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Sen. Feingold Comments On the Iraq Study Report

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Tonight, Keith Olbermann interviewed Senator Russ Feingold on his show, about the Iraq Study Group Report.

I feel like I've been watching the preview of a, or a premiere of a blockbuster movie in Washington.

The fact is this commission is entirely composed of people who did not have the judgment to oppose the Iraq war in the first place, and did not have the judgment to realize that this was not a wise move in the fight against terrorism. So that's who's doing this report.

Then I looked at the list of who testified before them. There's virtually no-one who opposed the war in the first place, virtually no-one who calls for a different strategy which calls for a global approach to the war on terrorism. SO this is really a Washington inside job. It shows not in the description of what's happened. But it shows in the recommmendations

It does not do the job of extricating us from Iraq in a way that we can deal with the issues in Southeast Asia, Afghanistan and Somalia, which are every bit as important as what is happening in Iraq.

This report does not do the job and it is because it is not composed of a real, representative group of Americans who believe what the American people showed in the election, which is that it is time for us to have a timetable to bring the troops out of Iraq.

The problem is, the bottom line here is, what are we going to do so we can allocate our resources around the world to the battle against terrorism. This report keeps us in Iraq. This report keeps our resources there.

One of the things I really noticed is they said we should put our very best people embedded in the Iraqi army. But that means we can't in Afghanistan. And we are losing ground to the Taliban in Afghanistan, which is where, I remember, the attacks came from on 9/11.

This thing, fundamentally, continues the ultimate mistake in Washington, which is looking at the problem through the prism of Iraq, instead of looking at the threat from Al Qaeda as a global problem.

Many of the recommendations are positive and they should be adopted, absolutely. But the main point, which is how are we going to get our troops out of Iraq and not continue to have them in a situation in a way that makes sense-- that isn't seriously dealt with. We lost TEN more troops in Iraq, just today Keith. How many more days of this are we going to put up with, in this country of people dying in a situation that this report says isn't working.
When you make a mistake, you should stop making the mistake, and this report misses the point.

The answer is to have a timeframe clearly communicated to the Iraqi government. I had originally proposed, 15 months ago, that it be done by now. But let's say that we do it by the middle of next summer, that we're going to be bringing our troops out, redeploying them, as congressman Murtha said. We're going to keep certain troops there for purposes of special ops to go after terrorists, but we're not going to have 140,000 troops trying to stop a civil war.

That is a simple solution. It is a legitimate solution and it is the only way to prevent the grotesque losses that are occurring with regard to American troops, our military readiness and most importantly, the damage to the national security of the american people, which is being hurt every day when we focus excessively on IRaq and not on the world threat that wer are facing from Al Qaeda and its affiliates. That's the bottom line.

...We need a real timetable to bring the troops out... The American people spoke in the l election and they want our troops out of Iraq. And you know what? They are right. That's the right thing to do. Democrats and Republicans have to get serious about this right now.
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US Senator from Wisconsin

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