From McClatchy (via HuffPo):
BAGHDAD _ The U.S. military has warned Iraq that it will shut down military operations and other vital services throughout the country on Jan. 1 if the Iraqi government doesn’t agree to a new agreement on the status of U.S. forces or a renewed United Nations mandate for the American mission in Iraq.
Many Iraqi politicians view the move as akin to political blackmail, a top Iraqi official told McClatchy Sunday.
In addition to halting all military actions, U.S. forces would cease activities that support Iraq’s economy, educational sector and other areas – “everything” – said Tariq al Hashimi, the country’s Sunni Muslim vice president. “I didn’t know the Americans are rendering such wide-scale services.”
“Akin” to political blackmail? I’d say it was the definition of same.
From what I’ve read we haven’t done a very good job “supporting” Iraq’s economy, educational sector or any “other areas.” We have destroyed this country and now we are threatening to destroy it further unless they agree to allow us free reign to do as we wish.
Hashimi said that Army Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, listed “tens” of areas of potential cutoffs in a three-page letter, and he said the implied threat caught Iraqi leaders by surprise.
Is this how we negotiate? The Army is negotiating, not our diplomats?
This just crazy.