By Sen. Russ Feingold
A Way Out of Iraq
Thu Nov 16, 2006 17:42

 
A Way Out of Iraq
By Russ Feingold
TomPaine.com

Thursday 16 November 2006
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111606A.shtml

On Election Day, the American people weighed in at the ballot box: They want to get our troops out of Iraq. Voters rejected the president's failed Iraq policy, putting Democrats in charge of Congress and responsible for setting a new direction for Iraq, and, most importantly, for our national security.

Democrats agree that we should begin redeploying troops, but some do not want to set a target deadline for the majority of troops to be withdrawn. That is a mistake. Without a target date, redeployment could drag on indefinitely. The president consistently refused to set a target date for withdrawal, and Democrats shouldn't follow in his footsteps. Democrats should move forward with a new Iraq policy that includes a target date for the redeployment of U.S. troops so that we can refocus on defeating global terrorist networks.

On Tuesday, I introduced legislation requiring U.S. forces to redeploy from Iraq by July 1, 2007. My legislation recognizes that a target date for the redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq will help pressure the Iraqis to get their political house in order. Simply announcing when we will begin redeployment, without any end date, is unlikely to put adequate pressure on the Iraqis.

A target date isn't just critical to our Iraq policy, it is essential for our national security policy. We cannot adequately focus on the pressing national security challenges we face around the globe when so many of our brave troops are in Iraq, and so many billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are being spent there. A timetable ensures that we can refocus our resources on fighting terrorist networks and on addressing trouble spots around the world that threaten our national security.

Because problems in Iraq won't dry up overnight, my legislation would allow for a minimal level of U.S. forces to remain in Iraq for targeted counterterrorism activities, training of Iraqi security forces, and the protection of U.S. infrastructure and personnel.

But our current Iraq policy is making the United States weaker, not stronger. The president has continually refused to change our current approach in Iraq, despite a growing number of policymakers and experts, including many Republicans, advocating for a change of course. Voters responded to his failed policies by putting Democrats in control of Congress. They want to change course, and they have given Democrats the chance to finally put our national security policy right by proposing a timetable for redeploying U.S. troops from Iraq.

The president's policy has us in Iraq with no end in sight. But the Iraqis need an end in sight to get their political house in order, and we need an end in sight so we can get back to fighting terrorist networks. Our disproportionate focus on Iraq has undermined our ability to confront the terrorist threat around the globe. Now Democrats can start to turn these wrong-headed policies around. But we won't do that by continuing our open-ended commitment of troops on Iraq. And we won't do it with tepid or muddled policies of our own. We will do it by setting a target date for redeployment, so that we can direct our resources to defeating the terrorist organizations that seek to harm this country.

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Russ Feingold is a United States senator from Wisconsin.

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Norman Soloman | The New Media Offensive for the Iraq War
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111606B.shtml
Norman Soloman writes: "The American media establishment has launched a major offensive against the option of withdrawing US troops from Iraq. In the latest media assault, right-wing outfits like Fox News and the Wall Street Journal editorial page are secondary. The heaviest firepower is now coming from the most valuable square inches of media real estate in the USA - the front page of the New York Times."

Bush to Renominate Blocked Judicial Candidates
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111606C.shtml
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that President Bush "plans to renominate a controversial list of judges - some of whom may be unacceptable even to a few Republican senators." Those nominated reportedly include Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals nominee William G. Myers III and others whom the Senate has repeatedly sent back to the president.

Former Enron Accountant Gets 5 1/2 Years for Fraud
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111606D.shtml
Richard A. Causey's sentence follows prison terms recently handed to two other key Enron figures. Former chief executive Jeffrey K. Skilling was sentenced last month to 24 years and four months, while one-time finance chief Andrew S. Fastow was sentenced in September to six years. Company founder Kenneth L. Lay died of heart disease in July, less than two months after a jury convicted him and Skilling of misleading shareholders and employees about Enron's mounting financial problems before its December 2001 bankruptcy.

Former Guantanamo Prisoner Reveals Extent of Torture
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111606E.shtml
Murat Kurnaz, the German-born Turk known as the Bremen Taliban, has spoken publicly about the alleged torture he suffered at the hands of the US military in Guantanamo Bay.

House Passes "Terrorism" Act Against Animal Activists
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111606F.shtml
Monday afternoon, the US House of Representatives passed a bill that reclassifies unlawful animal-rights tactics as terrorism under certain conditions, even if they are non-violent.

Official Says US May Mull Pre-Emptive Iran Strike
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111606G.shtml
The United States or other countries will one day be forced to consider pre-emptive action if Iran and North Korea continue to seek nuclear weapons, a senior US government official said on Tuesday.

A.B. Yehoshua | Olmert Is Not a Natural Leader
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111606H.shtml
Liberation interviews Israeli novelist and political activist Avraham B. Yehoshua about the present political situation in Israel and Gaza.

VIDEO | Project Censored: Media Accountability Conference
Truthout Report
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111506U.shtml
For the past 27 years, Project Censored, a program based at Sonoma State University, in Rohnert Park, California, has compiled a list of the top 25 underreported stories from around the country. This year's list, arranged and reviewed by approximately 200 students and faculty, again contains stories that, for whatever reason, were deemed unfit for American eyes by the mainstream media. We disagree.
 

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