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Re: Reyes calls for more troops in Iraq

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  • Ram Lau
    I m for a draft, but there s only one truly brave statesman Charlie Rangel who would even just bring that option up. I believe in equal opportunities for the
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 6, 2006
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      I'm for a draft, but there's only one truly brave statesman Charlie
      Rangel who would even just bring that option up. I believe in equal
      opportunities for the rich and privileged.


      --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, Greg Cannon <gregcannon1@...>
      > http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16062351/site/newsweek/
      > `We Can't Afford to Leave'
      > As the debate over Iraq intensifies, leading Democrat
      > Silvestre Reyes is calling for the deployment of more
      > U.S. troops.
      > Dec. 5. 2006 - In a surprise twist in the debate over
      > Iraq, Rep. Silvestre Reyes, the soon-to-be chairman of
      > the House Intelligence Committee, said he wants to see
      > an increase of 20,000 to 30,000 U.S. troops as part of
      > a stepped up effort to "dismantle the militias."
      > The soft-spoken Texas Democrat was an early opponent
      > of the Iraq war and voted against the October 2002
      > resolution authorizing President Bush to invade that
      > country. That dovish record got prominently cited last
      > week when Speaker designate Nancy Pelosi chose Reyes
      > as the new head of the intelligence panel.
      > But in an interview with NEWSWEEK on Tuesday, Reyes
      > pointedly distanced himself from many of his
      > Democratic colleagues who have called for fixed
      > timetables for the withdrawal of U.S. troops. Coming
      > on the eve of tomorrow's recommendations from the
      > bipartisan Baker-Hamilton commission, Reyes's comments
      > were immediately cited by some Iraq war analysts as
      > fresh evidence that the intense debate over U.S.
      > policy may be more fluid than many have expected.
      > "We're not going to have stability in Iraq until we
      > eliminate those militias, those private armies," Reyes
      > said. "We have to consider the need for additional
      > troops to be in Iraq, to take out the militias and
      > stabilize Iraq … We certainly can't leave Iraq and run
      > the risk that it becomes [like] Afghanistan" was
      > before the 2001 invasion by the United States.
      > Reyes also stressed that there needed to be greater
      > "political accountability" demanded of the Iraqi
      > government. But on the core issue of the U.S.
      > commitment, Reyes—a Vietnam War veteran who partially
      > lost his hearing in that conflict—even compared his
      > position to that of another Vietnam vet, Sen. John
      > McCain, a staunch supporter of the Iraq war. Like
      > Reyes, McCain also has called for an increase in U.S.
      > troop strength. When asked how many additional troops
      > he envisioned sending to Iraq, Reyes replied: "I would
      > say 20,000 to 30,000—for the specific purpose of
      > making sure those militias are dismantled, working in
      > concert with the Iraqi military."
      > When a reporter suggested that was not a position that
      > was likely to be popular with many House Democrats,
      > Reyes replied: "Well again, I differ in that I don't
      > want Iraq to become the next Afghanistan. We could not
      > allow Iraq to become a safe haven for Al Qaeda, for
      > Hamas, for Hizbullah, or anybody else. We cannot allow
      > Iran or Syria to have a free hand in there to further
      > destabilize the Middle East."
      > Reyes added that he was "very clear" about his
      > position to Pelosi when she chose him over two
      > rivals—Rep. Jane Harman of California and Rep. Alcee
      > Hastings—to head the critical intelligence post. One
      > widely cited reason that Harman, a moderate Democrat
      > who supported the war, didn't get the nod from Pelosi
      > is that the Speaker-designate wanted somebody who
      > would be more aggressive in standing up to the Bush
      > White House—which Reyes promises to be on other issues
      > like domestic wiretapping and CIA secret prisons.
      > But when asked what he told Pelosi about his thinking
      > on Iraq, Reyes replied: "What I said was, we can't
      > afford to leave there. And anybody who says, we are
      > going pull out our troops immediately, is being
      > dishonest … We're all interested in getting out of
      > Iraq. That's a common goal. How we do it, I think, is
      > the tough part. There are those that say, they don't
      > care what Iraq looks like once we leave there. Let's
      > just leave there. And I argue against that. I don't
      > think that's responsible. And I think it plays right
      > into the hands of Syria and Iran."
      > Reyes also said he is eager to see the recommendations
      > Wednesday from the bipartisan panel headed by former
      > secretary of State Jim Baker and former Democratic
      > chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Lee
      > Hamilton. By some accounts, the panel is set to
      > recommend an adjustment of course that will include
      > the beginning of troop withdrawals pegged to progress
      > on the ground along with other political and
      > diplomatic initiatives. But Reyes said such ideas are
      > not likely to substantially change his own views on
      > the subject. "I'm very interested in reading what
      > their recommendations are. But this is my position."
      > Reyes's comments were immediately blasted by one Iraq
      > war critic who expressed concerns that they would give
      > new respectability to an idea that has lost
      > considerable support in official Washington as the
      > violence in Iraq has escalated. "I think he [Reyes]
      > needs a course in Insurgency 101," said Ray McGovern,
      > a former CIA analyst who has been active in an
      > anti-war group called the Steering Group for Veteran
      > Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. "Have they
      > learned nothing from Vietnam? If he pushes this and
      > gets some support for it, and with McCain in the
      > Senate, it could become more respectable … I think
      > Reyes has got a lot to learn."
      > Yet one prominent Iraq war supporter, Cliff May, the
      > president of the Foundation for the Defense of
      > Democracy who served on an advisory panel that worked
      > with the Baker-Hamilton group, said he was stunned and
      > pleasantly surprised by Reyes's views. "Wow, that's
      > remarkable," May replied when NEWSWEEK told him of
      > Reyes's comments. "Whenever anybody like myself
      > suggests that we need more troops, we get told that
      > it's not politically feasible. But if you have a
      > leading Democrat saying it, that strikes me as very
      > significant …. I think it's dawning on a lot of people
      > that the price of a U.S. defeat would be dire."
      > One source familiar with aspects of the Baker-Hamilton
      > panel's deliberations said that the idea of an
      > increase of U.S. troop strength of 20,000 to 30,000
      > had been pushed by some U.S. military commanders for
      > some time. However, Democratic members of the
      > commission were unwilling to go along with any
      > proposal that would indicate an expansion of the U.S.
      > mission in that country, according to the source, who
      > asked not to be identified talking about sensitive
      > matters.
      > Yet another member of the Baker-Hamilton advisory
      > panel praised Reyes for proposing the idea of
      > increasing troops, saying it showed that he "doesn't
      > just fall back on political reflex." But, added Larry
      > Diamond, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution who
      > formerly served as a U.S. political advisor in Iraq,
      > Reyes's ideas were unlikely to bear fruit unless
      > accompanied with a far more extensive strategy that
      > included a "political and diplomatic" initiative to
      > reorder and rebuild support for the Iraqi government.
      > "You can't sustain an increase of 20,000 to 30,000
      > troops for very long—maybe four to six months,"
      > Diamond said. "Can you really secure progress on the
      > ground in terms of knocking out death squads and
      > militia activity in four to six months? It won't make
      > sense unless it's combined with very intensive
      > political and constitutional activity. Otherwise
      > putting in more troops is like putting more fingers in
      > the dyke … I don't think there is any magic bullet."
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