The Links
get liberaloasis
get bill scher
get truth
get blogged a-c
get group blogged
get local blogged
get beltway blogged
get congress blogged
get econ blogged
get multimedia blogged
get green blogged
get blogged d-l
who needs drudge
get labor blogged
get law blogged
get science blogged
get health blogged
get feminist blogged
get immigration blogged
get big shot blogged
get liberal
get left
get blogged m-r
get for. policy blogged
get iraq blogged
get iran blogged
get israel blogged
get arab blogged
get god
get godless
get church & state
get religious right
get cults
get blogged s-z
get canadian blogged
get country blogged
get expat blogged
get blogged 0-9
get investigative
get inside the system
get media analysis
get radio blogged
get polls
get framed
get literary blogged
get mom blogged
get dad blogged
get libertarian
get moderate
get both sides
get it all
the blog

Wednesday Apr 11, 2007

Focus Sharpens on Permanent Bases

After yesterday's post updating where the Democratic candidates stand on permanent bases in Iraq, saying we still needed to learn more about Sens. Chris Dodd and Barack Obama, a reader pointed LiberalOasis to Obama's bill, "Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007," which has a "No Permanent Bases" clause, and also to this Daily Kos diarist who directly asked Obama about the issue and was succinctly told, "No permanent bases."

Regarding Sen. Dodd, he was on CNN today and said:

If you accept the logic that [the Bush Administration is] offering here, then we would never leave, I suppose, under any circumstances. And that doesn't make any sense to anyone at all.

Sen. Dodd is slated to deliver an address on his foreign policy vision tonight. LiberalOasis will post any relevant info from the speech.

Also of note, Gov. Bill Richardson's "no residual forces" position has sparked high praise at Daily Kos, The Agonist and in several posts at MyDD.

Frankly, at the time, I wasn't totally sure Richardson meant what he said to be as absolute as it sounded.

But at what I believe is a new page on his website, it's quite clear:

No Residual Forces Left Behind: We must remove ALL of our troops. There should be no residual US forces left in Iraq. Most Iraqis, and most others in the region, believe that we are there for their oil, and this perception is exploited by both Al Qaeda and anti-American Shia groups. By announcing that we intend to remove all troops, we would deprive them of this propaganda tool.

Does this mean Richardson stands alone as the only candidate, besides Dennis Kucinich, who would really end the occupation?

Ian Welsh at The Agonist is correct in saying "'no permanent bases' can be fudged easily enough", as is MyDD's Matt Stoller who notes that "temporary" can easily be a ruse for "permanent."

(LiberalOasis noted as much when the Iraq Study Group report came down, and Conn Carroll put that to me in our Bloggingheads.tv segment.)

But in LiberalOasis' view, there's a big difference between forces actually on a temporary, tightly defined mission to root out Al Qaeda or train Iraqis, and using those tasks as a cover to unstated, destabilizing, unilateralist foreign policy goals.

Welsh is certainly correct that Richardson's position is "unfudgeable".

But I would not put the other candidates on the wrong side on the neocon line if they don't adopt Richardson's exact position. Whether or not they are fudging is a judgment call for individual voters to make based on the totality of their record.

And the best way for candidates to convince voters they are not fudging, is not to only say "no permanent bases" at selected venues, but to put it in the context of an overarching foreign policy vision -- that is a direct contrast to the dangerous neocon vision -- and make it a central focus of the campaign.

Posted by Bill Scher on Apr 11, 2007 email post email Spotlight / / You are in Iraq
Posts Near Apr 11, 2007