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government | imperialism & war m19 2006

Blumenauer Introduces Bill to Redeploy U.S. Troops from Iraq

Congressman Blumenauer introduced legislation on March 16th to direct the President to redeploy United States Armed Forces from Iraq, beginning with the National Guard. The bill, H.R.4983, is known as the "First Step to Redeployment Act of 2006."
"Our security depends on the President changing the course in Iraq," said Blumenauer. "This legislation will begin the redeployment of our troops with the National Guard because they also have an important role here at home, fighting forest fires, providing hurricane relief, and keeping our country safe."

March 20th marks the third anniversary of United States military involvement in Iraq. Blumenauer opposed the original authorization for war, and has regularly opposed all "emergency" funding for the war. In November 2005, Blumenauer laid out his plan to change the course in Iraq in an Oregonian op-ed.


Jim Lockhart eagleye@PhilosopherSeed.org

Audio from a recent appearance by Blumenauer.

On Monday evening, November 28, 2005, Earl Blumenauer held a Community Meeting at Lewis and Clark college to gather public input concerning his recent Resolution to systematically withdraw troops from Iraq. About 100 people attended, with, I'd say, a mix of roughly about 80% students and 20% non students.
Earl gave about a brief introduction to the issues at hand, before proceeding to the Comment/Q&A period. Afterwards, there was an abundance of questions and comments, which revolved, in the main part, around the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, the possibility of impeaching G.W. Bush and of torture, including mention of the School of the Americas, at Fort Benning Georgia. Included in this report is a 12 minute audio file of his opening remarks.
Blumenauer began by speaking a little about Viet Nam, and how it had affected the country, ".....it was a political fault line in our country; it was an area of severe controversy on campus; it was perhaps the dominant issue in the 1968 and 1972 elections, and set forth a series of events that radiated out."
Saying that although there was no doubt that we would win the war against Saadam, "we did not lay the foundation to win the peace. At this point most independent observers will agree that this exercise in Iraq was ill conceived and poorly executed. Even those who were enthusiastic about initiating this action, now in retrospect, can point to a variety of flaws in terms of how the U.S. has conducted itself."
According to Blumenauer, the troops will be coming home next year. Through the evening he repeatedly stated that this would occur between 12 - 15 months. ".....the issue is how many, how fast, and what is going to be left on the ground. What I have attempted to do with a proposal here ...is to come to grips in my mind with what the U.S. should be doing at this point. It's not enough to say that I was against it, and to be critical, but I think the notion of where we go from here, how we build a consensus nationally, in terms of how we begin to phase down and redirect that activity, athe lessons that we will learn and the way that we will be able to communicate with one another about the role that the U.S. plays. I feel athat by starting a significant withdrawal of troops over the course of the next year in no way is meant to dishonor the sacrifice of so many young men and women who have lost their lives or who have been maimed in the service of our country. In the main, our soldiers did what was asked of them; they did it efficiently and effectively."
"The situation we face now is beyond military. It's not going to be resolved through military action. It's going to be reconstruction, it's going to be diplomatic. A civil society is going to have to be developed in Iraq, and a major U.S. military presence, I don't think is going to help in that regard. And there is every indication that the longer we continue as we are going, the more it is likely to fuel insurgencies, our troops be a target, and the day when change and stability will reach that country."
His comments were well thought out and, I believe, sincere. Some will agree, some will disagree with all or part of his position. But, personally, it is good to see someone stand up and make an effort to extricate our nation from it's present reckless path towards empire building. Not only reckless, but brutal and, for the most part, ineffectual.

Blumenauer On Iraq, RealPlayer
Blumenauer On Iraq. MP3

admittedly a flame 18.Mar.2006 10:20

flaming moe

How about openly backing censure, impeachment, and accountability?
How about calling for removal instead of redeployment?
How about not patting yourself on the back until you really stand up?