Saturday, July 14, 2007

Iraq PM: Country Can Manage Without U.S.

From the AP via the Huffington Post courtesy of

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki shrugged off U.S. doubts of his government's military and political progress on Saturday, saying Iraqi forces are capable and American troops can leave "any time they want."

One of his top aides, meanwhile, accused the United States of embarrassing the Iraqi government by violating human rights and treating his country like an "experiment in a U.S. lab."

Al-Maliki sought to display confidence at a time when pressure is mounting in Congress for a speedy withdrawal of U.S. forces. On Thursday, the House passed a measure calling for the U.S. to withdraw its troops by spring, hours after the White House reported mixed progress by the Iraqi government toward meeting 18 benchmarks.

During a press conference, al-Maliki shrugged off the progress report, saying that difficulty in enacting the reforms was "natural" given Iraq's turmoil.


So if the democratically elected Iraqi government doesn't want us there, why are we still there? I mean, the whole idea, once we stopped talking about all those WMDs that never turned up, was to bring the gift of democracy to Iraq. Well, we've done that and now they want us out, stable or not. We ought to leave, then, right?

Well, yes, of course we should leave. But we won't. Not until I'm an old man, and maybe even after I'm dead. Oval Office fantasies about winning aside, virtually all Democratic plans for "withdrawal" call for a diminished but continued US troop presence in the desert nation. Iraq is a colony and the US power establishment, both liberal and conservative sides, isn't going to let it go.

That's that. And I think the Iraqis know the truth much better than the US public.