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Gen. Odem Blasts War Policy in Senate Hearing: Rapid Withdrawal Needed, Cheney Aligned with al Qaeda Print E-mail
Last Modified: Tuesday, Apr 08/2008 11:24
Written by AFP Press Secretary   

Comment and Opinion from AFP... Boulder, CO - Repeating his criticism of the troop surge given a year ago in similar Senate hearings, General William Odem told senators last week that the surge is "prolonging instability, not creating the conditions for unity as the president claims." The retired general, who served as NSA director under Reagan, called rapid withdrawal the only "sensible strategy."

Odem paints Iraq as a hornets' nest of "military chiefs who follow a proliferating number of political bosses," having little loyalty to the U.S. which is not paid for with large dollar sums. He called our current strategy absurd, describing it as one of attempting to build a state "from the bottom up" by shifting power and financial means to local warlords. The general challenged members of the Senate to name a historical case when this has been successful "except through bloody violence leading to a single winner, most often a dictator." Odem insists that, although we are "certainly to blame for" the chaos in Iraq, "we do not have the physical means to prevent it."

The general also took aim at the U.S. policy with Iran and those who support an attack on Iran, saying "it gives me pause to learn that our vice president and some members of the Senate are aligned with al Qaeda on spreading the war to Iran." He implied that our policy of "regime change by force" is the cause of regional instability, and stated that it should be "renounced" in order to remove the incentive for Iranian supported Islamic militancy.

AFP National Chairman Jon Hill stated, "We echo General Odem's position that it is the moral duty of government leaders to stop putting U.S. troops at risk in Iraq. But we also insist that our armed forces not be used for empire building, so-called 'police actions,' or any combat role not strictly related to national defense. All of these activities trample on basic constitutional principle. Tragically, four thousand U.S. soldiers and about one million Iraqi civilians have died because most congressmen failed to obey their oaths."

The America First Party Platform calls for the United States military to be used only "to protect U.S. citizens, U.S. property and U.S. border integrity," and for no other purpose.

-The Cherry Creek News-
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