Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Maliki says U.S. withdrawal from Iraq by 2011

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Lost somewhere in the wall-to-wall coverage of the Democratic Convention is an interesting development coming out of Iraq:

Iraq and the United States have agreed that a planned security pact will require all U.S. troops to leave by the end of 2011, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Monday, while Washington said no final deal had been reached.

"There is an agreement actually reached, reached between the two parties on a fixed date, which is the end of 2011, to end any foreign presence on Iraqi soil," Maliki said in a speech to tribal leaders in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone.

"Yes, there is major progress on the issue of the negotiations on the security deal," Maliki said.

The Iraqi government had proposed in bilateral talks that U.S. troops end patrols of Iraqi towns and villages by the middle of next year, and that U.S. combat troops leave Iraq by 2011, under a pact that will govern their presence after 2008.

So there is agreement, or so Maliki claims, on the date, but not on the specifics. According to State Department spokesman Robert Wood, there is no deal yet. For more on this -- on the stumbling blocks -- see my post from earlier this month.

Essentially, the U.S. is being forced out of a war it started and grossly mismanaged and, in many ways, lost, with the warmongers facing a firm timeline the very principle of which they have opposed all along.

Of course, the warmongers will blame the Iraqis themselves for Iraq's problems, not least if the post-withdrawal period goes badly, but this is one huge slap in the face for those, like McCain, who still support this terrible war. The Americans were never really greeted as liberators and now they are being pushed out so that, at long last, the Iraqis can take full control of their country's destiny.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home