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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 10:01 AM
Original message
Hillary wanted to keep troops in Iraq to deter Iranian aggression
If Elected

Clinton Sees Some Troops Staying in Iraq if She Is Elected

By MICHAEL R. GORDON and PATRICK HEALY
Published: March 14, 2007

WASHINGTON, March 14 Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton foresees a remaining military as well as political mission in Iraq, and says that if elected president, she would keep a reduced but significant military force there to fight Al Qaeda, deter Iranian aggression, protect the Kurds and possibly support the Iraqi military.

In a half-hour interview on Tuesday in her Senate office, Mrs. Clinton said the scaled-down American military force that she would maintain in Iraq after taking office would stay off the streets in Baghdad and would no longer try to protect Iraqis from sectarian violence even if it descended into ethnic cleansing.

In outlining how she would handle Iraq as commander in chief, Mrs. Clinton articulated a more-nuanced position than the one she has provided at her campaign events, where she has backed the goal of bringing the troops home.

<...>

Mrs. Clintons plans carry some political risk. Although she has been extremely critical of the Bush administrations handling of the war, some liberal Democrats are deeply suspicious of her intentions on Iraq, given that she voted in 2002 to authorize the use of force there and, unlike some of her rivals for the Democratic nomination, has not apologized for having done so. Senator Clintons proposal is also likely to stir up debate among military specialists. Some counterinsurgency experts say the plan is unrealistic because Iraqis are unlikely to provide useful tips about Al Qaeda operatives if American troops curtail their interaction with the Iraqi public and end their efforts to protect Iraqi neighborhoods. But a former Pentagon official argued that such an approach would minimize American casualties and thus make it easier politically to sustain a long-term military presence that might prevent the fighting from spreading throughout the region.

<...>

It would be fewer troops, she said. But what we can do is to almost take a line north of between Baghdad and Kirkuk, and basically put our troops into that region the ones that are going to remain for our antiterrorism mission; for our northern support mission; for our ability to respond to the Iranians; and to continue to provide support, if called for, for the Iraqis.

more


Friday, March 16, 2007

Clinton Would Keep Troops in Iraq

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday that she would keep some US troops in Iraq to fight al-Qaeda, curb Iranian influence, protect the Kurds and assist the Iraqi military.

The elements of this plan will not work or are unnecessary.

1. The Kurds don't need protecting. Their Peshmerga military, 60,000 to 100,000 strong and well trained and armed, is the best indigenous fighting force in Iraq. There is almost no violence in the territory of the Kurdistan Regional Government, precisely because the Peshmerga are so good. There are almost no US troops up north because even now they are not needed.

2. There is no al-Qaeda in Iraq in the technical sense of the word, of fighters who have sworn fealty to Usama Bin Laden. There are a small number, probably less than a thousand, of foreign volunteers fighting in the country, mainly from other Arab states but also from Europe. They are mostly Salafi Jihadis (revivalist militants) and act as adjuncts to local Iraqi guerrilla cells, all of which are much bigger and more important. They are there to fight US occupation and would probably just go home if it ended. If peace was made with the Iraqi Sunnis, the Iraqis themselves would expel or slit the throats of the foreigners. If peace isn't made with them, they'll keep giving the foreign volunteers cars rigged up with bombs to go detonate. Either way, the US military cannot fight "al-Qaeda" in Iraq in isolation from the struggle against the Sunni Arabs. And, a small force such as she is proposing would be massacred in al-Anbar Province if there were still hostilities with the Sunni Arabs in general.

3. There are no Iranian units in Iraq. There are no Iranian prisoners to speak of in US custody in Iraq, even though 12,000 prisoners are being detained. The US did arrest a handful of Iranians deputed to the compound of Shiite cleric Abdul Aziz al-Hakim and to Irbil, the power base of Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani. These Iranians were there at Iraqi invitation. The US can only interfere here because it has a big force in the country. A small US military force could do nothing whatsoever about Iranian influence in Shiite Iraq, especially in the face of Iraqi Shiite and Kurdish desire for such cooperation. There will be millions of pilgrims coming back and forth, and they all can't be monitored. The major Shiite party, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, is tightly linked with Tehran even while being among the main US allies. Small US units trying to take on Iranians in the Shiite south would risk being massacred by thousands of angry Iraqi Shiites.

4. Leaving small numbers of US troops in Iraq to assist the Iraqi military over the short term might be desirable and might be practicable, though I've been advised that it might not work. Over the medium to long term it would be most unwise because it would set up a strong risk of the US being pulled back into the civil war. What if you put a US company in with an Iraqi battalion, and the whole unit was ambushed by Sunni Arab guerrillas and many US troops killed? Either you let them get away with it, which is an invitation for them strike again at other US troops. Or you retaliate, which means putting more US units in for a retaliatory operation.

more


Something really puzzling about the Kyl-Lieberman amendment (ignores Cheney and Rice's roles)


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Dhalgren Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
1. K&R! This is an important issue. It has no "smear" in it at all.
This is one of the reasons I cannot support Clinton. This is a topic that should be explored fully...
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niceypoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
18. There is plenty to go around
Thirty senators sent a letter to the White House warning President Bush not to take offensive military action against Iran without the consent of Congress. Noticeably absent from the list of signatories is presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-IL.

The letter, which was spearheaded by Sen. Jim Webb, D-VA, was signed by presidential candidates Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, who voted for the Kyl-Lieberman provision, and Sen. Chris Dodd, D-CT, who opposed it.

Oh, and there is also this gem: Barack Obama co-sponsored Senate Bill S.970 on Iran which has the same language as Kyl-Lieberman

(8) The Secretary of State should designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a Foreign Terrorist Organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189) and the Secretary of the Treasury should place the Iranian Revolutionary Guards on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists under Executive Order 13224

Now tell me why Obama gets a free pass but Hillary doesn't?
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Skip Intro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
2. So Does Obama. Or at least he said he did.
In such a scenario, it is conceivable that a significantly reduced U.S. force might remain in Iraq for a more extended period of time. But only if U.S. commanders think such a force would be effective; if there is substantial movement towards a political solution among Iraqi factions; if the Iraqi government showed a serious commitment to disbanding the militias; and if the Iraqi government asked us - in a public and unambiguous way - for such continued support. We would make clear in such a scenario that the United States would not be maintaining permanent military bases in Iraq, but would do what was necessary to help prevent a total collapse of the Iraqi state and further polarization of Iraqi society. Such a reduced but active presence will also send a clear message to hostile countries like Iran and Syria that we intend to remain a key player in this region.

snip

Make no mistake - if the Iranians and Syrians think they can use Iraq as another Afghanistan or a staging area from which to attack Israel or other countries, they are badly mistaken. It is in our national interest to prevent this from happening. We should also make it clear that, even after we begin to drawdown forces, we will still work with our allies in the region to combat international terrorism and prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction. It is simply not productive for us not to engage in discussions with Iran and Syria on an issue of such fundamental importance to all of us.
------------------------------

right from his website:

http://www.barackobama.com/2006/11/20/a_way_forward_in_...


hmmmmm....now what
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Which is why I don't support Obama
we should leave Iraq ASAP.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. "send a clear message...that we intend to remain a key player in this region."
There are nuances, but that in no way represent keeping forces in Iraq to deter Iranian aggression, which implies a possible conflict with Iran.

As a phased redeployment is executed, the majority of the U.S. troops remaining in Iraq should be dedicated to the critical, but less visible roles, of protecting logistics supply points, critical infrastructure, and American enclaves like the Green Zone, as well as acting as a rapid reaction force to respond to emergencies and go after terrorists.


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Skip Intro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. When you take every position, which Obama has done on Iraq, you can find a quote to back any
assertion.

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. "When you take every position..." That's covered here:
Bill, Jun. 2004:

"I have repeatedly defended President Bush against the left on Iraq, even though I think he should have waited until the U.N. inspections were over," Clinton said in a Time magazine interview that will hit newsstands Monday, a day before the publication of his book "My Life."

Clinton, who was interviewed Thursday, said he did not believe that Bush went to war in Iraq over oil or for imperialist reasons but out of a genuine belief that large quantities of weapons of mass destruction remained unaccounted for.

link


Bill, Nov. 2006

Clinton calls Iraq 'civil war,' against withdrawal timetable
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former President Bill Clinton told CNN Thursday he agrees with those who have labeled the situation in Iraq a "civil war," but -- differing from top congressional Democrats -- said he's against setting a definite timetable for withdrawal.

"We probably shouldn't set a definite timetable right now because we don't want to lose all the leverage we have to get others in the surrounding countries to work with us, and to get the Iraqi political forces to try to get more and more people to choose politics over violence," Clinton told Soledad O'Brien on "American Morning."

link


Hillary, Jan. 2007:

The senator described her philosophy about military power as one rooted in pragmatism. Regardless of the pressure from some liberals and antiwar Democrats, Mrs. Clinton said she was skeptical about embracing hard timetables and cutting off financing in Iraq, for instance, because they were not practically feasible.

