end the occupation

One way or another, the US must leave Iraq. I don’t know whether we should pull out unilaterally asap, or carry out a strategic withdrawal over some months; in the former case I don’t know how we could ask, say, UN troops to fill the security gap that would undoubtedly be formed, and in the latter case I worry that it will turn into nothing but another cover for US imperialism. I cannot think my way through this; I haven’t the experience and I probably haven’t the smarts.
Fortunately for the world, that isn’t my job. Unfortunately for the world, it is GW Bush’s job. To date, he hasn’t even bothered trying.
I’ve already signed Barbara Boxer’s petition for a plan; today I got email asking me to ask others to sign. That’s what this post is for: if you haven’t, please go right now and sign it. Here’s the text:

After two and a half years of war, the American people are still waiting to hear the truth about what our mission is in Iraq and how we are going to accomplish it. Frankly, it is difficult to keep track of all the missions we’ve had so far, because the story changes every few weeks. First there was the weapons of mass destruction mission, then regime change, then rebuilding, then bringing democracy, and now it’s fighting terrorism.
It’s time to develop a strategy that can succeed in Iraq, defuse the terrorist insurgency, and bring our brave men and women home. That will only happen if you immediately bring credibility, accountability, and responsibility to a war that has been lacking in all three.
***Credibility: It’s time for you to stop using sound bytes like “Mission Accomplished” and be truthful with the American people.
***Accountability: We need to hear from your Administration exactly how many Iraqi forces are needed; how to meet that goal; and by when.
***Responsibility: We must honor our soldiers not just on the 4th of July, but every day — by giving them the equipment they need while they are deployed and the health care they deserve when they come home.
I urge you to tell the truth to the American people, articulate a clear timeline of our plans for Iraq, and take responsibility for our men and women in uniform.

Boxer plans to hand that to Smirk when he gets back from his spot of R’n’R down on the ranch. Reasonable people can disagree in good faith over how to handle the withdrawal, but it’s undeniable that the US cannot simply stay in Iraq forever and it’s unconscionable that the US government has provided no plan whatsoever for handing the Iraqis back what’s left of their country. Think about it: who in their right mind goes to war, sets up an occupation of the conquered nation, and doesn’t give a second thought to what to do next? My fear is that this US government, composed as it is of sociopaths, war criminals, ordinary criminals, cowards, thieves and liars of every stripe and dimension, does in fact have a plan but cannot admit to it publicly. They must be forced to commit to a public plan composed of specific actions on a specific schedule, not a half-assed handful of neocon talking points.
Please sign the petition.