Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Iraq: If troops are pulling out, where are the parades?

A former White House spokesman, Robert Weiner, and policy analyst Noah Merksamer are asking, "If U.S. troops are pulling out of Iraq, where are the parades?"

"The lack of public evidence that the troops are actually coming home to the United States begs the question." Weiner and Merksamer say the Iraq troop withdrawal, outlined by the President in an August 2 speech to veterans, must not be a "stealth withdrawal."

In an oped column in today's Orlando Sentinel, Weiner and Merksamer ask, "Where are the parades, the celebrations, the homecomings for the withdrawn 70,000 men and women? Are they coming home or simply being sent to Afghanistan?"

"Patriotic homecoming events in cities across the nation will prove to the American people that the Iraq War is over. Moving troops from one internal war of 1000+ years ethnic strife in Iraq to another one in Afghanistan will continue to make them angry."

Weiner and Merksamer write that a successful and public troop withdrawal "could be the hidden jewel for the Obama Administration and congressional Democrats. It will represent American politics in the best sense of the word: this is what the American people wanted regardless of 'Party'. The American people elected President Obama and a Democratic Congress in part because of their commitment to a timeline to end the Iraq war."

Weiner and Merksamer continue, "President Obama must ignore the military excuse that poor ground conditions should delay the withdrawal. Take it for granted--conditions will be poor. 'It is not our responsibility to have the Shiites, Sunnis and the Kurds love each other,' the authors quote Cong. Alan Grayson [D-Orlando]."

"There has rarely been a general who hasn't wanted more troops and equipment or who has given up turf," Cong. John Conyers (Detroit), Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, says in an interview in the piece.

Weiner and Merksamer assert, "If President Obama fulfills his promise to withdraw the troops and not simply move them to Afghanistan, it will reinvigorate the American people's faith in the election."

"We want the parades," they conclude.

Link to article:,0,613850.story

Source: Robert Weiner Associates