Sunday, May 27, 2007


Democratic Presidential candidate Mike Gravel has at least one good idea:

Harris: ... so, I want to know if you would share with us what you think should be next for us in Iraq.

Gravel: What should be next is to get out, and one of the things that we should do is—. There’s a civil war going on, and so when you hear Hillary and the others say, “Well, we’re going to get out,” they’re not getting out; they’re talking about just pulling back the combat troops. That still leaves 100,000 American soldiers there and 50,000 mercenaries and then all those war profiteers that are over there ripping it off at the expense of the Iraqis. So we’re going to leave all those people there and “Sure, we’re going to end the war.” You can’t end the war. Our presence is causing the war, our very presence. So if we leave any troops there at all, the insurgents will continue the war and they’ll continue killing other people. So their plan is a non-starter.

My plan would be very simple: We pull our troops out. As we’re pulling our troops out—that takes about 60 days—we turn around and get the puppet government ... and I want to say it, the word is probably ... the puppet government that we’ve set up ... we get them to draft 3 million young Iraqis. These young Iraqis are unemployed. Who do you think is part of the insurgency or these militias? It’s these young people that have no way of making a living and so they do this “insurgency” with banditry—the whole nine yards. What we do is draft them, put them in uniforms. OK? No civilian clothes. No arms. No arms. Begin to disarm them and turn around and give them the tools to rebuild their country with their own hands. And get the damned American war profiteers out of the country. Let them build their country, let them have some pride.

We had a program like this in the
'30s. It was called the Civilian Conservation Corps, the CCC. That’s what we need to do with Iraq and then get out, and use diplomacy, let them form their own government. It’s their country. Politicians in Washington feel we’re going to cut the country up in this way, that we’re going to get them to do this with their oil. ... It’s their oil! Let them do what they want with it. Who are we to go tell them what to do? Can you imagine if we had a million and a half, a million five hundred troops in the United States—and that’s about the proportions now population-wise. If we had a million and a half troops in the United States that had the power to go anywhere with their weapons and to kick in any door and to shoot anybody when they panic, what do you think would happen in the United States of America?
His May 4 interview (audio and transcript) with James Harris and Josh Scheer is at

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