Chris Hegdes thinks Obama doing double speak on Iraq - his argument is hard to deny:
Obama, during the campaign, promised that
he would pull out one combat brigade per month over a 16-month period
from Iraq. But this promise has been scrapped. Instead, troop levels
will remain steady for most of this year and into the first few months
of 2010. Troops will only start leaving, we are told, in large numbers
in the spring and summer of next year, but even the pace of this
downsizing will be left to the discretion of commanders. The troops
left in Iraq after the “withdrawal” will, the Obama administration
says, train Iraqi soldiers, protect U.S. assets and conduct
The U.S. agreement with Iraq, known as
SOFA, or status of forces agreement, calls for all U.S. forces to be
out of Iraq by the end of December 2011. But this seems very unlikely.
The Pentagon has, despite the SOFA agreement, built its long-range
planning around the assumption that anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000
troops will be based in Iraq long after 2011. The U.S.-Iraq agreement
(which was ratified by the Iraqi parliament but never brought to the
U.S. Senate for ratification, as mandated by the Constitution) calls
for a national referendum to be held in Iraq during the summer of 2009.
Iraqis will supposedly be able to approve or reject the agreement. The
some 50 U.S. bases in Iraq are, under the agreement, to be turned over
to the Iraqis.