Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist Seymour Hersh on Where the Iraq War is Headed Next
Tuesday, November 29th, 2005http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/29/1458235
We speak with investigative journalist Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker magazine about his new article, "Up in the Air: Where is the Iraq War Headed Next?" Hersh discusses the ongoing debate in Washington over the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, how President Bush is "impervious to political pressure" in his Iraq policy, the capability of the U.S. Army to sustain two or three more years of combat in Iraq and how a reduction of U.S. troops would be replaced by American airpower - which could lead to even more Iraqi fatalities. [
The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq continues to be a central issue in Washington. Earlier this month, Democratic Congressman John Murtha sparked an intense debate on Capitol Hill after he introduced a bill calling for an immediate withdrawal of US forces. In response, the Republican leadership moved to silence Murtha's criticism by introducing a bill that was worded in a manner designed to split the Democratic Party. The Republican bill proposed "the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately." It was rejected 403 to 3.
Last week, Kurdish and Sunni leaders in Iraq issued a joint communiqué calling for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S troops. It marked the first time Iraq's political factions collectively called for a withdrawal timetable.
In the latest news, chief Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita said US forces are likely to be reduced to about 140,000 by the December 15th parliamentary elections and that deeper cuts are possible. The administration has repeatedly said it will consider pulling out troops once enough Iraqi forces have been trained to deal with the insurgency.
DiRita said President Bush is scheduled to give a speech Wednesday where he is expected highlight the progress US forces have made in turning over security to Iraqis.
In a new article in the New Yorker, Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersh writes "a key element of the drawdown plans not mentioned in the President's public statement is that the departing American troops will be replaced by American airpower." He goes on to write: "while the number of American casualties would decrease as ground troops are withdrawn, the over-all level of violence and the number of Iraqi fatalities would increase unless there are stringent controls over who bombs what."
- Seymour Hersh, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for The New Yorker. His latest article is titled "Up in the Air: Where is the Iraq War Headed Next?"
( Collapse )
SEYMOUR HERSH: Well, Amy, I’m actually doing some more work on it. But I will tell you this, the C.I.A. prisons are there. There have been prisons, the C.I.A. has run prisons for many, many years around the world. And I’m sure terrible things happen. But that's actually not where the real game is. They're somewhere else.
AMY GOODMAN: Where?
SEYMOUR HERSH: Other places. I’m -- let me do my reporting, and I promise I’ll publish it, and I promise I’ll come and talk to you about it.
AMY GOODMAN: Okay, well, Seymour Hersh, I want to thank you for being with us. His latest piece is in The New Yorker magazine; it is called "Up in the Air: Where is the Iraq War Headed Next?" Seymour Hersh, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, thanks for being with us.