Iraqi Pushback on U.S. Bases

Maybe the Iraqis don’t want a permanent American presence after all.

Top Iraqi officials are calling for a radical reduction of the U.S. military’s role here after the U.N. mandate authorizing its presence expires at the end of this year.

“The Americans are making demands that would lead to the colonization of Iraq,” said Sami al-Askari, a senior Shiite politician on parliament’s foreign relations committee who is close to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. “If we can’t reach a fair agreement, many people think we should say, ‘Goodbye, U.S. troops. We don’t need you here anymore.’ “

I think this is a good sign that the Iraqis are showing some political confidence. Any thoughts?

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0 Responses to Iraqi Pushback on U.S. Bases

  1. Morgan Warstler says:

    Exactly. Glad you finally get it.

  2. rhb says:

    I’ll believe that this will really happen when the time machine takes us back to the anti-war protests of 2002/3 and this time the millions marching in both the US and Britain actually convince their governments to stay out of a war in Iraq.

  3. pond says:

    This will be very interesting to watch. (Actually since all this is happening behind closed doors, we only get these glimpses.)

    The current Iraqi authorities know that they only hold power because President Bush lets them. And they are scared to death that the Sadrist movement is more popular, and might win elections. (And, of course, since Iraq is now vying for the title of ‘World’s Most Corrupt Government’ the current Iraqi leaders are stashing away tons of treasure in international accounts.)

    On the other hand, the 800-pound gorilla over there is the US military and their Blackwater mercenaries.

    Is this just dickering over how much cash has to be deposited in those Swiss accounts?

  4. Jon Taplin says:

    Pond- I think you are right on this one. However, if by November one of two things happens–The government changes through an election or the government reject the SOF–then Obama has the perfect path the draw down forces quickly– “The Iraqis want us out.”

  5. Morgan Warstler says:

    We can say the same thing about McCain and the reverse is true – if Maliki gains strength and the SOF agreement is reached, either president has just as comfortable a play – pulling back into bases – smaller footprint, troops coming home.

    The only bad thing for McCain and good thing (I think) for Obama is if Iran kills a lot of our soldiers right before the election.

  6. gage says:

    Al-Sadr is currently in Iran receiving his training to be mullah. This will be a problem for Maliki when Sadr returns.

  7. rhbee says:

    Yes, Morgan lets continue to hide behind the canard that its all about our support of the troops. No civilians actually count in this way of thinking about the war. WTH, they’re just collateral damage and what does it matter if we keep nitpicking while more and more of their lives are destroyed by our continued presence in their country.

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