Troop surge

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 11, 2007

Artur Davis responds to president’s proposal

staff report

In contrast to President George Bush’s plan to send more troops to Iraq, U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, D-Birmingham, said the United States should begin withdrawing the majority of our forces.

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President George W. Bush Wednesday said that he erred by not ordering a military buildup in Iraq last year and said he was increasing U.S. troops by 21,500 to quell the country’s near-anarchy.

Davis said that failure &8220;opened the door to the chaos of civil war and violence.&8221;

He said the president’s proposal comes too late.

The congressman also noted &8220;that once again the president chooses to ignore the considered judgment of numerous members of his own party as well as his two previous military commanders in Iraq.&8221;

Davis said it appears that the opinions of General John Abizaid and General George Casey have contributed to their reassignments.

The buildup announced by Bush pushes the American troop presence in Iraq toward its highest level. It also runs counter to widespread anti-war passions among Americans and the advice of some top generals.

In a prime-time address to the nation, Bush pushed back against the Democrats’ calls to end the unpopular war.

Bush said that &8220;to step back now would force a collapse of the Iraqi government, tear that country apart and result in mass killings on an unimaginable scale.

But he braced Americans to expect more U.S. casualties for now and did not specify how long the additional troops would stay.

In addition to extra U.S. forces, the plan envisions Iraq’s committing 10,000 to 12,000 more troops to secure Baghdad’s neighborhoods &045; and taking the lead in military operations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.