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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 08:04 AM
Original message
Get Out Now? Not So Fast, Experts Say
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/15/washington/15military...

November 15, 2006

Get Out Now? Not So Fast, Experts Say
By MICHAEL R. GORDON

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 One of the most resonant arguments in the debate over Iraq holds that the United States can move forward by pulling its troops back, as part of a phased withdrawal. If American troops begin to leave and the remaining forces assume a more limited role, the argument holds, it will galvanize the Iraqi government to assume more responsibility for securing and rebuilding Iraq.

This is the case now being argued by many Democrats, most notably Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, the incoming chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who asserts that the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq should begin within four to six months.

But this argument is being challenged by a number of military officers, experts and former generals, including some who have been among the most vehement critics of the Bush administrations Iraq policies.

Anthony C. Zinni, the former head of the United States Central Command and one of the retired generals who called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, argued that any substantial reduction of American forces over the next several months would be more likely to accelerate the slide to civil war than stop it.

........
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reality based Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 08:08 AM
Response to Original message
1. So our reason for staying is to reduce the acceleration to an inevitable
civil war? What a pitiful use of American blood and treasure.
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AliceWonderland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #1
12. Ya, not to mention non-American blood, too. n/t
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Richardo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 08:09 AM
Response to Original message
2. Listen to Zinni - he knows what he's talking about
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. How is what Zinni proposes any different than from what Rumsfeld was doing? (nt)
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oblivious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #2
10. He knew what he was talking about when he said don't go in.
There are no Iraq experts left. No one knows anything.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-16-06 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #2
47. Bull. The civil war we instigated is ON. nt
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niallmac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 08:13 AM
Response to Original message
3. I guess the trick is how a western Christian uninvited occupying army
can manage to pacify the heart of the Middle East.
Is the idea that the warring sects will come around due to our presence?
Our military is stuck now but they do not hold the solution.
I am betting that the one issue all sides in Iraq could find
some common ground on is getting us the hell out of their lives.
I think an attempt at a ME confab to this end is going to be
part of the answer.
Thanks Georgie!
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
4. You know, you're going to be able to find people to argue this both ways, however
Edited on Wed Nov-15-06 08:59 AM by ixion
the REALITY of the fact that we are ILLEGALLY occupying a sovereign nation and committing war crimes in the process, common sense would dictate that we stop doing that.

As long as we are there, the US military will only make matters worse, not better. Sure, I'm not a general or a pundit, but because this is COMMON SENSE, punditry is really not necessary.

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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 09:26 AM
Response to Original message
5. we WON says bush. time for the winners to leave in good standing.
got rid of the wmds and the nuclear program, killed the bad saddam boys, got saddam in prison.

they've had elections and gotten democracy. we won.

let's declare victory and go home.

let the ungrateful iraqis deal with their own problems for a change, without the dreaded dictator or the occupiers.

msongs
www.msongs.com/political-shirts.htm
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #5
34. Point of order: there were no WMDs, no nuclear program.
And they hardly have a 'democracy'.

(I'm assuming you're repeating b*s*' lies to use them against him, not actually saying these things yourself. Just wanted it to be clear to others who might read it.)

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jpwhite Donating Member (178 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 09:27 AM
Response to Original message
6. we can't just pull out right away due to logistics
We can't just click our heels and get out of Iraq. There are 130,000 troops here not counting contractors. It's going to take time to out process. The troops have some equipment to turn in and paperwork to fill out (ex: health assessments) so we can get out of here. If we started a withdrawl right now it would probably take 4 months to do it. I think that we should start 6 months from now and we would be out in a year. I hope people that read this will take what I say seriously since I am in the military and I am in Baghdad.

James
jpwhite@okstatealumni.org
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. That's precisely correct
The only thing "immediate" about an immediate withdrawal would be the decision to withdraw, and since Dorothy's wearing her ruby red slippers, our troops are there for four months, as you say. My own wholly uninformed opinion is that it would take a minimum of eight months, but that's a mere quibble.

Unfortunately, the dolts driving this discourse seem to think that an "immediate" withdrawal means everybody home by Christmas, which just isn't possible, and so the discussion has to get around this bogus talking point before anything serious gets on the table.

But the conventional wisdom of staying the course seems to have finally been consigned to the ash heap. The "daring" pronouncement of pulling the troops out no longer is met with universal mock horror on the nation's airwaves. We really need to get working on the details of withdrawal, transition to a true multi-national peacekeeping force (paid for largely by the U.S. taxpayers), and finally Iraqi self-rule. That's a process that's going to take a few years, minimum.
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torrentprime Donating Member (212 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #6
19. yes
And, much as I hate to say it, there are political considerations as well. We cannot allow the right-wing to paint even a planned, methodical withdrawal as a "cut-and-run" defeat, or they will be using it against us for decades. We need to make sure that military expertise and experience draws us this path to getting out of that sinkhole.
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Imagevision Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #6
32. What will be accomplished staying 12-18 months longer? - except using Iraq
once again for the next major election! another 12-1500 US. to "sacrifice" in the attempt to force democracy on a country that is in civil war?!!
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-16-06 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #6
37. Why wait 6 months? Start now and be out in 4 months then.
Randi Rhodes has a great approach... How about you guys escort ALL of the contractors out of the country so that the Iraqis are ensured control of their own industries and resources. They would be grateful to you for that. Then you turn over the permanent bases we have built to them and as a final gift you make sure all the electricity and water is up and running before you leave. Also, you send everyone who has been sent to different territories to their home territories so they can defend their families and better fight the civil war we started. If they are in their home towns and cities, they will be fighting for their own families and they will fight better and they will throw out any foreigners.
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BootinUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
7. The Genie cannot be put back with our military forces
Edited on Wed Nov-15-06 09:31 AM by Jim4Wes
The only thing that will prevent a further slide into civil war, is political solutions which will be hastened by a phased withdrawal, count on it.
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EnviroBat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 10:05 AM
Response to Original message
11. Then lets initiate the withdrawl process now.
Even if it takes 4, 6, or 8mos at least the message is clear to Iraq, "Get your shit together, we're outta here..." Who knows for sure what the response will be, but there will be a deadline. There is already a civil war happening over there. There's nothing our troop presence is going to do to quell it now.
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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
13. The Occupation Has Made Things Worse
and staying longer will not help attitudes towards the US or bring stability. At the same time, the Sunni/Shiite violence has escalated to the point where it's likely an all out civil war will break out after the last American solider leaves.

What do you call the situation now if not a civil war? A fraction of what it could be. The US-installed government along with US and Iraqi troops are ineffective at preventing sectarian violence, but imagine if the regional Iraqi governments and military were using their power to openly pursue sectarian conflict. That's what can happen.

The model is not Vietnam. It is the British partition of India in 1947. American withdrawal should not leave the Iraqis to that fate. You could have a million people violently killed in a short period of time.

I don't know if there is a solution. Open civil war may be inevitable. If there is one, it probably involves the countries Bush refuses to deal with. We need to bring everyone in, including insurgent and terrorist groups. But the administration needs to be pretty damn sure there is no way around that before they carry out a withdrawal.
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lovuian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
14. Get out NOW
Get out Now
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qwlauren35 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
15. When I think about this...
It's probably true. Our pulling out may make things worse, for a time. But ultimately, Iraq will find its way. Unfortunately for Bush's agenda, that way may not be "democracy".

I had thought that we had already figured out that it's not the job of the USA to proliferate democracy to the global masses.

So I am torn. Must we stay and clean up our president's mess? Or should we pull out and let them resolve it themselves?

I think what I would like to see is for the UN to step in as we withdraw, not as a "champion of democracy", but simply as a relatively neutral peacekeeping force, trying to help Iraq stabilize itself into whatever its people want.

Pie in the sky. And if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
16. The corporate overlords will trot out a bunch of paid "experts"
saying we need to stay in Iraq forever. Iraq is the goose that lays the golden egg for them. The multinational robber barons are raking in billions and they want us to stay in the shithole forever.

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NotGivingUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
17. why is 4 to 6 months the magic number??? bullshit!! out NOW!!!
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Think of it this way
Someone comes to your door and says, "Yer outta here, and I mean now." You'd say that's just not possible. Depending on your domestic situation, you'd have to arrange for someplace to land once you left, pack up your household goods and furnishings, arrange for mail and phone forwarding, pull the kids out of school, contact your relatives and friends to let them know, and so on and so forth. You would probably need a minimum 48 hours, more likely a week, and under optimum circumstances a month to get it all taken care of. You'd also like to keep your job, I presume, and you probably don't have hordes of folks lurking around to take pot shots at you as you move stuff out of your house (or maybe you do, I don't know).

Now consider the logistics of moving 130,000 men and women with all their attendant stuff, including tents, support stuff, tanks, and airplanes. "Now" just isn't in the cards.
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #18
24. Damn that reality. I hate it, I tell you. Hate it!!
No serious person ever thought we'd just drop everything and fly out. That's insane. The whole purpose of resisting the march to war was to prevent unnecessary deaths. We'll still be in Iraq in some form two years from now--count on it. After all, if we as a nation started this war on their turf, why should we be the ones to pull out. If anyone deserves to pull out, it's the Iraqis. In fact, about 100,000 of them do exactly that every month.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #18
29. Let's say I took the house based on lies and kicked the door down to get in...
Edited on Wed Nov-15-06 06:47 PM by KansDem
...cursing my neighbors as I unloaded my crap on the front lawn. Then I claimed to have bought the place when I hadn't and proceeded to trash it telling the police to go f*ck themselves when they came around to investigate complaints.

Then when that person comes around and says, "Yer outta here, and I mean now," I might be more inclined to say to myself, "Uh-oh, the jig's up...!" I'd realize I'd been found out, and I'd get out...immediately.

edited for spelling...
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-16-06 07:47 AM
Response to Reply #29
35. That would require a sense of shame
Something noticeably lacking in the criminal cabal currently squatting in the White House.

Bush sounded humbled for about 35 seconds last week, but this week, he seems to be back to his old self, arrogant as ever and totally convinced that he's the only one who's right.
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0rganism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-16-06 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #29
41. the only problem with your analogy is...
...you're the self-deputized police, you're the most heavily-armed dude in the neighborhood, and you busted up the place in the name of an investigation, then claimed to seize it through asset forfeiture, then blamed the family living there already for the domestic unrest. You also have very weak ethics, bordering on none, and the neighbors are kind of freaked out cos you might decide you like one of their homes next. No one's gonna tell you straight up to leave, but they might throw rocks through your windows and slash your tires every so often.
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endarkenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-16-06 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #41
44. And there is a pile of gold in a safe in the basement.
And you aren't leaving until you've cracked the safe and removed all the gold and will tell any damn lie you please to cover up what you are actually up to.
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endarkenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-16-06 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #18
43. The pentagon has plans for rapid exit.
I'm certainly no expert, but they have contingency plans for everything and I will hazard a guess that an orderly retreat can be organized and completed within 30 days. We go out the same way we went in.
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torrentprime Donating Member (212 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. "now" doesn't mean anything
We can decide now, sure, but we need to decide how when how they withdraw from individual locations, how the troops pull back from cities and hand over to Iraqis, when the actual planes leave, etc. "Now" is a wish, not a military plan.
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endarkenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 04:22 PM
Response to Original message
21. So really the choices are quite clear.
The crux of the new revised version 8.3 neocon stay the course argument is this:

"any substantial reduction of American forces over the next several months would be more likely to accelerate the slide to civil war than stop it."

There is already a civil war in Iraq. The first flaw in that argument is the lie that Iraq is 'sliding to civil war'. The second lie is that our military presence can stop the civil war.

The other part of version 8.3 stay the course is that the carnage after our departure will get worse. On this point I agree, there will almost certainly be a spike in the level of violence. However I view our presence there as simply drawing out the inevitable. We are prolonging their civil war, taking sides, imposing an occupation government that no factions actually want, and generally behaving as occupying armies always do, which is to say badly. 8.3, like its earlier versions, is simply a plan for permanent occupation of Iraq. As always the motivation is that huge pile of oil under the Iraqi sand.

The solution is to get out now, pay reparations, and let the people of the region and the other regional powers deal with the mess we have made. The other half of the solution is to indict, try, and convict all of those responsible for the war crimes we have committed by attacking and occupying Iraq.


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oblivious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Hear! Hear!
Thank you for your clarity.
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Porcupine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
22. Get in trucks, drive south to Kuwait or Basra. DON'T LOOK BACK!
Everybody has this or that reason or excuse or timetable as to why we can't get out of Iraq. It's all over the news.

Geuss what, we're losing now. Losing for another few months will not help matters. Leave and don't look back. Ignore what's happening behind you.
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whosinpower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 05:39 PM
Response to Original message
25. Civil war is arlready here
It is going to happen anyways. The violence will continue to increase.

And the ONLY way to crub it is if the US can muster another 300 000 troops on the ground in Iraq.

JMO.
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sampsonblk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
26. We bought it
As is "You break it, you bought it."

We could withdraw quickly if we just can't stomach any more of this. I am pretty much there. But the most reasonable alternative seem to me to be to have a phased withdrawal coupled with a lot of fence-mending and a heavy dose of international apology.

If we could get other countries to help shoulder some of the immediate burden, a phased withdrawal by US forces would be a lot easier, and a civil war might not be such a certainty. To pull this off, the grown-ups will have to be at the helm. That appears in the works already.

