4 comments on “Staying the Course

  1. Howard Roberts A Seven-point plan for an Exit Strategy in Iraq 1) A timetable for the complete withdrawal of American and British forces must be announced. I envision the following procedure, but suitable fine-tuning can be applied by all the people involved. A) A ceasefire should be offered by the Occupying side to representatives of both the Sunni insurgency and the Shiite community. These representatives would be guaranteed safe passage, to any meetings. The individual insurgency groups would designate who would attend. At this meeting a written document declaring a one-month ceasefire, witnessed by a United Nations authority, will be fashioned and eventually signed. This document will be released in full, to all Iraqi newspapers, the foreign press, and the Internet. B) US and British command will make public its withdrawal, within sixth-months of 80 % of their troops. C) Every month, a team of United Nations observers will verify the effectiveness of the ceasefire.All incidences on both sides will be reported. D) Combined representative armed forces of both the Occupying nations and the insurgency organizations that agreed to the cease fire will protect the Iraqi people from actions by terrorist cells. E) Combined representative armed forces from both the Occupying nations and the insurgency organizations will begin creating a new military and police force. Those who served, without extenuating circumstances, in the previous Iraqi military or police, will be given the first option to serve. F) After the second month of the ceasefire, and thereafter, in increments of 10-20% ,a total of 80% will be withdrawn, to enclaves in Qatar and Bahrain. The governments of these countries will work out a temporary land-lease housing arrangement for these troops. During the time the troops will be in these countries they will not stand down, and can be re-activated in the theater, if the chain of the command still in Iraq, the newly formed Iraqi military, the leaders of the insurgency, and two international ombudsman (one from the Arab League, one from the United Nations), as a majority, deem it necessary. G) One-half of those troops in enclaves will leave three-months after they arrive, for the United States or other locations, not including Iraq. H) The other half of the troops in enclaves will leave after six-months. I) The remaining 20 % of the Occupying troops will, during this six month interval, be used as peace-keepers, and will work with all the designated organizations, to aid in reconstruction and nation-building. J) After four months they will be moved to enclaves in the above mentioned countries. They will remain, still active, for two month, until their return to the States, Britain and the other involved nations. 2) At the beginning of this period the United States will file a letter with the Secretary General of the Security Council of the United Nations, making null and void all written and proscribed orders by the CPA, under R. Paul Bremer. This will be announced and duly noted. 3) At the beginning of this period all contracts signed by foreign countries will be considered in abeyance until a system of fair bidding, by both Iraqi and foreign countries, will be implemented ,by an interim Productivity and Investment Board, chosen from pertinent sectors of the Iraqi economy.Local representatives of the 18 provinces of Iraq will put this board together, in local elections. 4) At the beginning of this period, the United Nations will declare that Iraq is a sovereign state again, and will be forming a Union of 18 autonomous regions. Each region will, with the help of international experts, and local bureaucrats, do a census as a first step toward the creation of a municipal government for all 18 provinces. After the census, a voting roll will be completed. Any group that gets a list of 15% of the names on this census will be able to nominate a slate of representatives. When all the parties have chosen their slates, a period of one-month will be allowed for campaigning. Then in a popular election the group with the most votes will represent that province.When the voters choose a slate, they will also be asked to choose five individual members of any of the slates. The individuals who have the five highest vote counts will represent a National government.This whole process, in every province, will be watched by international observers as well as the local bureaucrats. During this process of local elections, a central governing board, made up of United Nations, election governing experts, insurgency organizations, US and British peacekeepers, and Arab league representatives, will assume the temporary duties of administering Baghdad, and the central duties of governing. When the ninety representatives are elected they will assume the legislative duties of Iraq for two years. Within three months the parties that have at least 15% of the representatives will nominate candidates for President and Prime Minister. A national wide election for these offices will be held within three months from their nomination. The President and the Vice President and the Prime Minister will choose their cabinet, after the election. 5) All debts accrued by Iraq will be rescheduled to begin payment, on the principal after one year, and on the interest after two years. If Iraq is able to handle another loan during this period she should be given a grace period of two years, from the taking of the loan, to comply with any structural adjustments. 6) The United States and the United Kingdom shall pay Iraq reparations for its invasion in the total of 120 billion dollars over a period of twenty years for damages to its infrastructure. This money can be defrayed as investment, if the return does not exceed 6.5 %. 7) During the beginning period Saddam Hussein and any other prisoners who are deemed by a Council of Iraqi Judges, elected by the National representative body, as having committed crimes will be put up for trial.The trial of Saddam Hussein will be before seven judges, chosen from this Council of Judges.One judge, one jury, again chosen by this Council, will try all other prisoners.All defendants will have the right to present any evidence they want, and to choose freely their own lawyers.

  2. Thats a really nice dream! Too bad it will probably never come to fruition! Because that would require our President to concede that he doesn’t know what in the hell he is doing!

  3. Anonymous- The dreamy nightmare of our so-called leaders to continue their policies, does not make it impossible to establish a firm ground of reality, that could solve the problem of extricating us from this immoral war.This is what I am trying to do.How can you help me ?

  4. Sevenpointman:You are expecting a country who uses no common sense, to start using common sense. Have a truce with a cease fire! These are people, who are ruled by their so called religions when in reality it has nothing to do with religion when you kill innocent men and women and children for the sake of religion. You have men who are by day (under disguse)training to be police and Army from our Country and night plotting the deaths of the very same men and Americans (using our tactics) who are trying to save help them and become a Democratic country. We have leaders in this country who want to pull out now and other Leaders who won’t for fear of looking like we made a mistake. (Like we don’t already know this). Unfortunately, leaving now, 6 months from now or 2 years from now is not going to happen. Our Country did not become the powerhouse we are today, overnight! It has taken us almost 250 years! Iraq is a country who for the most part,have been ruled by a dictator for 100’s of years and it’s people really do not understand the concept of democracy, I mean most of it’s citizens do not have clean running water or schools for their children. How can we leave considering we were the ones who created the mess in the first place! I agree, we should have never went in there in the first place, our President in my opinion abused his power of the Presidency and went ahead with his own agenda regardless of what was right for this country. But now we are stuck there, we should be adding more troops, right now, because it’s blatantly obvious that what we are doing now isn’t working and until our Leader wakes up and admits he screwed up like an adult and take responsibility,and sits down and really come up with a plan that will work both for us and a Iraq we will continue to lose more and more soldiers in vain.So you ask me how I can help? Well unfortunately, until we have a decent crop of political candidates who don’t have an party agenda to fill first, we will continue to be there for a long time. What do I do? I volunteer my time helping the Military on a personal level, the soliders and families of soldiers, I try to help them and show them how much I appreciate what they do for this country and I PRAY, I PRAY EVERYDAY FOR THEM EACH AND EVERYONE ONE OF OUR SOILDIERS AND THIER FAMILIES.

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