Draft or immediate withdrawal

 In Iraq

Twelve former Army captains gave a blunt assessment of the situation in Iraq in the Washington Post, offering Americans a choice: reinstate the draft or leave Iraq immediately:

this backdrop, the U.S. military has been trying in vain to hold the
country together. Even with "the surge," we simply do not have enough
soldiers and marines to meet the professed goals of clearing areas from
insurgent control, holding them securely and building sustainable
institutions. Though temporary reinforcing operations in places like
Fallujah, An Najaf, Tal Afar, and now Baghdad may brief well on
PowerPoint presentations, in practice they just push insurgents to
another spot on the map and often strengthen the insurgents’ cause by
harassing locals to a point of swayed allegiances. Millions of Iraqis
correctly recognize these actions for what they are and vote with their
feet — moving within Iraq or leaving the country entirely. Still, our
colonels and generals keep holding on to flawed concepts…

is Operation Iraqi Freedom and the reality we experienced. This is what
we tried to communicate up the chain of command. This is either what
did not get passed on to our civilian leadership or what our civilian
leaders chose to ignore. While our generals pursue a strategy dependent
on peace breaking out, the Iraqis prepare for their war — and our
servicemen and women, and their families, continue to suffer.

is one way we might be able to succeed in Iraq. To continue an
operation of this intensity and duration, we would have to abandon our
volunteer military for compulsory service. Short of that, our best
option is to leave Iraq immediately. A scaled withdrawal will not prevent a civil war, and it will spend more blood and treasure on a losing proposition. [emphasis mine]

analysis, offered by people with an intimate understanding of the
reality on the ground, reinforces Peace Action West’s position that the
partial withdrawal that many politicians advocate is not sufficient.
To reap the benefits of withdrawing from Iraq (removing the occupying
force as a target of violence, freeing up resources for diplomatic
engagement and reconstruction), minimize the inevitable difficulties,
and achieve the diplomatic leverage necessary to engage in efforts to
stabilize the region, the US must withdraw ALL troops from Iraq.

This is an issue that we have been pursuing in our efforts to
pressure presidential candidates, particularly those who are
campaigning on an anti-war platform but have not clarified how
“complete” their withdrawal would be.  The three Democratic
frontrunners did not feel comfortable promising to remove troops by the
end of their first term—more than five years from now. To see where the
presidential candidates currently stand on whether to leave troops
behind, see our presidential voter guide at Voters for Peace and Security.

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  • Frank U. Farmer

    One positive effort that Peace Action West could choose to promote is the National Initiative for Democracy.
    Read/listen to the presentation and then vote for or against the National Initiative according to your conscience, but the National Initiative is a process that will benefit every registered voter, regardless of their political philosophies, because it gives each of us a “hands on” opportunity to guide our government organizations by having our “voices” mean something.
    Once the National Initiative is in place, we the people, can oversee the legislative behavior of our so-called elected representatives and apply pressure on them to uphold the Constitution and conduct the business of the people, for the people, and by the people.
    The National Initiative will allow we the people to become legislators. This will provide a 4th check and balance to the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative branches. Ordinary citizens will be able to overturn the special interest legislation that puts millions of campaign finance dollars into the relection funds of incumbent career politicians. Those who run for public office in order to make a career for themselves instead of serving the public’s interest will soon be voted out.

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