Iraq is like the weather, everyone talks about it but no one is specific about what to do about it.
Candidate Latas: Yet in 3 years, they (we) have trained only one out of 15 battalions of Iraqi soldiers to defend their own country. Something isn't right about that. It is time for us to leave Iraq to the Iraqi people.
Candidate Weiss: The Shi’ites, the Sunnis and the Kurds must continue their negotiations to create their new government. If those factions believe the U.S. military will stay indefinitely, they will lack the motivation to stabilize their own country.
Candidate Giffords: Arizonans were given false evidence for invading Iraq but our troops deserve gratitude for doing a tough job under perilous conditions. We need to quickly build international cooperation so the Iraqi people can govern themselves effectively. My priority is to bring our troops home safe and soon.
Candidate Shacter: We need to plan and execute a speedy withdrawal from Iraq; staying the course is not an option. The US should coordinate planning and assist in a multi-national rebuilding Iraq.
Everyone wants to get out. We were suckered into the war in the first place and it has been a ruinous expense. If “staying the course” is not an option exactly what course is it that we shouldn’t stay?
Shacter and Giffords clearly want to stay one course, that of building multi national cooperation towards a re-built and self-governing Iraq. Weiss and Latas seem to be saying either that we should get out now or at some date in the near future. No mention is made about re-building.
I’m skeptical about our success in getting multi-national cooperation in pulling our chestnuts out of the fire, but pulling out and letting the Iraqis kill one another until they have it sorted out doesn’t seem like a good idea, either.
It’s interesting that none of the candidates are proposing a three-state solution based on agreements to share oil revenues.