FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Democrat’s Pull Out Method

by JOSHUA FRANK

The Democrats are getting ready for the upcoming election season. Having done so poorly for the past, well, decade or so — they may finally be seeing an opportunity to capitalize on one of the Bush administration’s many misfortunes. Whether it’s Jack Abramoff’s lobbying sleaze, Cheney’s happy trigger finger, or Scooter Libby’s indictment — they sure have plenty of Republican mishaps to choose from.

They certainly would like us to believe they pulling it all together. The Democrats are trying to latch on to one of the many Bush blunders — they want us to believe they are finally catching on to the fact that the majority of Americans think this war isn’t going so hot. So the Democrats are putting forward a plan to get the troops out of Iraq. Seems like logical idea. People would go for that, they think. So, reluctantly, the Democrats have drawn up plans to do just such a thing. But, in order not to look soft of terror, the Dems won’t be calling for a “withdrawal” of US troops, rather, they’ll just “redeploy” ’em.

It’s tricky stuff, really.

On one hand the Democrats want to look tough, but on the other, they want to appease the antiwar crowd. It’s fiddly terrain. If the Democrats don’t toe the line juuuust perfect they may fall off the edge into oblivion (okay, maybe they already are floating around in the great ether) and lose another round of elections. Or so their strategy goes.

Most of the antiwar movement thinks the troops should have been shipped back home yesterday. So we are the ones they are looking to fool first and foremost — without our support, (which they usually take for granted and, as you will see, are again), they cannot beat a Republican Party even if said party is on the verge of collapse.

Since last fall the Democrats in Washington have been contemplating putting forward a plan to get the troops out of Iraq. They call it “strategic redeployment,” so as not to sound too dovish. So they had a former Reagenite named Lawrence Korb write it up.

“We aren’t going to cut and run, that’s just Republican propaganda,” the Washington Post reports DNC Chair Howard Dean as saying on February 10, ”But we are going to redeploy our troops so they don’t have targets on their backs, and they’re not breaking down doors and putting themselves in the line of fire all the time. It’s a sensible plan. It’s a thoughtful plan. I think Democrats can coalesce around it.”

Dean is in part is being honest; they certainly are not cutting and running. But the plan Dean is touting is anything but sensible as he claims, and the antiwar movement should not, I repeat, should not support this ugly thing. The “plan”, if that’s what you want to call it, does not ask for immediate withdrawal — it would be phased. And more importantly it’s not a withdrawal at all — it’s a call for redeployment of armed forces to other outposts in the Middle East.

According to the policy report itself, which is titled, “Strategic Redeployment: A Progressive Plan for Iraq and the Struggle Against Violent Extremists”, put out by the Center for American Progress which Rep. John Murtha supports, redeployment isn’t all that better than the Republican’s plan to “stay the course”:

“As redeployments begin, the remaining forces in Iraq would focus on our core missions: completing the training of Iraqi forces; improving border security; providing logistical and air support to Iraqi security forces engaged in battles against terrorists and insurgents; serving as advisors to Iraqi units; and tracking down terrorists and insurgent leaders with smaller, more nimble Special Forces units operating jointly with Iraqi units…

“By the end of 2007, the only US military forces in Iraq would be a small Marine contingent to protect the US embassy, a small group of military advisors to the Iraqi Government, and counterterrorist units that works closely with Iraqi security forces. This presence, along with the forces in Kuwait and at sea in the Persian Gulf area will be sufficient to conduct strikes coordinated with Iraqi forces against any terrorist camps and enclaves that may emerge and deal with any major external threats to Iraq … 14,000 troops would be positioned nearby in Kuwait and as part of a Marine expeditionary force located offshore in the Persian Gulf to strike at any terrorist camps and enclaves and guard against any major acts that risk further destabilizing the region.”

There it is, spelled out in frightening detail. The Democrat’s election year stunt is just more of the same. This is what we should have expected from the beleaguered and directionless Democratic Party, and the antiwar movement should in no way get excited about their meager offering. They still want US military bases in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East. And US troops won’t be coming home anytime soon. They’ll just be transferred from one imperialist venture to the next.

JOSHUA FRANK edits the radical news blog www.BrickBurner.org and is the author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, published by Common Courage Press (2005). Josh can be reached at BrickBurner@gmail.com.

 

 

 

JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, co-edited with Jeffrey St. Clair and published by AK Press. He can be reached at joshua@counterpunch.org. You can follow him on Twitter @joshua__frank

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 23, 2017
John Wight
Trump’s Inauguration: Hail Caesar!
Mark Schuller
So What am I Doing Here? Reflections on the Inauguration Day Protests
Patrick Cockburn
The Rise of Trump and Isis Have More in Common Than You Might Think
Binoy Kampmark
Ignored Ironies: Women, Protest and Donald Trump
Gregory Barrett
Flag, Cap and Screen: Hollywood’s Propaganda Machine
Gareth Porter
US Intervention in Syria? Not Under Trump
L. Ali Khan
Trump’s Holy War against Islam
Gary Leupp
An Al-Qaeda Attack in Mali:  Just Another Ripple of the Endless, Bogus “War on Terror”
Norman Pollack
America: Banana Republic? Far Worse
Bob Fitrakis - Harvey Wasserman
We Mourn, But We March!
Kim Nicolini
Trump Dump: One Woman March and Personal Shit as Political
William Hawes
We Are on Our Own Now
Martin Billheimer
Last Tango in Moscow
Colin Todhunter
Development and India: Why GM Mustard Really Matters
Mel Gurtov
Trump’s America—and Ours
David Mattson
Fog of Science II: Apples, Oranges and Grizzly Bear Numbers
Clancy Sigal
Who’s Up for This Long War?
Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Steve Horn
Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Mel Gurtov
Donald Trump’s Lies And Team Trump’s Headaches
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious Madness in Ulster
Dean Baker
The Economics of the Affordable Care Act
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fisk
How a Trump Presidency Could Have Been Avoided
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail