Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Obama Calls For Troop Withdrawal From Iraq


Sen. Barack Obama is the first potential presidential candidate to call for a measured withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraq.

Virtually culling his stance straight from the Iraq Study Group's report last December, Obama outlined his position on his website today.

The junior senator from Illinois is calling for a three-pronged withdrawal that includes a de-escalation of the war, a repudiation of the President's plan to increase troops in the region, in addition to adding benchmarks to measure the Iraqis improvement in the next year.

The senator's bold move hopes to differentiate himself from the frontrunner, Sen. Hillary Clinton's wishy-washy plan for Iraq and comes amidst a rising tide of opposition in Congress.

Sen. Arlen Specter today joined fellow respected Republicans, Sen. John Warner (R-VA) and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) in harshly questioning President Bush's bullheaded position over a 21,000 troop escalation.

The president's stubbornness on this issue may seem like it was taken from the playbook of Julius Caesar, but it has it's reasoning and Democrats should be careful when initiating a straight withdrawal from Iraq.

In hindsight, Democrats should have stop this war when things didn't add up on 2003, but they didn't and that is where the biggest blow to our society occurred. By turning the tide in the complete opposite direction is far more harmful.

Saddam Hussein, despite being a despot, kept Iraq and its divergent factions together in a region perennially on a precarious slope towards chaos. Warnings that a shuffle of power would do more harm than good should have been listened to. Why they weren't lies within the ulterior motives Bush and Co. had in mind.

Any Democrat who dares calling for a immediate and measured withdrawal needs to also detail how the region will be stabilized when we're gone. The Shia and Sunnis will never coexist within a country, but the ruling party Shia within Iraq can easily coexist with the Shia-ruling Iranians to the west which would make the Saudis nervous in the north. An antsy Kingdom means a very nervous oil market which, in turn, makes driving a SUV in America a five dollar-a-mile endeavor.

Though, more than a monetary problem, the divide of these two Muslim sects will destabilize the middle east very quickly without the U.S. in the region. The health of the Iraqi democracy is of far little importance when the overall layout of the middle east is considered.

The Iranians are more than poised to jump into the fray in Iraq, not militarily, but in a calculated effort to use their former enemy as a pawn against the west and others like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and even Israel.

It comes down to this. The Bush administration is playing coy on the issue. Almost baiting the Democrats to bend to the will of the people. The Democrats are looking feeble to the dismay of many who believe with their newfound electoral power they should have nothing to worry about. The war is never going to get better, so why worry? They're apprehensive because a full withdrawal will turn this war far worse and they know it.

Bush, on the other hand, is actually in a win-win situation. If Democrats let him send more troops to Iraq he gets what he craves--more time to run the clock out on his presidency. If Democrats push for withdrawal and win, the whole house of cards will crash to the floor and it will be the next Democratic nominee who will be blamed.

Democrats like Obama need to be wary of the catch-22 Bush is perpetrating on the them before they get swift-boated into being the problem in the voter eyes come November 2008.


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