The War In Iraq: Obama Administration Politics – Few Iraqis Cheer US Departure

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, left, walks with Gen. Ray Odierno, right, after he arrived, in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Aug. 30, 2010.: HOW DISRESPECTFUL - DON'T THE TROOPS IN IRAQ RATE A PAIR OF SLACKS AND SOCKS MR. BIDEN.

BAGHDAD – As Vice President Joe Biden presides over the formal end to U.S. combat operations in Iraq, few Iraqis are cheering the American exit.

Iraqis, who for years have railed against the U.S. occupation, are generally happy to see that the American presence won’t be endless. But there is also considerable trepidation about whether Iraq can go it alone.

“It’s not the right time,” said Johaina Mohammed, a 40-year-old teacher from Baghdad. “There is no government, the security is deteriorating, and there is no trust.”

Just under 50,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq — down from a peak of nearly 170,000 at the height of the military surge in 2007. Those troops will be focused on training and assisting the Iraqi military, and will no longer be allowed to go on combat missions unless requested and accompanied by Iraqi forces.

Underscoring the shift, Biden was making a new appeal to Iraqi leaders Tuesday, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, to end the political deadlock and seat a new government. March 7 parliamentary elections left Iraq without a clear winner, and insurgents have since exploited the uncertainty to hammer Iraqi security forces.

Iraqi forces are vastly improved and attacks have plummeted since the dark days of 2006 and 2007. But rarely a day goes by without some loss of life, and spectacular attacks such as the violence on Wednesday that killed 56 people still happen with disturbing regularity.

Biden and U.S. officials have downplayed suggestions they are abandoning Iraq at a crucial time. The vice-president Tuesday said militants’ attempts to again wreck havoc in Iraq have been unsuccessful.

Notwithstanding what the national press says about increased violence, the truth is, things are still very much different, things are much safer,” Biden said Tuesday in comments to al-Maliki before the two met privately.

But many Iraqis do not share his optimism.

The fear of political divisions, aggravated by the struggle for control of Iraq’s oil potential, is ever present. Some Iraqis worry that without the American soldiers, their country will revert to a dictatorship or split along religious and ethnic fault lines.

“They should go, but the security situation is too fragile for the Americans to withdraw now,” said Mohammed Hussein Abbas, a Shiite from the town of Hillah south of Baghdad. “They should wait for the government to be formed and then withdraw.”

U.S. military officials say the reduction in troop numbers doesn’t hinge on Iraq forming a new government, but on the ability of Iraqi forces to handle security on their own.

The decision to draw down to 50,000 troops was made by President Barack Obama, and is not part of the security agreement between Iraq and the U.S. Under that agreement, all American troops are to be out of Iraq by the end of 2011, a timeline Obama vowed during a weekend address to follow.

The dwindling U.S. military presence has deepened concerns that Iraq will be taken over by its neighbors — namely Iran — who many think is waiting to fill the power vacuum created by the departing Americans.

“The U.S. withdrawal will put Iraq into the lap of Iran,” said Ali Mussa, a 46-year-old engineer from eastern Baghdad. Iran and Iraq are both majority Shiite countries. And Iran has already capitalized on the U.S.-led overthrow of its arch enemy Saddam Hussein to secure greater leverage in Iraq, using centuries-old religious and cultural ties.

Even former Sunni insurgents in Fallujah, who supported armed resistance against two American assaults on the city in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, are dismayed at U.S. troops leaving after they joined forces and fought extremists together.

“Of course we were against the occupation, but in 2007 the Americans came up with a good plan for fighting al-Qaida, not Iraq,” said Col. Abdelsaad Abbas Mohammad, a Fallujah commander in the government-supported Sunni militia, known as the Awakening Councils. “Americans have committed many mistakes, but they did not go into houses and chop people’s heads off.”

The Sunni militias, also known as the Sons of Iraq, were a key element in turning the tide against Sunni-led terrorist groups such as al-Qaida, and the American military began paying the militias to fight on their side. That responsibility now lies with the Iraqi government, which is also supposed to incorporate many of them into government ministries. But many Sons of Iraq complain the government is turning its back on the militias, failing to pay them on time or find them good jobs.

In the three provinces that make up the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, the American military departure is also cause for concern. The Americans have often been perceived as the protectors of the minority Kurdish population, which was repressed under Saddam, but later carved out a relative oasis of stability in northern Iraq.

