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Friday, October 21, 2011

Obama to Draw Down Troops in Iraq to Zero By End of Year

Posted by on Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 9:44 AM

ABC News is reporting this morning that we're getting out of Iraq completely.


Comments (37) RSS

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Cato the Younger Younger 1
Interesting, that includes any American troops who will be under NATO command as well?
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on October 21, 2011 at 9:45 AM · Report this
seandr 2
Good news for the soldiers, our economy, and Obama's re-election prospects.
Posted by seandr on October 21, 2011 at 9:45 AM · Report this
sloegin 3
Depends on the definition of 'troops' I suppose.

Mercenaries (ie Contractors)

Still some number much greater than zero.
Posted by sloegin on October 21, 2011 at 9:48 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 4
Better late than never.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on October 21, 2011 at 9:49 AM · Report this
laterite 5
Holy shit! Finally. The future of Iraq is now in Iraqi hands. Let's hope they're up to it.
Posted by laterite on October 21, 2011 at 9:54 AM · Report this
Ziggity 6
Did we win?
Posted by Ziggity on October 21, 2011 at 9:56 AM · Report this
zombie eyes 7
@3, No, they won't be leaving. And apparently, in some cases, their numbers will increase.…
Posted by zombie eyes on October 21, 2011 at 9:59 AM · Report this
ryanayr 8
fucking finally
Posted by ryanayr on October 21, 2011 at 10:00 AM · Report this
dirac 9
What @3 said. I'm cautiously grateful that he's delivering on this promise IF he is. Now if we can pull out of AfPak and stop incinerating innocent 16 year old American boys then I'll be much happier.
Posted by dirac on October 21, 2011 at 10:02 AM · Report this
Kinison 10
And all it took was the Iraq governemnt to say "Oh hell no" and flip us the bird.
Posted by Kinison on October 21, 2011 at 10:13 AM · Report this
disintegrator 11
Just in time for it to be a re-election issue.
I'm so jaded about this shit. Did he really have to spend billions of dollars and countless (meaning I don't know the count) human lives just so that the timing of this act could help cement his reelection?

I'm voting third-party from now on.
Posted by disintegrator on October 21, 2011 at 10:32 AM · Report this
Of course, this only pertains to the U.S. troops currently stationed in Iraq; those in Afghanistan will remain. But still, it continues to amuse me to no end to watch the Wingnuts piss all over themselves trying to convince themselves that all this was part of shrub's "master plan", and that HE deserves full credit for Obama fulfilling HIS promise, while simultaneously engaging in more mental gyrations than a Russian gymnast trying to BLAME Obama for handing Iraq (and apparently Libya too, in their warped little pea-brains) over to Al-Qaeda.

Which is strange, because if all this IS part of shrub's master plan, then certainly the outcome they foresee must be part of that same plan as well; meaning that blame for turning these countries over to Islamic fundamentalist militants must also have been part of that plan.
Posted by COMTE on October 21, 2011 at 10:35 AM · Report this
dirac 13
@11 Now, now, that kind of talk around here is likely to get you a stern lesson from partisan enforcers.
Posted by dirac on October 21, 2011 at 10:47 AM · Report this
MacCrocodile 14
@11 - Does it still count as an October Surprise if it's a year early?
Posted by MacCrocodile on October 21, 2011 at 10:55 AM · Report this
Betsy Ross 15
Goodbye Iraq. Hello Pakistan.
Posted by Betsy Ross on October 21, 2011 at 10:57 AM · Report this
How many times has he already promised to do this?
Posted by TechBear on October 21, 2011 at 11:04 AM · Report this
Vince 17
No matter how many promises he keeps, and so far he's done a splendid job of keeping most of his promises, there will be niggling cry babies finding fault.
Posted by Vince on October 21, 2011 at 12:47 PM · Report this
just wait; I bet that by the end of year there will still be at least 1/4 of the baby killers still in iraq. They will just be classified as mercenaries and trainers and such.
Posted by porchedge on October 21, 2011 at 12:57 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 19
He's finally going to do this ... oh wait ... he made such promises before and never fell through, I'll wait until the "end of the year" to see.
Posted by KittenKoder on October 21, 2011 at 1:05 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 20
@18 et al: they're either in the military or they're not. active duty soldiers don't get "classified as mercenaries". we're leaving active duty embassy guards. the "contractors" are what you are bitching about.

what a bunch of cynics. he said he'd end Iraq responsibly and focus on Afghanistan when he was a candidate. looks like he's doing what he said.
Posted by Max Solomon on October 21, 2011 at 1:06 PM · Report this
dirac 21
No matter how shitty he is or how many empty campaign stunts he pulls or how many times he patronizingly says, "Folks," or "tighten their belts," there will always be enough sycophancy to give him cover and call people "cry babies" while claiming superior maturity.
Posted by dirac on October 21, 2011 at 1:06 PM · Report this
dirac 22
@20 Contractors are worse in my mind.

Actually, I don't know if he's doing what he'd say because what he says and what he does are two different things. We'll see. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt on this one like I've been doing since 2009, which has seen many reneges since.
Posted by dirac on October 21, 2011 at 1:09 PM · Report this
Cascadian 23
I would like to see OWS, the Democratic Party, left-leaning media, basically anyone who gives a shit to push for banning the use of private military contractors. They cost more than troops to fund and are less accountable to the public. I'm OK with some occasional private contracting of non-military functions (say, food service or construction when using locals isn't practical), but we have to stop hiring mercenary soldiers. Period.
Posted by Cascadian on October 21, 2011 at 2:05 PM · Report this

You do realize you're going against roughly 2,300 years of precedent, yes? Not saying you're wrong, but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.

