Tuesday, August 16


Antiwar activitist and former California State Sen. and Chicago 8 defendant Tom Hayden proposes an exit strategy from Iraq:

Peace movement advocates have lobbied successfully for members of Congress to hold Capitol Hill forums in mid-September to explore exit strategies. Here is a starting point that is being discussed in peace circles. It is based on deciding now to get out of Iraq and outlining how to do it. The basis of the plan is a shift from a military model to a conflict-resolution model, then to a peace process that ends in a negotiated political settlement alongside a U.S. withdrawal. The main themes are these:

First, as confidence-building measures, Washington should declare that it has no interest in permanent military bases or the control of Iraqi oil. It must immediately announce goals for ending the occupation and bringing all our troops home — in months, not years, beginning with an initial gesture by the end of this year.

Second, the U.S. should request that the United Nations, or a body blessed by the U.N., monitor the process of military disengagement and de-escalation, and take the lead in organizing a peaceful reconstruction effort.

Third, the president should appoint a peace envoy, independent of the occupation authorities, to begin an entirely different mission in Iraq. The envoy should encourage and cooperate in peace talks with Iraqi groups opposed to the occupation, including insurgents, to explore a political settlement.

And his coup de grace: "Perhaps Cindy Sheehan's moral stance will awaken courage among politicians who openly or privately deplore the fabricated origins of the war but cannot bring themselves to be honest about the war itself."


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