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January 28, 2005

Teddy Calling The Shots [Say Anything]

Ted Kennedy calls on the President to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq immediately after the January 30th election.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States should start to withdraw militarily and politically from Iraq and aim to pull out all troops as early as possible next year, Sen. Edward Kennedy said on Thursday.

After Sunday's Iraqi elections, Kennedy said President Bush should state he intends to negotiate a timetable with the new Iraqi government to draw down U.S. forces.

At least 12,000 U.S. troops should leave at once, Kennedy said, "to send a stronger signal about our intentions to ease the pervasive sense of occupation."

The President agrees, but will use a different strategy for troop withdrawal.


WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 - President Bush said in an interview on Thursday that he would withdraw American forces from Iraq if the new government that is elected on Sunday asked him to do so, but that he expected Iraq's first democratically elected leaders would want the troops to remain as helpers, not as occupiers.

"I've, you know, heard the voices of the people that presumably will be in a position of responsibility after these elections, although you never know," Mr. Bush said. "But it seems like most of the leadership there understands that there will be a need for coalition troops at least until Iraqis are able to fight."

He did not say who he expected would emerge victorious. But asked if, as a matter of principle, the United States would pull out of Iraq at the request of a new government, he said: "Absolutely. This is a sovereign government. They're on their feet."

I think the President's plan is the most common-sense approach to the situation in Iraq. We have lead Iraq to democracy, fighting with them against those who have explicitly named democracy as an enemy. Now when they elect the leaders who will guide their new democracy into the coming years they will have the option of determining just how much or how little American military help they receive. They will have the fate of their country in their own hands.

If they want us out immediately, we'll leave. If they want us to continue with our military assistance, we will. This will be our role as the new Iraqi government's friend and ally.

Now isn't that a much better plan then Ted Kennedy's call for an immediate departure?

[Cross-posted at Say Anything]

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posted by Ace at 10:49 AM

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