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. 

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

Biden was Running Against Obama When He Made These Comments:

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.”


VIDEO: A matter of TRUST – Obama on the Troop Surge – In His Own Words – He Has No Shame

Can you trust Obama?

Obama in his own words – all of his flip – flops.  

If he lies like this on Iraq – can you trust him with the economy?

WATCH BIDEN VIDEO: “My plan to partition Iraq is working”. Is this desperate or what?

Senator and Vice Presidential Candidate Joe Biden told reporters this weekend that the recent success in Iraq was not due to the Troop Surge , but was due to this plan to partition Iraq. REMEMBER THE BIDEN PLAN?

When faced with the incredulous looks from the reporters traveling with the Senator on his plane, he responded, “Well sure, they won’t admit it, but that is what is happening on the ground”.

If you doubt this, watch for yourself:

Given the Senator’s recent comments on the Troop Surge, specifically that “everyone knew the troop surge would reduce the violence”, I’m concerned that the Senator is becoming delusional.


Senator Biden formally announced the details of his “Iraqi Peace Plan” in an editorial he submitted to the New York Times on May 1, 2006.

The Senator described the bedrock upon which his “plan” would rest as, “The idea is to maintain a united Iraq by decentralizing it, giving each ethno-religious group — Kurd, Sunni Arab and Shiite Arab — room to run its own affairs, while leaving the central government in charge of common interests.”

Let me repeat for the Senator, unify by dividing, decentralize on the basis of religious and ethnic groups.

In his editorial Senator Biden boldly predicted that, “Iraq’s new government of national unity will not stop the deterioration”.

While the Senator has most recently denied that his proposal called for a “PARTITION OF IRAQ“, his Editorial specifically called for “five steps”, the first of which was to, “to establish three largely autonomous regions. The Kurdish, Sunni and Shi’ite regions would each be responsible for their own domestic laws, administration and internal security”.

The Senator went on to suggest, “Decentralization is hardly as radical as it may seem.”

Maybe the most telling statement was made at the end of the Senator’s editorial when he noted his mistaken belief that, “Besides, things are already heading toward partition”.

Even MSNBC described the plan as a plan to partition:

Obama’s adoption of Biden as his Vice Presidential Nominee and Biden’s plan for partition have been discussed by the press at length.

David Nather, CQ Staff, was one of the first to note that, “When Barack Obama picked Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware as his running mate, he also inherited an entire plan for the future of Iraq”.  Nather also noted, “Now, the two are sending the message that they both support” ….. the partition.

MotherJones noted the obvious conflict between Obama’s withdrawal plan and the BIDEN PLAN.


The First Criticisms of the BIDEN PLAN

The first critics of the Biden Plan noted the suspicious timing of the Senator’s announcement. Specifically, the first opponents noted that, “Just as the Iraqis were finally putting together a unity government, along comes Sen. Joseph Biden with a “detailed plan” to unravel it. Brilliant”. (Dennis Byrne is a Chicago Tribune op-ed columnist and freelance writer.)

“In a much heralded and publicized op-ed piece in the New York Times, Biden said the only way to prevent chaos was to divide Iraq into three autonomous regions … Give each their own army and, I suppose, let them have at one another”.

“Biden pops up with this lunacy just as Norui al-Maliki, Iraqi’s new prime Minister is trying to put together a cabinet under a three-week deadline and form the long-sought unity government. Biden’s timing couldn’t have been more self-serving or destructive”.

Middle Eastern papers accused Biden of making Iraq a “political football” to further his own campaign for President.


Response to Biden’s proposal from the Iraqi people was immediate, united and deafening! America, Sotal Iraq, IRAQIS Sound Off on Plan to Partition their Nation; 

“The partitioning of the country on the basis of ethnic or sectarian divisions is completely unacceptable, since it would terminate the modern state of Iraq.”— Satar Al-Karbuli, MP with the Iraq Accord Front [Sunni]

Iraqis of every ethnic and religious group united to denounce the Biden Plan.

Senator Biden’s proposal was considered so extreme and so bad that the Plan was credited with untiing Sunni, Shi’ite and Kurd. Opposition to the Biden Plan crossed all racial and religious boundaries.

