Sunday, May 11, 2008

Progressives for Obama: Getting Out of Iraq

Good discussion between Phyllis Bennis and Tom Hayden on Obama's stand (or fuzziness) on standing down from Iraq. Hayden writes,
While Obama's position on Iraq is better than Clinton's and of course McCain's, our statement says it remains a key point of difference progressives still have with him. His 2002 anti-war speech, his 16 month combat troop withdrawal plan, his refusal to support Bush on Iran's Revolutionary Guard, all are in his favor. His repeated stump statements that he will "end the war in 2009" is building a climate of great expectations, and all these gestures are in response to a public antiwar mood that the anti-war movement has helped to build.

However, Obama remains stuck in the outdated Baker-Hamilton mode of withdrawing combat troops, shifting the US mission to counterinsurgency, and leaving an unspecified number of advisers/trainers/counter-terrorism units behind in the conflict. The anti-war movement must demand a full withdrawal, and the media must ask tougher questions of the candidates on these issues. We all are opposed to a "peace plan" that turns Iraq into another Central America or Afghanistan.

We also should oppose Obama's plans to transfer two divisions of combat troops from the quagmire of Iraq to the quagmire of Afghanistan, and his endorsement of attacking al -Qaeda in Pakistan if there is "actionable intelligence."
Obama's going to find it tough straddling withdrawal from Iraq and build up in Afghanistan and the Progressives are calling Obama out on it.

It would be as though McGovern had called for a Vietnam pull-out coupled with a build up in Cambodia. Which, oddly enough McGovern did a few years later and a few years too late in response to the Khmer Rouge's slaughter.
"Do we sit on the sidelines and watch a population slaughtered, or do we marshal military force and put an end to it?" -- Senator George McGovern, August 21, 1978
From the American Thinker on Learning from George McGovern and Earl Browder.

No comments: