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Some time ago now, Senator Joe Biden of Delaware put forth a plan for a way forward in Iraq. The plan consisted of 5 major points, as follows,,,

1. Establish One Iraq, with Three Regions

Federalize Iraq in accordance with its constitution by establishing three largely autonomous regions - Shiite, Sunni and Kurd -- with a strong but limited central government in Baghdad
Put the central government in charge of truly common interests: border defense, foreign policy, oil production and revenues
Form regional governments -- Kurd, Sunni and Shiite -- responsible for administering their own regions
2. Share Oil Revenues

Gain agreement for the federal solution from the Sunni Arabs by guaranteeing them 20 percent of all present and future oil revenues -- an amount roughly proportional to their size -- which would make their region economically viable
Empower the central government to set national oil policy and distribute the revenues, which would attract needed foreign investment and reinforce each community's interest in keeping Iraq intact and protecting the oil infrastructure
3. Convene International Conference, Enforce Regional Non-Aggression Pact

Convene with the U.N. a regional security conference where Iraq's neighbors, including Iran, pledge to support Iraq's power sharing agreement and respect Iraq's borders
Engage Iraq's neighbors directly to overcome their suspicions and focus their efforts on stabilizing Iraq, not undermining it
Create a standing Contact Group, to include the major powers, that would engage Iraq's neighbors and enforce their commitments
4. Responsibly Drawdown US Troops

Direct U.S. military commanders to develop a plan to withdraw and re-deploy almost all U.S. forces from Iraq by the end of 2007
Maintain in or near Iraq a small residual force -- perhaps 20,000 troops -- to strike any concentration of terrorists, help keep Iraq's neighbors honest and train its security forces
5. Increase Reconstruction Assistance and Create a Jobs Program

Provide more reconstruction assistance, conditioned on the protection of minority and women's rights and the establishment of a jobs program to give Iraqi youth an alternative to the militia and criminal gangs
Insist that other countries take the lead in funding reconstruction by making good on old commitments and providing new ones -- especially the oil-rich Arab Gulf countries

If you want to check out the entire presentation of the plan, you can do so here...Link.

The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq - a consensus report of all U.S. intelligence agencies - makes clear the need for a political settlement based on federalism, as called for in the Biden plan.

The plan has gotten praise from former Secretaries of State from both sides of the aisle. it has been endorsed and praised by foreign policy experts like the Council on Foreign Relations, The CATO Institute, The Brookings Institution, current and past Ambassadors and a virtual "who's who" of experts and organizations that specialize in foreign and mid-east relations.

Other members of Congress, including republicans like Dick Lugar and GOP Presidential Contender Sam Brownback have supported the plan. Brownback said "I think this idea of maybe the three autonomous regions within one country may be the one that we start to move more and more towards." [The Hill, (10/24/06)]

And his congressional support doesn't end on the right. Chuck Schumer, Barbara Boxer and Democratic 2008 contender Bill Richardson have supported the Biden plan. Richardson told the Christian Science Monitor "I would also study Senator Biden's federation [proposal]. I think that may be ultimately the right solution." [Christian Science Monitor, (9/27/06)]

Even those within the Administration, like our National Security Advisor to Iraq, Muwaffaq al Rubaie had this to say..." I can't agree more with Senator Biden and his article, and I think he is a very well-informed person. [CNN Late Edition, (5/7/06)]

And in the media, even the New York Times and Bill O'Reilly agree!!! david Brooks put it this way..."In short, logic, circumstances and politics are leading inexorably toward soft partition. The Bush administration has been slow to recognize its virtues because it is too dependent on the Green Zone Iraqis. The Iraqis talk about national unity but their behavior suggests they want decentralization. Sooner or later, everybody will settle on this sensible policy, having exhausted all the alternatives." [New York Times, Parting Ways In Iraq, (1/28/07)]

While the Sultan of Spin had this to say...."See, I favor Biden's -- Senator Biden's solution of the three regional areas. Because you've already got one, the Kurds in the north that's autonomous. If you could carve the two out, divide up the oil revenue, have a central government protected by the Americans to make sure that the Iranians don't come in, I think that might work." [The O'Reilly Factor, (9/29/06)]

Ok, when was the last time even these 2 saw things the same way?

And with all this widespread support, the administration won't even seriously consider the plan. Meanwhile, the Senate can't even debate anything about Iraq because of the obstructions lead by Mitch McConnell's posse. The House is wasting it's time with "non binding resolutions" instead of doing the job the American people sent them to do in the 1st place.

Biden should get his plan heard and voted on in the actual Senate. the House should then debate the measure and if approved, force the administration's hand in actually looking atthe plan in more than just apassing, patronizing fashion while they continue to send more of our boys and girls to die in the desert. Something a clear majority of the American people are clearly against.

The only viable alternative to Bush's reckless policy in Iraq is Joe Biden's plan. Not a 100 "non binding " resolutions or the playing of politics with funding. Something that will surely be misinterpreted and smeared by it's opponents. Most Americans agree that it would simply be irresponsible and wrong for us to pack up and go from Iraq immediately. Most also agree that an escalation is not the way to go. And we surely can't stand pat. Biden's plan is th eonly serious, viable and pragmatic solution in Iraq. It is the only solution that is about the future of Iraq and it's people instead of about a President's messianic ego or a vote beholdened Congress's political stunts.





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on Feb 22, 2007
  
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