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Maliki: US Withdraw Is A Great Victory

From an approving New York Times:

American soldiers in Baghdad preparing to go on patrol earlier this month.

Premier Casting U.S. Withdrawal as Victory for Iraq


June 26, 2009

BAGHDAD — Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has taken to calling the withdrawal of American combat troops from Iraq’s cities by next Tuesday a “great victory,” a repulsion of foreign occupiers he compares to the rebellion against British troops in 1920.

And the Americans are going along with it, symbolically and substantively.

American commanders have hewed far more closely to the June 30 deadline for withdrawing combat forces from Iraq’s cities than expected only a few weeks ago, according to American and Iraqi officials.

They have closed outposts — even in Baghdad and still-troubled Mosul in the north — that they had initially lobbied the Iraqis to keep open, having concluded, the officials said, that pressing the case would be counterproductive given the political significance that Mr. Maliki had given the deadline.

The day itself has been declared a national holiday, though it is not yet clear whether Iraq will hold the “feast and festivals” he recently promised.

American and Iraqi officials acknowledge the risks — to Mr. Maliki’s political position and to Iraqis’ safety…

With the deadline now only days away, a drastically reshaped American military posture has emerged, largely because of Mr. Maliki’s insistence.

Bases built over months and years have been dismantled, often in weeks. The once ubiquitous presence of American armored vehicles on Baghdad’s streets has largely ended.

More than 150 American bases or outposts have been closed in Iraqi cities this year — 85 percent of the total, an Iraqi official said — including some that commanders considered crucial.

The Americans asked to keep open an outpost in Sadr City, the Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad that once served as the base of Shiite militias, only to be rebuffed.

“This is one we wanted,” Brig. Gen. John M. Murray said. “The Iraqi government said ‘no,’ so now we are leaving.”

The Americans even acquiesced to requests to suspend virtually all American operations — even in support roles — for the first few days of July to reinforce the perception that Mr. Maliki desires: that Iraqi security forces are now fully in control of Iraq’s cities.

“They will be invisible for the people,” Ali al-Adeeb, a senior leader in Mr. Maliki’s Dawa Party, said of the Americans. “They will turn into genies.”

Far from a celebration, the deadline has provoked uncertainty and even dread among average Iraqis, underscoring the potential problems that Mr. Maliki could face if bloodshed intensifies

“When the Americans get out of city centers, a big war will start,” a woman who identified herself as Um Hussan said amid the wreckage of a bombing on Monday outside her house in the Ur neighborhood of Baghdad. It has been months, she added, since she last saw American forces there.

“We ask God to help us for what is coming,” she said…

The security agreement between Iraq and the United States that set the June 30 deadline for withdrawing from the cities, and from the country by 2011, gave American commanders broad discretion to continue operations.

But decisions on what Americans remain where — doing what — ultimately now rest with the Iraqis, and the Americans have deferred in negotiations.

“We will be gone in whatever way the Iraqi government tells us to be gone,” said Lt. Col. Timothy M. Karcher, commander of the forces departing Sadr City

In his discussions with the Americans, officials said, Mr. Maliki has shown far more pragmatism than his public remarks about repulsing foreign occupiers might suggest, requesting, for example, that American explosive removal teams keep sweeping Baghdad’s streets

Notice that the New York Times twice refers to Mr. Malliki’s remarks about ‘’repulsing foreign occupiers.’ And yet they do not even once directly quote him as saying this.

This could just be their own political propaganda at work. Which we know, is relentless, and rabid in its anti-Americanism.

But if their report is accurate (which is always questionable with The Times), it is one more example of Iran’s seemingly endless supply of ingratitude.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, June 26th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

11 Responses to “Maliki: US Withdraw Is A Great Victory”

  1. Petronius says:

    Reference Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki’s calls for the “repulsion of foreign occupiers.” Might we also interpret this to mean that the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees who occupy parts of the USA will now be returned to Iraq? Just wondering . . . .

