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Thread: The White House Claims Plans For Withdrawal "Remarkably Similiar" To Its Own

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    The White House Claims Plans For Withdrawal "Remarkably Similiar" To Its Own

    White House claims 'strong consensus' on Iraq pullout

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20051127...s_051127134715

    Sun Nov 27, 8:47 AM ET

    WASHINGTON (AFP) - The White House for the first time has claimed ownership of an Iraq withdrawal plan, arguing that a troop pullout blueprint unveiled this past week by a Democratic senator was "remarkably similar" to its own.

    It also signaled its acceptance of a recent US Senate amendment designed to pave the way for a phased US military withdrawal from the violence-torn country.

    The statement late Saturday by White House spokesman Scott McClellan came in response to a commentary published in The Washington Post by Joseph Biden, the top Democrat of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in which he said US forces will begin leaving Iraq next year "in large numbers."

    According to Biden, the United States will move about 50,000 servicemen out of the country by the end of 2006, and "a significant number" of the remaining 100,000 the year after.

    The blueprint also calls for leaving only an unspecified "small force" either in Iraq or across the border to strike at concentrations of insurgents, if necessary.

    Less than two weeks ago, McClellan blasted Democratic Representative John Murtha (news, bio, voting record), saying that by calling for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, the congressman was "endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore," a stridently anti-war Hollywood filmmaker.

    Biden's ideas, relayed first in a November 21 speech in New York, however, got a much friendlier reception.

    Even though President George W. Bush has never publicly issued his own withdrawal plan and criticized calls for an early exit, the White House said many of the ideas expressed by the senator were its own.

    In the statement, which was released under the headline "Senator Biden Adopts Key Portions Of Administration's Plan For Victory In Iraq," McClellan said the Bush administration welcomed Biden's voice in the debate.

    "Today, Senator Biden described a plan remarkably similar to the administration's plan to fight and win the war on terror," the spokesman went on to say.

    He added that as Iraqi security forces gain strength and experience, "we can lessen our troop presence in the country without losing our capability to effectively defeat the terrorists."

    McClellan said the White House now saw "a strong consensus" building in Washington in favor of Bush's strategy in Iraq.

    The Biden plan calls for preparatory work to be done in the first six months of next year, ahead of the envisaged pullout. It includes:

    - forging a compromise among Iraqi factions, under which the Sunnis must accept that they no longer rule Iraq and Shiites and Kurds admit them into a power-sharing arrangement;

    - building Iraq's governing capacity;

    - transferring authority to Iraqi security forces;

    - establishing a contact group of the world's major powers to become the Iraqi government's primary international interlocutor.

    The White House statement also embraced a Senate amendment to a defense authorization bill overwhelmingly passed by the Senate on November 15 that asked the administration to make next year "a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty" thereby creating conditions "for the phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq."

    The measure was largely seen as a reprimand to the Bush administration often accused of lacking a viable strategy in Iraq.

    But the White House insisted again the Senate was reading from its own playbook.

    "The fact is that the Senate amendment reiterates the president's strategy in Iraq," the statement said.

    The Bush administration has been steadily moving towards a drawdown of US troops in Iraq and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last week spoke of a reduction in the US presence for the first time.

    Her remarks contrasted sharply with her refusal last month to tell a Senate panel whether US troops would be out in a decade, acknowledging that insurgent attacks would continue "for quite a long time."

    "In Iraq, unlike this country, nobody in the government seems to be saying that supporters of a timetable are cowards who cut and run at the first sign of trouble. On the contrary, timetables and deadlines seem to have earned wide support," a Milwaukee Journal editorial said this week.

    "Recently, a group of about 100 Iraqi politicians -- Sunni Muslims, Shiites, Kurds -- gathered in Cairo under the auspices of the Arab League and, after three days of discussion, signed a memorandum that 'demands a withdrawal of foreign troops on a specified timetable, dependent on an immediate national program for rebuilding the security forces,'" it noted.

