The ‘Bring Our Troops Home and Sovereignty of Iraq Restoration Act’

January 17th, 2007 - by admin

Hon. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) / US House of Representatives – 2007-01-17 22:26:08

A Fully Funded 6-month Withdrawal Plan
Hon. Lynn Woolsey / US House of Representatives

SAN FRANCISCO (January 17, 2007) — It was Will Rogers who advised: “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” Yet the Bush administration is grabbing for every shovel it can find.

Faced with his own spectacular failure in Iraq, with violence that his own CIA director termed “satanic, President Bush has chosen to escalate the very policy that catalyzed the slaughter and mayhem in the first place. The White House finds itself in a hole and, incomprehensibly, has decided to keep digging.

[Podcast: Interview with Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey on troop withdrawal bill. ]

It’s long past time that we climb out of the hole. Today in the House of Representatives, I am introducing the Bring Our Troops Home and Sovereignty of Iraq Restoration Act, a comprehensive legislative proposal to quickly end the occupation of Iraq. It is a broad measure, capturing ideas from military and diplomatic experts and including provisions offered in previous legislative proposals. Specifically, the bill would, among other things:

• Withdraw all US troops and military contractors from Iraq within six months from the date of enactment.

• Accelerate, during the six-month transition, training of a permanent Iraqi police force.

• Prohibit the continued funding, except for the redeployment of troops currently in Iraq, of combat troops to Iraq.

• Prohibit any permanent US military bases in Iraq. (Despite official denials, bases are under construction, including one that includes a miniature golf course and a Pizza Hut).

• Authorize, if requested by the Iraqi government, US support for an international stabilization force, which would stay no longer than two years.

• Prohibit US participation in any long-term Iraqi oil production sharing agreements before the enactment by the Iraqi government of new regulations governing the industry.

• Authorize an array of non-military assistance in Iraq, including reconstruction of a public-health system; destruction of land mines, recovery of ancient relics; and distribution of compensatory damages for civilian casualties.

• Honor the sacrifice of our servicemen and women by providing full funding for every health-care treatment, and benefit that they are entitled to under current law.

To be sure, peace and freedom will not bust out spontaneously the moment the last American soldier leaves Iraqi soil. Professor William Polk, co-author with former US Sen. George McGovern of “Out of Iraq: A Practical Plan for Withdrawal Now” (Simon & Schuster, 2006), notes that such an assumption would be as naïve as the neoconservative pre-war fantasy that our soldiers would be met by bouquet-tossing Iraqis weeping with gratitude.

But US withdrawal, in addition to removing our own soldiers from harm’s way, will remove the insurgency’s very raison d’etre and put Iraq on track toward national healing and reconciliation.

President Bush, however, has chosen escalation over withdrawal, a choice that is tragically misguided and, with virtually no political support, ultimately unsustainable. No less of a militarist than Oliver North has concluded that “sending more US combat troops is simply sending more targets.”

The president ignored the advice of the Iraq Study Group, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the soon-to-be-replaced Gens. George W. Casey Jr. and John P. Abizaid (despite the president’s repeated insistence that he takes his cues from “commanders on the ground”). This staggering act of presidential arrogance flies in the face of public opinion and reveals nothing but contempt for the electoral verdict delivered by the American voters in November.

That’s why today I am proposing my own plan to bring our troops home, and restore Iraqi sovereignty.

Because of the election and its mandate, the president can no longer expect carte blanche from the House and Senate. As a co-equal branch of government with constitutional war powers, we in the Congress are within our rights to challenge and even forestall both the overall Bush policy and the new deployment of more than 21,500 troops. That the 109th Congress chose not to exercise such authority will not — and should not — restrain the 110th.

US Rep. Lynn Woolsey, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, represents Marin and Sonoma counties in the US House of Representatives.

©2007 San Francisco Chronicle

18 Iraq War Withdrawal and Exit Plans
Plans by Analysts and Experts and Positions of American Political Leaders

WASHINGTON, DC (December 2005 – Updated 27 December 2006)

• How to Get Out of Iraq. Peter W. Galbraith. New York Review of Books, 26 April 2004.

• Radical Departure: Toward A Practical Peace in Iraq.Carl Conetta. PDA Briefing Report #16, July 2004.

• Iraq: The Logic of Disengagement.Edward N. Luttwak. Foreign Affairs, January/February 2005. Posted on the Commonwealth Institute website (.pdf file)

• How to Exit Iraq.Christopher Preble. The National Post, 12 January 2005. Posted on the CATO Institute website on 17 January 2005.

• Timetable to Freedom: A Plan for Iraqi Stability and Sovereignty.David Cortright. Fourth Freedom Forum, 22 February 2005. Posted on the Commonwealth Institute website. (PowerPoint slideshow).

• Remarks to the Security Policy Working Group Forum on Iraq.James K. Galbraith. Economists for Peace and Security, 22 February 2005 (.pdf file).

• An Effective US Exit Strategy from Iraq.Helena Cobban. Just World News, 15 July 2005. Posted on the Global Policy Forum website.

• 400 Days and Out: A Strategy for Resolving the Iraq Impasse.Carl Conetta. PDA Briefing Memo #34, 19 July 2005. Appendix: The Iraqi Insurgency & Iraq Security Force Development: Selected Bibliography (.pdf file)._Also see: Insurgent Iraq: links to full-text online articles and reports about the Iraqi insurgency March 2006.

• The Third Option in Iraq: A Responsible Exit Strategy.Gareth Porter, Middle East Policy, Fall 2005 (.pdf file).

• Operation Homecoming: How to End the Iraq War.Erik Leaver. Yes Magazine, Fall 2005.

• Strategic Redeployment: A Progressive Plan for Iraq and the Struggle Against Violent Extremists.Lawrence J. Korb and Brian Katulis. Center for American Progress, 29 September 2005 (.pdf file).

• Precedents, Variables, and Options in Planning a US Military Disengagement Strategy From Iraq .W. Andrew Terrill and Conrad C. Crane. Strategic Studies Institute, Army War College, October 2005 (.pdf file).

• Exit Strategy.William S. Lind. Defense and the National Interest, 04 November 2005.

• Getting Out: Our Strategic Interest.Charles V. Pena., 22 November 2005.

• Plan a Moderate Iraq Exit Strategy.Michael E. O’Hanlon and Bill Danvers. The Christian Science Monitor, 22 November 2005. Posted on the Brooking Institution website.

• A Way Out of Iraq.Richard A. Clarke. USA Today, 28 November 2005.

• Exit Strategy: How to Disengage From Iraq in 18 Months.Barry R. Posen. Boston Review, January/February 2006. With comments by Barbara Bodine, Joseph Biden, Vivek Chibber, Russell Feingold, Randall Forsberg, Lawrence Korb and Brian Katulis, Helena Cobban, Christopher Preble, Eliot Weinberger, Nir Rosen and with response by Barry R. Posen.

• Strategic Redeployment 2.0: A Progressive Strategy for Iraq.Lawrence Korb and Brian Katulis. Center for American Progress, May 2006 (.pdf file).