Call for the U.S. to Pullout from Iraq

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The Call for the U.S. to Pullout from Iraq has finally been made by a member of the Top 25 in the U.S. newspaper market.

As reported March 21, 2005, by Editor & Publisher, California's Orange County Register, with a daily circulation of around 300,000, has become the first newspaper in that market to call for a U.S. pullout from Iraq. The Register stated its reasons as:

  • It "opposed this war from the beginning" and believes that the United States "should withdraw its troops sooner rather than later, under a sensible exit strategy ... While some argue that chaos would follow an American withdrawal, it is also true that U.S. troops have become a lightning rod, attracting the very attacks they are working to prevent."
  • Saddam Hussein is no longer in power. "Now it is time to leave Iraq, for better and for worse, to the Iraqis."
  • Although Iraq has had its first 'democratic election,' "Baghdad is still one of the most dangerous cities in the world, rocked by daily violence ... [which] has not decreased since the elections."
  • The war effort has "cost more than 1,500 American lives and about 16,000 wounded. Estimates of Iraqi civilian deaths vary widely, but the lowest estimates are in the tens of thousands."
  • The coalition of the willing has become the coalition of the wilting, as within the last few weeks Italy, Poland, the Netherlands and Ukraine have announced "they would begin pulling out their troops."

Growing support for a pullout from Iraq

Those supporting a pullout from Iraq

  • "Condoleezza Rice is expected to support administration officials who want to leave even if what is left behind does not constitute perfection." [1].

Those calling for a pullout from Iraq

  • Ralph Nader, in April 2004 during his U.S. presidential election campaign, called for a "rapid pullout from Iraq." [2]
  • USA Today founder Allen H. Neuharth, 80, "a World War II vet ... declared [January 15, 2004,] that if he were eligible to serve in Iraq, 'I would do all I could to avoid it.' He also wrote in his weekly column for the paper that America's New Year's resolution should be to bring the troops home 'sooner rather than later.' ... he would avoid serving in Iraq, likening it to the Vietnam war, which 'many of the politically connected' managed to escape." [3]
  • Greg Mitchell, editor of Editor & Publisher, appeared on CNN May 13, 2004, and "renewed his call in a recent column (When Will First Major Newspaper Call for a Pullout in Iraq?) that newspaper editorials strongly consider advocating a phased U.S. pullout from Iraq, or at the minimum begin a 'healthy debate' on this subject. ... Mitchell cited a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll which found that 47% of the respondents said they favored withdrawing some or all troops from Iraq. This was up from 37% a month ago. 'So it's odd,' he said, 'that the largest newspapers are seemingly not even taking this position seriously.'" [4]
  • Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) in January 2005 "called on the Bush administration to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq shortly after national elections [January 30th], saying the presence of US troops is fueling an increasingly violent insurgency and exacerbating the security situation, not improving it." [5]
  • Al Neuharth, founder of USA Today, said August 11, 2005: "'Support our troops' — bring them home alive." "Public support for the troops still is there, with candy, cookies and yellow ribbons. But government support sadly is lacking. No effective overall war plan. Inadequate or outdated equipment. No exit strategy. ... That's why the best way to support our troops in Iraq is to insist that Bush bring them all home. Alive. Sooner rather than later."
  • Chuck Hagel, Republican Senator from Nebraska, and "a Vietnam veteran, acknowledged the U.S. military presence was becoming harder and harder to justify. He believes Iraq faces a serious danger of civil war that would threaten Middle East stability, and said there is little Washington can do to avert this. ... 'We are seen as occupiers, we are targets. We have got to get out. I don't think we can sustain our current policy, nor do I think we should ...'," Hagel said August 18, 2005. Also see "Hagel: Iraq growing more like Vietnam," CNN, August 19, 2005.
  • "North Carolina Congressman Walter Jones says he has about 50 co-sponsors on a joint resolution on when U-S troops should start leaving Iraq. ... The measure calls on President Bush to announce -- by year's end -- a plan for the withdrawal. ... The initial resolution sponsors are Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who voted against the war, and two who've opposed it -- Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii. ...Jones says the reason for going to war - Saddam Hussein's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction - has been proven false." --KLTV 7 NC, August 19, 2005

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