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February 26, 2009


You liked the post so much, you made it twice! Yay!

"In some quarters, it is widely assumed that Iraqis' rhetorical opposition to the U.S. military presence belies a begrudging acceptance of U.S."

It's the palistinian election all over again. Hoocoodanode Hamas had so much political support??!!??

Posting this OT because the last open thread is old…

Rocky Mountain News to close Friday.

Anyone know if someone archived Andrew's blog? Who knows if they'll leave the site up...

Thats pretty much rite-on. I've been arguing, even prior to the election, that the combination of SOFA (being negotiated then), and Iraqi public opinion meant that whomever won the election, we would end up doing something like Obama's withdrawal plan. But the wingnutters, still want to make talking points out of it. Just the typical myopic thinking "only my wishes matter, them foreigners just better be happy with whatever it is we deem to give them".

This seems worth noting:

In a reversal of an 18-year-old policy that critics said was hiding the ultimate cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the press will now be allowed to photograph the flag-draped coffins of America’s war dead as their bodies are returned to the United States — but only if their families agree.

The decision, which lifts a 1991 blanket ban on such photographs put in place by former President George H.W. Bush, chiefly affects coffins arriving from Iraq and Afghanistan that go through Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

“I think that foremost in our thinking about issues like this should be the families and giving them choices,” said Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates at a news conference on Thursday at the Pentagon, announcing the change.


Hush. Boys don't cry.

Dismay at Obama plan to leave 50,000 US troops in Iraq after 2010

That's not a withdrawal.

"After 2010" until 2011.

At present. It's the usual Grauniad spinning/lobbying via ostensible factual article.

It's the usual Grauniad spinning

Yeah, smear the source, don't bother with the content. You can find similar reporting in any number of papers today. In fact those hailing the "withdrawal" in 2010, while refusing to look at the details, are spinning the matter.

I read the content; there's not much there there. There's a quote from Harry Reid, which they brilliantly managed to duplicate, saying: "I have been one for a long time that's called for significant cutbacks in Iraq, and I am happy to listen to the secretary of defence and the president," senate majority leader, Harry Reid, told reporters before the briefing. 'But when they talk about 50,000, that's a little higher number than I had anticipated.'"

And that's about it for content. Nothing about the SOFA, nothing about 2011. By leaving that out, it's slanted to be alarming.

I'll wait for more info on how many troops will be staying past 2011 before getting alarmed.

Gary, it seems we're talking past each other. I remember bringing up the "residual force" here a couple of months ago and getting all sorts of angry comments in reply, insisting that a complete withdrawal within 16 months was the goal. Is everybody now happy with Obama occupying Iraq for a full three years? If so, that's a significant shifting of goalposts.

Novakant: As I expressed on another thread recently, I don't like the residual force, but it's not horrendous either. We have to get out by 2011 regardless. Under Obama's campaign promise, it would have been 16 months. Now it's 19 months for most, and a staggered 16 month term for the rest.

I don't love it, I wish it was shorter, but I can live with it.

You liked the post so much, you made it twice! Yay!

Weird. I'll have to prune the bushes.

Obama's big speech today on Iraq:

[...] The “transitional force” he will leave behind will no longer participate in major combat missions but instead train and advise Iraqi security forces, hunt down terrorist cells and protect American civilian and military personnel working in Iraq. Mr. Obama promised that all of them will leave as well by December 2011 in accordance with a security agreement with Iraq negotiated by President George W. Bush before he left office last month.
Italics mine.

"Is everybody now happy with Obama occupying Iraq for a full three years?"

Happy, no. But between “By August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end," and the other, I'm willing to live with it, as it puts us straight on the road we should be on.

"Is everybody now happy with Obama occupying Iraq for a full three years?"

Also, with the SOFA, it's not much of an occupation any more.

…. I'm willing to live with it, as it puts us straight on the road we should be on.

Military “advisors” engaging in combat missions for an undetermined number of years to come? Haven’t we done that before?

Sorry folks, but I have to say I do see a lot of goalpost moving. Not strictly here – just in general. Hell, MoveOn is now claiming this is OK and that this is what Obama promised. Obama now has us on almost the same timeline Bush did…

And now the SOFA is cool – it’s all good?

"Military 'advisors' engaging in combat missions for an undetermined number of years to come?"

How is December 2011 "undetermined"?

How is "By August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end" "engaging in combat missions"?

And now the SOFA is cool – it’s all good?

Nope. We should get all troops the fnck out ASAP. By 12/31/09 sounds good to me, earlier if possible. Plus out of Germany, Italy, UK, Qatar, Japan, South Korea, etc. etc. etc., now. Likely Afghanistan too.

Obama: "Let me say this as plainly as I can: by August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end.

As we carry out this drawdown, my highest priority will be the safety and security of our troops and civilians in Iraq. We will proceed carefully, and I will consult closely with my military commanders on the ground and with the Iraqi government. There will surely be difficult periods and tactical adjustments. But our enemies should be left with no doubt: this plan gives our military the forces and the flexibility they need to support our Iraqi partners, and to succeed.

After we remove our combat brigades, our mission will change from combat to supporting the Iraqi government and its Security Forces as they take the absolute lead in securing their country. As I have long said, we will retain a transitional force to carry out three distinct functions: training, equipping, and advising Iraqi Security Forces as long as they remain non-sectarian; conducting targeted counter-terrorism missions; and protecting our ongoing civilian and military efforts within Iraq. Initially, this force will likely be made up of 35-50,000 U.S. troops.

Through this period of transition, we will carry out further redeployments. And under the Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government, I intend to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011. We will complete this transition to Iraqi responsibility, and we will bring our troops home with the honor that they have earned."

I’m sure that the folks on the pointy edge will be pleased to know that “hunt down terrorist cells” <> combat.

They will just be advisors. Occasionally hunting down terrorists. Without permanent bases. And there is no way in hell they will all be out by 2011, or 12, or 15. Let me say this as plainly as I can…

Just my opinion. There is enough wiggle room in there to drive an armored division through.

I'll have to prune the bushes.

I've heard that can make your deck appear more prominent.

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