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 brickburner@gmail.com. You can follow him on Twitter @brickburner

More articles by:
May 31, 2016
Miguel A. Cruz-Díaz
Imperial Blues: On Whitewashing Dictatorship in the 21st Century
Vijay Prashad
Stoking the Fires: Trump and His Legions
Patrick Howlett-Martin
Libya: How to Bring Down a Nation
Uri Avnery
What Happened to Netanyahu?
Corey Payne
Reentry Through Resistance: Détente with Cuba was Accomplished Through Resistance and Solidarity, Not Imperial Benevolence
Bill Quigley
From Tehran to Atlanta: Social Justice Lawyer Azadeh Shahshahani’s Fight for Human Rights
Manuel E. Yepe
Trump, Sanders and the Exhaustion of a Political Model
Bruce Lerro
“Network” 40 Years Later: Capitalism in Retrospect and Prospect and Elite Politics Today
Robert Hunziker
Chile’s Robocops
Aidan O'Brien
What’ll It be Folks: Xenophobia or Genocide?
Binoy Kampmark
Emailgate: the Clinton Spin Doctors In Action
Colin Todhunter
The Unique Risks of GM Crops: Science Trumps PR, Fraud and Smear Campaigns
Dave Welsh
Jessica Williams, 29: Another Black Woman Gunned Down By Police
Gary Leupp
Rules for TV News Anchors, on Memorial Day and Every Day
May 30, 2016
Ron Jacobs
The State of the Left: Many Movements, Too Many Goals?
James Abourezk
The Intricacies of Language
Porfirio Quintano
Hillary, Honduras, and the Murder of My Friend Berta
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes on ISIS are Reducing Their Cities to Ruins
Uri Avnery
The Center Doesn’t Hold
Raouf Halaby
The Sailors of the USS Liberty: They, Too, Deserve to Be Honored
Rodrigue Tremblay
Barack Obama’s Legacy: What Happened?
Matt Peppe
Just the Facts: The Speech Obama Should Have Given at Hiroshima
Deborah James
Trade Pacts and Deregulation: Latest Leaks Reveal Core Problem with TISA
Michael Donnelly
Still Wavy After All These Years: Flower Geezer Turns 80
Ralph Nader
The Funny Business of Farm Credit
Paul Craig Roberts
Memorial Day and the Glorification of Past Wars
Colin Todhunter
From Albrecht to Monsanto: A System Not Run for the Public Good Can Never Serve the Public Good
Rivera Sun
White Rose Begins Leaflet Campaigns June 1942
Tom H. Hastings
Field Report from the Dick Cheney Hunting Instruction Manual
Weekend Edition
May 27, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
Rob Urie
By the Numbers: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Fringe Candidates
Paul Street
Feel the Hate
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
Basic Income Gathers Steam Across Europe
Andrew Levine
Hillary’s Gun Gambit
Jeffrey St. Clair
Hand Jobs: Heidegger, Hitler and Trump
S. Brian Willson
Remembering All the Deaths From All of Our Wars
Dave Lindorff
With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers
Pete Dolack
Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!
Peter Lee
To Hell and Back: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Gunnar Westberg
Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew
Karl Grossman
Long Island as a Nuclear Park
Binoy Kampmark
Sweden’s Assange Problem: The District Court Ruling
Robert Fisk
Why the US Dropped Its Demand That Assad Must Go
Martha Rosenberg – Ronnie Cummins
Bayer and Monsanto: a Marriage Made in Hell
Brian Cloughley
Pivoting to War
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail