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Meanwhile, Back in Baghdad...

Damon's picture

While I didn't expect the media to make this a story (because they really can't walk and chew gum at the same time), it's still disappointing, nonetheless. Well, it seems that we will be in "the Iraq" for at least three more years:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq's parliament on Thursday approved a security pact with the United States that paves the way for U.S. forces to withdraw by the end of 2011, taking the country a big step closer to full sovereignty.

The article goes on to paint an optimistic expectation we'll voluntarily leave by the end of 2011. Well, how much do you want to bet that Iraq will be "safe enough to keep our casualties down, but not safe enough to leave" by then?

This will be the year before the 2012 presidential election, and I can already see it now. The Dems won't be able to risk the president losing a second term, and pulling out of Iraq will be too "divisive" for them like it's always been. We're setting ourselves up to run this war just as Bush ran this war: forever. If anyone believes that the US won't break this pact as they have just about every other one we've signed in our history, they are fooling themselves.

Or, am I being too...cynical?

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amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

we built massive permanent bases there--and we took our bases out of Saudi Arabia too, so won't be going anywhere til either the oil's gone, or safely all in US Corporate hands.

plus this is total bs-- "The pact replaces an expiring U.N. mandate." -- there's no way a simple Iraqi-US "agreement" is the same-- and we have no reason to honor this at all--especially when the government only exists in its current form because of us being there.

and Sadr and all his people not participating means that they'll just keep on doing what they do or take over--unless we stay forever to keep our puppets in charge -- or keep paying them off forever.

for this to have been real would have meant either another official UN mandate or extension --or an actual official Treaty approved by our Congress too -- and even then we don't have a good history of honoring anything -- ever --- unless it's in our interests. Leaving Iraq now --or soon-- is not at all why we invaded and occupied in the first place.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

WSJ -- applauds his picks, of course -- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12278310... --

"... Both these men can help Mr. Obama check the worst reflexes of his anti-antiterror base. Starting in Iraq. Having pacified al Qaeda and the Sunni insurgency, America now has a chance to midwife Iraq into a stable and free ally in the middle of a bad neighborhood. Local and national elections due next year will require U.S. support and counsel, and any rash drawdown in troops would be dangerous.

Mr. Obama will have political running room. Americans are now preoccupied with the economy. His own pledge to remove most combat troops by 2010 leaves open exactly what he means by "combat" and "most." The new status-of-forces agreement with Iraqi also commits the U.S. to leave by 2011. These decisions can now be made with a view to the realities in Iraq rather than to the American campaign trail.
..."

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

NYT -- A Loosely Drawn American Victory --

... the agreements remain silent on what constitutes “combat” troops and where exactly they will move. Those decisions have been left to a Joint Military Operations Coordination Committee, a body of Americans and Iraqis that could prove to be as ungainly as its acronym, Jmocc. ...
the agreements leave room for keeping in place a larger contingent than Mr. Obama’s supporters might have envisioned, ...
Still unclear is how many American forces are expected to remain between now and the deadline for withdrawal, and whether any could stay beyond then. ...
As part of the effort to win passage from Iraq’s Parliament, the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki also agreed to hold a national referendum next year on the agreements. A vote against them would put the American forces then in Iraq — almost certainly more than 100,000 troops — in a legal limbo without the United Nations mandate the agreements are intended to replace at the end of this year. ...