Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Candidate Review - The Iraq War - Dennis Kucinich

I've noted before, it has to be a pain in the ass to be Dennis Kucinich, be pretty much right about the war, and still not be taken seriously. At any rate, Kucinich's position on the war is pretty straightforward - he's against it and he wants to get us out of it.
These are the elements of the Kucinich Plan:

1. The US announces it will end the occupation, close military bases and withdraw. The insurgency has been fueled by the occupation and the prospect of a long-term presence as indicated by the building of permanent bases. A US declaration of an intention to withdraw troops and close bases will help dampen the insurgency which has been inspired to resist colonization and fight invaders and those who have supported US policy. Furthermore this will provide an opening where parties within Iraq and in the region can set the stage for negotiations towards peaceful settlement.

2. US announces that it will use existing funds to bring the troops and necessary equipment home. Congress appropriated $70 billion in bridge funds on October 1 st for the war. Money from this and other DOD accounts can be used to fund the troops in the field over the next few months, and to pay for the cost of the return of the troops, (which has been estimated at between $5 and $7 billion dollars) while a political settlement is being negotiated and preparations are made for a transition to an international security and peacekeeping force.

3. Order a simultaneous return of all US contractors to the United States and turn over all contracting work to the Iraqi government. The contracting process has been rife with world-class corruption, with contractors stealing from the US Government and cheating the Iraqi people, taking large contracts and giving 5% or so to Iraqi subcontractors.
I do think it's overly optimistic to assume that our pulling out will bring peace between the factions in Iraq; that said, I'm not sure us hanging around is helping either. But of course point 3 is were this really goes off the rails - after bombing and invading Iraq, we need to be able to exploit it. Otherwise, what's the point?

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