According to exit polls yesterday, Republicans took the whupping they did because most Americans are unhappy with Bush’s handling of the War in Iraq. Repeatedly, the President has urged patience, and says that “we will stand down when the Iraqis stand up”. But we continue to see the ethnic violence escalate, and watch Iran pour money, firearms and true-believer terrorists into the streets of Iraq. So what is the answer? And don’t just say, “Bush lied.” How do we win the war?
Many conservative generals and pundits recommend doubling the number of American troops in Iraq to gain security and control. The only democrat with a plan, other than “get out now” is Delaware Senator Joe Biden. Here is his plan:
U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-DE) and Council on Foreign Relations President Emeritus Leslie H. Gelb laid out a five point plan for Iraq on May 1, 2006 in a joint op-ed in the New York Times. The Biden-Gelb plan is a chance to achieve the two objectives most Americans share: to leave Iraq without leaving chaos behind. The plan would maintain a unified Iraq by decentralizing it and giving Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis breathing room in their own regions – as provided for in the Iraqi constitution. The central government would be responsible for common interests, like border security and the distribution of oil revenues. The plan calls for securing support from the Sunnis – who have no oil — by guaranteeing them a proportionate share (about 20 percent) of oil revenues. It would increase economic aid, ask the oil-rich Arab Gulf states to fund it and tie all assistance to the protection of minority rights and the creation of a jobs program. It would convene a regional conference to enlist the support of Iraq’s neighbors and create a Contact Group of the major powers to enforce their commitments. And the plan would ask our military to draw up plans to responsibly withdraw most U.S. forces from Iraq by the end of 2007 – enough time for the political settlement to take hold.
What is your plan? And don’t just say, “Bring home the troops.” Give us a strategy for WINNING in Iraq and not leaving a bloodbath behind, like we did in Cambodia.