Democrats Bomb Again: An Analysis of “Strategic Redeployment”

Bruce Gagnon Apr 4, 2006

The Boston Globe reported on Feb. 20 that the Democrats have put Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), a former Army officer, in
charge of coming up with a consensus Democratic plan for the war. His answer? It’s called “strategic redeployment.” What does that mean? “It’s important to note that it’s not withdrawal – it’s redeployment,” Reed said. “We need to pursue a strategy that is going to accomplish the reasonable objectives, and allow us to have strategic flexibility. Not only is it a message, but it’s a method to improve the security there and around the globe.”

The plan is to pull some U.S. troops out of Iraq and redeploy them to Kuwait, Afghanistan, Southeast Asia and the Horn of Africa. From Kuwait, the U.S. Air Force would increase bombing missions over Iraq, and the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles like the Predator, which flies via satellite direction and can drop bombs and fire missiles. For the Iraqi
people this means more indiscriminate bombing and more innocent people killed.

When things really get out of hand in Iraq, the “strategic redeployment” plan (it’s just the John Murtha plan with a new name) calls for U.S. Special Forces teams to go back into Iraq for quick hits and killings of anyone who dares resist the corrupt government the United States has put into place.

With congressional elections looming next fall, the Democrats will sell this to the American public by saying they are pulling the troops out of the war. A few units will be brought home and big ceremonies held so that the public thinks the war is slowing down. The Democrats hope that “strategic redeployment” will mean fewer troops killed in Iraq. They hope it will be their ticket to victory in November. But in truth the war will go on.

In fact, more territory will be occupied by U.S. forces and the field of operations against that faceless “terrorism” will be expanded. All this will be done with the Democrats’ full encouragement and support. And guess what? The Pentagon will need a lot more money for new bases and outposts and members of Congress – both Republicans and
Democrats – will turn over the money.

The peace movement should not fall for this bait and switch. The Democrats are running an election game. They are feeling the pressure and this is their disingenuous response. Peace activists nationwide must uncover this shell game and call it for what it is: strategic deception.

The time has come for the peace movement to unembed itself from the Democratic Party. As long as peace activists see themselves as “party” people they will not have the ability to be critical of these kinds of cynical moves to co-opt our energies.

Bruce Gagnon is the coordinator of the Global
Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in
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