Wednesday, June 01, 2005

William Rivers Pitt of Progressive Democrats of America just saved me a time consuming task. Last week I promised to summarize two articles from The Progressive Magazine, one speaking for the necessity of remaining in Iraq, one calling for withdrawal. I knew the best course of action lay somewhere in between and PDA is asking us to sign a petition backing Rep. Lynn Woolsey's (D-CA) House Resolution calling for an exit strategy. Woolsey has pinpointed a workable "somewhere in between".
Pitt lays out the dangers inherent in rushing our of Iraq in a cloud of dust:

Last week, DNC Chairman Howard Dean stated that the United States must remain militarily engaged in Iraq. "Now that we're there, we're there and we can't get out," Dean told an audience of nearly 1,000 at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Wednesday, April 20th, as reported in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "The president has created an enormous security problem for the United States where none existed before. But I hope the president is incredibly successful with his policy now that he's there."
Potential Security Threats
Chairman Dean cited three potential threats to American security that, in his opinion, require a continued American presence in that nation. The threats he enumerated were that an American withdrawal could open the door for a fundamentalist Shiite theocracy which could be worse than that which currently controls Iran; could precipitate the creation of an independent Kurdistan in the north and destabilize the neighboring Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iran, and Syria; and could cause Iraq to become an operational base for terrorist organizations in the fashion of pre-war Afghanistan.
Threats Self-created?
Clearly, these are well-reasoned concerns that cannot and must not be dismissed out of hand. The Bush administration's catastrophic Iraq policy, beginning with their wide-ranging disinformation campaign regarding weapons of mass destruction, to their wildly inaccurate belief that American invasion forces would be welcomed with open arms, to their ham-fisted and massively corrupt handling of the occupation, has created the threats we now face.
Simply put, Iraq was not a hotbed of terrorism and threats to American security until the invasion and occupation. We were told Iraq was a threat to us, which was a lie. The invasion and occupation, which was supposed to destroy those threats, has in fact created those threats where they did not exist before. This reality, and the threats to our security that have been created by Bush's disastrous policies, cannot be ignored. ...
Other Credible Options
We at Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) do not agree with Chairman Dean's assessment of the situation. The three scenarios outlined by the Chairman which, in his opinion, require our continued presence in Iraq would come to pass only if the United States fled willy-nilly out of that country and left it in its current chaotic state. There are other options besides 'Remain indefinitely' and 'Withdraw immediately.'

You can read the four points in Woolsey's resolution and sign a petition which will be delivered to Chairman Dean this week.


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