I am not for imposing a date certain withdrawal date, she said. But dont be mistaken, I am for ending this war as soon as possible.

link


Hillary, Mar. 2007:

Clinton to Back Iraq Deadline
In Shift, Senator Supports Measure Setting Withdrawal Date

By Shailagh Murray
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 10, 2007; Page A07

A vote on the Democratic-sponsored Iraq resolution expected to hit the Senate floor next week will mark the first time Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has embraced a legislative deadline for withdrawing from the war-torn nation, a step she has consistently resisted to this point.

<...>

But the stakes are higher for some senators than for others. Clinton, the front-runner for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, has carefully laid out her Iraq views in a series of formal plans and speeches and has repeatedly rejected setting a deadline for withdrawal. Yet when and if she casts her vote, those pronouncements will be somewhat eclipsed by the Senate's binding action. That fact touched off an unusual scramble in which even Senate leadership aides are attempting to characterize Clinton's position as consistent with her previous views.

more





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Skip Intro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Yeah, I know - SOP. Change subject, deflect, spin, repeat.
wearing thin, you know
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Spin? Are you saying that those weren't their positions? n/t
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Skip Intro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. No, I am saying you changed the subject from Obama to Clinton when faced with defending Obama.
And that that is standard operating procedure for many Obama supporters.

I thought I was being clear, hope this helps.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
3. This is why I cannot support Clinton
Her plan is to keep troops in Iraq, even though military experts say it won't work. If she's not listening to experts in the field, then we are in for more disasters.
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OHdem10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
5. The Reality is all Candidates will keep troops there.
Any President must get the votes in Congress to do anything.

We have Democrats who will never vote for complete withdrawal.
Add thes votes to GOP. and they can block any president.
Reality Check, okay.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. Here is what we have to look forward to under a Hillary Clinton Administration
March 2009 - National antiwar marches on the 6th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War.

October 2009 - National antiwar marches on the 7th anniversary of Iraq War Resolution.

March 2010 - National antiwar marches on the 7th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War.

October 2010 - National antiwar marches on the 8th anniversary of Iraq War Resolution.

March 2011 - National antiwar marches on the 8th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War.

October 2011 - National antiwar marches on the 9th anniversary of Iraq War Resolution.

March 2012 - National antiwar marches on the 9th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War.

October 2012 - National antiwar marches on the 10th anniversary of Iraq War Resolution.
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 10:35 AM
Response to Original message
6. ....even if it descended into ethnic cleansing."
Edited on Tue Jan-15-08 10:37 AM by madrchsod
"Mrs. Clinton said the scaled-down American military force that she would maintain in Iraq after taking office would stay off the streets in Baghdad and would no longer try to protect Iraqis from sectarian violence even if it descended into ethnic cleansing."

god help us if she becomes the president. no mention of engaging the surrounding countries in solving the problems of our leaving,nothing mentioned about the un in a peace keeping role,not one word about our responsibility in the reasons for ethnic violence now and when we leave.

...."even if it descended into ethnic cleansing"....well that statement says it all.....another rwanda?


Bystanders to Genocide

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200109/power-genocide




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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
9. Iran has not attacked another nation in well over 700 years
It was Iraq, prodded by the US, that attacked Iran in the 1980s.

Hillary is just the neolib version of a neocon, and just as dangerous.
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Rageneau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
11. Why not read the interview and see what she REALLY says?
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/14/washington/15clintont...

This article derives from a half-hour interview Hillary gave to the New York (whore) Times back in March (linked above). If you care what she REALLY said in this interview, you can either read it yourself, or you can let the NY(w)T read it to you, editorializing while they do. But keep in mind that the NY(w)T hates the Clintons and has a long record of being unfairly biased against them.

That means the NY(w)T is likely to lie to you about Hillary, to distort what she says, to put her words into the most negative possible light, to snipe at her character and personality within an article that is ostensibly about her policies and opinions.

And, no surprise, that's what the NY(w)T does here.

The actual interview shows Hillary to be astonishingly well-informed on the issue, completely up-to-date with all the complications, and possessed of a well-thought-out, completely rational plan for how to proceed in Iraq if she becomes President.

Before offering an opinion of Hillary's stance on Iraq -- and before repeating the slanders of the MSM -- it would behoove any fair-minded, well-informed American to actually read this interview. See for yourself what she has to say. And see if you disagree.

Whether you do or not, I bet you'll come away from this interview at least reassured that HRC is a smart, serious, dedicated woman who is ready to be president.

No matter WHAT the NY(w)Times thinks.

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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
14. Ergo her "yeah war" votes on IWR and K-L.
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Hydra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
16. Kinda what I figured
All three top tiers have a vested interest in us staying there. Some reasons lead back to support from AIPAC, other lead back to the oil and our permanent bases, others lead to us playing strategic games with China and lately Russia.

The policy is now preemptive war(if it was ever otherwise), so get used to it.
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