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Monday, April 7, 2008

The Burner Plan to End the Iraq War

posted by on April 7 at 16:10 PM


Its particulars, and its supporters (now numbering 42 54 Congressional candidates), have been getting a good bit of media attention lately—including, recently, this editorial in The Nation:

The antiwar caucus doesn’t have enough votes to override a delusional President or enough members willing to bear the political risk of cutting off funding for the war. The solution to this impasse is, in the words of Congressional candidate Darcy Burner, to elect “more and better Democrats”—Democrats who have publicly committed to pursuing a legislative strategy to end the war.

So at Take Back America, Burner—a former Microsoft manager from the Seattle suburbs who narrowly missed unseating a GOP incumbent in 2006—with nine other Democratic Congressional challengers released A Responsible Plan to End the War. Developed in collaboration with retired military officers and national security professionals, the plan attracted the support of fifteen additional Democratic Senate and House challengers in the first week after it was unveiled (see Unlike the withdrawal plans offered by both Democratic presidential candidates, the Responsible Plan opposes any residual forces as well as permanent military bases. It flatly states, “We must stop counter-productive military operations by U.S. occupation forces, and end our military presence in Iraq.” It looks toward restoring “Constitutional checks and balances and fix[ing] the ways in which our governmental, military, and civil institutions have failed us.” It also addresses the need to take responsibility for a humanitarian crisis in which thousands of Iraqis who worked with US forces are in danger and millions are displaced across the region.

Cokie Roberts, however, is not impressed:

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Does Cokie still collect all those huge speaking fees from the tobacco companies?

Posted by elenchos | April 7, 2008 4:16 PM

Cokie Roberts is such a whore. Sorry, but I can't think of a more polite way to discuss her.

Posted by Matthew | April 7, 2008 4:20 PM

The Nation - that should shift a lot of Pierce County rural voters.

Posted by McG | April 7, 2008 4:27 PM

Ha! Everybody in this country NEEDS OIL worse than a junkie need his smack. Our entire lifestyle depends on it. If the US pulls out, and oil production drops, or Iran takes control of Iraq's reserves, I guarantee we'll be back inside loooong before Seattle sees separated grade mass transit.

Posted by Westside forever | April 7, 2008 4:30 PM

Oh, bullshit, Westside. We can get all the oil we need the old-fashioned way, by BUYING it. Even the fearsome Iranis sell the stuff on the open market just like everyone else. And Iraqi oil? We could have had all we wanted, at much less cost than today, if we'd left the country alone. As it is, our war has almost destroyed Iraqi production; they're just now getting back to pre-war production levels.

And the best and cheapest way to increase our supply of the stuff is conservation. USE LESS. We could cut 10% off our usage without even hardly noticing with just a few tweaks.

Posted by Fnarf | April 7, 2008 4:36 PM

Oh, and Cokie Roberts is a fucking toilet.

Posted by Fnarf | April 7, 2008 4:37 PM

@5 Everything you say would be true, if only we hadn't gone in. Now that we have, we're truly well fucked--and stuck with the problem for the next several decades at least. If we're still in Japan and Germany for global strategy reasons, you can be damned sure we're going to be in Iraq for many, many years to come.

Posted by Westside forever | April 7, 2008 4:40 PM

@ Westside - The US reduced Iraqi oil production to 5% of capacity following the invasion. In other words if we pull out the price will no longer be artificially high and our gas prices should decrease. Just sayin'...

Posted by Fonky | April 7, 2008 4:47 PM

anyone who calls themselves cokie, instead of the more appropriate cookie is nothing more than a vapid poser.

Posted by SeMe | April 7, 2008 4:53 PM


"In other words if we pull out the price will no longer be artificially high and our gas prices should decrease"

Huh? Nothing could be further from the truth. That doesn't even make any sense. There is a significant chance that if we pull out, the rebuilt oil plants will be terror-bombed again. But then again, they might be anyways; it's not really up to us. It is true that northern oil production areas that are disputed between Kurds and Iraqis are among the most likely flash points for a civil war. But really, even the terrorists want to sell oil to us. And we have historically been more than happy to buy from them.

Posted by Fnarf | April 7, 2008 5:26 PM

Cokie Roberts is such a republican shill. I temporarily turn the sound off when she starts her commentary in the morning on NPR. Then again, NPR in general has turned into a soft core republican propaganda machine.

Posted by neo-realist | April 7, 2008 5:28 PM

No one loves Jeanne Kirkpatrick.

When is there going to be some disclosure of who is putting money in the pockets of these commentator monkeys? I love her angry dismissal, is she channelling Cheney or a lobbyist from KBR? She's acting like she knows better what's going on on the ground in Iraq, but considering Basra and the bombings in the green zone, I don't think she has a clue what she's refusing to actually talk about.

Posted by left coast | April 7, 2008 5:31 PM

"A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq"

Wow. With that kind of punchy branding, I can't imagine how Burner could possibly not win this time. Is she going to try to use her cred as a military brat again?

Posted by keshmeshi | April 7, 2008 5:40 PM

Cokie Roberts is a neocon-loving conspirator.

Sorry, had to be said.

I love her voice, but she is NOT to be trusted.

And Fnarf @5 is correct - once we leave Iraq and Iran we can still buy their oil, since it's sold by multinationals ... it's all about the permanent military bases and the insistence on /c/o/a/l/oil as the supply. The Brits never adapted - will we? Remember, the oil shales of Pennsylvania were developed while we were stuck on whale oil.

