[extropy-chat] The Kucinich Plan for Iraq

Natasha Vita-More natasha at natasha.cc
Tue Jan 9 16:02:55 UTC 2007

Below is a message sent to me from a professor at a university I am 
affiliated with.  I have not read the letter yet, but if anyone wants to 
dig in and take a look to see if there is a substantial resolve to Iraq, 
please do.  I'll be reading it today as well.  (I have no prior knowledge 
of Dennis Kucinich http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Kucinich )

As you know, my goal is to discover effective future oriented ways to deal 
with issues outside political party lines in a more heterarchical 
stigmergic system.

If you find any points in the letter below to be substantive, let's discuss.

>Dear Friends,
>In November of 2006, after an October upsurge in violence in Iraq,
>the American people moved decisively to reject Republican rule,
>principally because of the conduct of the war. Democratic leaders
>well understand we regained control of the Congress because of the
>situation in Iraq. However, two months later, the Congress is still
>searching for a plan around which it can unite to hasten the end of
>US involvement in Iraq and the return home of 140,000 US troops.
>There is a compelling need for a new direction in Iraq, one that
>recognizes the plight of the people of Iraq, the false and illegal
>basis of the United States war against Iraq, the realities on the
>ground which make a military resolution of the conflict unrealistic
>and the urgent responsibility of the United States, which caused the
>chaos, to use the process of diplomacy and international law to
>achieve stability in Iraq, a process which will establish peace and
>stability in Iraq allow our troops to return home with dignity.
>The Administration is preparing to escalate the conflict. They intend
>to increase troop numbers to unprecedented levels, without
>establishing an ending date for the so-called troop surge. By
>definition, this escalation means a continuation of the occupation,
>more troop and civilian casualties, more anger toward the US, more
>support for the insurgency, more instability in Iraq and in the
>region, and prolonged civil war at a time when there is a general
>agreement in the world community that the solution in Iraq must be
>political not military. Iraq is now a training ground for insurgents
>who practice against our troops.
>What is needed is a comprehensive political process. And the decision
>is not President Bush's alone to make.
>Congress, as a coequal branch of government has a responsibility to
>assist in the initiation of this process. Congress, under Article 1,
>Section 8 of the US Constitution has the war-making power. Congress
>appropriates funds for the war. Congress does not dispense with its
>obligation to the American people simply by opposing a troop surge in
>There are 140,000 troops remaining in Iraq right now. What about
>them? When will they come home? Why would we leave those troops in
>Iraq when we have the money to bring them home? Soon the President
>will ask for more money for the war. Why would Congress appropriate
>more money to keep the troops in Iraq through the end of President
>Bush's term, at a total cost of upwards of two trillion dollars and
>thousands of more troop casualties, when military experts say there
>is no military solution? Our soldiers stand for us in the field, we
>must to stand for them in our legislature by bringing them home.
>It is simply not credible to maintain that one opposes the war and
>yet continues to fund it. This contradiction runs as a deep fault
>line through our politics, undermining public trust in the political
>process and in those elected to represent the people. If you oppose
>the war, then do not vote to fund it.
>If you have money which can be used to bring the troops home or to
>prosecute the war, do not say you want to bring the troops home while
>you appropriate money in a supplemental to keep them in Iraq fighting
>a war that cannot be won militarily. This is why the Administration
>should be notified now that Congress will not approve of the
>appropriations request of up to $160 billion in the spring for the
>purposes of continuing the occupation and the war. Continuing to fund
>the war is not a plan. It would represent the continuation of
>The US sent our troops into Iraq without a clear mission. We created
>a financial, military and moral dilemma for our nation and now we are
>talking about the Iraq war as our problem. The Iraqis are forgotten.
>Their country has been destroyed: 650,000 casualties, [based on the
>Lancet Report which surveyed casualties from March of 2003 to July of
>2006] the shredding of the social fabric of the nation, civil war,
>lack of access to food, shelter, electricity, clean drinking water
>and health care because this Administration, with the active
>participation of the Congress, authorized a war without reason,
>without conscience, without international law.
>The US thinks in terms of solving our own military, strategic,
>logistical, and political problems. The US can determine how to solve
>our problems, but the Iraqi people will have problems far into the
>future. This requires an intensive focus on the processes needed to
>stabilize Iraq. If you solve the Iraqi problem you solve the US
>problem. Any comprehensive plan for Iraq must take into account as a
>primary matter the conditions and the needs of the Iraqi people,
>while providing our nation with a means of righting grievous wrongs
>and taking steps to regain US credibility and felicity within the
>world community.
>I am offering such a plan today. This plan responds to the concerns
>of a majority of Americans. On Tuesday, when Congress resumes its
>work, I will present this plan to leadership and members as the only
>viable alternative to the Bush Administration's policy of continued
>occupation and escalation. Congress must know that it cannot and must
>not stand by and watch our troops and innocent Iraqi civilians die.
>These are the elements of the Kucinich Plan:
>1. The US announces it will end the occupation, close military bases
>and withdraw. The insurgency has been fueled by the occupation and
>the prospect of a long-term presence as indicated by the building of
