. We've promised them a lot. Time will tell how much we've paid in full on our promises.
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Old 04-11-06, 07:40 PM
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The crowning blow for me came when those ungrateful (I won't call them what I consider them to be) 'persons' told the United States Secretary & the British Foreign Secretary, in effect, to go fuck themselves. Who were they (Rice & Staw) to dictate terms about the partisan bickering and wrangling that the Iraqi politicians were carrying on.
Not sure what you're talking about here.

Can you expand on that?
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Old 04-11-06, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
So, we're blaming the Iraqis now? I predicted as much last year. The US is almost entirely responsible for the way things are going. We've promised them a lot. Time will tell how much we've paid in full on our promises.
You don't believe the Iraqis deserve blame?
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Old 04-11-06, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Ranger
Not sure what you're talking about here.

Can you expand on that?
They politely told the Iraqi governing council to get their shit together and create a government. The Iraqi governing council told them to go to hell. Basically.

I saw Kerry outlining his plan on Meet the Press, and I had the same reaction as Classicman--I was shocked that I agreed with Kerry. Kerry also suggested the possibility of splitting the country into three parts if they absolutely could not figure something out.
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Old 04-11-06, 07:48 PM
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The Iraqis deserve some blame, but we should have saw this coming. There's too much division in Iraq to easily get a unified government in place. Much less to do it as fast as we promised.
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Old 04-11-06, 07:53 PM
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Wasn't it the Iraqis who promised to have a functioning government with all political parties and sects represented within 45 days after the elections?
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Old 04-11-06, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Wasn't it the Iraqis who promised to have a functioning government with all political parties and sects represented within 45 days after the elections?
You gotta wonder what the Iraqi people are thinking. When the hell were elections? January? Is that right?

And before someone comes in here and talks about how long it took for the US to get a functioning government in place, the situation is slightly different between the two countries.
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Old 04-11-06, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
You don't believe the Iraqis deserve blame?
As Josh said, some blame. But you can't deny we were the ones who promised them a lot from the beginning then started to back-off from the promises. I've said last year the US would eventually blame Iraq for all its ills and leave the place a chaotic mess. Which is why I favored not occupying the shithole in the first place. You cannot reverse this kind of culture and thinking with the current practices and behaviors from Bush all the way down to the US Trooper.
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Old 04-11-06, 07:57 PM
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<img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/57/IraqSovereignty.jpg">

Note Bush's commentary.
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Old 04-11-06, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Wasn't it the Iraqis who promised to have a functioning government with all political parties and sects represented within 45 days after the elections?
But wasn't it the Bush Administration who basically forced them to say as much? It's not like the Iraqis just came up with this figure all on their own--and if they did, I'd like to read about it.

You can't dismiss the backdoor discussions with the Bush Administration and their wanting to wrap things up because things at home aren't going well for their political party. Like I said before, this is what was expected from Republicans and how Iraqis would be holding the ball and then being blamed for dropping it.

When you look at it from the start, the Iraqis were destined to lose.
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Old 04-11-06, 08:00 PM
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I didn't favor the invasion either, but that's water over the dam. We're there. Therefore, the main focus should not be on whether we should have been there in the first place, but what are we going to do now.

I'll argue that 'just stay the course' won't cut it any longer. I think the majority of American people believe as I do.

But wasn't it the Bush Administration who basically forced them to say as much?
I don't believe that's true. If you want to argue that we gave them a large measure of autonomy too quickly, I'll agree.
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Old 04-11-06, 08:36 PM
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The US can't do anything. That's the point. We shouldn't have made promises for things that are out of our control. And shouldn't have went over their in the first place on faulty intelligence.
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Old 04-11-06, 08:52 PM
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Back to the principal topic - do you'll support the Kerry plan?
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Old 04-11-06, 08:54 PM
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Yes, I support the Kerry plan. We fucked up. We can't fix it, only the Iraqi's can do that. It's time to pressure them to do so, and if they can't it's their problem to solve.
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Old 04-11-06, 09:05 PM
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There is a point when the US has to put its foot down with the Iraqi government. I think people feel that we've held their hands long enough.
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Old 04-11-06, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Back to the principal topic - do you'll support the Kerry plan?
Do you mean the Murtha plan?
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Old 04-11-06, 09:17 PM
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Murtha's plan:

The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public is way ahead of us. The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq, but it is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering.

The future of our country is at risk. We can not continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interest of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region.
General Casey said in a September 2005 Hearing, "the perception of occupation in Iraq is a major driving force behind the insurgency." General Abizaid said on the same date, "Reducing the size and visibility of the coalition forces in Iraq is a part of our counterinsurgency strategy."

For 2 1/2 years I have been concerned about the U.S. policy and the plan in Iraq. I have addressed my concerns with the Administration and the Pentagon and have spoken out in public about my concerns. The main reason for going to war has been discredited. A few days before the start of the war I was in Kuwait – the military drew a red line around Baghdad and said when U.S. forces cross that line they will be attacked by the Iraqis with Weapons of Mass Destruction – but the US forces said they were prepared. They had well trained forces with the appropriate protective gear.

