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Dem. Hopefuls Call For Complete Withdrawal From Iraq

More than 40 Democratic House and Senate candidates have endorsed a document stating that "there is no military solution in Iraq" and calling for an end to the war and the removal of all U.S. troops from the country, though not according to any specific timeline.

The strategy document, titled "A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq," calls for using "diplomatic, political and economic means" to hasten an end to the conflict. As of this writing, it has been endorsed by four Democratic Senate candidates and 38 House hopefuls, a handful of whom touted the plan on a conference call with reporters today.

Former Microsoft executive Darcy Burner, who is running against Rep. Dave Reichert (R) in Washington's 8th District and was the most vocal candidate on the conference call, said that voters' concerns about the war remained at a fever pitch despite media reports suggesting the issue had lost its saliency.

Burner said that as she travelled the district, "one of the first questions I was getting asked was, 'How are you going to get us out of Iraq?'"

Donna Edwards, who defeated Rep. Al Wynn in the February Democratic primary in Maryland's 4th District, agreed with Burner that voters wanted to know "not when but how" the war would be brought to an end. And Edwards added that voters also wondered "who will be the members of Congress to demonstrate the political will" to force the issue.

Though it does not impose a specific timeline, the Iraq withdrawal plan does go further than those that have been pushed to this point by many Democrats, in that it requires "no residual U.S. troops remain in Iraq" beyond whatever personnel are necessary to protect the American embassy there. Most other withdrawal plans have called for at least a small force to remain to continue training the Iraqi military and police.

The plan was crafted without the input or endorsement of the House and Senate Democratic leadership. Burner said "this was not driven inside the Beltway" and complained that "people inside the Beltway don't seem to get how big an issue this is for voters" in the rest of the country.

The strategy is being promoted by a group called Responsible Plan Media, a for-profit company that will sell subscriptions as well as copies of the plan in book form. The company is owned by Mike Lux, the co-founder and CEO of the political consulting firm Progressive Strategies, and it is run by activist/bloggers Matt Stoller and Marc Laitin.

In addition to today's conference call, RPM has also been promoting the plan in a series of online videos, some of which can be seen on washingtonpost.com's Channel '08 blog.

The 42 candidates who have endorsed the plan so far come from all regions of the country and a variety of backgrounds, though relatively few of them are currently in top-tier races. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has a "Red to Blue" program that "highlights top Democratic campaigns across the country." Of the 21 candidates in the program, only two -- Burner and New York 29th District hopeful Eric Massa -- have endorsed the RPM plan.

By Ben Pershing  |  March 27, 2008; 4:10 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Campaign , Iraq  
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Comments

If we remove our troops, there will be sectarian violence, criminal violence and even Shi'ite on Shi'ite violence.

If we don't remove our troops there will be sectarian violence, criminal violence and even Shi'ite on Shi'ite violence.

Bush should have listened to Obama. He called it. Bush lied, tried, thousands died, families cried and now he's caught with his pants down and his butt fried. Sorry George, Mommy and Daddy can't fix it this time.

Posted by: thebobbob | March 27, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm really more interested in how we're going to remove 150,000 "civilian" militia men that we have financed through Blackwater and other mercenary companies.
These people are private "contractors" protected by Iraqi statute against almost any crime. Will they become the "next biggest threat" produced by misplaced US policy? Like Honduran death squads, the Mujahadeem or any number of other CIA financed, death dealing, terrorist organizations?

Posted by: TheFrog | March 28, 2008 12:41 AM | Report abuse

42 anti Iraq war Democrats who have the guts to say enough is enough. No doubt those that are elected will be overruled by those Democrats who want another 6 or more months or those Republicans want 94 years to straighten out Iraq. Fear of the consequences of a precipitous withdrawal have kept us there 4.5 years and all we need is another 6-18 months to reverse the situation.

Posted by: djw3505 | March 28, 2008 5:49 AM | Report abuse

I believe that if we remove our troops from Iraq, there will be violence between Shias and Sunnis then no one can control.
I think, United States can withdraw our troops within three or more years, when Iraqi government take their complete responsibility.!!!!

Posted by: Akber A. Kassam | March 28, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

We got involved in a situation that we could never fix. It isn't the first time but I pray that it is the last. We need to let these people settle their own problems and not sacrifice anymore American and other countries soldiers who are trying to help us. We can only hope for a good outcome in Iraq. They need to figure out that fighting each other is not an answer.

Posted by: Doris. V. Albuq. NM | March 28, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

We cannot win. Time to come home. The recent happenings in Basra show that the real powers in Iraq are the militias, not the Iraqi, US and British forces.

Posted by: Snoop | March 31, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Yes! All U.S. military personnel must get out of Iraq - but also, we need to get our G.I.'s, civilian mercenaries, spies and spooks entirely out of the whole Middle-East region. And we have no business keeping the world's largest embassy complex in Iraq, either. It is a viper's nest of imperial malefactors who will do nothing but evil.

Posted by: Rev. J. Weller | March 31, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Only the foolhardy would dare to predict all would be peaceful if American and British servicemen were to pull out of Iraq acclaiming the terrorists as the chief liberating force which is what any withdrawal from Iraq means. politicians like H.Clinton are unaware of the inescapable repercussions. for example. without any doubt many Middle-East countries will fall to the terrorists were will this leave .........ISRAEL?

Posted by: jamesatkinson1 | March 31, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Remeber Kennedy's famous line "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" It seems the new democratic line, espoused by both candidates is "Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you." They are both promising the world to the citizenry but not asking for anything in return, except heir vote of course.

Posted by: LTCSTAN | March 31, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Remember the Berlin Airlift? Bring in planes one right after another, load them up and fly them out.