Othman Ahmed, 38, and a lawyer from the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah, said Iraqi politicians would like to return Iraq to the strong centralized government of the former regime — meaning the Kurds’ hard-won autonomy could be at jeopardy. The friction between the Kurds and the central government is considered a potential flashpoint. Both claim a wide swath of territory stretching from the Syrian to the Iranian border, which includes the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

Many Iraqis also had higher hopes for their quality of life after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, especially after years cut off from the rest of the world under Saddam. Now people have access to the Internet, satellite television and an assortment of consumer goods such as new cars, laptop computers, and mobile phones. But they struggle with constant shortages of electricity and water, the capital is crisscrossed with concrete barriers and parents worry about their children’s education after thousands of teachers fled the country.

Riyadh Hadi, a 47-year-old Shiite from the southern city of Basra, said the frustration over power shortages and unemployment has reached the boiling point.

“The U.S withdrawal will worsen the situation,” Hadi said. “Corruption is now clandestine, but after the American withdrawal it will be out in the open and widespread among Iraqi officials.”

To many Iraqis, the U.S. drawdown and emphasis on the end of combat operations looks to many Iraqis as if Obama is playing to domestic politics instead of assessing what is truly right for Iraq,

“The Americans should think about the door they’re walking out of,” said Sheik Ali Hatem Sulaiman al-Dulaimi, an influential tribal leader from Anbar province. “This is the destiny of a nation.”


Obama On The Surge


McAuley’s World Comment: Obama & Biden – The wrong policy, at the wrong time in the wrong place. A cheap domestic policy ploy that will one day have catastropihic consequences for the American and Iraqi peoples. 

Is Obama’s TIMID Response to North Korea Worse Than No Response At All? Is Obama’s Foreign Policy Flaccid?

US Will Not Use Force To Inspect North Korean Ship

By KWANG-TAE KIM, Associated Press Writer Kwang-tae Kim, Associated Press Writer 1 hr 40 mins ago

SEOUL, South Korea – The United States will not use force to inspect a North Korean ship suspected of carrying banned goods, an American official was quoted as saying Friday.

An American destroyer has been shadowing the North Korean freighter sailing off China’s coast, possibly on its way to Myanmar.

Defense Undersecretary Michele Flournoy met with South Korean officials in Seoul on Friday as the U.S. sought international support for aggressively enforcing a U.N. sanctions resolution aimed at punishing Pyongyang for its second nuclear test last month. The North Korean-flagged ship, Kang Nam 1, is the first to be tracked under the U.N. resolution.

North Korea has in response escalated threats of war, with a slew of harsh rhetoric including warnings that it would unleash a “fire shower of nuclear retaliation” and “wipe out the (U.S.) aggressors” in the event of a conflict.

On Thursday, the communist regime organized a massive anti-American rally in Pyongyang where some 100,000 participants vowed to “crush” the U.S. One senior speaker told the crowd that the North will respond to any sanctions or U.S. provocations with “an annihilating blow.”

That was seen as a pointed threat in response to the American destroyer.

timid – 3 dictionary results:  1. lacking in self-assurance, courage, or bravery; easily alarmed; timorous; shy, 2. characterized by or indicating fear: a timid approach to a problem. 3. fearful, fainthearted. See cowardly.
Or is flaccid a better term for Obama’s foreign policy?
flaccid – 6 dictionary results: adjective,  1. soft and limp; not firm; flabby: flaccid biceps. 2. lacking force; weak: flaccid prose. 3. Lacking firmness, resilience, or muscle tone. See Synonyms at limp. 4. Lacking vigor or energy: flaccid management. 5. Yielding to pressure for want of firmness and stiffness; soft and weak; limber; lax; drooping; flabby; as, a flaccid muscle; flaccid flesh. 6. not firm or stiff; also : lacking normal or youthful firmness.   

Obama Policy Starts U.S. Down Path To Losing Iraq War

McCain warns of losing fragile gains in Iraq

Obama administration finalizing details to withdraw most troops by 2010

WASHINGTON – Republican Sen. John McCain said Wednesday that security gains in Iraq could be lost if the new administration pulls troops out too quickly, but did not immediately dismiss the feasibility of President Barack Obama’s 19-month timeframe.

The administration was finalizing details this week on a plan that would withdraw most of the 142,000 U.S. troops in Iraq by August 2010. The proposal would leave as many as 50,000 troops behind to advise and train Iraqi security forces and to protect U.S. interests.