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Great point!
      Maybe we could offer him some urban blight to go along with their influx of returning cowards!

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      Maybe they’d take some of those $5.00 Katrina trailer homes, too. Occupants included, please!

      Bye, bye!

  2. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    The ultimate irony would be for the people of Iran to prevail and depose of their theocratic rulers in favor of better ties with the U.S. while an ungrateful Iraqi government gleefully tells us to get the hell out of their country. Regardless of all the sacrifices in lives we’ve given to liberate them. American blood is too precious to shed on foreign soil. Especially to a hostile, thankless people.

  3. Chinnubie says:

    We give these people a democratically run government, let them make up their own constitution, and the Times would have you think we dropped a nuclear bomb on Baghdad. Were the German people disgusted by the United States? They were the losers and that is the way it goes when you lose. Why do we always have to be sorry for what we’ve done for these people and others like them? Don’t they want to have the same freedoms we experience here in the U.S.? I guess I’m being too “black & white” on the issue.

    I think the people of Iraq are grateful, but the Times would never let something like that get out. How stressful & angry must these liberal people be in order to get through their everyday life? I’m sooo glad I can see the difference, because if I had to spend one day in the shoes of a liberal I think I would blow my brains out!!!!

  4. Barbie says:

    Maliki is as big of an idiot as Obama. I fear for the families in that country who just want to live their lives in peace; however, thanks to Obama and the left wing nuts, I fear for the families in this country, too.

  5. Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

    “it is one more example of Iran’s seemingly endless supply of ingratitude.”

    That should be Iraq I believe Steve, but I fear that before too long it’s not going to matter.

  6. bronzeprofessor says:

    I have had the honor of speaking with many men and women who served in Iraq and came back, then went to school on the GI Bill. It was largely because of their inspiration that I chose to sign up for the Army (if all goes well, I am going to sign my contract next week — wish me luck.)

    All of the Soldiers & Marines I have spoken to, who went to Iraq, have said the same thing. They saw countless signs of gratitude as well as hostility, but the hostility directed at Americans was never as bad as the hostility among Iraqis.

    Al-Maliki is in a delicate situation, so I won’t infer too much from his statements. Nor do I believe that he meant to imply what the NY Times is taking away from the statements. We would have to find out what he said in Arabic and trace how it got translated. The NY Times is still stuck in the debate of 2003 over whether or not we should have gone in, which is why when discussing Obama they seem often to be stuck in the debate over whether Obama was the right man to become president — you see, to the NY Times readers, these two debates from 2003 & 2008 are the organizing principles of their worldview, and the two questions — was invading Iraq justified, and was Obama the right man — are inseparable.

    For all that NY Times readers say they believe in nuance, they are really exceedingly simplistic readers. Any information about Iraq has to go back to the original debate over whether invading was a good idea. Any discussion of Obama has to affirm their conviction that he was the right person to become president. No matter how long their articles are, all the information is always framed in order to revisit, revise, and relive those debates, always casting themselves as prophets and/or victors.

    • proreason says:

      I had missed that you were joining the military, Professor.

      You are indeed a hero of the first order.

      Thanks and best of luck to you.

    • artboyusa says:

      Good post, Prof. Thanks – and more thanks and the very best of luck to you in your service.

  7. texaspsue says:

    NYT? I would consider the source. Maybe they should learn how to translate text that is in foreign languages. :-)

    The Iraqi media isn’t ever harsh about the Americans and they don’t write that they consider us “occupiers. Here’s their contrast on the story about July 1st withdrawal……………..”Iraq in a steeping stone towards sovereignty”. http://www.alsumaria.tv/en/Iraq-News/1-33847-Iraq-in-a-steeping-stone-towards-sovereignty.html

    FWIW Sounds to me as if the Iraqi are trying to learn to stand on their own two feet before Obama calls for withdrawal.

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