02 March 2009

Of course the U.S. is not leaving Iraq

I hate to say I told you so. Well, actually I don't mind at all. This is what I said in a posting on July 4th'08 about Barack Obama's promise to remove U.S. troops from Iraq:
"The United States now has a major military presence at the centre of the largest conventional oil reserves in the world and they are going to walk away from that? Not likely."
Some Americans, and others, weren't paying attention to the fine print of Obama's claim. What he has been saying all along is, to quote from a recent speech, "Let me say this as plainly as I can. By August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end." Note the phrase "combat mission." He doesn't mention the occupying mission. He says he intends to leave up to 50,000 troops to advise Iraqi forces and protect U.S. interests. I suspect the emphasis will be on the latter and the major interest will be oil.

Nor, in fact, is he completely forgoing combat. He states that protecting U.S. interests will include "conducting targeted counterterrorism missions." Sounds like combat to me.

He does insist he will adhere to the deal that the Bush administration made with the Iraqis to remove all American troops by the end of 2011. Any bets on that?

No comments:

Post a Comment