Friday, June 10, 2011

The US isn't leaving Iraq

One of Barack Obama's first acts after being sworn in as US President was to announce that the US would be leaving Iraq. Most of the troops would leave by August 2010, with the remainder departing by the end of 2011.

He lied:

Iraq will ask the US to keep a troop presence in the country beyond an end-of-2011 pullout deadline, the probable next US defence secretary has said.

Outgoing CIA director Leon Panetta said he had "every confidence that a request like that will be forthcoming".

Why will it be forthcoming?
The BBC's Andrew North in Washington says that it seems likely that the US has offered Iraq some inducements to maintain its troop presence.
In other words, its a jackup, to give the appearance of consent to an ongoing foreign occupation which Obama had promised both the occupied and the occupiers he would end. There's an obvious lesson here about not trusting politicians, but also one about the weakness of US democracy and the undemocratic nature of that country's foreign policy. If Obama feared the voters, then he would not be able to break this promise, but the US's broken electoral system and low voter turnout insulate him from voter backlash and democratic control. Meanwhile, its another illustration that the US's foreign policy is of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%, a foreign policy for autocrats and dictators, not a democracy.