We spend more money on Intelligence than all the countries in the world together, and more on Intelligence than most countries GDP. But the intelligence concerning Iraq was wrong. It is not a world intelligence failure. It is a U.S. intelligence failure and the way that intelligence was misused.

I have been visiting our wounded troops at Bethesda and Walter Reed hospitals almost every week since the beginning of the War. And what demoralizes them is going to war with not enough troops and equipment to make the transition to peace; the devastation caused by IEDs; being deployed to Iraq when their homes have been ravaged by hurricanes; being on their second or third deployment and leaving their families behind without a network of support.

The threat posed by terrorism is real, but we have other threats that cannot be ignored. We must be prepared to face all threats. The future of our military is at risk. Our military and their families are stretched thin. Many say that the Army is broken. Some of our troops are on their third deployment. Recruitment is down, even as our military has lowered its standards. Defense budgets are being cut. Personnel costs are skyrocketing, particularly in health care. Choices will have to be made. We can not allow promises we have made to our military families in terms of service benefits, in terms of their health care, to be negotiated away. Procurement programs that ensure our military dominance cannot be negotiated away. We must be prepared. The war in Iraq has caused huge shortfalls at our bases in the U.S.

Much of our ground equipment is worn out and in need of either serious overhaul or replacement. George Washington said, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.” We must rebuild our Army. Our deficit is growing out of control.

The Director of the Congressional Budget Office recently admitted to being "terrified" about the budget deficit in the coming decades. This is the first prolonged war we have fought with three years of tax cuts, without full mobilization of American industry and without a draft. The burden of this war has not been shared equally; the military and their families are shouldering this burden.

Our military has been fighting a war in Iraq for over two and a half years. Our military has accomplished its mission and done its duty. Our military captured Saddam Hussein, and captured or killed his closest associates. But the war continues to intensify.

Deaths and injuries are growing, with over 2,079 confirmed American deaths. Over 15,500 have been seriously injured and it is estimated that over 50,000 will suffer from battle fatigue. There have been reports of at least 30,000 Iraqi civilian deaths.

I just recently visited Anbar Province Iraq in order to assess the conditions on the ground. Last May 2005, as part of the Emergency Supplemental Spending Bill, the House included the Moran Amendment, which was accepted in Conference, and which required the Secretary of Defense to submit quarterly reports to Congress in order to more accurately measure stability and security in Iraq.
We have now received two reports. I am disturbed by the findings in key indicator areas. Oil production and energy production are below pre-war levels. Our reconstruction efforts have been crippled by the security situation. Only $9 billion of the $18 billion appropriated for reconstruction has been spent. Unemployment remains at about 60 percent. Clean water is scarce. Only $500 million of the $2.2 billion appropriated for water projects has been spent.

And most importantly, insurgent incidents have increased from about 150 per week to over 700 in the last year. Instead of attacks going down over time and with the addition of more troops, attacks have grown dramatically. Since the revelations at Abu Ghraib, American casualties have doubled. An annual State Department report in 2004 indicated a sharp increase in global terrorism.

I said over a year ago, and now the military and the Administration agrees, Iraq can not be won "militarily." I said two years ago, the key to progress in Iraq is to Iraqitize, Internationalize and Energize. I believe the same today. But I have concluded that the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is impeding this progress.

Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency. They are united against U.S. forces and we have become a catalyst for violence. U.S. troops are the common enemy of the Sunnis, Saddamists and foreign jihadists. I believe with a U.S. troop redeployment, the Iraqi security forces will be incentivized to take control.

A poll recently conducted shows that over 80% of Iraqis are strongly opposed to the presence of coalition troops, and about 45% of the Iraqi population believe attacks against American troops are justified. I believe we need to turn Iraq over to the Iraqis.

I believe before the Iraqi elections, scheduled for mid December, the Iraqi people and the emerging government must be put on notice that the United States will immediately redeploy. All of Iraq must know that Iraq is free. Free from United States occupation. I believe this will send a signal to the Sunnis to join the political process for the good of a “free” Iraq.

My plan calls:

-- To immediately redeploy U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces.
-- To create a quick reaction force in the region.
-- To create an over- the- horizon presence of Marines.
-- To diplomatically pursue security and stability in Iraq

This war needs to be personalized. As I said before I have visited with the severely wounded of this war. They are suffering.

Because we in Congress are charged with sending our sons and daughters into battle, it is our responsibility, our OBLIGATION to speak out for them. That’s why I am speaking out.

Our military has done everything that has been asked of them, the U.S. can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. IT IS TIME TO BRING THEM .

Last edited by classicman2; 04-11-06 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 04-11-06, 09:22 PM
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We spend more money on Intelligence than all the countries in the world together, and more on Intelligence than most countries GDP. But the intelligence concerning Iraq was wrong. It is not a world intelligence failure. It is a U.S. intelligence failure and the way that intelligence was misused.
Yes, I was amazed that Bush didn't fire people from the CIA, rather, he gave the CIA head a medal? Like a head coach praising his defensive coordinator after it was apparent that the defensive scheme was horrible.

