| Home | About Us | Login/Register | Email News Tips |

A liberal dose of news, national and local politics, commentary, opinions and common sense conversation…

Using Our Leverage: The Troops

by Pamela Leavey

Senator Carl Levin writes in an OP/ED today in the Washington Post that “We must use that leverage — the possibility of an American withdrawal — to achieve the broad-based political settlement that is essential for defeating the insurgency.”

I believe that if the Iraqis fail to reach a political solution by the end of the year we must consider a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. forces. This does not mean setting a date now for departure. It simply means conveying clearly and forcefully to Iraqis that the presence of our forces is not indefinite and that our staying there requires them to come together politically, since Iraqi unity offers the only hope of defeating the insurgency.

When I read Senator Levin’s OP/ED late last night, it dawned on me that I had heard a similar suggestion in the past… from John Kerry on June 28, 2005, in a speech on the Senate floor:

“It’s time for the Administration to use its leverage to insist the Iraqis to do their part, establish a truly inclusive political process, and meet the deadlines for finishing the Constitution and holding new elections in December.”

“Getting it right also means drawing up a detailed plan with the clear milestone of transfer of military and police responsibilities to Iraqis after the December elections. The Administration’s plan should take into account both political and security objectives, including Iraqi force structure, and be specifically tied to a defined series of tasks and accomplishments. This plan must be more than dates and numbers – it must make clear to the Iraqi government that American patience is limited.”

As Kerry suggested on June 28th, the “American patience is limited”, evidently Carl Levin agrees with Kerry’s earlier assertion:

The American people are rapidly losing patience with the mounting casualties and costs while Iraqis squabble among themselves over their future.

Note: My sources tell me we can expect to be hearing more from John Kerry on Iraq in the near future.

One Response to “Using Our Leverage: The Troops”

  1. Since we’re into who’s on first, hope he mentions what he said before. Carl Levin usually makes sense.