IRAQ NEW BI-PARTISAN CALL FOR CHANGE

Imagine that U.S. diplomats are meeting regularly with Iranians and Syrians, that the U.S. continues to prohibit the Pentagon from establishing permanent military bases in the Iraq, that the bulk of U.S. combat troops are out of Iraq, and that Washington is supporting efforts to negotiate a ceasefire between the Iraqi government and violent, anti-U.S. insurgent groups. Problems still remain, but the U.S. has turned onto the pathway out of Iraq. Violence is decreasing.

We would have a radical departure from the U.S. war.

Before the end of this month, the Senate will have a chance to approve this sensible and responsible new vision of U.S. policy on Iraq, during the floor debate on the military authorization bill.

This new vision of U.S. policy is contained in The Iraq Study Group Implementation Act of 2007 (S. 1454.) Introduced earlier this week, this legislation gives new life to some of the recommendations made last December by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group for which incorporated steps that FCNL has been lobbying the U.S. to take for nearly a year.

This legislation, cosponsored by four Democrats and five Republicans, would go a long way toward establishing a new U.S. policy in Iraq.

Take Action

A radical change from this failed U.S. war in Iraq can be accomplished by the adoption of sensible and responsible recommendations to stabilize Iraq, achieve a cease fire, and begin to rebuild. In order for the Iraq Study Group Implementation Act to be successfully attached to the military authorization bill on the Senate floor, it needs more support from senators of both parties. Please urge your senators to cosponsor the Iraq Study Group Implementation Act (S. 1454) today, as a first step toward a sensible and responsible change in U.S. policy in Iraq. Tell your friends and urge them to write to their senators as well.

This bill (S. 1545/H.R. 2574) includes the following points:

affirms that the ISG recommendations must be implemented as a comprehensive package in order for them to succeed;

calls for the U.S. to make clear that it does not seek to establish permanent military bases in Iraq and does not seek to control Iraq¹s oil resources;



stresses the central need to carry out the ISG¹s "New Diplomatic Offensive" to deal with the problems of Iraq and of the region, including the need to engage directly with Iran and Syria, and build an "Iraq Support Group" composed of neighboring states and others;;

envisions an early transition of the U.S. military role from combat to training and states, as the ISG report did, that barring "unexpected developments in the security situation" most U.S. combat troops "could be redeployed from Iraq by the first quarter of 2008" except those needed for force protection, training, counterterrorism, and special operations;;

conditions continued U.S. political, military and economic support for the Iraqi government on progress in meeting national reconciliation benchmarks on constitutional reform, revising de-Baathification, equitably distributing oil revenues, holding provincial elections, and protecting the rights of women and minorities;;

encourages transparency in the oil sector by posting all oil contracts, volumes and prices on the Internet;;

and establishes significant congressional oversight by requiring the president to report every three months on actions taken to implement most of the provisions of the bill.

For further analysis of the legislation:

http://capwiz.com/fconl/utr/1/BAAPHG ....

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