By Rowan Wolf of Uncommon Thought Journal
Bush says that there is no plan other than his plan for Iraq. Obviously that is not true – remember to Iraq Study Group. However, there is an other plan, and a much more detailed plan than Bush’s “surge.” It is H.R. 508 – Bring the Troops Home and Iraq Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2007.
I have detailed below all of the major provisions of H.R. 508. Every time someone says “No one has another plan,” or “There is no other plan,” or “Do you have another plan?” you tell them “H.R. 508.” You can also summarize the main points for them.
I encourage you to write to your Representatives and ask them to support H.R. 508 and move it from committee to the floor for a vote.
Summation of H.R. 508
H.R. 508 is sponsored by Representatives: Woolsey, Waters, Watson, McGovern, Frank, Grijalva, Fattah, Nadler, Conyers, Clay, Cohen, Hinchey, Filner, Kucinich, Payne, and Jackson-Lee. The bill was introduced, and referred to the Committees on Foreign Affairs, Armed Services, Veterans’ Affairs, Rules, and the Judiciary.
The proposed legislation covers a wide range of issues.
– ends the occupation of Iraq
– accelerates the training and equipping of Iraqi forces
– shifts from a military to a diplomatic course
– calls for locating and bringing home US troops and citizens who are missing in Iraq
– turns over all internal security and military responsibility to the Iraqi government
– repeals Public Law 107-243 – Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002
The bill calls for not just the removal of US forces, but also of contracted security forces. This is important as many military activities in Iraq have been contracted out to private corporations by the Bush administration.
The proposed legislation defunds the occupation except what is needed for the “orderly withdrawal” of US forces and citizens. It also terminates the use of emergency appropriations to fund the occupation (“Termination- Section 3001(o) of the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense and for the Reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, 2004 (Public Law 108-106; 117 Stat. 1238; 5 U.S.C. App., note to section 8G of Public Law 95-452), as amended by section 1054(b) of Public Law 109-364 and section 2 of the Iraq Reconstruction Accountability Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-440), is amended in paragraph (1)(B) by inserting `or any subsequent fiscal year’ after `fiscal year 2006′.)
It stops all activities on the construction of permanent US bases in Iraq and turns them over to the Iraqi government. It prohibits the US government from PSAs (production sharing agreements) regarding Iraq’s petroleum resources until “the Government of Iraq has established and is enforcing laws that provide for the regulation of activities of foreign governments and foreign nationals pursuant to contracts for the development, production, or marketing of petroleum resources in Iraq.”
It calls for, and approves, the deployment of US forces for an “International Stabilization Force,” if such are requested by the Iraqi government.
It limits the number of personnel assigned to the US Embassy in Iraq to no more than 500 persons.
It provides $500,000,000 in reconstruction for 2008.
It orders the destruction and removal of land mines in Iraq, and the removal or destruction of all fortifications from Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
It orders US assistance in the recovery and return of archeological. cultural, and historical articles and sites to Iraq.
It provides for the compensation to Iraqi noncombatants for damages done to them and their property.
It provides for the establishment of an Iraqi Peace Institute, and an international fund to assist in the redevelopment of Iraqi civic institutions – including the public health system.
It also provides funds for Veterans Health Care.
Finally and importantly, H.R. 508 also creates a Joint Select Committee to investigate Operation Iraqi Freedom from beginning to end.