* the pdf has gone up on levin's site - it is supposed to be here (but isnt) , but you can get it here (see text below)
* no new news at news.google
* the freep article is still 'erroring'
sorry to keep bringing this up - im just kinda surprised that a plan to help stop death in iraq is the sort of thing that is newsworthy - especially given that it is from the Senate Armed Services Committee.
the most curious thing of the apparent 'disappearing' of the issue, of course, is that it implicitly (explicitly?) broaches the issue of iraqi sovereignty. if the americans ask the iraqis to ask them to stay, then the americans have to know that they'll get only one of two answers. we've heard jaafari (?) recently say that he wants the americans to stay for another couple of years - so you'd maybe expect the iraqi govt (or even just jaafari himself) to be able to at least put out some sort of statement to that effect.
here's the text of the letter:
April 18, 2005
Honorable Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of
2201 C Street,NW
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Madam Secretary:
We are writing to solicit your support for an initiative that we believe could substantially
reduce the daily threats to U.S., coalition, and Iraqi security forces in Iraq.
For some time now, we have been concerned that a number of Iraqis continue to perceive
the U.S.-led, multi-national coalition force as "occupiers" and that this perception contributes to
inciting instances of insurgency. We are of the view that one step the new Iraqi government
should take to strike a blow against the insurgents would be to formally invite the international
community, including the United States, to maintain forces in Iraq during this period when Iraqi
security forces are being trained and equipped to take full responsibility for the defense
of their nation.
During his visit to Iraq on April 2nd,Ranking Member Carl Levin presented the attached letter to key political officials from each of the three principal Iraqi communities. Senator Levin
told leaders that Chairman John Warner supported the central thrust of the letter, and had issued the attached press release to that effect on March 31st.
Senator Levin met first with Deputy Interim Prime Minister Barham Salih, who was also
representing the then-prospective President in the new transitional government, Jalal Talibani.
Mr. Salih said that the Kurds would be supportive of such an invitation. Senator Levin then met
with Ibrahim Jaafari, who was also the prospective Prime Minister for the new transitional
Iraqi government. Mr. Jaafari also said that as Prime Minister he would support the requested
Finally, Senator Levin met with two Sunni politicians - the Minister of Industry, Dr. Hajim al-Hassani, who is now the Speaker of the Transitional National Assembly, and Dr. Saleh
Mutlak, who is a participant in the negotiations with the Shias and the Kurds on the formation of
a new government. They did not commit themselves to the issuance of an invitation.
Changing the perception of some Iraqis ofthe coalition from one of occupier to one of partner with the Iraqi security forces could facilitate a greater willingness of the Iraqi people to
provide information about the insurgents in their midst and could result in a substantial decrease in the death and injuries among Iraqis, and U.S. and coalition forces.
Such an invitation to the international community could also lead more countries, including Muslim countries, to provide troops, training, equipment, and other resources to Iraq.
Accordingly, we ask for your support for a U.S. diplomatic initiative to the new
transitional Iraqi government to seek its formal invitation to the international community,
including the United States, to maintain a military presence in Iraq during this transitional period, a presence clearly authorized by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1546.
go to the pdf if you wanna see the attachments. interesting things to note about the attachments are that: a) levin sent the earlier letter to 'Key Iraqi Political Officials' before he sent it to Rice b) the earlier letter was sent a week before the letter to Rice - so its now a whole month and we have hardly seen a mention of it in the media...