Thursday, September 13, 2007

Opinion: Is the plan that the president announced a good idea?


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush said Thursday night conditions on the ground in Iraq have improved sufficiently to start bringing some U.S. troops home, and urged Americans divided over the war to "come together."

In a televised speech to the nation, Bush said he would reduce U.S. force strength by 5,700 troops by Christmas and, by next July, reduce the number of combat brigades from 20 to 15, a decrease of roughly 30,000 troops.

The first step in that process will come later this month, when 2,200 Marines leaving Anbar province will not be replaced, the president said.

"The principle guiding my decisions on troop levels in Iraq is 'return on success' -- the more successful we are, the more American troops can return home," Bush said during a 17-minute address from the Oval Office.

"In all we do, I will ensure that our commanders on the ground have the troops and flexibility they need to defeat the enemy."

The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker told Congress this week that progress had been made on the ground in Iraq since Bush in January sent 30,000 additional troops. The move was termed "the surge."

Petraeus said the surge campaign has met its military goals of reducing sectarian killings by more than 50 percent nationwide and by more than 80 percent in Baghdad.

31 comments:

Alex said...

I do not believe that withdrawing the troop surge is a good idea. The surge showed after all to be overall successfull. I think that mounting pressure from the democrats in congress made Presidant Bush show that he is not against bringing out troops home. I however feel that Bush should stick to his guns and keep what has proven to be a winning stratagy with the troop surge and keep the troops there. Since the surge Iraq has shown great inprovement and I belive that the troops should all stay untill Iraq is a success not to give in. Bush has shown before that he will take a ratings hit to do what is is right in the war and should continue to stick to his stratgy.

Vlad said...

I don't have a firm stance on this issue. I wish I did but I don't. After reading about the significant decrease in sectarian violence in Iraq and Baghdad, I think that maybe withdrawing the troops isn't that great of an idea. But then again, the thought of the purpose of the war and the amount of US troops who die every day makes me want to withdraw all of the troops immediately. Though this may sound horrible, I feel we should see if things go back to the way they were in Iraq before the surge.

BTW, how did you manage to insert HTML tags into posts, Mr. Bretzmann?

Mr. Bretzmann said...

Vlad,
Thanks for asking, but I'm not even sure if I know what HTML tags are. If you mean Pres. Bush's name being a link, then it's just a copy/paste job. Please don't call a copyright lawyer.

katiekso said...

I personally feel that we should get our troops out of Iraq as soon as safely possible. However, I also feel that, since the men and women who recently went over to Iraq have done such a good job it might be better to keep them there a little longer, keep improving the situatiuon in Iarq, and then bring even more of the troops home at the same time. This way we would hopefully achieve our goals in Iraq quicker and then bring more people home, more then just those from the recent surge.

RyanO said...

I don't think this is a plan at all, the troops have to come home already, and they weren't meant to be replaced. Pres. Bush is just trying to buy time or something. It's hard to tell exactly what he is doing anymore because usually it doesn't seem to have a very through base of planning behind it.

jzurko said...

I agree with Ryan on this on. Afterall, the troops that are coming home have to come home anyways and all that President Bush is doing is not putting more troops in the country. Iraq is going through what is clearly a civil war right now and, though I am not an expert on the subject, I believe that all the troops are doing is delaying some sectarian violence. I think that the military has done as much as it can do in the region. Until some political solutions can be put into effect, I don't think we will see any lasting progress in the region.

amandak said...

I agree with Joanna, the military has done all it can do in Iraq. The problems they continue to have can only be solved politically. The military is containing some of the violence, but they aren't really making any lasting difference. The Iraqi people need to start taking responsiblity for their government. Many of the things our military is doing now should be done by Iraqi police.

Jbyko10 said...

I feel 50/50 with the withdraw in Iraq. I do believe that the fight is becoming to be out of our hands. If Iraq does not want the troops to be in there anymore, we should leave. I do feel that they should stay only because we are keeping as much peace as we can. With the U.S. troops withdrawled then there would be complete chaos in Iraq. So honestly, i do not have a strong opinion on each argument. The only thing i know for sure is that we need to start leaving, small numbers at a time.

JamieW said...

I'm completley for bringing the troops home as soon as we can. (I'm being a tad bit selfish because I don't want my cousin to have to depart in January) I'm not quite sure of this "plan" President Bush is referring to. Bringing home troops that have to come home anyways? I think Bush has finally realized that people want the troops out of there, and is trying to make the "removal" if you will, of these troops better off than it actually is. The recent surge of soliders helped "achieve the goals" over in Iraq.....but for the sake of thousands and thousands of American lives, lets bring the troops home for good.

mente said...
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mente said...