>permanent bases. A US declaration of an intention to withdraw troops
>and close bases will help dampen the insurgency which has been
>inspired to resist colonization and fight invaders and those who have
>supported US policy. Furthermore this will provide an opening where
>parties within Iraq and in the region can set the stage for
>negotiations towards peaceful settlement.
>2. US announces that it will use existing funds to bring the troops
>and necessary equipment home. Congress appropriated $70 billion in
>bridge funds on October 1st for the war. Money from this and other
>DOD accounts can be used to fund the troops in the field over the
>next few months, and to pay for the cost of the return of the troops,
>(which has been estimated at between $5 and $7 billion dollars) while
>a political settlement is being negotiated and preparations are made
>for a transition to an international security and peacekeeping force.
>3. Order a simultaneous return of all US contractors to the United
>States and turn over all contracting work to the Iraqi government.
>The contracting process has been rife with world-class corruption,
>with contractors stealing from the US Government and cheating the
>Iraqi people, taking large contracts and giving 5% or so to Iraqi
>Reconstruction activities must be reorganized and closely monitored
>in Iraq by the Iraqi government, with the assistance of the
>international community. The massive corruption as it relates to US
>contractors, should be investigated by congressional committees and
>federal grand juries. The lack of tangible benefits, the lack of
>accountability for billions of dollars, while millions of Iraqis do
>not have a means of financial support, nor substantive employment,
>cries out for justice.
>It is noteworthy that after the first Gulf War, Iraqis reestablished
>electricity within three months, despite sanctions. Four years into
>the US occupation there is no water, nor reliable electricity in
>Baghdad, despite massive funding from the US and from the Madrid
>conference. The greatest mystery involves the activities of private
>security companies who function as mercenaries. Reports of false flag
>operations must be investigated by an international tribunal.
>4. Convene a regional conference for the purpose of developing a
>security and stabilization force for Iraq. The focus should be on a
>process which solves the problems of Iraq. The US has told the
>international community, "This is our policy and we want you to come
>and help us implement it." The international community may have an
>interest in helping Iraq, but has no interest in participating in the
>implementation of failed US policy.
>A shift in US policy away from unilateralism and toward cooperation
>will provide new opportunities for exploring common concerns about
>the plight of Iraq. The UN is the appropriate place to convene,
>through the office of the Secretary General, all countries that have
>interests, concerns and influence, including the five permanent
>members of the Security Council and the European community, and all
>Arab nations.
>The end of the US occupation and the closing of military bases are
>necessary preconditions for such a conference. When the US creates a
>shift of policy and announces it will focus on the concerns of the
>people of Iraq, it will provide a powerful incentive for nations to
>It is well known that while some nations may see the instability in
>Iraq as an opportunity, there is also an even-present danger that the
>civil war in Iraq threatens the stability of nations throughout the
>region. The impending end of the occupation will provide a
>breakthrough for the cooperation between the US and the UN and the UN
>and countries of the region. The regional conference must include
>Iran, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
>5. Prepare an international security and peacekeeping force to move
>in, replacing US troops who then return home. The UN has an
>indispensable role to play here, but cannot do it as long as the US
>is committed to an occupation. The UN is the only international
>organization with the ability to mobilize and the legitimacy to
>authorize troops.
>The UN is the place to develop the process, to build the political
>consensus, to craft a political agreement, to prepare the ground for
>the peacekeeping mission, to implement the basis of an agreement that
>will end the occupation and begin the transition to international
>peacekeepers. This process will take at least three months from the
>time the US announces the intention to end the occupation.
>The US will necessarily have to fund a peacekeeping mission, which,
>by definition will not require as many troops. Fifty percent of the
>peacekeeping troops must come from nations with large Muslim
>populations. The international security force, under UN direction,
>will remain in place until the Iraqi government is capable of
>handling its own security. The UN can field an international security
>and peacekeeping mission, but such an initiative will not take shape
>unless there is a peace to keep, and that will be dependent upon a
>political process which reaches agreement between all the Iraqi
>parties. Such an agreement means fewer troops will be needed.
>According to UN sources, the UN the peacekeeping mission in the
>Congo, which is four times larger in area than Iraq, required about
>twenty thousand troops. Finally the UN does not mobilize quickly
>because they depend upon governments to supply the troops, and
>governments are slow. The ambition of the UN is to deploy in less
>than ninety days. However, without an agreement of parties the UN is
>not likely to approve a mission to Iraq, because countries will not
>give them troops.
>6. Develop and fund a process of national reconciliation. The process
>of reconciliation must begin with a national conference, organized
>with the assistance of the UN and with the participation of parties
>who can create, participate in and affect the process of
>reconciliation, defined as an airing of all grievances and the
>creation of pathways toward open, transparent talks producing truth
>and resolution of grievances. The Iraqi government has indicated a
