Withdrawal is not coming soon, and it is not what you think it is.

As I’ve previously noted, the Bush Administration has recently made clear that they have no intention of leaving Iraq, that they’re doing their best to ensure that the next president will have trouble doing so, and that Defense Secretary Robert Gates just announced that he wants to prevent our troop levels in Iraq from dropping below 130,000. Well, Reuters has this interesting news:

U.S. forces should keep withdrawing from Iraq this year without a pause, Iraq’s national security adviser said on Wednesday, disagreeing with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Mowaffaq al-Rubaie, whose post gives him a senior security role in the Iraqi government, said he would like to see U.S. forces draw down steadily to below 100,000 by the end of 2008.

Hmm. Wonder who will win that argument.

And al-Rubaie also had some words to which Democrats need pay close attention:

He also said he thought it was unlikely American Democratic Party candidates for president would be able to keep pledges to rapidly pull out U.S. forces if they are elected this year to succeed President George W. Bush.

Since November, Bush has been laying the groundwork to ensure that our occupation is made permanent. That will be difficult to reverse, but it’s also worth noting that both Senators Clinton and Obama offer Iraq withdrawal plans that include keeping the current “embassy,” including a force to guard it, which will undoubtedly number in the thousands. That “embassy” will be the largest in the world, and according to this Congressional Budget Office estimate (pdf), it will cost more than a billion dollars a year to maintain and secure!

Whoever wins the Democratic nomination will need our support, when attempting to dismantle the structures Bush has put in place to indefinitely perpetuate the occupation; but whoever that nominee turns out to be will also need us to keep pushing for a more aggressive withdrawal strategy. That embassy must go. Unless we can have a normal embassy, with a normal embassy staff, we should have no embassy at all, in Iraq. The occupation must end, and as long as we maintain that “embassy,” our presence in Iraq cannot be defined as anything else.  

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  1. The “surge” ‘worked’ so well that the Bush junta has decided to make it permanent… as if there was any doubt.

    What is the United States gaining with this occupation force?

    • nocatz on February 15, 2008 at 12:19 am

    wassamattayou? Don’t you remember Perrino the other day?

    Amid a bitter dispute over US bases in Iraq, the White House signaled Wednesday it does not view any US military installations overseas — except perhaps Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — as permanent

    .

    The United States, where we are, where we have bases, we are there at the invitation of those countries. I’m not aware of any place in the world — where we have a base — that they are asking us to leave. And if they did, we would probably leave,” said spokeswoman Dana Perino.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20

  2. Bush has been working behind the scenes over time to ensure a “permanence” in Iraq.  You may already have seen some of the following, which are some articles dealing with Bush’s “efforts” in this past year, alone:

    Bush-Maliki Agreement Defies US Laws, Iraqi Parliament  Nov. 30, 2007 (Bush cuts a deal that will likely retain about 50,000 troops in Iraq over the long term.)

    ‘Enduring’ Bases in Iraq: More Toys for the Pentagon’s Sandbox Dec. 4, 2007

    Operation “Iraqi Freedom” Exposed: Bush Negotiates Permanent Presence in Iraq Dec. 4, 2007

    Bush, Maliki Break Iraqi Law to Renew U.N. Mandate for Occupation Dec. 20, 2007; and, finally,

    A View of Iraq From Beyond the Green Zone  Feb. 13, 2008.  (Journalist Dahr Jamail talks about the current state of Iraq and why an immediate withdrawal of American troops is necessary.)

    Why would they build the world’s largest embassy if they had not intended to stay there?  Of course, they would want to stay and watch and manage their newfound “oil investments,” among just one of their reasons.

  3. I went to the goodbye Allied Forces parade in Berlin Germany.  That was in 1993.

  4. back in the days when they were spinning their lies to justify an invasion of Iraq, and even before, fooling the people into believing “shock and awe” had something to do with a war on a tactic.

    Why is anyone surprised?

    “Permanent” = infinity – no, the oil will be gone some day. Our bases aren’t “permanent”. The bushies think they are so clever with their definitions, as in “permanent”, as in “torture”. They can lie and justify their lies to themselves much easier that way.

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