McCain, who lost the presidency to Obama last year, suggested that the timeline — three months longer than Obama’s campaign pledge but shorter than some military officials have advised — was an attempt to strike middle ground. He warned that while the plan might appease Americans weary of war, voters should keep in mind that casualties could continue.

“Let’s also be realistic — advisers in any conflict are in harms’ way,” he told an audience at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

In his speech, McCain outlined steps the U.S. should take to win the war in Afghanistan, including spending more to develop the country’s infrastructure and end the drug trade. He also suggested that the U.S. create an international fund to pay to expand the size of the Afghanistan army.

Since losing his White House bid to Obama, McCain has returned to Congress as the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Obama’s Mideast Message Considered “Pathetic” & “Illusionary”

In his interview with a Saudi-owned TV channel on Tuesday, President Barack Obama referred to “an illusionary past” in the Muslim world that was in fact plagued by turmoil, a leading Middle Eastern expert declared.

Amir Taheri, in a New York Post column headlined “Pathetic Message,” said Obama “looked to the past rather than the future” when he told an Al-Arabiya interviewer he wanted a return to “the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago.”

But 30 years ago, Taheri noted, American diplomats were being held hostage in Iran, Soviet troops were seeking to annex Afghanistan, Saddam Hussein was preparing to invade Iran, Saudi Arabia was under siege by Muslim militants, and Syrian troops were preparing to invade Lebanon.

Iranian-born Taheri, whose books include “Holy Terror: Inside the World of Islamic Terrorism,” wrote in the Post that “other features of this ‘golden age’” were “the seizure of power by mullahs in Tehran, the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, the coming to power of communists in the Horn of Africa, the military coup in Turkey, the first Islamist terror attacks in Algeria, unprecedented waves of repression in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and the imposition of military rule in Pakistan.”

Twenty years ago saw the U.S. arming the mujahedin in Afghanistan, Iraq gassing thousands of Kurds and preparing to invade Kuwait, Iranian mullahs arming Hezbollah units in Lebanon, Turkey launching all-out attacks on Kurdish secessionists, and the Libyan terror network killing American soldiers in Europe and blowing up U.S. jets.

Meanwhile Obama offered only “trite” remarks regarding the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and did not offer any support “to democratic forces facing crucial elections in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Egypt and Algeria,” observed Taheri, who has written for more than two dozen publications around the world.

“Nor was there any nod toward reformers in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.”

Obama sought to portray himself as the “bridge” between the U.S. and the Muslim world, according to Taheri, who added:

“Casting himself in the role of a ‘bridge’ and dreaming of a return to an illusionary past, Obama appeared unsure of his own identity and confused about the role that America should play in global politics.”


“the new administration must realize and acknowledge that America is at war with a variety of forces dedicated to challenging its global leadership in the hope of ultimately achieving its destruction ….”

The core of the war Islamic radicalism is waging against the United States in the Middle East is ideological. On the one side, there is the Western ideology of human rights, democracy and secularism. On the other, there is religious obscurantism symbolized by the late Ayatollah Khomeini ……

A small but growing democratic constituency is emerging in virtually every country in the region. Allied with other moderate, conservative, traditionalist but nonviolent segments of society, this constituency could challenge and ultimately defeat Islamism in the political battlefield. The United States should throw its support behind such forces wherever they exist.

The showdown between these forces and Islamism will come this year as Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories hold presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections. The Islamists have mobilized their forces and brought in massive resources to win those elections. The perception that America has abandoned its democratic and moderate allies could persuade the fence-sitters to side with the Islamists.

Obama has abandoned a multilateral approach (an approach where the US worked with the United Nations, the European Union, NATO and the Soviet Union) in favor of Obama’s singular brand of contact with both Hizbollah and the Iranian Government.

Mockingly, the inexperienced Presdient’s described as, “clearly counting on the “audacity of hope,” and “his charisma”. Obama’s reckless actions have robbed former Bristish Prime Minister Tony Blair of his previously granted authority as Chief Peace Envoy for the West in the Middle East.

 By seeking unconditional talks with Tehran, he is also setting aside three unanimous, mandatory UN Security Council resolutions. 

The move also means the effective dissolution of the “5+1 Group,” created three years ago to deal with Iran. Apart from America, the group includes Russia, China, Britain and France (the four other veto-holding Security Council members), plus Germany.

