A few weeks ago, “A Responsible Plan to End The War in Iraq”, initiated by Washington State Congressional candidate Darcy Burner and heavily influenced by former Commanding General in Iraq Paul Eaton, was unveiled at the Take Back America Conference in Washington D.C.
General Eaton had this to say in a taped interview: “I’m proud of this document, I’m proud of the people who produced it, and I certainly expect a great outcome.”
My sentiments also, General Eaton, although I’m not optimistic there are any possible “great outcomes” in Iraq, just some that are not as bad as others.
Nevertheless, my first thought upon reading the plan was that I'm proud to be an 8th District Democrat with Darcy Burner as my candidate.
The project was instigated by Darcy Burner who “got tired of waiting” for solutions from our political leaders because, as she put it in a recent Seattle Times editorial, “this war is undermining our country”.
The 36 page document obliterates any notion of a “reckless” or irresponsible military exit from Iraq, and explains why replacing the fruitless military operations with a surge in diplomatic, economic and humanitarian endeavors is preferable to a perennial military occupation. More importantly, it spells out exactly how such efforts can and should be implemented, and provides a legislative strategy for preventing similar foreign policy blunders in the future.
General Petraeus, the man whose testimony is providing cover for an indefinite continuation of our current Iraq strategy, if you can call it a strategy, himself said a year ago “there is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq.” Just last week, following an ostensibly successful one year “surge”, he corroborated his own statement by informing Congress “we haven’t turned any corners, we haven’t seen any lights at the end of the tunnel.”
If there is “no military solution”, then why are our servicemen and resources being squandered on a futile military campaign?
Although a Democratic Congress was elected in November of 2006 to end this war, that Congress, for inexplicable reasons, hasn’t had the stomach to follow through. Fortunately, more than 40 current Congressional candidates have signed on to “The Plan”, making it somewhat analogous to the 1994 Republican “Contract for America” (minus the Ronald Reagan, Frank Luntz, and Heritage Foundation influence), and Darcy Burner, though I doubt she would be flattered by the comparison, the progressives’ 2008 version of Newt Gingrich in ‘94.
“The Plan” is a must read for anyone interested in a real solution to our quagmire in Iraq. Please take the link, print the PDF file, pour a glass of wine, settle into a recliner and read the whole thing. It may turn out to be one of the most important historical documents from the early part of the 21st century.
I’ll sign off with this excerpt from the report’s conclusion:
“The real challenges in Iraq are not military. It is not an appropriate role for our combat troops to referee the continuing sectarian conflict in Iraq, nor is it reasonable to ask them to fabricate a military solution to a problem for which the best solutions are non-military. We do face great challenges in Iraq, but they are political, diplomatic, economic, and humanitarian in nature. They can be solved, but not by the military.
Withdrawing out troops, therefore, is not synonymous with ending our involvement in Iraq. By removing our troops we free up the resources needed to help the Iraqis begin the process of rebuilding their country.”