Several Democratic House candidates have backed what they call the "Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq":
The downside of this, as I see it, is as follows:
There is no "war" in Iraq, which is something that can be won or lost between two armies. There is a permanent illegal hostile occupation of a people by a single army. It can never be won or lost and should not be called a "war." It should be called a crime.
There is no irresponsible plan to end the occupation of Iraq, and the implication of the "responsible" plan's title can only be slowness. The sooner the occupation is ended the better.
The plan doesn't actually include any plan in terms of commiting any would-be members of Congress to doing anything at all, other than supporting a series of bills to recriminalize unconstitutional actions by the president. There is no mention of any commitment to ceasing to fund the occupation. A serious plan would simply say:
Congress shall cease to bring up bills to fund the occupation, and we commit to voting no on any such bills and on any rules to bring them up for a vote, and to publicly lobbying the leadership not to bring them up. This will quickly cause the legal funding of the occupation to come to an end. Misappropriation of funds by the president to continue the occupation will constitute yet another impeachable offense to add to the list on which we urge the House to act immediately.
Here's a serious plan: http://www.actblue.com/page/outofiraq
The upside of the "responsible plan", on the other hand, is:
These candidates are acknowledging that there is an occupation underway and are talking about it. They are talking about ending it and avoiding such occupations in the future. They are talking about diplomacy. They mention "humanitarian concerns." They mention restoring the Constitution. They propose placing mercenaries under some form of law. They include the media problem as part of the war problem. They speak the words "war profiteers." They oppose U.S. control of Iraqi oil. They want to prosecute those guilty of war crimes, and they say so - although they don't name the guilty parties.
There's no mention of Iraqi deaths and destruction, no mention of restitution or actual reconstruction. There's no mention of withdrawing contractors and mercenaries. And there's no mention of the removal of impeachment from the Constitution and all that follows from that, and all that is hopeless without its reinstatement. In fact, they want to eliminate signing statements by passing a bill (think about that one for a minute). The authors appear to want an even larger military than the current one, which is the largest ever in the history of the world. They couch environmentally sane energy policy in the language of xenophobia.
And yet, again on the plus side:
One of the "endorsees" (as they call the endorsers of the plan) is Tom Perriello who is challenging my Neanderthal congress member Virgil Goode. In relative terms this is huge progress.
Also prominently displayed on the list of endorsers are four military big whigs. Not a single expert in peace or diplomacy or democracy is listed.