The BIDEN PLAN was so universally panned in Iraq that Biden’s recent selection as Obama’s VP pick met with the following response in Iraq, “This choice of Biden is disappointing, because he is the creator of the idea of dividing Iraq,” Salih al-Mutlaq, head of National Dialogue,one of the main Sunni Arab blocs in parliament, told Reuters. “We rejected his proposal when he announced it, and we still reject it. Dividing the communities and land in such a way would only lead to new fighting between people over resources and borders. Iraq cannot survive unless it is unified, and dividing it would keep the problems alive for a long time.”


You may wonder what Senator Biden’s response was to all of the criticism leveled at his Plan to save Iraq. Ever the Diplomat that is so admired in liberal, elite, east coast environs, Senator Biden responded, ” I DON’T KNOW WHO THE HELL THEY THINK THEY ARE”.

Ever the Diplomat. Delusional, but what a Diplomat. Senator “they” are the Iraqi people, it is their country. By the way – its not your plan that is working – it is the TROOP SURGE.   





Obama’s Flip Flopping on Iran and Iraq – Nukes ; Hizbollah

Obama appeared in an interview yesterday, 09/04/08 with Bill O’Reilly on Fox News. Not only did Obama admit that the surge in Iraq had been successful “beyond his wildest dreams” and that we are now winning the Iraq War. Obama also admitted the threat from Iran was one of the greatest threats the US  faces, reversing his position that John McCain’s assessment of the threat from Iran was incorrect.

Obama acknowledged that O’Reilly was correct when he stated that “if Iran gets nuclear weapons they would give that access to Hezbollah” the ultra fanatical Islamic group. Obama called the possibility of Iran getting Nukes a “game changer”, whatever that means, and that this game changer would be “unacceptable” under any circumstances. 

Obama abandoned his small country/small threat position on Iran. Obama has now adopted John McCain’s position on Iraq, Iran and Pakistan. Obama admitted that his “Plan B” on Iran would include a military option. Obama could not outline his plan for diplomatic negotiations with Iran nor his time line for finalizing negotiations prior to moving on to his “Plan B” . 

Obama also stated that the Iraq troop surge “succeeded beyond our wildest dreams”. Obama then went on to dance and dodge around the direct issue of why Obama would not and could not admit that his position on the Surge had been wrong.

On Pakistan, Obama continued to adopt John McCain’s positions. Upon questioning by O’Reilly, Obama admitted he would not send troops into Pakistan. Obama would continue military aid to Pakistan and pursue diplomatic negotiations in an attempt to focus Pakistan’s efforts against the Taliban fighters within Pakistan’s borders. Obama adopted McCain’s platform on these efforts. Obama stated “Pakistan is preparing for war with India”, failing to limit his observation to the fact that only the militant islamic goups in Pakistan want a violent war of religious conversion with India. Obama failed to note that both India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons.  

O’Reilly, in his post interview review, noted that, in his opinion, Obama “is a strong guy”.

While O’Reilly conducted a truly geat interview, his assessment of Obama as a strong guy wins him a “pinhead” award.

Obama’s fatal flaw is his inability to admit he is ever wrong, the surge in Iraq as just one, undeniable, example. The weakest man in the world is the one who cannot admit his mistakes or even one mistake, that he – as a man – is fallible, that he can be wrong, stop, correct his mistake and move on. This is an ingrained and apparently unchangeable flaw in Obama. If Obama is elected this flaw can and will be exploited by this Country’s enemies. Obama has been offered numerous occasions to admit he was wrong on the “Surge” but has failed to do so. To do so now, when it would only be done out of political necessity, would be meaningless.  

We have to ask ourselves who is better suited to carryout John McCain’s policies on Iraq, Iran and Pakistan, John McCain or Barack Obama. 

A 5 MINUTE PORTION OF THE INTERVIEW IS AVAILABLE ON THE FOX NEWS WEB SITE     Part 2 of the interview will air tonight 

Obama/ FOX NEWS: Surge succeeded beyond wildest dreams

In an interview with Bill O’Reilly, to be aired tonight at 8 PM on Fox News – Obama states, “The surge succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.

In Obama’s dreams he now believes he originally would have supported the surge, his real reason for his opposition to the surge was that not enough troops were to be deployed. In a separate interview on Fox, Major General Paul Eaton, Obama’s chief military adviser, would not admit that the surge had worked, but stated the reason Senator Biden originally opposed the surge is that only 30,000 troops were to be redeployed.

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