Saturday, September 30, 2006

Hodes Lays Out Iraq Plan

Coincidentally, the day that Charlie Bass started running an ad attacking Paul Hodes on Iraq, Hodes held a press conference to suggest a plan for the war.

Hodes has a press release detailing his full plan here, with explanations of the following bullet points:

I. Make it clear that we will not occupy Iraq permanently.

II. Withdraw our National Guard and Reserve troops immediately.

III. Immediately focus our mission on training the Iraqi military and police and security for their operations.

IV. Require the Iraqis to forge a political solution to the current crisis.

V. Support that solution while redeploying the remainder of our troops.

VI. Bring other countries into a comprehensive and sustained peace process.

VII. Rebuild our military.

VIII. Replace the leadership.

According to the Concord Monitor's report on the press conference

[Hodes] pointed to Monday's Iraq deployment of 138 soldiers with the New Hampshire National Guard's 3643rd Security Force and to Bass's vote against a debate on the National Intelligence Estimate report on the effects of the war on U.S. security.

"Do you think New Hampshire voters want a congressman who takes a critical look at the mission or a congressman who says, 'Let's not bother talking about it'?" he said.

In the Union Leader, a Bass spokeswoman runs Republican plays 1, 2, and 4 on the Iraq war: Claim that any criticism of the planning and leadership of the war is an attack on American soldiers; imply that massive successes are being overlooked in the politicized rush to paint the war as a disaster; accuse your opponent of wanting to cut and run regardless of what affect doing so will have.

Responding last night to Hodes comments, Bass campaign spokesman Lindsay Jackson said it's a shame the Democrat views U.S. accomplishments in Iraq over the last two years as a failure.

"Today Mr. Hodes laid out his plan, which includes pulling U.S. troops out immediately, eventually hoping to have all U.S. troops gone in a year," Johnson said. "That kind of plan would be setting up an effort to fail. Congressman Bass has confidence and respect in the young service men and women to do their jobs and come home as soon as our mission has been accomplished."

Ok, Lindsay, whatever. The Monitor also quotes her saying

Bass "feels that we must keep forces on the ground until we can confidently hand over control to the Iraqi security forces."
Except that, as I've previously noted, this is just a deceptive way of saying "Bass supports an indefinite US presence in Iraq." There is no way Iraqi security forces will be able to take control for the foreseeable future. It's saying "stay the course" without having the guts to actually say it.

Or, as Paul Hodes characterizes the situation

Hodes said the Bush administration is "too deep in its own mess" to resolve the situation in Iraq. "George Bush has failed this country and Charlie Bass has gone right along with him."

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