Ending the occupation, the 2006 elections, and tactics

September 26, 2006

Reprinted from the , 08/17/06

The pressure for troop withdrawal is growing, so much so that earlier this summer Democrats introduced two resolutions in the Senate. One, authored by Senator Kerry, envisions a short exit strategy and a role for the international community. The other, which has the support of nearly 40 Democratic senators and may be re-introduced this fall, calls for troop withdrawal beginning this winter, but the flaw is that it leaves the process open-ended, which is precisely what Bush does.

Nevertheless, the fact that a majority of Senate Democrats are supporting this resolution constitutes an important shift in their approach to the Iraq occupation. Much work by the peace majority still needs to be done, but the playing field is far more favorable for organizing a congressional majority in favor of ending the occupation than it was even a few months ago.

We should welcome these changes, even though they dont go far enough. Communists and other left-minded people should not only give space to people to change their positions on the occupation; we should also applaud such changes when they go in a progressive direction, even if they are not identical to our positions.

Of course, we dont support an open-ended occupation, no matter which party proposes it. And, needless to say, we dont support a long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq, which is obviously the Bush administrations plan.

A long-term U.S. presence is not a force for a democratic, stable and peaceful Iraq.


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