I'm fed up with them. So much, in fact that I think the entire agency should be dismantled immediately and some funding transferred over to the NSA, FBI, Nat'l Guard, etc.
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Old 04-11-06, 09:26 PM
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The Los Angeles Times

Kerry Presses for Iraq Deadline
Senator says U.S. troops should withdraw unless Baghdad can form a government by May 15.


By T. Christian Miller, Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON Amid the ongoing failure of officials in Iraq to form a government, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) continued to push Sunday for the withdrawal of American forces from that country as soon as next month.

The 2004 Democratic presidential nominee said that President Bush should begin pulling out troops if the Iraqis fail by May 15 to agree on a new prime minister and Cabinet, decisions that have been stalled in sectarian bickering since parliamentary elections in December.

Kerry also urged Bush to increase diplomatic pressure, calling for a summit of leaders of neighboring nations and countries in the U.S.-led coalition to force Iraqi officials to form a national government.

"It's unconscionable that any young American is dying because Iraqis, five months after an election, are dithering and squabbling and cannot find the ability to compromise and come together in a democracy," Kerry said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "Our kids didn't die for that."

Kerry's remarks, which come as he ponders another run for the White House in 2008, are the latest effort by Democrats to counter Republican accusations that they have no coherent plan for ending the conflict in Iraq. On March 29, Democratic leaders announced a "Real Security" platform, which includes increased military and reconstruction funding.

A week later, Kerry called for the May withdrawal deadline in a New York Times opinion article. But he has received little support, so far, with only a handful of his colleagues in Congress signing on.

Bush administration officials Sunday rejected Kerry's proposal as shortsighted and impractical. The U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, said patience was needed.

The Iraqis are "having some difficulties. We are pressing them, but eventually they will get it right, and it's very important that we stay with them," Khalilzad said on CNN's "Late Edition." "And I don't believe giving them a deadline for withdrawal of troops unless they form a government by May 15 is the right approach."

Kerry was also attacked by the Republican National Committee, which issued a statement Sunday accusing him of exhibiting "his trademark pessimism."

"From his calls for retreat and defeat in Iraq to censuring the president, the senator is more consumed with his own political future than national security," said Tracey Schmitt, the RNC's press secretary. "Despite the Democrats' consummate defeatism, President Bush remains committed to winning the war on terror and protecting Americans."

Khalilzad, meanwhile, downplayed a report by U.S. Embassy and military officials that found that six of Iraq's 18 provinces had "serious" or "critical" stability problems. The report, first disclosed in Sunday's New York Times, shows the status of governance, security and economics in each of Iraq's provinces.

Sunni Arab-dominated Al Anbar province west of Baghdad is rated as having the most serious problems; the Kurdish region in the north and large portions of the Shiite Muslim heartland in south-central Iraq get the best marks. Baghdad, home to about a fifth of Iraq's 26 million people, was designated as having a "serious" problem with security because of ongoing assassinations and crime, among other issues.

The report also notes a growing concern about Iranian influence in several provincial councils, which the U.S. has promoted to foster decentralized government. In Karbala, for instance, the report notes that the local "government is functioning and improving. However, it appears to be increasing [its] association with the Iranian government."

Khalilzad said the report was not contrary to assessments offered by Bush administration officials, who contend that the majority of Iraq's provinces are stable, with problems confined to a few areas such as Al Anbar and Baghdad.

He said the report was prepared to offer a realistic assessment of what U.S. officials could expect as they embarked upon a new plan to focus rebuilding efforts at the local level.

"We want Iraq to succeed, to stand on its own feet, and the provincial governments, some of those places do need our help," Khalilzad said on "Fox News Sunday."
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Old 04-11-06, 09:47 PM
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Kerry took Murtha's plan and added the ultimatum. He still wants an over-the-horizon force. He also holds the same belief as Murtha - that the US military's mission has been achieved.
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Old 04-11-06, 09:47 PM
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BTW, Meet the Press is available in it's entirity in iTunes as a podcast for free if anyone wants to hear Kerry's comments and missed the show. Probably can download it somewhere else as well if you don't have iTunes.

Edit: You can also watch in online here.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032608/

Last edited by Josh Hinkle; 04-11-06 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 04-11-06, 10:11 PM
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how long did it take from the end of the revolutionary war to the signing of the US Constitution?
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Old 04-11-06, 10:38 PM
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We didn't have another country occupying us, and trying to force change. We did it ourselves.

So that's apples and oranges.
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Old 04-11-06, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
I'll argue that 'just stay the course' won't cut it any longer. I think the majority of American people believe as I do.
Now you care about what the majority of American's want? They also want a fence built along the Mexican border. Does that mean you should change your line of thinking there?


I actually agree with you on this one, but I guess I agree with the American people on both issues.
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