Its not just about how to proceed next, but about who does the proceeding. I am convinced that Bush cannot do it. He has too much blood on his hands already. Maybe a Dem congress in the lead can pull this off. Six months sounds reasonable to me.
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endarkenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-16-06 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #26
38. You broke you bought it is nonsense.
It is a rationalization to sit on top of all that Iraqi oil. We don't get to own Iraq because we fucked over the Iraqi people. We get, first of all, to stop fucking them over.
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sampsonblk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-16-06 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #38
39. That's as immoral as the invasion
We can't go in and destroy a country and then leave its citizens to die with no effort to avoid it. Its too late to rescue this misadventure. But its not too late to make an honest effort at preventing a humanitarian disaster.

To do otherwise is horribly evil, imho.
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endarkenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-16-06 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #39
42. Our presence there is prolonging the civil war.
Their citizens are dying at a rate of around 400/day due to the mess we have made. As the perpetrators in this crime we cannot act as a neutral party. If other regional powers or internation organizations can arbitrate a peaceful solution to the Iraqi crisis I am all for that.
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sampsonblk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-16-06 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #42
45. I agree with you mostly
We can't act as impartial arbitrators because of what we've done. And our continued presence is part of the problem.

The problem is we can't hand off the problem to anyone else in its current form. Sorta like if you want to see your junk car, you put on a coat of paint first and maybe at least clean up the tires. That's pretty much my point.

But to just pull out right away would be even worse, if you can imagine it, than staying a few more months and withdrawing in a orderly way. Humanitarian crisis. Even worse than it is now. And it will still be our fault.
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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 06:12 PM
Response to Original message
27. What part of NOW don't they understand?
Get out. Get out NOW. Get the fuck OUT NOW.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 06:32 PM
Response to Original message
28. The experts told us not to go in in the first place...
Perhaps if the New York Times hadn't pushed for war via Judith Miller and her "expert," Ahmad Chalabi, we wouldn't be having a debate now, eh, New York Times?

The Source of the Trouble
Pulitzer Prize winner Judith Millers series of exclusives about weapons of mass destruction in Iraqcourtesy of the now-notorious Ahmad Chalabihelped the New York Times keep up with the competition and the Bush administration bolster the case for war. How the very same talents that caused her to get the story also caused her to get it wrong.


NYMag

It's amazing how the New York Times can find the right experts whenever its stance needs to be bolstered.
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Imagevision Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
30. It is pathetic when George H.W. Bush has to step back into the fray...
rescuing junior from series of bad moves, like leaving your 9 year old to stay home and take care of things!
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VegasWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
31. That is exactly what the "experts" claimed during Vietnam. Long
live the military industrial establihment!
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
33. Zinni said that? Wow. Not sure what to make of that.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-16-06 07:52 AM
Response to Original message
36. NOTHING will stop the slide to sectarian violence and civil war
GET OUT NOW!!

All we are doing is bleeding slow, creating more porblems than we are solving and forestalling the inevitable, which will be worse the longer we keep the lid on the pressure cooker.

ALL US TROOPS SHOULD LEAVE IRAQ IMMEDIATELY.

Follow the Kucinich plan if it eases your conscience any, but GET OUT NOW!
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-16-06 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
40. WHO WILL BE THE LAST TO DIE FOR A LIE ???
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TheBaldyMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-16-06 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
46. The experts got the troops into Iraq in a space of months, they can get them out too.
It's ingenuous of them to say they couldn't be completely withdrawn inside 6-8 months.
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-16-06 06:56 PM
Response to Original message
48. If the "experts"..
... could find their own asses with both hands we'd have never gotten into this mess in the first place.

These utter failures of human beings have a lot of gall coming up with their bullshit how.

Of course there will be a civil war. There isn't jack the U.S. can do about it now, too freaking late.
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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-17-06 05:22 AM
Response to Original message
49. withdraw, pick a horse, back it, civil war will result in negotiations
uncomplicated by the presence of foreign occupiers dictating domestic policies and stealing national resources.

this will also force us to confront Iran as it really is, rather than as we dream it to be. If Iran really arms and trains shia militias, they will kick Sunni butts, with their superior small arms technologies. This dispersal of Iranian power has not yet happened and offers an inroad for region wide talks. If the focus of the talks is Sunni Shia formula for the governance of Iraq, jettisoning the american imposed edicts and constitution, a region wide stability could be reached after a relatively short period of conflict.

Our continued presence maintains a fictional quisling regime built for american multinational corporations that has nothing to do with government, sovereignty, peace, or strategic realities in the region. We are the barrier to a resolution of the conflict.
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