Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Kerry Advocates Iraqization

 

John Kerry, known in some Massachusetts circles as Senator Weathervane, made quite a splash in a NYT op-ed this week where he seemed to be calling for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. But as always with our slippery junior Senator, one must read his proposals very carefully. Here is what he said in the NYT:

“Iraqi politicians should be told that they have until May 15 to put together an effective unity government or we will immediately withdraw our military. If Iraq’s leaders succeed in putting together a government, then we must agree on another deadline: a schedule for withdrawing American combat forces by year’s end.ONLY TROOPS ESSENTIAL TO FINISHING THE JOB OF TRAINING IRAQI FORCES SHOULD REMAIN.” (Emphasis mine.)

In the first place this is not a call for withdrawal, but for “Iraqization” of the conflict, the same strategy that failed in Vietnam and in the process cost so many lives, a strategy which Kerry decried at the time. Secondly, Kerry does not call for total withdrawal of troops but rather for “troops essential to finishing the job of training Iraqi forces” to remain behind. However, the distinction between combat forces and “training” forces is a tricky one. Are the U.S. forces that “accompany” the sad sack Iraqi forces combat troops? Or are they “training” forces? And it would seem that those training forces will require “enduring bases” to house them.

Kerry followed his op-ed by introducing a Senate Resolution revealingly entitled: “S. J. Res –. To provide for a strategy for successfully empowering a new unity government in Iraq.” Whereas in his NYT piece, Kerry calls for two deadlines, the second to get “combat forces” out by year’s end, the second deadline is missing in the resolution. Here are the relevant parts:

“Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives
of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

That- .

(2) United States forces shall be withdrawn from Iraq at the earliest practicable date if Iraqis fail to form a national unity government by May 15, 2006;

(3) if Iraqis form a national unity government by May 15, 2006-

(A) the United States should reach agreement as soon as possible with such government on a schedule for the withdrawal of United States forces from Iraq, leaving only forces critical to completing the mission of standing up security forces of Iraq; and

(B) the President shall-

(i) consult with Congress on the schedule referred to in subparagraph

(A); and

(ii) present such withdrawal agreement to Congress immediately upon its completion; and

(4) redeployment of United States forces to rear guard garrisoned status in Iraq for security back-up, training, and emergency response in Iraq should be accelerated.”

Whereas in the NYT piece a deadline is set for getting combat troops out of Iraq by the end of 2006, this deadline is missing from the Senate resolution! Good old Crafty Kerry. It is left to Bush and the Iraqi government to come up with a schedule for withdrawal. Congress is only to be consulted and informed once Bush and the puppet Iraqi government have come up with whatever schedule they devise. This is nothing more than the same old crap, calling on Bush to devise “an exit strategy.” Congress and Kerry avoid all responsibility for setting a date in this resolution.

Next Kerry explicitly states that the remaining troops will be “garrisoned” presumably in enduring garrisons. And more than that, the mission of the remaining forces is not to be simply for “training” as mentioned in the NYT piece but also for “security back-up (whatever that means) and “emergency response.” No deadline. No complete withdrawal.

Is there any good news in the Kerry stance? Yes there is. Kerry is always looking out for the well-being of — Kerry. (As we say in Massachusetts, John Kerry is always there for his friends ­ when he needs them.) The fact that he took this step at all is an indication that antiwar sentiment is wide, deep and enduring, according to the sophisticated polls he is no doubt running. This sentiment can be marshaled for presidential ambitions, and perhaps provides Kerry with the only way to outflank Hillary the Hawk. And so Crafty Kerry is front and center, reporting for duty.

We in Massachusetts have been picketing Kerry’s Boston Office and other events where he appears since last December. (It has been cold.) We would like to think that we had a hand in the small, albeit typically duplicitous step that he has taken. (See: www.BirdDoggingKerry.org). Finally, the discrepancy between Kerry’s op-ed and his Senate resolution means we must watch carefully as the politicians, both Democrat and eventually Republican, slither over to an antiwar stance.

JOHN WALSH can be reached at jvwalshmd@gmail.com

 

 

 

More articles by:

John V. Walsh can be reached at John.Endwar@gmail.com. He is a founding member of “ComeHomeAmerica.US”.

Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
Victor Grossman
A Big Rally and a Bavarian Vote
James Bovard
Groped at the Airport: Congress Must End TSA’s Sexual Assaults on Women
Jeff Roby
Florida After Hurricane Michael: the Sad State of the Unheeded Planner
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Bradley Kaye
The Policy of Policing
Wim Laven
The Catholic Church Fails Sexual Abuse Victims
Kevin Cashman
One Year After Hurricane Maria: Employment in Puerto Rico is Down by 26,000
Dr. Hakim Young
Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air
Karl Grossman
Irving Like vs. Big Nuke
Dan Corjescu
The New Politics of Climate Change
John Carter
The Plight of the Pyrenees: the Abandoned Guard Dogs of the West
Ted Rall
Brett Kavanaugh and the Politics of Emotion-Shaming
Graham Peebles
Sharing is Key to a New Economic and Democratic Order
Ed Rampell
The Advocates
Louis Proyect
The Education Business
David Yearsley
Shock-and-Awe Inside Oracle Arena
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail