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Iraq group tells Bush to change the course

 
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JesusLopezViejo
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:46 pm    Post subject: Iraq group tells Bush to change the course Reply with quote
Seems like he is the only one thinking things are going just swell!

THE bipartisan Iraq Study Group has recommended to the US President, George Bush, that he threaten to reduce economic and military support for Iraq's Government if it fails to meet benchmarks intended to improve security in the country.

The study group, which was due to deliver its report to the White House yesterday, outlined ideas intended to change the course of the 44-month-old war.

Among other things, a source said on Tuesday, the report urged Mr Bush to aggressively tackle the Israeli-Palestinian dispute to reduce broader regional tensions fuelling the Iraq conflict.

The study group was co-chaired by James Baker, who was secretary of state under George Bush snr, and Lee Hamilton, a former Democratic congressman.

The details flesh out a plan that calls for the US to withdraw nearly all combat units by early 2008, while leaving behind tens of thousands of troops to advise and train Iraqi forces.

The report also suggests that the US open talks with Iran and Syria about ways to end the violence in Iraq and proposes holding a regional conference to bring together all of Iraq's neighbours.

The Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, said on Tuesday he would send envoys to Iran and Syria to pave the way for such a conference, to be held within Iraq, focusing on offers of assistance.

Some proposals in the study group's report track measures the US is already considering, but several directly challenge Mr Bush in areas in which he has refused to compromise. The President has rejected talking with Iran and Syria and has resisted linking the Iraq war to the Palestinian issue. He has dismissed timetables for troop withdrawals (although the panel cites 2008 as a goal rather than a deadline) and he has declined to punish Iraqis for not making progress on security.

Although the study group is presenting its plan as a much-needed change of course in Iraq, many of its own advisers concluded during its deliberations that the war had been lost, private correspondence shows. The best the study group could put forward would be the "least bad" of many bad options, the former ambassador Daniel Kurtzer wrote.

In email exchanges, members of the study group's working group, including former ambassadors, military officers and CIA analysts, gave bleak outlooks for Iraq and expressed scepticism that Mr Bush would accept the recommendations.

Mr Baker briefed Mr Bush on the report's conclusions on Tuesday. Mr Baker, Mr Hamilton and the rest of the 10-member study group were due to meet Mr Bush at the White House early yesterday to formally hand over the report. It was then to be released on four websites and published as a mass-market book by Random House.

Much of the report emphasises diplomatic options. Advisers said they pushed for dialogue with Iraq's immediate neighbours, Iran and Syria, as a major path towards improving the situation, even though they thought Mr Bush would reject the recommendation outright because of those countries' ties to terrorism.

Mr Baker made a personal point of including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the report and "laying out the importance of why it needs to be dealt with", a source said. Mr Baker has been close to the Saudi royal family and his ideas may provoke opposition from Israel.

The study group warns against turning control of security to Iraqi forces until reforms are in place.

Clifford May, one of the working group's advisers and a former Republican Party spokesman, was one of two advisers who opposed withdrawal and supported Mr Bush's strategy, but still said he "was willing to concede from the start that what Bush hoped for is probably not achievable".

"But it doesn't mean that nothing is achievable," Mr May said.

Much debate in email exchanges among the most outspoken advisers focused on whether adding troops would help. But most feared that bringing in the large numbers required would break the military, lead to a surge in US deaths and do nothing to better protect civilians.

The Washington Post
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Turk
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Iraq bait and switch
We were there to liberate the irackys
But they switched it from liberate to occupy
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TrespassersW
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'm curious to know opinions on this:

Do you support pulling the majority of our troops out as soon as possible regardless of the result?
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exton
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
TrespassersW wrote:

Do you support pulling the majority of our troops out as soon as possible regardless of the result?


Results always matter. People who favor a pullout do so because they believe that the results of a pullout will be more favorable to us than the results of staying.
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TrespassersW
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
exton wrote:
TrespassersW wrote:

Do you support pulling the majority of our troops out as soon as possible regardless of the result?

Results always matter. People who favor a pullout do so because they believe that the results of a pullout will be more favorable to us than the results of staying.

Fair enough. Would it also be fair to say that people who do not support an immediate pullout likewise believe that staying longer will result in the more favorable outcome?
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exton
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
TrespassersW wrote:
Would it also be fair to say that people who do not support an immediate pullout likewise believe that staying longer will result in the more favorable outcome?


Yes. That's what i've always assumed was the case. I've never heard of anyone doing anything that they believed would not have a favorable outcome (or, the most favorable outcome available), in their subjective view.
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joeyjock
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
...but given the present conditions over there in Iraq and the probability that we're acting as a lightning rod for both sides of the equation ...
don't you think it's prudent to pull us out rather than keeping our people there as target practice?
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