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Ear to the Ground

Obama Proposes Iraq Deadline

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Posted on Jan 31, 2007
Barack Obama
AP Photo / Seth Wenig

Presidential contender Barack Obama has gotten serious about Iraq after months of public speculation on where he stands. The senator offered legislation Tuesday night that would set a deadline of March 31, 2008, for the withdrawal of all combat brigades from Iraq.

Washington Post:

Obama’s legislation, offered on the Senate floor last night, would remove all combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008. The date falls within the parameters offered by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, which recommended the removal of combat troops by the first quarter of next year.

“The days of our open-ended commitment must come to a close,” Obama said in his speech. “It is time for us to fundamentally change our policy. It is time to give Iraqis their country back.”

The senator offered his ideas in the midst of an intense congressional debate over President Bush’s latest Iraq proposal, to deploy an additional 21,500 U.S. troops to curtail an increasingly virulent insurgency. It also coincides with the launch of the 2008 campaign, with Obama, as well as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), former senator John Edwards (N.C.) and other Democrats forming exploratory committees.

Obama’s timetable for completing a withdrawal puts him at odds with other leading rivals for the Democratic nomination. Clinton supports capping the number of troops at their levels of Jan. 1. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (Conn.) has proposed a similar troop cap. But neither has embraced a timetable for a troop removal. Edwards has been outspoken in his opposition to Bush’s new plan and has called for the immediate withdrawal of 40,000 to 50,000 troops. But he, too, has stopped short of setting firm date by which all would be removed.

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By Quy Tran, January 31, 2007 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Mr. Obama,

You do not have any power to make proposition for Iraq war. Bush is “decider” and it meant that he already became a dictator of our modern time. Any proposal from your floor will be thrown away to waste basket at Bush office.

Don’t try to mend ragged clothes !

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By Margaret Currey, January 31, 2007 at 11:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama might make a good vice president and the ticket might go like this Clinton/Obama or Clinton/Roberts or Roberts/Clinton or Roberts/Obama.

Margaret from Vancouver, Washington

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By Kellina, January 31, 2007 at 6:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here’s how to end the war:

War will stop if everyone stops having sex with anyone who has anything to do with supporting this war or the upcoming war with Iran/Syria, etc. No troops home? No sugar, babe. Are you signing up? Well, then say goodbye to my joy department.

I draw this idea from the play, Lysistrata, which was written by Aristophanes. From Wikipedia:

Lysistrata (Attic: Λυσιστράτη, Doric: Λυσιστράτα), Aristophanes’ anti-war comedy, written in 411 BC, has female characters, led by the eponymous Lysistrata, barricading the public funds building and withholding sex from their husbands to secure peace and end the Peloponnesian War. In doing so, Lysistrata engages the support of women from Sparta, Boeotia, and Corinth. All of them are at first aghast at the suggestion of withholding sex, but they finally agree and swear an oath to support each other. The woman from Sparta, Lampito, returns home to spread the word there.

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By Doug Tarnopol, January 31, 2007 at 5:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow, Obama finally comes clean and makes a courageous foray into Iraq policy.

“Under the fold” in this posting:

“It would leave a limited number of troops in place to conduct counterterrorism activities and train Iraqi forces. And the withdrawal could be temporarily suspended if the Iraqi government meets a series of benchmarks laid out by the Bush administration. That list includes a reduction in sectarian violence; the equitable distribution of oil revenue; government reforms; and democratic, Iraqi-driven reconstruction and economic development efforts.”

Uh huh. So, translation: troops can die until and unless the President says stop. We can ask, pretty please, and trust this oh-so-trustworthy administration to play nice. In other words, we can play with hundreds of thousands of lives for presidential electoral posturing.

What courage. But he’s soooooooo charismatic, isn’t he?

Joke. Cut off funding ASAP for anything but beating a hasty and safe withdrawal. Pass Boland-like amendments to forbid further warmaking in Iran, Syria, without express declaration of war by Congress. You know, how the constitution actually works? That little War Powers Act might come in handy, even with all its problems.

With progressives (sic) like this, who needs Republicans?

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