Monday, October 8, 2007

Biden, Brownback Plan Joint Des Moines Appearance on Iraq Plan

Days Until Bush Leaves Office = 469

Joe Biden and Sam Brownback are both United States Sentors, and are both running for president, but from different parties. Nonetheless, as co-sponsors of a recent amendment outlining a bipartisan approach to a political resolution of the civil war in Iraq, Biden and Brownback will be holding a joint appearance this Friday in Des Moines to discuss the details of their plan.

"Joe and I might be running for the nomination of two different parties, but we agree on one thing: the American people want progress in Iraq and this represents a viable way forward to stability and success," said Senator Brownback. "Decentralizing power in Iraq offers the best chance for Iraqis to live in a peaceful, united country where they can resolve their differences. It is time to begin the political surge we desperately need to help stabilize Iraq so we can get our troops out of harm's way."

"Partisan politics must not come in the way of finding a solution to the war in Iraq," said Senator Biden. "The overwhelming majority of Americans want us to get our troops out of Iraq as quickly as possible without leaving chaos behind. I look forward to joining Senator Brownback next week in Iowa to explain how the Biden-Brownback-Boxer amendment makes Iraq the world's problem while establishing a political solution that gives Iraq's warring factions breathing room to resolve their differences."

Passage of the amendment the two senators will be discussing prompted something of a firestorm of controversy in the last couple of weeks, with the US State Department, the Iraqi prime minister and a coalition of Iraqi political parties denouncing the plan as an arbitrary partition of Iraq. However, news today that many in the Iraqi government view national reconciliation as unrealistic and contrary to the very structure of the country's form of government makes the policy of Iraqi federalism advocated by Biden and Brownback look increasingly attractive, and perhaps the only realistic way forward for the United States, Iraq, and the region.

I am, frankly, amazed and impressed by Biden and Brownback conducting a joint policy discussion - not a debate, but a discussion of common policy - on the single greatest issue facing the country, and doing it in the midst of a presidential campaign in which they are both seeking their party's nomination. It is unprecedented, and shows that, in both parties, there are people of good will who are willing to put aside politics and talk publicly with each other and with voters about a way forward in Iraq. A joint appearance by Biden and Brownback in these circumstances is as risky as it is hopeful, and it is altogether admirable.

The event is open to the public (lunch provided for $25.00). For more information and reservations, contact the Greater Des Moines Committee on Foreign Relations at (515) 282-8192.

Details of the event are as follows:
WHAT: Biden, Brownback to Outline Iraq Plan
WHEN: Friday, October 12, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: Hosted by the Greater Des Moines Committee on Foreign Relations
Wakonda Country Club
1400 Park Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50315

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