Thursday, July 28, 2005



Jaafari to America: get out

Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari has called for a speedy withdrawal of US forces from his country:

Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari said at a joint news conference with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that the time has arrived to plan a coordinated transition from American to Iraqi military control throughout the country.

Asked how soon a U.S. withdrawal should happen, he said no exact timetable had been set. "But we confirm and we desire speed in that regard," he said, speaking through a translator. "And this fast pace has two aspects."

First, there must be a quickening of the pace of U.S. training of Iraqi security forces, and second there must be closely coordinated planning between the U.S.-led military coalition and the emerging Iraq government on a security transition, he said.

"We do not want to be surprised by a withdrawal that is not in connection with our Iraqi timing," he said.

It's good to see the Iraqis asserting control over what happens in their own country, and its also good to see them asserting that any withdrawal must follow their timetable, not America's. There's a real danger that an American pullout will be driven by domestic political concerns (like the 2006 midterms), rather than the needs of the Iraqi people. And given the claimed premise of the invasion, the latter should be paramount.

10 comments:

Leaked documents showed they were already planning a substantial pullout for next early year - how convenient that the Iraqi's should ask them to do it so that they can look like they're not "cutting and running" :-)

No surprise they're planning to leave, it is beginning to look bad for them in 2006. They've also already acheived the important things - they got Bush re-elected, they got to borrow huge stinking wads of cash on behalf of the taxpayers and give it to their mates in the defence, oil, and construction industries, they got to lay down some permanent bases that will be pretty hard to get rid of, and most importantly they got rid of the regime that was going to share the oil exploitation contracts with the wrong companies (ie, France and Russia), and was beginning to sell its oil in Euros!

Having said that, a staged withdrawal that at least appears to be driven by the Iraqis is probably the best option for all concerned. Perhaps some sort of fledgling democracy will actually then be able to take hold in what is essentially the worlds largest terrorist training camp. I mean, perhaps it doesn't look good on paper to effectively hand over control to the Iranians, but just so long as some faction gets control long enough to actually get the Iraqi quality-of-life back to something tolerable it's probably going to mean slightly fewer battle hardened anti-western terrorists for the rest of us to deal with in the coming decades. Of course there'll be more than enough of them for all the right wing governments to use as an excuse for stripping away everyone's civil-rights in the everlasting "War on Terror" - the most important right in this case being the right to vote liberal.

Way to go Bush, what a legacy.

Posted by Anonymous : 7/28/2005 02:56:00 AM

Since Jaafari was a human rights lawyer who risked his life opposing Saddam and supported the invasion then his words have considerable credibilty.

Another democracy in the making.

Posted by Sock Thief : 7/28/2005 09:03:00 AM

I agree it must follow the Iraqi needs, but I am surprised at the assumption that the US might want to go slower than Iraq would want.

Politically Bush would love to be out of there in a month. The only thing keeping them is that the Iraqi security forces are not yet big enough to manage without them.

Posted by David Farrar : 7/28/2005 10:09:00 AM

Sock Thief: Yeah, presuming the Americans don't try and fix their elections again.

DPF: he's playing to Iraqis who want the Americans gone yesterday and are suspicious that they have no intention of leaving.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 7/28/2005 11:14:00 AM

Last year I interviewed the media liaison guy at the CPA about withdrawal. All he would say is that all the budgets and projects were due for completion in 2007. If they are not planning beyond then I suspect they will withdraw at that time regardless of what is happening. Just like Vietnam once they have had enough they will get out without any real transitional arrangements - UN, Iraqi, Arab League or otherwise. If they ain't on the last helicopter then they are on their own.

Posted by t selwyn : 7/28/2005 01:39:00 PM

Not sure what you mean by US fixing the elections since that didn't happen. The biggest threat to democacy in Iraq comes from Baathist and fundamentalist violence.

Posted by Sock Thief : 7/28/2005 02:49:00 PM

Sock Thief: I suggest you check out Seymour Hersh's report in the New Yorker: they tried, and failed.

If you're going to wage war in the name of democracy, then it would seem to be a good idea to actually support democracy, rather than trying to corrupt it like a third-world despot.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 7/28/2005 03:34:00 PM

Something my uncle told me (he was working at the Defence Force at the time) was that there is no morality in world politics. He didn't say that in judgement, just as simple fact.

Posted by muerk : 7/28/2005 07:14:00 PM

> withdrawal must follow their timetable, not America's.

One has to wonder why the WITHDRAWL of americas army is apparently supposed to be under the control of iraq's elected government.

I agree that it is best for the us to not withdraw suddenly and so forth but you have no moral argument to say that it should be the iraqi's who decide how best to achieve that aim.

Posted by Toonpi : 7/29/2005 12:30:00 AM

I had read Hersh's article. It alleges that there was some thought given to counter-balancing the Iranian influence but it was decided not to do so. Instead, there was some logistical support given to smaller parties.

So get the facts right, the US did not try to fix the election.

But telling that you should consider the greatest threat to democracy in Iraq to be the US and not the fascists fighting to get back into power. That pretty much sums up how off the planet much of the left is.

Posted by Sock Thief : 7/29/2005 08:59:00 AM