I think that President Bush's "plan" to withdraw troops is just another feeble attempt to get back some of the populations "good graces." I believe that he and his administration are hoping that the majority of the people in the country are going to hear the word withdrawal and think that he's finally doing what they ask. (Even though he isn't actually withdrawing troops, he's just not deploying a new set of troops after a scheduled set of troops return home.) In my opinion, sorry Pres, it's too little, too late for my thumbs up.

newkirk said...

I think that is a good idea that we are taking troops back out of Iraq, even though we just had the surge. I personally want us to start bringing home all of our soldiers and even though we just had a surge and now we are bringing home more soldiers at least it is a start towards bringing more home

KellyH said...

I'm going to have to agree with Ryan and Joanna on this one. This isn't much of a plan. President Bush has so many people around him, and so many resources with which he could try and pull together an actual plan. Announcing that he will pull some troops out doesn't exactly qualify as a plan.

I think it's a good thing that the secretarian violence has scaled back since the surge, but at some point we'll have to leave anyways and the violence will most likely take a turn for the worse. So I do agree that it's good for the President to start safely bringing troops home, but if troops come home and violence escalates again, will he turn around and push for another surge anyways?

Erica C said...

The plan President Bush announced is a good start; however, it is unclear whether Bush will continue to bring home troops after he has brought home the initial 30,000, and that's what counts, right? If we cannot continue to withdraw troops from Iraq, the United States isn't making as much progress as we may think. The only way Iraq can be considered a country apart from the US is if it can stand on its own two feet. The only way the new Iraqi government can be tested is if the US can begin to step out of its way. Withdrawing troops is the only way to do so.

Angelina said...

Well it is always good to hear that the troops are coming home, but is it safe to do so? Because since the violence has decreased since the surge, will it increase when we send some troops home? And then will this become some kind of game, where we send troops, bring some home when the violence decreases, send some more because the violence has increased, and bring a little more home because it looks good again? What excatly is Bush's plan or strategy?

Tom B. said...

I feel that reduction of troops from Iraq is both good and bad. the good part of the troop withdrawls is that Americans will be comming home and we are getting closer to winning this war. But on the other hand the reason that things are doing better in Iraq may have been because of a stronger american influence than their was pre-surge. So by withdrawing troops the violence may just return to its same old levels. But overall i am happy that american soldiers can come home.

Alex said...

Compeltly unrelated and off topic but I just read this on Yahoo! and thought it was crazy. Many cities are following a new trend that is drafting legislation making it illegal to wear saggy pants. here are my favorites from yahoo.com
" At the extreme end, wearing pants low enough to show boxers or bare buttocks in one small Louisiana town means six months in jail and a $500 fine."

"In Atlanta, a law has been introduced to ban sagging and punishment could include small fines or community work — but no jail time, Martin said."
"The penalty is stiffer in Delcambre, La., where in June the town council passed an ordinance that carries a fine of up to $500 or six months in jail for exposing underwear in public. Several other municipalities and parish governments in Louisiana have enacted similar laws in recent months."

What happened to freedom to wear whatever you want. I couldn't help but be shocked at this. Sure you look pretty stupid with pants that go up only to your knees but should you really be arrested for it? If this isn't government interfearing to much into peoples lives I don't know what is.

heres the link
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070916/ap_on_fe_st/saggy_britches

arletap said...
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arletap said...

For the first time since the Democrats took control of Congress, some of our troops will be coming home. It's what everyone's been asking for, isn't it? Momentarily, Bush has provided the country with a smidge of hope, until one realizes, "Hey, wait a minute..."

I believe the word "plan" is being applied to the situation far too liberally. Regardless of the surge and/or it's progress, those troops would be returning. And there has been no indication as to what the next step after the withdrawal is. Will we have another surge to replace the returning troops, due to the previous one's "success"? In an attempt to play hero, Bush has completely twisted the situation at hand. Overall, nothing has changed nor been solved.

Oh, and I like that Mr. Bretzmann does not know what HTML is.

treheinguy said...

General Patraeus has confirmed, officially, what has been known for some time, the surge has been semi-successful. This makes sense, if you throw enough time, money, and life at something you can make anything semi-successful. It is only when the cost becomes too great that we begin to question it. Now is that time. The surge is not working as well as hoped, so we are now going to back pedal, and bring our troop levels back to where they were before. Therefore, nothing was gained or lost accept for the waste of many more American and Iraqi youth.

Christina S said...

