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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/10/09

We, too, Can "Cut and Run"

Message Rafe Pilgrim
The United States can do anything it wishes, at least until a consortium of the decent governments of the world decides they won't take it anymore.
Our government lied to the world and to its own citizens to get into Iraq.  Yes, there were some very few of us who expressed horror at the prospect, but most lapped it up or sat jaw agape and allowed the process to proceed.  Some could hardly wait for the actual invasion to wave the flags and "Support Our Troops," apparently innocently blind or obtuse to the treachery and the consequences. 
Now more than 4200 of those celebrated troops, mostly youngsters have been destroyed as a consequence of those lies, as well as over a million Iraqis, for the most part innocent civilians.  Millions more Iraqis have emigrated to escape the perils of the U.S. "spreading freedom and democracy" across their country. 
But now – we are told – things are going more our way, apparently as indicated by a declining kill-rate.  To any decent person of reasonable intelligence – having over the past six years detected no scintilla of benefit to himself, our country or humanity – this would appear to be a great opportunity for the flies to get off the flypaper, i.e. to spare the further slaughter of human beings (both ours and theirs) and stanch the Katrina-like flood of treasure cascading from our national coffers.  But, not so we are told.  Why?  "Wull, you know, we can't just cut and run!"  And lo and behold, in large part, the jaw-gaping re-commences.
Can't just cut and run?  You bet your sweet bippy we can, our choices being cutting-and-running or staying-and-more-suffering.  The same masterss who got us into this mosh pit of slaughter now want us to stay in it, even with the inevitability that things in Iraq will again get worse, the kill-rate re-ascend, and our treasure will in greater flood seep to disappear into that desert two oceans away from our shores, except for that generous portion that flows into the vaults of those who profit from treachery, the lust for oil and the business of war.
What we actually just can't do is to permit the lying greed and power meisters to abuse us and humanity for their own base purposes any longer.  And our first step must be to remove all of our troops from Iraq now.  No nonsense, no obfuscation, no manipulation:  ALL  OUT  NOW ! 
Will there be strife in Iraq after we leave?  Absolutely.  But leaving yields two advantages, the first of which is that we'll no longer be in the crossfire while paying for the carnage in American lives and treasure, and the second is that the Iraqis will themselves finally get the opportunity to struggle for and to earn the government they deserve, which -- as history is our guide – is the inescapable fate of all peoples. Now – just how do we cut and run?  Completely and expeditiously, but certainly not without regard to the safety of our troops nor in complete disregard for the Iraqis.  The various scenarios proposed thus far are not acceptable, including:
          (1)    A President McCain's plan:  By 2013 (and beyond?)
          (2)   Various of the generals:  In three years, or perhaps never.
          (3)   President Obama's:  First it was 16 months, then twenty-odd months, and leaving a residual "non-combat" force of 50,000 (No, these would not be nurses and chaplain's assistants, but whatever in the world would be 50,000 non-soldiering soldiers stationed in a desert two oceans away from the shores of their homeland?)
A prudent plan for the safe evacuation of all of our troops from Iraq requires ten weeks, with the timeline to start upon the order of the most powerful person in the world, the only person who can command a withdrawal, and the only person who contrarily can command that the troops remain, and that person is, of course, the President of the United States.  Such an order we will consider as Phase A of the withdrawal plan.  The order may be made today or in ten years, but nothing will happen to change anything until that order is pronounced.
Once the presidential order is given, Phase B commences.  Phase B is the actual preparation for withdrawal, including the immediate notification to the Iraqi government and our allies, such assistance that we can provide within Phase B to help the Iraqis prepare for their fuller responsibilities of governance, the transfer of facilities and the maximum of our productive equipment and materiel to the Iraqis, the withdrawal of a bare minimum of equipment we consider highly sensitive to our interests, the withdrawal  or destruction of lethal equipment and material (e.g. depleted uranium weaponry and chemical and biological agents), a plan for the logistics and equipment required for the personnel evacuation, the determination of the airbases to be used for the personnel evacuation, the designation and preparation of the safe havens required to minimize danger to the troops, and a determination of the phased maneuvering required for progressively concentric troop movements into those safe havens and ultimately to the airports of debarkation.
Nothing in the five weeks of Phase B can be excused or allowed to delay the total ten-week program.
Phase B completed, now start the five weeks of Phase C, the actual air evacuation of our troops.  This will require fifty 747 aircraft or aircraft of similar passenger capacity.   747's have a capacity of up to 550 passengers.  For our purposes here, we will use a conservative capacity of 400 troops and their personal luggage.
There will be 50 of these aircraft required.  And they ARE ABUNDANTLY AVAILABLE at the beckoning of the President.
Each of these 50 aircraft will make two round-trips per week, each trip out of Iraq with a minimum of 400 passengers, that will be a total of 200,000 passengers in the allotted time – comfortably more than our troop force in Iraq, and a capacity that can be used – as strictly authorized – to transport a sizeable number of non-military Americans and others we would wish to remove.
There is the withdrawal program:  Ten weeks from presidential command to withdrawal of all American military personnel, conservatively structured to incur no risk incremental to the program.   The risk, in fact, is not in withdrawing from Iraq, but in remaining, and we would do well to prepare ourselves to defend this position in readiness for the attack we can surely anticipate from the liars, greed mongers power meisters and madmen who got us into this historically treacherous debacle in the first place.
It's time to leave.  President Obama told us "to make" him do what we want.  It's time to raise our voice, tell him clearly what we want, tell him what America and humanity demand – to get ALL American troops out of Iraq NOW ! 
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Rafe Pilgrim, after "a life largely wasted on hard honest work," found himself a jungle of turkey oak, scrub pine and giant palmettos up a dirt road running east of Crystal River, Florida, which neither school busses nor the U.S. Postal Service dare (more...)
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