OpEdNews Op Eds

Edwards First Major Candidate Calling for All Troops Out, Breaks with Establishment Consensus on Iraq

By       Message Tom Hayden     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

- Advertisement -

One day before the Iowa caucuses, John Edwards has become the first major presidential candidate to favor withdrawing all American troops, including advisers, from Iraq, doing so in response to queries from a leading military correspondent, the New York Times’ Michael Gordon.

The positions taken by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, while favoring de-escalation, would leave tens of thousands of American advisers, special forces and substantial back-up troops in Iraq for five years, at least until 2013. The mainstream media also has promoted the view that there is “no way out” of Iraq, according to a comprehensive survey by Peter Hart in Extra! [Nov.-Dec. 2007]. If these views prevail, the US government will be funding, arming, training and defending a repressive sectarian state in Baghdad for years. Already, for example, there are over 50,000 Iraqi prisoners held in detention by the US and Baghdad authorities, the vast majority of them on no charges. Evidence of torture and ethnic cleansing by the Baghdad regime has been accumulated in numerous official reports as well.

In the front-page Times’ interview, the traditionally-hawkish Gordon questioned Edwards’ whether his proposal would “pull the rug out” from the Iraqi security forces, and pointed out several times that Edwards’ position is at odds with “senior American military commanders.” However, Gordon failed to note that one such military leader, Gen. James Jones, while supporting more training of the Iraqi security forces, has reported that those forces are sectarian and dysfunctional and even called for “scrapping” the national police force now conducting counterinsurgency under Gen. Davis Petraeus’ command.

Edwards’ thinking seems to flow from his populist orientation: “I honestly believe this in my soul, we are propping up their bad behavior”, he told Gordon, “I mean really, how many American lives and how much American taxpayer money are we going to continue to expend waiting for these [Iraqi] political leaders to do something?”

The political impact of Edwards’ statement is unpredictable. It may sway some Bill Richardson or Dennis Kucinich voters to caucus instead for Edwards Thursday night. It may cause a few defections from Clinton or Obama. It may play out in New Hampshire and later primaries, if Edwards is deemed “viable” by the media after Iowa. And to the extent that Edwards’ campaign continues to be a force in the national election, his Iraq position could become a rallying point in the Democratic platform debate.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

 

http://www.tomhayden.com

After fifty years of activism, politics and writing, Tom Hayden still is a leading voice for ending the war in Iraq, erasing sweatshops, saving the environment, and reforming politics through greater citizen participation.

Currently he is writing and advocating for US exiting Afghanistan. (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Tom Hayden on Mark Rudd

Why Is a Progressive Think Tank Telling Obama to Escalate the War in Afghanistan?

Congress Votes for War, 65 Dissent

Has Bratton's LAPD Really Reformed?

Torture Now an Afghanistan Issue

Bernie Sanders Could Be the 2016 Democratic Candidate We've All Been Waiting For