Obama’s War

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

“anti-terror operations.”

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.

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.