Tuesday, January 16, 2007
~OUT OF IRAQ~A Practical Plan for Withdrawal
A Blueprint for Leaving Iraq Now
by George S. McGovern and William R. Polk
Following is an excerpt from the new book, Out of Iraq, by George S. McGovern and William R. Polk. This excerpt was published in the October edition of Harper's Magazine and was entered into the Congressional Record by Rep. James McGovern.
Staying in Iraq not an option. Many Americans who were among the most eager to invade Iraq now urge that we find a way out. These Americans include not only civilian "strategists'' and other "hawks'' but also senior military commanders and, perhaps most fervently, combat soldiers. Even some of those Iraqis regarded by our senior officials as the most pro-American are determined now to see American military personnel leave their country. Polls show that as few as 2 percent of Iraqis consider Americans to be liberators. This is the reality of the situation in Iraq. We must acknowledge the Iraqis' right to ask us to leave, and we should set a firm date by which to do so.
We suggest that phased withdrawal should begin on or before December 31, 2006, with the promise to make every effort to complete it by June 30, 2007.
Withdrawal is not only a political imperative but a strategic requirement. As many retired American military officers now admit, Iraq has become, since the invasion, the primary recruiting and training ground for terrorists. The longer American troops remain in Iraq, the more recruits will flood the ranks of those who oppose America not only in Iraq but elsewhere.