SFDebate : Listen, Speak, Discuss, Understand


This House Believes It's Time to Pull the Troops out of Iraq

Motion Rejected : 12-1 AGAINST

Who would have thought. After an hour of fascinating debate at Cafe Greco on Mar 13, the SFDebate group voted 12-1 AGAINST pulling the troops out of Iraq within six months.

Eddie kicked off the meeting for the proposition with a rational plea to our pocket books, our abilities, and our morals. It's cost far too much, we haven't shown we have the ability to succeed, and it is morally wrong for us to be there in the first place. By comparing our foreign policy positions with Cuba, N.Korea and Iran, he asked if we were prepared for a 50 year foreign policy engagement with Iraq.

Lorenzo opening for the opposition countered with a passionate argument against pulling the troops out. He developed a strong case as to why we bore a responsibility to the Iraqi people to stick with them until the country was stable. He also explained the implications of pulling out early. Our enemies, including Al-Qaeda and Iran would gain more strength and boldness, and possibly the resources of Iraq too.

From there the debate went to the floor where everyone contributed to the discussion with their opinions and insight. Cathe, who is involved with http://www.stopfundingthewar.org/ came out with a passionate appeal to our hearts to consider the troops whose lives were being lost. Cathe also shared with us how important it was to donate childrens toys to Iraqi children through AnySoldier.com

We were also fortunate to be joined by Andy, a reservist who had previously served two tours of duty in Iraq. Andy felt strongly that with the right resources, the Iraqis could stabilize their country. He felt that at the moment, training was too short and too rushed to develop competent security forces. Andy also shared with us first hand experiences of being involved in an IED ambush, and the guilt after having to shoot and kill a suicide bomber. It brought the war much closer.

The debate covered alternative withdrawal strategies and potential consequences of withdrawal before the final vote. Almost all participants agreed that it was desirable to pull the troops out, but all wanted to see a clear plan for success before that withdrawal. Many were dissatisfied with the plans currently on the table, and there was a wide consensus that there needed to be clearer milestones towards a clearer goal. The final vote left the vast majority of debaters feeling it would be irresponsible and imprudent to pull out on a fixed timeline within 6 months. Perhaps San Francisco isn't so left wing after all.


List of proposed withdrawal plans for Iraq

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