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June 24, 2006 7:36 PM   Subscribe

Iraq to Call for a Timetable for Withdrawal of US Troops President Bush said he'd leave Iraq if they asked. Looks like they're asking. [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha (36 comments total)

 
Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki is presenting a national reconciliation plan for Iraq that calls for a UN-backed fixed timeline for withdrawal and amnesty for insurgents who attacked US and Iraqi military targets. Key insurgent groups are rejecting the plan. The US Senate recently objected to any amnesty. And the Pentagon is discussing "a carefully synchronized plan" to start withdrawing troops in September and reduce the number of American combat brigades in Iraq from the current 14 to 5 or 6 by December 2007.
...asked if, as a matter of principle, the United States would pull out of Iraq at the request of a new government, he said: "Yes, absolutely. This is a sovereign government--they're on their feet."
posted by kirkaracha at 7:37 PM on June 24, 2006


if our President can just show up and demand an audience with their prime minister with only 5 minute's notice, how much attention do you think this administration would pay to an order for us to leave..?

More likely, the US would call for new elections, since the puppets we have now seem to believe they can think for themselves...

or am I being cynical..?
posted by WhipSmart at 7:40 PM on June 24, 2006


Cynical? Middle East peace deals never fail.
posted by stbalbach at 7:52 PM on June 24, 2006


If our President can just show up and demand an audience with their prime minister with only 5 minute's notice, how much attention do you think this administration would pay to an order for us to leave..?

When they're desperately looking for any excuse to bail, I think they'd pay a surprising amount of attention.
posted by mek at 7:57 PM on June 24, 2006


When they're desperately looking for any excuse to bail, I think they'd pay a surprising amount of attention.


Seriously. I think it's likely that this plan has the full (secret) support of the US, because it's a great excuse to leave if we feel it's good to do so. If not, hey, we can always thumb our nose and say it's not a good time to comply with their wishes.
posted by rxrfrx at 8:00 PM on June 24, 2006


Well we still get to keep the oil right?
posted by stilgar at 8:01 PM on June 24, 2006


While Bush may want to get out of the cities, he wants to stay in his permanent bases in the hinterlands forever. Iraq is his aircraft carrier in the Middle East.
posted by JackFlash at 8:05 PM on June 24, 2006


I think it's likely that this plan has the full (secret) support of the US

Support? It's got "hatched in Rove's office" written all over it. It's pretty obviously political cover for the fall elections, designed to ease the reported concern among voters about such an open-ended troop presence with little progress in sight.

Whatever gets them through November...and forget about that "we'll never cut and run" stuff we were telling you last week.
posted by mediareport at 8:08 PM on June 24, 2006


What makes people think that the guys in the white house are any more sincere posturing 'stay the course' than they were when it was wmd or al qaeda?

Iraq will have lost its luster the day after the coming midterms.
posted by kjell at 8:09 PM on June 24, 2006


Kudos for the excellent use of a movie reference in the title...
posted by BoringPostcards at 8:12 PM on June 24, 2006



While Bush may want to get out of the cities, he wants to stay in his permanent bases in the hinterlands forever. Iraq is his aircraft carrier in the Middle East.


This is in no way surprising, nor a policy of Bush specifically - whever the US has sent armies they generally keep permanent bases. It's a great chance to get a foothold and feed the military-industrial complex; and generally, at the time these bases are set up, there is nobody capable of telling you to go away. Hawaii is the textbook example of the strategy but there are many, many cases of it.
posted by mek at 8:13 PM on June 24, 2006


Well, Hawaii became a state. But we still have Bases in Germany an Japan. And we had one in the philipines for a long time. And still in Cuba. And so on.
posted by delmoi at 8:22 PM on June 24, 2006


WASHINGTON, June 24 — The top American commander in Iraq has drafted a plan that projects sharp reductions in the United States military presence there by the end of 2007, with the first cuts coming this September, American officials say.
posted by rxrfrx at 8:33 PM on June 24, 2006


A timetable for withdrawal of occupation troops from Iraq. Amnesty for all insurgents who attacked U.S. and Iraqi military targets. Release of all security detainees from U.S. and Iraqi prisons. Compensation for victims of coalition military operations.

That doesn't sound like something the whitehouse would come up with.
posted by puke & cry at 8:55 PM on June 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


But wait — if Bush withdraws the troops, then who guards the superduper new 104-acre bunker U.S. Embassy?
posted by rob511 at 9:28 PM on June 24, 2006


mek writes "This is in no way surprising, nor a policy of Bush specifically - whever the US has sent armies they generally keep permanent bases."

Canada (well Britain at the time) handed the US one of their few failures on this policy. The US tried to setup permanent bases in Canada along the AlCan when they were building it and was was told in no uncertain terms to think again.
posted by Mitheral at 9:28 PM on June 24, 2006


dont you just hate george w.?
posted by obeygiant at 9:33 PM on June 24, 2006


That doesn't sound like something the whitehouse would come up with

Of course it does. The only part that will be left in the plan after "compromising" with the "iraqi government" will be the withdrawal of troops, of course.
posted by odinsdream at 9:54 PM on June 24, 2006


Please vote in November.
posted by bardic at 1:23 AM on June 25, 2006


.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 2:27 AM on June 25, 2006


President Bush said he'd leave Iraq if they asked.

I hear that the President wants to close Guantanamo too. Gosh, I wonder why he just doesn't do it then ... ?
posted by moonbiter at 5:29 AM on June 25, 2006


It is still a draft plan.
posted by caddis at 5:39 AM on June 25, 2006


dont you just hate george w.?

