I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Iraq PM to US - You Can Leave Anytime

As Nick Kristof explained the other day the Iraqi people want the US to end the occupation.
First, a poll this spring of Iraqis — who know their country much better than we do — shows that only 21 percent think that the U.S. troop presence improves security in Iraq, while 69 percent think it is making security worse. . . .

We simply can’t want to be in Iraq more than the Iraqis want us to be there. That poll of Iraqis, conducted by the BBC and other news organizations, found that only 22 percent of Iraqis support the presence of coalition troops in Iraq, down from 32 percent in 2005.

If Iraqis were pleading with us to stay and quell the violence, maybe we would have a moral responsibility to stay. But when Iraqis are begging us to leave, and saying that we are making things worse, then it’s remarkably presumptuous to overrule their wishes and stay indefinitely because, as President Bush termed it in his speech on Tuesday, “it is necessary work.”
Well now Iraqi Prime Minster Nouri al-Maliki says Iraq can manage without U.S..
BAGHDAD - 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."
Now I'm not sure if Maliki actually believes this, it's probably an attempt to show strength at a time when there is so much talk about a US withdrawal and the Iraqi people are so anti US.

This brings us to something few talk about - the mechanics of withdrawing. We have 160,000 troops, at least that many private contractors, and billions of dollars worth of equipment. Even with a good withdrawal plan leaving will be messy. Much of the Iraqi Army will join militants in fighting the US. There is not an air field or road in Iraq that can be secured. We have a second problem, who is going to come up with a "good plan". Most of the Pentagon's brain trust has been fired or driven out by Rumsfeld and the Bush administration. All that's left are the sycophants who would tell the administration what they wanted to hear. Leaving Iraq will make Vietnam's helicopters on the roof moment look like the cake walk the mis-adventure the war was supposed to be.

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