>desire for the process of reconciliation to take place around it, and
>that those who were opposed to the government should give up and join
>the government. Reconciliation must not be confused with
>capitulation, nor with realignments for the purposes of protecting
>power relationships.
>For example, Kurds need to be assured that their own autonomy will be
>regarded and therefore obviate the need for the Kurds to align with
>religious Shia for the purposes of self-protection. The problem in
>Iraq is that every community is living in fear. The Shia, who are the
>majority fear they will not be allowed to government even though they
>are a majority. The Kurds are afraid they will lose the autonomy they
>have gained. The Sunnis think they will continue to be made to pay
>for the sins of Saddam.
>A reconciliation process which brings people together is the only way
>to overcome their fears and reconcile their differences. It is
>essential to create a minimum of understanding and mutual confidence
>between the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds.
>But how can a reconciliation process be constructed in Iraq when
>there is such mistrust: Ethnic cleansing is rampant. The police get
>their money from the US and their ideas from Tehran. They function as
>religious militia, fighting for supremacy, while the Interior
>Ministry collaborates. Two or three million people have been
>displaced. When someone loses a family member, a loved one, a friend,
>the first response is likely to be that there is no reconciliation.
>It is also difficult to move toward reconciliation when one or
>several parties engaged in the conflict think they can win outright.
>The Shia, some of whom are out for revenge, think they can win
>because they have the defacto support of the US. The end of the US
>occupation will enhance the opportunity for the Shia to come to an
>accommodation with the Sunnis. They have the oil, the weapons, and
>support from Iran. They have little interest in reconciling with
>those who are seen as Baathists.
>The Sunnis think they have experience, as the former army of Saddam,
>boasting half a million people insurgents. The Sunnis have so much
>more experience and motivation that as soon as the Americans leave
>they believe they can defeat the Shia government. Any Sunni revenge
>impulses can be held in check by international peacekeepers. The only
>sure path toward reconciliation is through the political process. All
>factions and all insurgents not with al Queda must be brought
>together in a relentless process which involves Saudis, Turks and
>7. Reconstruction and Jobs. Restart the failed reconstruction program
>in Iraq. Rebuild roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, and other public
>facilities, houses, and factories with jobs and job training going to
>local Iraqis.
>8. Reparations. The US and Great Britain have a high moral obligation
>to enable a peace process by beginning a program of significant
>reparations to the people of Iraq for the loss of lives, physical and
>emotional injuries, and damage to property. There should be special
>programs to rescue the tens of thousands of Iraqi orphans from lives
>of destitution. This is essential to enable reconciliation.
>9. Political Sovereignty. Put an end to suspicions that the US
>invasion and occupation was influenced by a desire to gain control of
>Iraq's oil assets by A) setting aside initiatives to privatize Iraqi
>oil interests or other national assets, and B) by abandoning efforts
>to change Iraqi national law to facilitate privatization.
>Any attempt to sell Iraqi oil assets during the US occupation will be
>a significant stumbling block to peaceful resolution. The current
>Iraqi constitution gives oil proceeds to the regions and the central
>government gets nothing. There must be fairness in the distribution
>of oil resources in Iraq. An Iraqi National Oil Trust should be
>established to guarantee the oil assets will be used to create a
>fully functioning infrastructure with financial mechanisms
>established protect the oil wealth for the use of the people of Iraq.
>10. Iraq Economy. Set forth a plan to stabilize Iraq's cost for food
>and energy, on par to what the prices were before the US invasion and
>occupation. This would block efforts underway to raise the price of
>food and energy at a time when most Iraqis do not have the means to
>meet their own needs.
>11. Economic Sovereignty. Work with the world community to restore
>Iraq's fiscal integrity without structural readjustment measures of
>the IMF or the World Bank.
>12. International Truth and Reconciliation. Establish a policy of
>truth and reconciliation between the people of the United States and
>the people of Iraq. In 2002, I led the effort in the House of
>Representatives challenging the Bush Administration's plans to go to
>war in Iraq. I organized 125 Democrats to vote against the Iraq war
>resolution. The analysis I offered at that time stands out in bold
>relief for its foresight when compared to the assessments of many who
>today aspire to national leadership. Just as the caution I urged four
>years ago was well-placed, so the plan I am presenting today is
>workable, and it responds to the will of the American people,
>expressed this past November. This is a moment for clarity and
>foresight. This is a moment to take a new direction in Iraq. One with
>honor and dignity. One which protects our troops and rescues Iraqi
>civilians. One which repairs our relationship with Iraqis and with
>the world.
>Thank you,
>Dennis J Kucinich
>------ End of Forwarded Message

<http://www.natasha.cc/>Natasha <http://www.natasha.cc/>Vita-More
Design Media Artist - Futurist
PhD Candidate, 
Proactionary Principle Core Group, <http://www.extropy.org/>Extropy 
Member, <http://www.profuturists.com/>Association of Professional Futurists
Founder, <http://www.transhumanist.biz/>Transhumanist Arts & Culture

If you draw a circle in the sand and study only what's inside the circle, 
then that is a closed-system perspective. If you study what is inside the 
circle and everything outside the circle, then that is an open system 
perspective. - Buckminster Fuller

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