Monday, October 24, 2011

On the Pull-Out From Iraq and the Deceit of the Administration's Grandstanding

Justin Raimondio writes at Anti-War:

The peculiar blindness that afflicts our elites – epitomized by Hillary’s unashamed variation on Julius Caesar’s famous phrase – is reflected, I fear, in the population at large. How else does one explain the response to the Obama administration’s recent announcement that the President is – finally! – fulfilling his campaign pledge to get all US troops out of Iraq? In counting on the complete ignorance of the general public as to the crucial context of this announcement – the breakdown in negotiations between Washington and Baghdad over the terms of a “residual” force remaining in country – administration strategists were not far off the mark. The supposedly informed professional pundits, whose job it is to know – and report – the facts, glossed over the deceit of the administration’s grandstanding, even as negotiations with the Iraqis for an extension of the deadline continue.

What both the administration and their sock-puppet pundits are counting on is the complete ignorance – and indifference – of the American public. And in that they are not likely to be disappointed.

John Glaser, also at Anti-War, explains more:

President Barack Obama announced Friday that all United States forces will withdraw from Iraq by the end of this year and, as he put it, “America’s war in Iraq will be over.” But the complete withdrawal may not actually be what it seems and the way this announcement is being framed fails to stand up to scrutiny.

The Obama administration spent years trying to pressure the Iraqi leadership into an agreement extending the American military presence there beyond the previously scheduled December deadline to pull out. Many in the administration pushed for tens of thousands of troops to remain indefinitely, where others yielded to having only 3,000-5,000 soldiers left for training and security purposes.

An agreement to keep a few thousands troops as a contingent force past the withdrawal deadline came close to being ratified, although Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki needed to circumvent Parliament in order to do it. But after the Obama administration and the Pentagon insisted the contingent force be granted immunity from Iraqi law, the deal went sour and Iraq’s leadership began to resist US pressure to stay.

But Obama’s announcement of a full withdrawal, with the exception of perhaps a few hundred soldiers to guard the US Embassy, may not be exactly as it sounds. In reality, the reduced level of troops is possible in tandem with an expanded diplomatic mission and a large presence of military contractors.

The State Department is expected to have up to 17,000 employees and at least 5,000 military contractors – consisting of private soldiers and retired army commanders – for this ongoing diplomatic presence, which has been described as necessary to provide “situational awareness around the country, manage political crises in potential hotspots such as Kirkuk, and provide a platform for delivering economic, development and security assistance.”...

In short, many Iraqis may not perceive drastic change in the relationship with the US. According to the most recent Quarterly Report of the Special Inspector General for Iraq, the Department of State “will assume primary responsibility for a planned $6.8 billion operation” carried out “from 11 locations around Iraq, including three consulates and the world’s largest embassy.” Responsibilities also include carrying out “two of the largest Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and Foreign Military Financing (FMF) programs in the world and to spend the $2.55 billion in Iraq Security Forces Fund (ISFF).”

As detailed in a declassified, partially redacted State Department document, a “fleet of 46 aircraft” will be “based and maintained in Baghdad, Basra, and Erbil” and will include 20 medium lift S-61 helicopters, 18 light lift UH-1N helicopters, three light observation MD-530 helicopters, and five Dash 8 fixed wing aircraft.


  1. A politician lied? Oh my, what is the world coming to!?!?!?!

  2. What on earth do I care what happens in this loser country. Bring all the US parasites home and stop this empire building madness!

  3. "In 2008, President George W. Bush approved a deal calling for all U. S. forces to withdrawl by Dec. 31, 2011." Last sentence in lead story of Richmond Times-Dispatch 10-22-11.

  4. Par for the course, anon@820pm.

    The MSM doesn't investigate, it just regurgitates what TPTB in DC want it to say.

    Thank God for the Internet, where truth can be found- even if you have to search for it.

  5. why don't they call the contractors what they are mercenary's hired by the u.s. government.

  6. No politician is capable of telling the truth!

  7. Obama, ever the narcissist, hates to be told no. So he takes his ball and goes home to pout. He reacts the same way when congress won't pass yet another asinine proposal he makes. He is the model socialist tax and spend airhead.

  8. this is important to the future OWG to keep a presence here; after all this IS home to Babylon, the future world dictator's city. America is not in the bible, but this place becomes paramount.

  9. Anonymous: You might want to care what happens to their country! Iraq is the USA's financial golden goose!!! It's a long story, but trust me!

  10. Changed the uniform to suits, pay them $80k more per year and announce, "The troops are coming home!" At least all the vets will recognize this for what it is.