10 to 1 the adjoining countries will get into the act and stop this insane religious war, or will it end up as Peace in our time?

Posted by: PlanoCowboy | March 31, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Yes by all means surrender. This is what libscum democrats do best.

Posted by: Ohio Republiscum | March 31, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

It's time to get our troops outta Iraq. There never were WMD, only lies the Bush/Cheney Adminstration told Congress & the American people. Bush & Cheney have made alot of money for their friends w/ the inside contracts that aren't working. We want our men and women home where they belong. Not fighting some civil war that the Iraq government isn't pulling their own weight on. Bush Lied! Cheney Lied! And now 4,000 of our men and women have died for these lies. And it's always been about the oil!!!

Posted by: monasmom, st.pete,FL | March 31, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

"politicians like H.Clinton are unaware of the inescapable repercussions. for example. without any doubt many Middle-East countries will fall to the terrorists were will this leave .........ISRAEL?"

You're certainly not suggesting that American soldiers are dying, fighting a war for Israel, are you?

If the American Jewish community thought that, then I'm sure there would be a massive recruitment drive in all the local synogues... to get young Jewish men and women to fight in Iraq.

I don't believe that is happening, so this must not be the case, right?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 31, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

You are certainly indulging in fantasy rather than facts if only you could distinguish facts from fantasy you would know that Israel has defeated ''fourteen huge hostile armies from three Arab countries'' during the 1967 war. and since 56 Israel has fought more wars than America has in over 60 years Israel has had a war in 1956.67 (TWO WARS IN 1967)73.82.91.87 and in 2000. IN A FAIR FIGHT ISRAEL ARMED FORCES WILL DEFEAT ANY MIDDLE-EAST COUNTRY.but as America has found out in Iraq fighting terrorists is a different kettle of fish.

As for your overblown idealism which can be seen below.


''You're certainly not suggesting that America soldiers are dying fighting a war for Israel are you''

I can answer your question with a categorical no.

Posted by: jamesatkinson1 | April 1, 2008 7:20 AM | Report abuse

You are certainly indulging in fantasy rather than facts if only you could distinguish facts from fantasy you would know that Israel has defeated ''fourteen huge hostile armies from three Arab countries'' during the 1967 war. and since 56 Israel has fought more wars than America has in over 60 years Israel has had a war in 1956.67 (TWO WARS IN 1967)73.82.91.87 and in 2000. IN A FAIR FIGHT ISRAEL ARMED FORCES WILL DEFEAT ANY MIDDLE-EAST COUNTRY.but as America has found out in Iraq fighting terrorists is a different kettle of fish.

As for your overblown idealism which can be seen below.


''You're certainly not suggesting that America soldiers are dying fighting a war for Israel are you''

I can answer your question with a categorical no.

Posted by: jamesatkinson1 | April 1, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

If we leave Iraq before they are ready to govern themselves, we have wasted every American who has fought, been maimed or died there. Our soldiers are not toys to send into a country to fight and then pull out when some of us think enough of them died. They have enlisted into our military because they know freedom isn't free and are proud to sacrifice for it.Who are you to tell them they sacrificed for naught? It doesn't matter any more if we were lied to before we went over there - we have destroyed their country and the least we can do is stay until they can regroup enough to take care of it themselves.
Furthermore I can't help but wonder how many of you who are calling for a pullout from Iraq screaming about the fact that we aren't doing anything for Tibet? Wake up and actually smell the roses and realize that sometimes you get stuck by the thorns.

Posted by: nhoscar | April 1, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

We are beaking our military and our treasury by continuing in Iraq. How do those who say we need to stay suggest we pay for this quagmire, more borrowing from China?? Where are the troops coming from, a draft?? Al Sadr is dedicated to getting us out. Increasingly he seems to be the "man" in Iraq and has many dedicated followers, which our man Maliki does not.
Vietnam all over again.

Posted by: mcafla | April 1, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

All troops have enlisted there has been no draft. If Al Sadr really wants us out all he would have to do is stop the attacks and cooperate in getting an Iraqi government up and functioning. Instead he is asking us to stay by continuing with the terrorism. Vietnam again? It might be if we quit, run, let those who have sacrificed have done so for nothing and let terrorism win by claiming we are simply withdrawing.

Posted by: nhoscar | April 1, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Well, nhoscar, you've got the talking points down. Our military, particularly the army, reserves and national guard are stretched thin. I have heard military experts say we do not have the troops needed to stay indefinitely without a draft, unless we just keep rotating the same people into Iraq. There are several states which are seriously considering suing the federal government to get their National Guard back from Iraq.

Your logic, like McCain's, poses that we should keep sending young people to their deaths and dismemberment because we sent others before them to their death and dismemberment. Some logic.

The military did its job of getting rid of Saddam. That is their victory. Their continued stay in Iraq creates more hostility towards the US and Maliki as the inevitable civilian casualties climb.

Posted by: mcafla | April 1, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

And we should not stay indefinitely, but as our troops rotate- and I do know several of them- they are making friends at this point in the campaign amongst the Iraqi people. This understanding and respect of culture differences is what win get Iraq on their feet and have the Iraqi people fighting with us against terrorism and for themselves. I am not proposing the continual death of our young people but rather future allies for our young people because we have already sent so many to die to accomplish this. Yes, the military got rid of Suddam and if Bush had done things right at that time the country could have been stabilized quickly and we could have left. However, it didn't happen and now the development of friendships between our military personnel and the Iraqi people is our greatest weapon for now and the future of our children. I, for one, do not want us to leave now and be back there again in a few years because, like the Gulf war, we didn't finish it right.

Posted by: nhoscar | April 1, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

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