Saturday, October 22


Michigan Senator Carl Levin thinks the U.S. should use its continued military presence in Iraq as leverage to unite Sunni, Shiite, Kurdish and Arab factions.

Levin says that the one thing all the factions agree upon is that they want the U.S. military to remain (at least for now). Therefore, we should use that consensus, saying that if they don't move toward political compromise and greater unity by a defined deadline, we will begin to withdraw.

Although Levin criticized Bush for extending what he called an "open, unlimited, unconditional commitment" to Iraqis, he stopped well short of demanding an immediate pullout as advocated by antiwar groups.

As such, Levin's remarks were viewed by some analysts as an attempt by the Democrats to stake out a middle ground on the Iraq issue — opposed to the administration, yet still distanced from the antiwar movement.

These kinds of maneuvers may be perceived as politically adept by some in the Democratic Party, but continued U.S. involvement in Iraq is, in my opinion, detrimental to U.S. security interests, to our nation's soul, its character and ideals, to the well-being (mental and emotional as well as physical) of our military personnel, and to our economy. The only way I could support Levin's proposal is to tell the Iraqi factional politicians that the deadline for such cooperation is six months from now. If they haven't forged a workable solution by then, we'll begin to withdraw and cede the training of Iraqi forces to the United Nations.

We should have done that ages ago.

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