Oh, please. Some of us are participating in a thoughtful way. Try starting yourself.
posted by mediareport at 6:43 AM on June 25, 2006


Well, I suspect that the war on terrr will be declared over and all troops withdrawn (except, perhaps, for a small residual force) by the time the 2008 presidential election occurs.

In 2007/early 2008 we will have a flurry of laws implemented limiting 'war time powers'. The rep congress cannot allow the chance that the dems be given the same latitude that BushCo has abused enjoyed.

Mark my words.
posted by DesbaratsDays at 7:41 AM on June 25, 2006


Related, and worth pointing out:

Nineteen U.S. Senators support amnesty for killers of American soldiers.
posted by EarBucket at 8:47 AM on June 25, 2006


Good luck with that elections thing, guys. Your first challenge will be finding citizens that give enough of a damn to actually get out and vote.

Bush was not elected because of a well-functioning electoral system.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:53 AM on June 25, 2006



posted by homunculus at 12:01 PM on June 25, 2006


.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus

.

Oh, and, Newsweek slams Kos. It's gonna' be a long hot summer...
posted by taosbat at 12:47 PM on June 25, 2006


Does anybody still believe that Dubya means (or even understands) the words his puppetmasters write for him to babble?
posted by bshock at 2:22 PM on June 25, 2006


Awww, it's so cute when a conquered nation begs for the conquerors to leave...

Isn't going to happen. The United States needs Iraq to remain in turmoil, so that those bases we worked so hard to construct remain in place, and so all those troops we worked so hard to ship over there stay there to continue protecting our precious, precious oil. They've stocked the Supreme Court, packed Congress, and ensured that the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice will play ball - why listen to the government we propped up in place to show the world we're "playing nice?"

I mean, it's not like they're Rwanda, or Darfur, or anywhere else where atrocity and horror are stock in trade, because Kuwait and Iraq have oil. We need to stay the course.
posted by FormlessOne at 5:46 PM on June 25, 2006


War's Iraqi Death Toll Tops 50,000: Higher than the U.S. estimate, the tally likely is undercounted. Proportionately, it is as if 570,000 Americans were slain in three years.
posted by homunculus at 7:12 PM on June 25, 2006


Many U.S. Iraq War vets return to homelessness
posted by homunculus at 11:18 PM on June 25, 2006


The bottom line is and always has been quite simple; Iraq has to reliably and consistently do what the US tells it to, like Israel, Great Britain, Panama, Saudi Arabia, and so forth. That was the deal when we backed Saddam in the 80s, when we allowed him to retain power in the early 90s and when we imposed sanctions later in the decade. It's why we've been bombing Iraq and getting its weapons inspected and so forth all these years when there have always been far greater threats to peace and human rights. It's what we were trying to obtain when we invaded (they called it "regime change" but now that the regime is changed, they have to call it something else. "Freedom," I suppose.) and it's what we're trying to obtain today. If it can be accomplished by withdrawing the troops then, sure, no problem, Bush'll withdraw the troops. But hey, everyone who thinks that Iraq will let Exxon and Haliburton run its oil fields and that they'll declare themselves staunch supporters of the "war on terror" when US tanks aren't patrolling their streets, raise your hands.

Yeah. That's what I thought.

On the other hand, if we can convince them that we'll re-invade at the drop of a hat ("This new Iraqi government isn't living up to the promise of Freedom! They've allowed terrorist elements to infiltrate. And they have a lot of other terrible things like news organizations critical of the US and lots of organized political dissent. So... we march."), we might be able to terrify them into submission. I really hate to guess, though, how credible our threat would be.

Another possibility springs to mind: we could apply the Saudi model to Iraq. In this scenario, the US withdraws, the Iraqi government sells out completely, becoming even more of an obedient puppet than it is now... and is rewarded with a fat stream of oil revenue and massive amounts of arms which it will use, of course, to crush (or if they're lucky, just threaten to crush) any popular resistance. This will create the equivalent of the Saudi Royal Family; a relatively small group of ultra-wealthy people who hold all the power. They'll be hated by everyone else in the country (Sunnis and Shiites will finally agree on something!), but their superior fire power will allow them to retain control.

But for now, I have to admit... I'm damn curious to see how Bush responds to a pullout request. Kind of got himself into a corner on that one.
posted by Clay201 at 7:07 AM on June 26, 2006


"But in Iraq, even a senior military official in the U.S.-led coalition said Friday that the coalition might consider a timetable under certain circumstances."

Umm... "might consider"? What happened to the "sovereign Iraqi government"? If they make the decision, what is there for the coalition to "consider"? I know this whole Iraqi independence thing is bullshit, but did the US government forget that they're pretending it's real? I mean, when they lie to us these days, it's like they're not even trying.
posted by Clay201 at 7:25 AM on June 26, 2006


The Iraqi government watered down the peace proposal before they officially announced it.
"The text was, however, a watered down version of the document shown to The Times on Thursday.
...
Noticeably missing from the final draft was a call for the Government to recognise the difference between resistance and terrorist groups and a written invitation for resistance groups to join a national dialogue.
...
The published plan also removed a demand for the Government to agree upon a timeline for the withdrawal of foreign forces based on the readiness of Iraqi troops.
The military floated the same plan last year.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:59 AM on June 26, 2006


US Ambassador Khalilzad helped out with the edits to the Iraqi proposal.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:03 AM on June 26, 2006


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