News Release

Iraq Study Group: How to Stay in Iraq?

TOM ENGELHARDT
Available for a limited number of interviews, Engelhardt just wrote a piece titled “How to Stay in Iraq: The Iraq Study Group Rides to the Rescue,” in which he states: “Put in a nutshell, the Iraq Study Group plan — should it ever be put into effect — might accomplish the following: As a start, it would in no way affect our essential network of monumental permanent bases in Iraq (where, many billions of dollars later, concrete is still being poured); it would leave many less ‘combat’ troops but many more ‘advisers’ in-country to ‘stand up’ the Iraqi Army (tactics already tried, at the cost of many billions of dollars, and just about sure to fail); many more American troops will find themselves either imprisoned on those vast bases of ours in Iraq or on similar installations in the ‘neighborhood’ where they are likely to bring so many of our problems with them.

“And those aggressive chats with the neighbors, whose influence in Iraq is overestimated in any case, are unlikely to proceed terribly well because the Bush administration will arrive at the bargaining table, if at all, with so little to offer (except lectures).

“All of this should ensure that, well into 2008, at least 70,000 American military personnel will still be in Iraq, after which, in the midst of a presidential election season, will actual withdrawal finally appear on some horizon? In other words, the Baker Commission plan guarantees us at least another 3-5 years in Iraq.” Engelhardt is editor of TomDispatch.com.
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KEVIN MARTIN
GORDON CLARK
Executive director of Peace Action, Martin said today: “The civil war in Iraq is spiraling out of control and it’s unclear whether the government of Prime Minister al Maliki can survive, yet the [Iraq Study Group] report will call for ‘gradual’ withdrawal of troops. It’s no time for gradual anything. We need bold and creative actions to dramatically change the dynamic in Iraq, not tepid recommendations for political consumption at home.

“The first necessary step is an immediate cease-fire and an announcement that the U.S. will be withdrawing its troops, on a timetable, and that we have no plans to leave behind military bases or to control Iraqi oil, but by all accounts this will be noticeably absent from the recommendations.”

Clark is communications director for Peace Action.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167