a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

I have a responsible plan to end the war in Iraq

Posted by Thomas Nephew on April 30th, 2008

Thursday, May 1 is the fifth anniversary of “Mission Accomplished” – the day George Bush stood on an aircraft carrier declaring major combat operations over in Iraq.

Five years later, the costs of war keep mounting and there’s still no end in sight. In 1994, the Republicans came up with a Contract with America that they worked to implement as soon as they were sworn in. This time around, it will be up to us to make sure that whoever is elected to Congress move briskly to enact the Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq and bring our troops home.

True Majority e-mailing.

A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq - Click here to add your supportOn Thursday, I’ll be joining hundreds of others around the country who will be delivering a copy of the plan to their Congressional representatives (details below). We’ll be putting Washington on notice — once again –that there is strong support for getting out of Iraq and preventing future Iraqs.

As befits candidates for civilian, legislative office, the plan is a statement of purpose, campaign platform, and legislative agenda rolled into one rather than a detailed “brigade X leaves city Y at time Z” military plan. Its principles are…

  • Ending U.S. military action in Iraq
  • Using U.S. diplomatic power
  • Addressing humanitarian concerns
  • Restoring our Constitution
  • Restoring our military
  • Restoring independence to the media
  • Creating a new, U.S.-centered energy policy

The authors point to recommendations made by the Iraq Study Group in late 2006 to flesh out the fuller implications — e.g., renouncing permanent bases and ramping up a “diplomatic offensive” in the region. There are already legislative proposals to accomplish some of these goals: as Ilan Goldenberg writes in The New Republic, H.R.3797 (for a “New Diplomatic Offensive for Iraq”) would direct the president to appoint a high-ranking Special Envoy responsible for dealing with Iraq’s neighbors.

As is clear from the bullet list above, the plan is not just about how to get out of Iraq, but also about how to prevent future abuses of power from happening; thus, the plan also highlights legislation like S. 139, the Foreign Surveillance Expedited Review Act, which makes it easier to challenge FISA abuses in court, or H.R. 3045, the Presidential Signing Statements Act of 2007, which “[p]rohibits any state or federal court from relying on or deferring to a presidential signing statement as a source of authority when determining the meaning of any Act of Congress.” The “Responsible Plan” document also mentions legislation against “outsourcing” torture, and legislation requiring that the U.S. end its use of military contractors — i.e., mercenaries — in Iraq.

For more on the “Responsible Plan” — which was developed not by some think tank, but by Darcy Burner, Donna Edwards, and other progressive congressional candidates — visit the web site at, and download the document.*

To join my delegation to Congressman Van Hollen’s Hyattsville office, please RSVP at this “TrueMajority” link. We’ll gather as a group at Savory Cafe (7071 Carroll Ave., Takoma Park) around 8:30am on Thursday morning, go over the talking points, take a photo and then deliver the plan to the Congressional office at 9:00am. The address is

6475 New Hampshire Avenue
Suite C-201
Hyattsville, MD 20783 (map)
(301) 891-6982

I’ve called ahead to notify the staffer there of the meeting, which ought to be polite, of course — for one thing, Rep. Van Hollen is a co-sponsor of many of the bills highlighted in the “Responsible Plan” document.** It also will need to be brief — the staffer is due elsewhere by 9:30. If you prefer to meet us at the New Hampshire Avenue office at 9am, that’s OK, too, of course, but it may be nice to get a cup of coffee with us and get acquainted first.

* I’ve written about the plan here and here as well.
** This footnote will be replaced with (1) a list of “Responsible Plan”-endorsed legislation co-sponsored by Van Hollen, and (2) one list of such legislation not yet co-sponsored by him.

UPDATE, 4/30: is providing additional resources (signs, talking points) for the Responsible Plan Delivery here. They will also host a conference call tonight at 9PM EST with Alan Charney, the Program Director of USAction, and leaders behind the Responsible Plan including Congressional Candidates Darcy Burner and Eric Massa, as well as analysts from the National Security Network.

Responsible Plan Briefing Conference Call
Wednesday, April 30th, 2008, 9 PM Eastern
800-761-6708; entry code: 586945#


3 Responses to “I have a responsible plan to end the war in Iraq”

  1. eRobin Says:

    Hey! USAction is organizing that on the ground. I work for Penn Action, which is USAction’s partner in PA so I’m helping to organize six events across the state. Will you be on the conference call tonight?
    I really like the Responsible Plan. I’m glad True Majority picked it up.

  2. Thomas Nephew Says:

    I thought I might listen in — thanks for reminding me, I’ll add it to the post.

  3. » Blog Archive » Mission accomplished! — "Responsible Plan" dropped off at Van Hollen’s office Says:

    […] « prior: I have a responsible plan to end the war in Iraq next: Ask not for whom the torturer comes » […]

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