By naming Richard Holbrooke as special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, the new president has, in effect, killed the idea of appointing a Kabul coordinator backed by all of NATO.  Holbrooke’s appointment has received an even cooler response in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where he is seen as the man who rubber-stamped Serbian territorial gains, secured through ethnic cleansing and the massacre of Muslims, in Bosnia in exchange for a piece of paper signed at Dayton, Ohio.

More than a dozen Arab states have adopted constitutions and introduced some form of electoral politics. Kuwaiti women have won the right to vote and get elected.

Iran’s democratic forces are encouraged to launch their campaign against the mullahs. The Islamists have been roundly defeated in Algeria, Egypt, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

For the first time, the question of democracy is top of the political agenda in virtually every Muslim state.

“Obama should remember that he is the president of the United States – not an impartial broker. It was unfortunate that he described himself as a bridge. For a bridge has no personality of its own and cares little about who might cross it and in which direction.”

“Obama’s remarks about the Israel-Palestine issue were so trite as to merit no analysis.” He said he was sending former Sen. George Mitchell to listen to all sides – as if the world has not been hearing their stories for more than six decades.

He had nothing to say about the thousands of Iranian workers who have been thrown into prison solely because they created independent trade unions. Nor did he mention Iranian women’s courageous “a million signatures campaign” or the series of student revolts that have been crushed by the mullahs with exceptional violence.

The president appeared apologetic, offering no hope for democratization and economic development

Obama didn’t call for the release of the tens of thousands of political prisoners held in more than two dozen Muslim countries or a moratorium on executions that each year cost the lives of hundreds of dissidents.

At this critical time, with the World looking to America for Leadership, Obama can only display his inexperience, while his ego prevents him from consulting with our Allies. Obama has pathetically failed to make America’s case to either friend or foe. At this critical time in history rhetoric and ego cannot replace meaningful action. 

Video: Senator Biden – Obama’s NO Vote on Troop Funding – His Own Words

Biden was Running Against Obama When He Made These Comments:

VIDEO: Obama In His Own Words – Meeting With Terrorists – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Was McCain Right?

Hillary Was Right! Yes, That Was Biden Standing Behind One Of The Podiums – Is He Lying Now, When He Denies That Obama Made These Comments, Or Is His Memory That Bad.

As if One Lie On The Topic Isn’t Enough – He Added A Lie About Kissinger and Tried To Change The Subject or “His General Point”. Barack we don’t want to talk about your lie about Spain.

What Did Kissinger have to say:


Iraqi Foreign Minister: “I hope financial crisis doesn’t lead to Troop Withdrawal”

Iraqi FM: Economic Crisis Could Affect U.S. Troops

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hoshyar Zebari  —  Iraq’s foreign minister says “there is a new world now” because of the global financial crisis and he hopes it won’t lead to an immediate withdrawal of the 146,000 American troops in his country.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said a precipitous withdrawal could have consequences for the country and the region that everyone would regret afterward.

Zebari is due to meet Saturday with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in New York, where he was attending the U.N. General Assembly’s annual ministerial meeting.

He said he didn’t have any indications that the U.S. administration was thinking about pushing for a speedier exit from Iraq because of the financial meltdown.

But this is the logic of the dance,” Zebari told the AP on Friday. “Nobody anticipated this major crisis, and still there are ongoing efforts to overcome it.”

“This has nothing to do with liking this administration or that administration, or this president or that president”.

Asked whether he was concerned that the current financial crisis might lead the U.S. government to push for a speedier exit than Iraq might want, as a cost-saving measure, Zebari said: “I don’t know.” (MCAULEYSWORLD COMMENT: Thats right – the IRAQIS don’t want the US to leave now)

“We hope it would not have a dramatic impact to cause … drastic and calculated decisions that everybody would regret afterwards,” he said.

By drastic and calculated, was he referring to an immediate withdrawal?

Exactly, immediate precipitous withdrawal irrespective of any consequences,” Zebari said. “I think there is high stakes for everybody involved in the region, that every administration will take account of.”

Zebari described the security situation in Iraq as “fragile.”

We’ve turned the corner against terrorism, against preventing the country from falling into civil war or sectarian war or division. I think we’ve passed that,” he said.

But he said the security gains must be augmented by political reconciliation, economic benefits for the people, provision of services and better governance.

And the pace is slow, as you’ve seen in the past, so that’s why people think they are not solid enough and they could be reversed.”


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