Monday, November 21, 2005


Rep. John Murtha wants the troops pulled back to a "safe zone" and then be redeployed. The majority of the American public wants the troops brought home. In Iraq 80% of the public want us to pull the troops out, with 45% saying they have the right to attack our troops because they are occupiers...which we are.

Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld say neither is going to happen. Maybe Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld should start lisening to us and the Iraqis.

From Information Clearing House:

Iraqi leaders demand timetable for troop withdrawal

By Agence France Presse

11/21/05 "
AFP" -- -- CAIRO - Iraqi leaders reached a tentative agreement Monday to demand a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops from their war-torn country during talks ahead of a reconciliation conference to be held next year.

Dozens of leaders representing most of Iraq's factions have been holding tough talks in Cairo since Saturday in a bid to reach a common agenda.

In a draft final statement, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, they demanded "a timetable for the immediate withdrawal of foreign troops".

The draft also advocates "immediately setting up a national programme to rebuild the armed forces in a way that will allow them to control the security situation and put an end to terrorist operations".

Iraq's disempowered Sunni community had long made the timetable one of its main demands before returning to the political arena.

But the current government -- dominated by the Shiite and Kurdish communities formerly oppressed by Saddam Hussein's ousted regime -- has so far stressed that a hasty troop withdrawal would plunge the country into chaos.

The United States, which leads the coalition of foreign forces occupying Iraq, has consistently said it would not stay indefinitely in Iraq but refused to announce a timetable.

The US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, said Monday it was "possible to begin adjusting our forces downwards, meaning begin to withdraw, some forces beginning next year".

But he warned that a total pullout by November 2006 would be premature.

"I think a total withdrawal of US forces by then is unrealistic. I don't think the Iraqis will be ready to completely take over the mission by themselves by that time," he said on CNN television.

Apart from discussing the withdrawal of foreign troops, the planned reconciliation conference aims to lessen the ongoing insurgency by expanding political dialogue.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani told the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram that a large part of the insurgency could be won over if a common political agenda was agreed at the Cairo talks.

"A success of the Cairo talks will allow us to ... bring the resistance of the Arab nationalists to an end," he said.

But Iraq's most feared insurgent group, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, led by Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has rejected any dialogue, saying the "sword and blood" were the only ways forward.

© 2005 Agence France Presse

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