Feingold Wants Disengagement

Editorial: Feingold’s skepticism

The Iraq Study Group report was greeted with a proper measure of skepticism by U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, the Wisconsin Democrat who has been right from the start about the ill-thought-out invasion and occupation of Iraq.

“I’m not buying the Washington embrace of this thing. … It’s time for us to have a clear plan to disengage in Iraq. This doesn’t do it,” declared Feingold, who notes that the report “leaves the strong possibility of an open-ended commitment.”

While too many other members of Congress – including members of the Wisconsin delegation who should know better – have tried to find something to like in the report, Feingold has been blunt in his dismissal of it.

Appearing on MSNBC’s “Countdown With Keith Olbermann,” Feingold, who in 2002 voted against authorizing Bush to attack Iraq, correctly characterized the report from the group headed by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Congressman Lee Hamilton as “a classic Washington compromise.”

Noting that the study group was made up of political insiders “who did not have the judgment to oppose this Iraq war in the first place, and did not have the judgment to realize it was not a wise move in the fight against terrorism,” Feingold told the national cable television audience that the problem with the report is this: “It does not do the job of extricating us from Iraq in a way that we can deal with the issues in Southeast Asia, in Afghanistan and in Somalia, which are every bit as important as what is happening in Iraq.”

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