Thursday, August 18, 2005

Paper-thin policy

Checking my inbox today, I received a Matt Brown Press release in which Brown, Senatorial Candidate and current RI Sec. of State, said:

"Mr. President, the United States of America – the strongest country in the world – should not let our decision about when to bring our men and women home be dictated by a group of foreign insurgents. We have set timetables for the Iraqis to establish a new government, draft a constitution and conduct free elections – and now we need to set a timetable to bring our troops home. We should start the withdrawal in six months, soon after the Iraqi National Assembly Elections scheduled for December 15. By early next year, our troops will have made it possible for the Iraqis to establish their own government and constitution and to hold free elections. Our troops will have done their job and it will be time to bring them home."
I'm not very impressed. This seems more like posturing from Brown in order to distance himself from Chafee and present a 'clear' plan for withdrawal; something we'd all like to see. However, what's missing from this press release are the complexities we are facing in Iraq. It was either this or last week where Sen. Joe Biden spoke on Meet the Press saying that if we leave now we'll be worse off than had we not gone into Iraq. Essentially, Biden intimated that the world of terrorism has spurred not sputtered due to our involvement in Iraq and thus we are inexorably linked to Iraq's success. So any withdrawal plan must not be limited by dates per se, but by the qualitative measuring of Iraq's governmental and police forces' capability to keep order. Having said that, Brown's comments seem overly simplistic and a tad contrived, in my opinion. It's easy to say 'six months we should pull out' and get people to agree. It's much more difficult to take a hard look at the political and economical ramifications of pulling out of Iraq. I'm sure Brown has spent many hours going over this issue, but I want more from him if he expects me to send a vote his direction in 2006. Just giving a simple answer to a complex situation doesn't cut it for me and I doubt it does for most Rhode Islanders.

2 Comments:

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