Time to move on and develop our massive wind, solar, tidal, and geothermal resources, as well as (wait for it, this will shock you) hydro.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 7, 2008 5:57 PM

Westside forever is right Fnarf is WAY off base. America DID NOT infact do it the old fashioned way, Bush invaded Iraq, unless you consider invasions to steal resources old fashioned, come to think of it it is an old hetero-male style of doing business. America is not the only country buying oil and our dollar is becoming less and less the monetary exchange item. You would like to think Americans will conserve oil, they don't, they won't. You think other countries can't and won't embargo America? Of course your crystal ball is as good as mine, but I don't for one second think America is immune to being sanctioned by countries that don't care for America. We'll still have the Saudi's oil flowing our way, but prices for gas are never ever ever going to be $2 a gallon again.

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | April 7, 2008 6:19 PM

"And the best and cheapest way to increase our supply of the stuff is conservation. USE LESS. We could cut 10% off our usage without even hardly noticing with just a few tweaks."

Fnarf dear, don't you remember? Conservation is nothing more than a personal virtue. Vice-President Dick told us so, way back in May of 2001. Of course, 9-11 changed everything. Except for that.

Conservation will do absolutely no good at all. It will probably make everything just that much worse. It has been known to lead to loss of erection and explosive bowel movements. Also, it makes Jesus' feet hurt something awful, and you don't want to get on his bad side.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | April 7, 2008 6:35 PM


Some of that may be true - up to a point. But, even with emerging oil markets to take the place of U.S. consumption should any of the foreign oil-producers decide to go down the sanction route, the countries that currently hold massive amounts of our national debt (e.g. China) aren't going to tolerate any shenanigans that might put our economy further in jeopardy, and would immediately intervene on our behalf.

The fact that we're in debt to the extent we are actually works in our favor, since it means the countries holding our IOU's can't afford to have our economy go down the toilet without risking significant, if not in fact catastrophic damage to their own.

To paraphrase the old adage: "If you owe the bank $1,000 that's your problem; if you owe them $1 trillion, it's the bank's problem."

Posted by COMTE | April 7, 2008 6:36 PM

Sargon, I agree, oil will never be dirt-cheap again. Nor should it be. But it'll be a LOT cheaper if we just buy it on the market instead of paying, what is it, $350 million PER DAY to run this war, on top of whatever we pay for the oil itself, which comes from elsewhere. That's $350 million we don't have, mind you; $350 million that is destroying the dollar and ruining not just our economy but everyone else's as well.

That difference won't show up at the pump, but who the hell cares? It'll show up in the AVOIDANCE OF GLOBAL DEPRESSION and the loss of American sovereignty.

Posted by Fnarf | April 7, 2008 7:04 PM

There is absolutely nothing to hold Iraq together once we pull out. It was never a real country anyway. Maybe it would have been better with Saddam in charge but he's no longer there now. And leaving the place now would destabilize the entire region. Do people here really think that once we leave, people will say "Hooray, they're gone! Now we can live in PEACE."? Please.

Posted by Citizen Gregg | April 7, 2008 7:10 PM

I say we stay put if that is what it takes to prevent destabilizing the Middle East region. The last thing we need on top of all this other bullshit we're trying to figure out is for that region to become unstable.

Posted by elenchos | April 7, 2008 7:20 PM

@20, they're looking for "a few good men." Are you willing to volunteer to help us "stay put?" That's the problem with the volunteer army and this war; as long as it's the other poor schlub doing the surging, the war is too abstract for americans to appreciate the consequences for our army and our treasury.

If we had a draft, this war would be over the day after it was declared.

Posted by neo-realist | April 7, 2008 7:43 PM

Why am I flashing on standing in some shithole dive biker bar with some crappy cover band firing into the beginning chords of Should I Stay or Should I Go? and all around me are only chickenshit yellow elephants who won't enlist and man, I'm so not dancing.

Posted by Bob | April 7, 2008 7:47 PM

Cokie Roberts is the grand poobah of clueless beltway talking heads. She hasn't been in touch with reality since... well, it's been longer than I've been paying attention.

My dream for the perfect combination of reality tv, the internet and opinion "news" is a gong-show style program that lets the citizenry of america hook those gasbags off their shows. Cokie would be one of the first to go.

Posted by mrgakak | April 7, 2008 9:06 PM

I'm sorry, but when I saw that headline, all I could think was, "What? Like they're gonna build a bunch of giant art installations in the desert outside of Tikrit or something? That's gonna do the job?"

Posted by COMTE | April 7, 2008 9:27 PM

"The Burner Plan to End the Iraq War"

Personally, I was hoping that there was some sort of international peace initiative spearheaded by Burning Man enthusiasts.

Posted by mike | April 7, 2008 10:13 PM

cokie's best line: "americans would prefer to win" uh, yeah, we would also prefer $1.50 gal. gas, be forever young and beautiful and never die. so what's your point, cokie, you clueless dinosaur?

Posted by ellarosa | April 7, 2008 10:20 PM

Let's not forget that Cokie is a silver spoon girl, who's never met a non-white in a non-servitude position. Her parents were DC insiders, and she just grew up in the cocktail party world. The best analogy would be one of those 18th century French aristocrats who were totally shocked when the revolution hit their estate and slaughtered their families.

That revolution against the American blue-bloods is coming, and the current war may be a catalyst in showing us the reality of "haves" vs. "have nots". The ruling classes can only live on the sweat/blood of the working classes for so long....

Posted by Sir Vic | April 8, 2008 8:32 AM

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