posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 04:05 AM
Another voice was added to the crowing chorus posing the question: Should the U.S. begin pulling out its troops from Iraq. this time however, the
voice was from close within the party. Former Secretary of State James Baker, pointing to growing concern that the U.S. may be seen as having Imperial
ambitions, has suggested that a phased withdrawal should be considered. However, Baker also pointed out that the security situation needed to be
stabilized prior to any withdrawal.
The growing debate over a possible withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq got an added boost Thursday with the dissemination of comments by former
Secretary of State James Baker suggesting that the Bush administration should consider a phased withdrawal of some of the 150,000 troops now there.
"Any appearance of a permanent occupation will both undermine domestic support here in the United States and play directly into the hands of those in
the Middle East who -- however wrongly -- suspect us of imperial design," Baker said Tuesday in a speech at Rice University in Houston. News reports
of his comments were disseminated on national news wires on Thursday.
Baker, a Republican Party stalwart, was an architect of the 1991 Persian Gulf War in the administration of President Bush's father. Bush enlisted him
to help win international debt relief for the newly conquered Iraq.
Baker couched his remarks by saying that any such withdrawal should happen only if the security situation improves and once Iraqi forces are ready.
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Baker is old school, and despite or because of his Carlysle Group connections, is well respected in both conservative circles as well as overseas. If
he is calling and making suggustions such as this the Bush neocons will have to at least pay attention to it. If the security situation can be
resolved then there simply is no need for as many troops as we have now. However, we have a long way to go and the election is only a start not an end
to the troubles.