Sunday, November 26, 2006

Skelton on MTP: Iraq In Civil War, Begin Withdrawal This Year

Rep. Ike Skelton said the conflict in Iraq has digressed into a civil war and that the United States should begin to gradually withdraw out of the country this year. Skelton made his comments on NBC's Meet the Press this morning, during a panel discussion about the future of the United States' role in Iraq.

"Scholars will say no. I will say yes, because the violence is so heavy," Skelton said to Tim Russert, after the moderator pressed him on the civil war question.

"In true civil wars Tim, there is a political goal. There is a way to stop it and shake hands and put an end to it. The sectarian violence, the only purpose is killing each other," Skelton added. "But as far as peace and decorum is concerned, it's a civil war in my book."

Skelton also said the Iraq war will not be won until Iraqis are properly trained and begin to fight the battles themselves.

"I also think we're going to have to send a message to the Maliki government, the Iraqi people, as well as the American people that we are not there forever. And it is in the law that we redeploy this year. I would begin it this year," Skelton said.

Skelton's colleague on the House Armed Services Committee Rep. Duncan Hunter said the best strategy for victory is to "Go Iraqi." Hunter said the United States must send more of the 114 Iraqi battalions into the action.

Skelton said it is up to the United States to train and advise these brigades, and then gradually move U.S. troops out of the country. Skelton has a proposed a plan to redeploy one American brigade out of the country for every three Iraqi brigades that are trained and ready to fight.

"The problem has been, a lot of the trainers, and they are great Americans, but they were not trained to be trainers. That's what Special Forces do," Skelton said.

Russert noted and Skelton acknowledged that he has evolved in his thinking on the war. In December of 2005, Skelton rejected Democratic calls for a quick withdrawal from Iraq and said pulling out would leave the country "a snakepit for terrorists."

"Your thinking has changed," Russert asked Skelton.

"It has. The situation has changed," Skelton replied.

When asked how many U.S. troops will be in Iraq one year from now, Skelton shied away from a specific number. "I hope it's far less than what we have today," he said. "It's up to Iraqis to form their own future."


bobicus tomatocus said...

the Iraqi people, as well as the American people that we are not there forever.

Unfortunately they and our enemies know this.

See, there was this incident in 1991 where tens of thousands of Shiites died at the hands of Americans because we left them hanging after encouraging them to overthrow Saddam.

Dont think the people of Iraq and our enemies in Al Qeada and other terrorist didnt notice then and arent taking notice now.

They are and the violence will only increase.

bengalorange said...

Ok bobicus, lets say we dont cut and run as you call it. Which the bush administration doesnt like to use that term anymore what would you do? Its easy for all of us to play arm chair quarterback. But until you have been there, which maybe you have. I know I have and to be honest with you to throw the money away we throwing on the Iraqis is just sickening. Look at the numbers 82% arent sympathetic over US Troop deaths, secondly 75% think they were better off with Sadam back in power. Thats nice people can wave a purple finger at me but with the other hand they are pratically flipping our country the bird. Its time for this so called democracy to get up off their @$$ and do something, because it's bad enough my grandkids will have to pay for all this , for a country that would kill them rather look at them, but hey IRAQ your welcome, go ahead and not take accountability for your actions. I am sure they are grateful for the over 10,000 soldiers that have either died or permanently been disfigured due to the war, the Iraqi people are grateful oh by the way, their the same folks who dont believe the holocaust ever happened!!