And seriously, some of you are as bad as the Wingnuts: "Oooh, Obama doesn't keep his campaign promises! Wha - ? he just kept one? Oooh, Obama doesn't keep his campaign promises fast enough! Hu - ? He kept it on-schedule? Oooh, Obama doesn't..."
Posted by COMTE on October 21, 2011 at 2:20 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 25
@22: yeah, the mercenaries suck. thank Bush Jr.

but this is what Obama SAID he'd do, and what he CAN do. he can control foreign policy. and foreign policy is going pretty well. any withdrawal more precipitous than this would have handed FOX et al a "cut and run" shaped bludgeon to use until 11/12. and yes, i'm aware that more people died because the withdrawal wasn't faster.

he can't control the jackholes in congress on domestic policies or legislation. he was always going to be a cautious POTUS - it's his nature, and smart politics, given the outrageous shit he's had thrown at him. he's been weak on prosecuting the malefactors of great wealth, even rhetorically, and it's still turned wall street against him.

back to @9: i think i missed a big story: which innocent 16 year old American boys got incinerated by Obama?

Posted by Max Solomon on October 21, 2011 at 2:29 PM · Report this
dirac 26
@24 You just have to pay attention enough to know it's got the bullshit potential like many things over the past years.

Like I said, I'd give him the benefit of the doubt. Seems actually like a more balanced position than any of the party tribalism (and marginalization of dissenting opinions) I usually see on this fauxgressive blog.
Posted by dirac on October 21, 2011 at 2:30 PM · Report this
dirac 27

I know we're going to see people rationalizing and defending this, but whatever.…
Posted by dirac on October 21, 2011 at 2:32 PM · Report this
@21: No criticism here. See, after you explained to me that we live in a duopoly and it doesn't matter how we cast our votes, I've come to believe McCain/Palin would have done exactly the same thing.

Posted by Proteus on October 21, 2011 at 2:35 PM · Report this
dirac 29
Ah, nice. The "Look, Palin!" straw man defense.

Don't vote people, Proteus likes to speak when he thinks I'm saying it even though it's not even discussed here.
Posted by dirac on October 21, 2011 at 2:46 PM · Report this
Sir Vic 30
@23 Actually, I'd rather see the food service and other support jobs done by enlisted personnel. The armed forces have used job skills training as a central part of their peace time recruiting. Which is a more valuable skill in the non-military world: running an operation that can feed 5,000 people 3 times daily, or defusing bombs?
Too bad that only applies during peacetime.
I really don't like using mercenaries to guard DoD or State officials. That should be a Marine detail.

As far as credit for the withdrawal, it pretty much goes to the Iraqis. Obama wanted to stay longer, but with immunities that the Iraqis would not agree to, so we're leaving on the date set long ago.
Posted by Sir Vic on October 21, 2011 at 2:57 PM · Report this
dirac 31
@30 It used to be this way. If we're going to pay someone $150k/yr maybe it should be a soldier first. You're completely right. Bush signed the SOF agreement that set this date.
Posted by dirac on October 21, 2011 at 3:04 PM · Report this
@29: Palin is made out of straw?
Posted by Proteus on October 21, 2011 at 3:32 PM · Report this
dirac 33
Don't vote people! I'm a troll concocted by Proteus (no, not that one).
Posted by dirac on October 21, 2011 at 3:39 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 34
@28 McCain would have done worse, unfortunately .... it was an election between a Giant Douche and a Turd Sandwich ... take your pick on which is which.
Posted by KittenKoder on October 21, 2011 at 4:02 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 35
Oh, one more thing, in spite of the hype associated with this guy:…

Those are the people you SHOULD be voting for, if you ever want real change. People who are ... well ... common. That's the type of person who built the country, that's the type of person who should be running things. So do it, vote for real people, even if their images are distorted by media coverage. Be brave, and bring in a brave new country (really it's the brave old country but new to a lot of us).
Posted by KittenKoder on October 21, 2011 at 4:06 PM · Report this
As usual, Glenn Greenwald provides important perspective, while expressing happiness at the end of the war.

First, the troop withdrawal is required by an agreement which George W. Bush negotiated and entered into with Iraq and which was ratified by the Iraqi Parliament prior to Obama’s inauguration. Let’s listen to the White House itself today: “’This deal was cut by the Bush administration, the agreement was always that at end of the year we would leave. . . .’ an administration official said.” As I said, it’s a good thing that this agreement is being adhered to, and one can reasonably argue that Obama’s campaign advocacy for the war’s end influenced the making of that agreement, but the Year End 2011 withdrawal date was agreed to by the Bush administration and codified by them in a binding agreement.

Second, the Obama administration has been working for months to persuade, pressure and cajole Iraq to allow U.S. troops to remain in that country beyond the deadline. The reason they’re being withdrawn isn’t because Obama insisted on this, but because he tried — but failed — to get out of this obligation.…

So, Obama didn't want to keep his promise. Oh, wait...I mean Bush's promise. He was forced to. And there will still be plenty of troops there.…

Fortunately, he still has plenty of conservative Democrats to voice their praise while licking the great man's boots, despite the fact that he's doing absolutely nothing special here.
Posted by LJM on October 21, 2011 at 4:53 PM · Report this
@32 Just in between her ears!
Posted by high and bi on October 22, 2011 at 11:57 AM · Report this

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