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Time for an Exit Strategy
Published on Saturday, June 18, 2005 by the Madison Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Time for an Exit Strategy
When Wisconsin Democrats gathered for their state convention last weekend, they officially joined a growing national movement for ending the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

The resolution passed by the convention was short and to the point:

WHEREAS, the "War of Terror" began with an attack on the bases of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and Pakistan; and

WHEREAS, the "War on Terror" transmuted into an illegal, immoral, unnecessary invasion and occupation of Iraq, overthrow of the Iraqi government and attempts to create a new constitutional regime;

THEREFORE, RESOLVED, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin calls for termination of the occupation at the earliest possible time with the withdrawal of American troops, coupled with the creation of an international body that can assist the Iraqi people in freely and peacefully determining their own future, and that we participate in multilateral reconstruction.

Of course, critics of the grass-roots Democrats who passed the resolution would have you believe that this is just partisan carping at a Republican president.

But that's just a political smoke screen developed in an attempt to mute criticism of President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld.

Sixty percent of Americans, according to recent polling, favor a responsible withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. And Democrats aren't the only ones following the will of the people.

In Washington, U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, a North Carolina Republican who was one of the top proponents of the war when he believed President Bush's claims about weapons of mass destruction, joined a group of colleagues Thursday in introducing a House resolution calling for the president to announce by year's end a plan for withdrawal of U.S. troops, and to begin executing that plan by Oct. 1, 2006. Fellow Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is a co-sponsor, along with Democratic Reps. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii and Dennis Kucinich of Ohio. A number of other House Republicans have indicated that they will support some sort of resolution calling for an exit strategy.

U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., has introduced a Senate bill calling on the administration to identify its goals in Iraq and to offer a plan and timetable for achieving those goals and withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq.

"We owe our brave servicemen and women a concrete timetable for achieving clear goals, not vague, open-ended commitments," says Feingold. "Having a timetable for the transfer of sovereignty and having a timetable for Iraqi elections have resulted in real political and strategic advantages. Having a timetable for the withdrawal of troops should be no different."

© 2005 Capital Times


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