    "Establishing a reasonable target date for the withdrawal of US forces -- the end of next year, for instance -- would remind the Iraqis that it is up to them, not us, to defend their country."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #2
    Partridge Guest
    The US Plans a Long, Long Stay in Iraq

    By Eric Margolis

    11/25/05 "
    Lew Rockwell" -- -- The US Air Force’s senior officer, Gen. John Jumper, stated US warplanes would remain in Iraq to fight resistance forces and protect the American-installed regime "more or less indefinitely."

    Gen. Jumper let the cat out of the bag. While President George Bush hints at eventual troop withdrawals, the Pentagon is busy building four major, permanent air bases in Iraq that will require heavy infantry protection.

    Jumper’s revelation confirms what this column has long said: the Pentagon plans to copy Imperial Britain’s method of ruling oil-rich Iraq. In the 1920’s, the British cobbled together Iraq from three disparate Ottoman provinces to control newly-found oil fields in Kurdistan and along the Iranian border. The Sunni heartland in the middle was included to link these two oil regions.

    London installed a puppet king and built an army of sepoy (native) troops to keep order and put down minor uprisings. A powerful British RAF contingent, based at Habbibanyah, was tasked with bombing serious revolts and rebellious tribes. In the 1920’s, government minister Winston Churchill authorized use of poisonous mustard gas against Kurdish tribesmen in Iraq and Pushtuns in Afghanistan (today’s Taliban). The RAF crushed all revolts against British colonial rule.

    This is exactly what Jumper has in mind. Mobile US ground intervention forces will remain at the four major "Ft. Apache" bases guarding Iraq’s major oil fields. These bases will be "ceded" to the US by a compliant Iraqi regime.

    The supreme weapon of modern warfare, the US Air Force, will police the Pax American with its precision-guided munitions and armed drones.

    The USAF has developed an extremely effective new technique of wide area control. Small numbers of strike aircraft are kept in the air around the clock. When US ground forces come under attack or foes are sighted, these aircraft are vectored to the site in minutes and deliver precision-guided bombs on enemy forces. The effectiveness of this tactic has led Iraqi resistance fighters to favor roadside bombs over ambushes against US convoys.

    The USAF uses the same combat air patrol tactic in Afghanistan, with even more success. In fact, this technique works well anywhere with fairly open terrain. The US is developing three major air bases in Pakistan, and others across Central Asia, to support its plans to dominate the strategic region’s vast oil and gas reserves.

    While the USAF is settling into West Asia, the mess in Iraq continues to worsen. Last week’s so-called "constitutional deal" was the long-predicted, US-crafted pact between Shia and Kurd giving them Iraq’s oil and virtual independence. The proposed constitution actually assures American big business access to Iraq’s oil riches and markets.

    The furious but powerless Sunni were left in the lurch. Sunnis will at least have the chance to vote on it in a 15 September referendum, but many fear it will be rigged.

    The US reportedly offered the 15 Sunni convention delegates $5 million each to vote for the constitution – but was turned down. No mention was made that a US "guided" constitution for Iraq clearly violates the Geneva Conventions.

    Chinese Taoists say you become what you hate. In a zesty irony, the US now finds itself in a similar position as demonized Saddam Hussein. Saddam had to use his Sunni-dominated army to hold Iraq together by fighting Kurdish and Shia rebels. His brutal police jailed tens of thousands and routinely used torture.

    Today, Iraq’s new ruler, the US, is battling Sunni insurgents, ("al-Qaida terrorists," in the latest Pentagon double-speak), rebuilding Saddam’s dreaded secret police, holding 15,000 prisoners and torturing captives, as the Abu Ghraib outrage showed. Much of the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama National Guard were in Iraq this week instead of at home.

    Meanwhile, the Kurds are de facto independent, the Shia are playing footsie with Iran, and large parts of Iraq resembles the storm-ravaged US Gulf Coast – or vice versa.
    Eric Margolis [send him mail], contributing foreign editor for Sun National Media Canada, is the author of War at the Top of the World.

  3. #3
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    heh
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  4. #4
    PhilosophyGenius Guest
    Ghee what a coincidence! I wonder how the pundits are going to spin this since they're always saying "stay the course". (whatever that means)

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