This doesn't sound like much of a plan to me. The troops were already coming home. It's hard to say, I feel the troops should come home as soon and as safely as possible. On the other hand, the recent surge has obviously helped, and made great improvements. I agree with Joanna, our military has done just about all it can do to help the Iraqi people, it's time the Iraqi police take responsibility.

newkirk said...

I still want our troops to come home, even though the president is not really lowering the original level of our troops.But i think that we should have some troops in Iraq to help the people. I don't think that we will be able to ever have all of our troops out of Iraq, in my opinion there will always have to be some troops there to try and maintain some control.

Alex the Great said...

Personally I dont think we're going to win in Iraq either way. There has never in the history of the world been an instance where one country has taken over another, completely reformed their government, and then left them to run their own country again. Unless we plan to police Iraq forever, we cannot hope to conquer and "democracize" them. I know that whether they withdraw troops or not, I will be going to Iraq by next year. I'd rather have a few more troops fighting by my side than go into battle underprepared and underarmed.

Johnny B said...

Personally, I don't think it's a good or bad. All it is is an attempt to gain confidence in people who don't realize the other side of the story. Because of the withdrawal, we'll be in the same situation we were before the surge. People who don't realize that will probably think that more troops are coming home and by doing so gain false hope. Other people will realize that it's just back to before the surge and it won't have any affect on them.

BrookeS said...

My views on this issue are very spilt at the moment. When we first entered the war in 2003, I believed Iraq was in dire need of reform. Four and a half years have past and the death toll has well passed 3000. I sympathize with those families who have suffered losses in the war; I then consider the post-withdrawl Iraq if the US were to pull out soon. Would the country be left in more chaos then before the war? I do agree with other posts in saying Iraq is in a civil war right now. I also feel that the President is under massive pressure in dealing with our current situation. His proposition does give an outlined plan, and he is taking into consideration the causes and effects. I personally believe the plan is a definate step forward in leading Iraq to a better future.

Lisa Marie said...

My opinion goes either way with this. I believe that we should get our troops home as soon as we can, but we have to make sure everything is stable. I understand why we are there, but it is time we bring home our troops, but then again we don't want chaos. I am on the presidents side, but he doesn't seem sure of what he wants to do either. It's a back and forth situation. We keep ending back where we started before the surge.

DanielleT said...

If Bush would have decided to bring home troops prior to the surge of 30,000 people, I believe that this event would be seen differently. With Bush bringing home only the surge that he had sent out, it makes it seem that he is trying to trick us into thinking that he is doing something good. Also, judging the way we are doing in Iraq shouldn't be based on the progress due to the additional 30,000 troops that were sent. Once they are all back it's very possible that the violence increases right back to where it left off.

CassieH said...

If the "surge" worked, isn't it only right to bring them home? But really, like mentioned, he HAD to bring these Men home. He's just not sending more. I believe "withdrawl" is just a nice little word to use when he wants to confuse the majority and make them feel satisfied with something he is doing.

I also believe we should def. see what happens before we just go sending more over. Yes, it worked this time, BUT I don't think he should "stick to his guns" earlier posted by Alex.

I'd rather see our Men at home, safe.

MorganJ said...

I'm going to agree with the majority of blog comments; President Bush's "plan" to withdraw the troops is not a good idea. I believe that this war has gone out of control. No one has a handle on it anymore, and the thoughtless decisions being made are not helping the cause. We need a new evaluation of the situation in Iraq, by competent people, and I'm sorry to say President Bush is not one of those people. Bush’s recently proposed plan is not a plan at all; it is just a reaction to the people’s emotions. His plan is based off of success; this doesn’t make any sense to me. As I see it, if we send troops home just as we are accomplishing goals, we won’t have enough troops to accomplish any more successes. Basically, I am wanting a new, REAL plan for our interaction Iraq.

Jake_H said...

I do not believe that brining home troops from Iraq is a good idea. I think that troop levels should remain at surge level. The only way to really win this war is to keep troop levels up. I also think that the troop remomal is insignificnt. Presidant Bush made things sound as if we are removing all the troops, but in reality we are only going back to pre-surge levels. If we want to win this war we have to keep on truckin and keep troop levels up.

aly mac said...

I believe the surge President Bush implemented was a good idea. Since we added troops back in this past January there has been further stabilization of the government in Iraq. I believe that the U.S. must continue to pressure Iraq's government to take more control of their own country; however, since there are so many insurgents from other Middle Eastern countries in Iraq, the U.S. must maintain a large military presence in order to keep stability. As our top military leaders in Iraq feel we can begin to reduce troop levels, then we should begin to bring troops home. We should not withdraw any forces just because of political pressure from Congress. This is the essence of what President Bush is proposing. I support this plan.