|April 26, 2006|
A Modest Proposal for Achieving a US Withdrawal from Iraq by a Date Certain
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
A US withdrawal from Iraq by a date certain is vital for the future security of the United States. It is also vital if a future Iraq is to have any hope of becoming a viable country, living in peace both internally and externally. It is desired by majorities of both the US and Iraqi peoples. However, the simple withdrawal of US forces from ground and air action will not to achieve the several desirable goals for both the US and Iraq. A detailed plan with several other major elements is essential. I have the temerity to propose one, in outline form to be sure. It is built upon one that I first published on The Political Junkies.net during the 2004 Presidential campaign and revisited twice in that space in the fall of 2005.
1. Announce a date for the end of US offensive military action in Iraq, in combination with a UN takeover of command of all foreign forces (or their phased replacement by an Arab League force under its own command) for the purposes of peace establishment and keeping.
2. In that context, announce a date for withdrawal of all US forces other than those requested by the UN.
3. Propose to the Iraqi government the repeal of the "Bremer Plan" for the takeover of the Iraqi economy by foreign investors.
4. Announce a date for the termination of all US private contracts for security and construction in Iraq, other than those that might be negotiated by the UN and the Iraqi government. Ask Congress to appropriate any funds necessary for the early termination of contracts with Halliburton, Bechtel, and etc.
5. Shut down all construction of permanent military bases, with handover of what already exists to the UN Command on an interim basis. Future disposal would be negotiated by the UN with the Iraqi government.
6. Announce support for a comprehensive Israel-Palestine settlement along the lines of the already negotiated "Geneva Agreement."
7. Renounce any interest in ownership or control of any Iraqi oil reserves.
8. Propose as a long-term solution to the Iraqi political situation a tri-partite federation, guaranteed by the UN peacekeeping mission. As part of the package, the Sunni member of the federation would be guaranteed some portion of future oil revenues.
9. Propose the creation, under UN leadership, of a new international organization for combating terrorism using the most sophisticated weapons of intelligence, police work, and focused military action as indicated.
10. Arrange for the immediate shutdown of the US "Guantanamo Prison System" around the world with the transfer of all persons held to the justice systems of their home countries. In cases where doing the latter would expose such persons to the prospect of further persecution and possible torture, arrange for asylum opportunities.
Perfect? No. Doable with the right US leadership? Yes. Better than what exists now? Surely. Remember: "The strong make the tough decisions; the weak 'stay the course.'"
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
Steven Jonas, MD, MPH is a Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University (NY) and a weekly Contributing Author for The Political Junkies (www.thepoliticaljunkies.net).
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