Sunday, August 17, 2008

Editorial: Withdrawal can be done in 100 days

Lord I'm one,

Lord I'm two,

Lord I'm three,

Lord I'm four,

Lord I'm five hundred miles

Away from home.

If you miss the train I'm on

Then you will know that I am gone

You can hear the whistle blow

Five hundred miles

-- "500 Miles," written by Hedy West.

If you missed it -- and apparently all the peace 'leaders' did -- last week demonstrated how easy withdrawal from Iraq is.

Who has the most foreign fighters in Iraq? The United States. After the United States, it's England and after England, it's . . . Georgia. Or was.

When the Georgian government decided their troops were needed back home, it was a very hastily made decision. 2,000 troops needed back, needed home. Immediately.

What to do, what to do? Last Sunday, Deborah Haynes (Times of London) would explain that US Gen David Petraeus had announced the US would provide the transportation home for the Georgian troops and Yochi J. Dreazen (Wall St. Journal) would confirm on Monday that, "The U.S. began flying Georgian troops out of Iraq on American militray aircraft Sunday and U.S. officials expect to have all of the Georgians home by midweek" but, in fact, it happened much quicker than that. By Monday afternoon, Pentagon flack Bryan Whitman was announcing that the transportation was almost completed and would be by the end of the day.

The US military would term the withdrawal "unexpected" (Col. Steve Boylan) and yet in a very brief time, Georgia's entire force was withdrawn from Iraq. 2,0000 service members.

The US has approximately 140,000 in Iraq today.

At the rate of 2,000 a day, now proven possible with no known hardships, US troops could be withdrawn in less than 100 days. With no known hardships and with no known planning.

So all of this garbage about how difficult it is to withdraw and how much planning it takes and oh-you-don't-know-a-thing-about-transporation crap has just been revealed as the garbage it is.

Georgia didn't plan months ahead. It didn't plan weeks ahead. The Georgia withdrawal was at the last minute. In fact, that would suggest that a new US president coming into the White House in Januray 2009 could, in fact, plan a withdrawal following the November election, that would withdraw US forces from Iraq at an even faster rate.

"Oh the equipment!" The bulk of the equipment will be replaced in 16 months -- one of the reasons the US military budget is so bloated. Humvees, tanks and other road vehicles can easily be left behind as a gift to the puppet Nouri al-Maliki that Bully Boy has fawned so over for five years and Barack now seems to think is his best buddy. The Iraqi military -- we are constantly told -- is rebuilding. Well now they'd have vehicles. Airplanes and helicopters? We'd assume they would be used for the transportation out of Iraq. But should that risk delaying the withdrawal, Nouri's always whining about how out of date his air force is.

The US can obviously withdraw 140,000 service members in less than 100 days. But "100 days" should jog a memory for you. "In my first 100 days, I will . . ." how many presidents have made that promise? Nancy Pelosi not only promised great deeds in her first 100 days as US House Speaker, she held a press confrence and issued a release to try to make it appear that she'd actually accomplished something in that time.

The next president of the United States -- whoever it is -- can withdraw all US troops from Iraq in 100 days. That's not impossible and, in fact, judging by the Georgian withdrawal, can be done with many days to spare. And what an accomplishment that would be and how quickly it would send the message to the country and to the world that it was no longer business as usual at the White House. That would appear to be a message that Ralph Nader, Bob Barr, Cynthia McKinney, John McCain and Barack Obama all would want to send.

It's not impossible and, for those paying attention, it was demonstrated in action last week. It's a real shame that our peace 'leaders' had a million other things to do last week. Take Tom-Tom Hayden. We all know he wrote another useless whine (refusing to call out War Hawk Barack and acting as if things just happened) and we'll assume the reports that he also made time to buy himself crotchless panties were only rumors. But he never made the time to write about Georgia's withdrawal and what that indicated for a US withdrawal. That is known.

It's also known that CODESTINK -- as usual -- had other things to do. Remember, if a camera's not around, I-Need-Attention Benjamin's not showing. United for Peace & Justice? Leslie Cagan had all the time in the world to whine to Tom-Tom for his bad article, she whined about how her group doesn't have enough money (which apparently explains why there's nothing at the UPFJ website STILL asking you to do your part to stop the deportation from Canada of US war resister Jeremy Hinzman) and to offer that if they had just $100,000, then UPFJ could have people on the ground . . . presumably to work on Congressional elections. Has a non-Democrat ever been so eager to elect Democrats?

The 'leaders' failed again last week. It's becoming a pattern, isn't it?

That's because they have confused ending the war with becoming an adjunct of the Democrat Party. Old peace movement saying: "You're only as useless as you make yourself."

100 days. Not four years (which Barack made clear in the debates wasn't even enough time for him, if elected, to withdraw all US troops). 100 days.

That's now the standard. Or would be, if any of our 'leaders' could do their damn jobs.


"500 Miles" has been recorded by many acts. We prefer Sonny & Cher's version -- both in arrangement and in vocals. Look At Us is the Sonny & Cher album their version first appeared on.
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