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Iraq: Reality and the anti-war movement
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, January 17, 2008

Reality can be brutal:
After a series of legislative defeats in 2007 that saw the year end with more U.S. troops in Iraq than when it began, a coalition of anti-war groups is backing away from its multimillion-dollar drive to cut funding for the war and force Congress to pass timelines for bringing U.S. troops home.
And you'll note, too, that as the presidential campaigns continue, Iraq is less and less of an issue (although we continue to hear the same boilerplate, disconnected withdrawal talk from Democratic candidates who seem bound and determined to ignore the reality of Iraq for their outdated political posturing).

New tactic?
In recognition of hard political reality, the groups instead will lower their sights and push for legislation to prevent President Bush from entering into a long-term agreement with the Iraqi government that could keep significant numbers of troops in Iraq for years to come.
The hope (i.e. the new goal posts)?
The groups believe this switch in strategy can draw contrasts with Republicans that will help Democrats gain ground in November and bring the votes to pass more dramatic measures. But it is a long way from the early months of 2007, when Democrats were freshly in power and momentum for a dramatic shift in Iraq policy seemed overpowering.
On first blush this seems a measure destined for failure as well. If progress continues to be made, this will seem to be a counter-productive policy by Americans who see success in Iraq as attainable (and that's a growing percentage). Americans are quite familiar with the cliche "snatching defeat from the jaw of victory" and to many that's precisely how this sort of an attempt will viewed.
 
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I do think there is room for healthy debate regarding long term commitments in Iraq. I’m not sure where the debate for basing rights and such goes on in the government. Personally I think having bases in Iraq could be beneficial, but the risks and rewards certainly need to be detailed. (Not that I expect that sort of healthy debate from most of the anti-war zealots.)

Also, add this from the BBC to the hopeful signs column...

http://asecondhandconjecture.com/?p=2104
Iraq faces a period of economic growth and political progress, according to assessments by the International Monetary Fund and the UN.

The IMF sees 7% growth in 2008 and a similar rise next year, and says oil revenues from buoyant exports should be up by 200,000 barrels a day.

The UN envoy to Iraq welcomed dialogue between the Sunni and Shia communities and praised the government’s work.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
In recognition of hard political reality, the groups instead will lower their sights and push for legislation to prevent President Bush from entering into a long-term agreement with the Iraqi government that could keep significant numbers of troops in Iraq for years to come
Pretty short-sighted, seeing as they’ll be tying the hands of the NEXT president on this matter as well. The next pres. is going to have to deal with Iraq in one way or another.

As Keith noted, having some bases there could be a good thing. Why they would want to just decide against at this point is silly. I honestly don’t see how the strategy is supposed to work on this one. I guess they believe they can score some political points, but I have to imagine that the Sheehan-Code Pink-Daily Kos bloc of the party has to be seething, even as they publically slink away from the whole anti-war issue. And they’ll seeth even more as the Dems lose on this one also.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Bruce, is that the same article that has the UN now changing their tune on Iraq, or another one? (I’m having problems opening the article...could be a work filter)
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
FWIW (mainly amusement) the NY Times editors have apparently reprinted the new talking points as their lead editorial.

Don’t Tie the Next President’s Hands

The Townhouse lives!
 
Written By: Tom Maguire
URL: http://
No, the politico article is about the anti-war groups going all "French" on the movement.

Here’s the original source for the post I put up... http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7193174.stm
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
I continue to believe that the Iraq War is a complex issue on which citizens may well disagree. However, the "Iraq is an immoral quagmire-fiasco-disaster no matter what happens and must be stopped or subverted no matter what the costs and no matter what the means" position is something else again.

The anti-war propaganda strategy of repeating over and over again that Iraq is a failure (Hi, Prof. Erb!) has worked better than I would have thought. Nonetheless, it may be that if things continue to improve in Iraq, the dishonesty of this approach will become clear to most Americans. Then it will be a matter of whether Americans will hold anti-war politicians accountable or whether they will be so weary of the whole painful business that they will prefer to forget about it and move on to the next concern, probably the economy.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
FWIW (mainly amusement) the NY Times editors have apparently reprinted the new talking points as their lead editorial.

Don’t Tie the Next President’s Hands

The Townhouse lives!
HEH....that position will change if polls show the GOP poised to capture the White House again.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I’m not sure if Congress can prevent the President acting as Commander in Chief. Short of cutting off funding, I doubt they can legislate foreign policy. On treaties, the Senate must approve by 2/3rds, but keeping troops in Iraq may not be something Congress can stop. It could be done by mutual executive orders without a formal treaty.

The Case-Church Amendment to the FY75 defense appropriations bill was signed by President Ford, but had he vetoed it, Congress would have had a difficult time enforcing what was considered by many at the time a usurpation of the Executive branch authority.

Many resented President Ford’s action.
 
Written By: Arch
URL: http://
Arch this isn’t a CinC function, necessarily. It is negotiating the Security Framework for Post-OIF Iraq and the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) associated with a continued presence in Iraq.

It will cover troop levels, possibly, kasernes, training areas, and the legal status of US ofrces in Iraq. Some of it may or may not be in the form of a treaty, but it is not necessarily something that involves only the US POTUS as Commander-in-Chief.

We are negotiating the same thing that governs our forces in Germany, Japan, and Korea.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://

 
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