Iraqi Cabinet Approves Security Agreement Keeping Our Troops In Iraq Until 2011


The Iraqi cabinet, in a near-unanimous vote, have approved the security agreement with the US that will keep our forces in that country until the end of 2011.

The decision of the 37-member cabinet, essentially a microcosm of the Parliament, is expected to be a good indicator of whether the agreement will pass. The assembly has not yet announced the date of its vote, but it is scheduled to go into recess on Nov. 24.

The draft approved Sunday requires coalition forces to withdraw from Iraqi cities and towns by the summer of 2009 and from the country by the end of 2011. An earlier version had language giving some flexibility to that deadline, with both sides discussing timetables and timelines for withdrawal, but the Iraqis managed to have the deadline set in stone, a significant negotiating victory. The United States has around150,000 troops in Iraq.

For months, the fate of the pact has been in doubt as Iraqis have pressed for more changes on a variety of issues, including jurisdiction over operations by U.S. troops and the flexibility of the withdrawal date. The United States, which had wanted the pact concluded by midsummer, gave significant concessions. Iraqi officials said minor tweaks were being made as recently as last week.

Under the agreement, U.S. soldiers are still guaranteed immunity except in cases of serious felonies committed while off duty outside their bases.


In a crucial development, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the most influential Shiite cleric in Iraq, indicated on Saturday that he would support whatever decision is arrived at in Parliament as representative of the will of the Iraqi people. Shiite officials who met with the ayatollah said eh found the latest draft acceptable, if not perfect; Ayatollah Sistani also made clear that he did not side with politicians who refused any agreement with the United States out of hand.

Now, what will happen to Obama’s claim that his plans for a quick drawdown of troops was in agreement with the Iraqi leadership?

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Tuesday he was committed to a 16-month timetable for a U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq, after a trip in which he met Iraqi leaders and U.S. officials.

Will he do as the far left has demanded he do? Will he tear up a cooperative agreement reached after many months of delicate negotiations to do the bidding of the far left?

If so it will go down as a huge mistake and will prove to the world that America and its talk of freedom mean nothing. We went in, took out a tyrant, beat the hell out of terrorists from one corner of the country to the other, and helped the Iraqi’s to stand on their own two feet and build the first democracy in a region that has known only dictatorship and despair.

And now that we have reached agreement with the Iraqi’s to stay until 2011 he would tear it up and tell them we are outta here. I mean that’s what he will do if he keeps his promise.

Somehow I’m thinking he will be waffling very soon on this subject and do his best to spin, spin and spin some more. I’m thinking he will say this agreement will allow him to keep his other promise, that the Iraqi war will end during his term.

But either way, we should be proud of where we have arrived at as a nation at war. Because of Bush and the courage he displayed by not bending to the left’s will, even when it cost him at the polls, we have ensured that those who lost their lives in Iraq did not die in vain and that millions of Iraqi’s will live in freedom.

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What will Obama do?

Visualize the path of least resistance.

Obama will have lots of flexibility. It’s not like the Iraqis want the US to stay longer. In this negotiation, we were pressing for a longer occupation; the Iraqis wanted us to leave sooner. This agreement can be renegotiated at any time.

We are currently spending as much money in Iraq (in the post-“victory” phase) in 4 months as we are spending on all of our intelligence services on one year. The threats to our national security from Islamic terrorism are, in descending order: biological, dirty nuclear, and explosive nuclear weapons. Withdrawing from Iraq sooner will allow us to devote more assets to activities which will do vastly more to reduce the threat of terrorist attacks.

But all of this will be a matter of assessment and negotiation. Point is, there is nothing in the current accord which in any way ties the hands of the incoming administration.

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach

What will duh-Bambi do, well duh, er, ah, uh … Punt.

If Iraq goes back to the terror state, the Al Qaeda terrorist will have access to oil money and a base of operations. Even duh-Bambi is smart enough to know that. But you never know with duh-Bambi, he seems to like terrorist friends so who knows.

The Iraqi’s are smart enough to know they cannot keep Iran at bay without the US troops.

One should remember that Obama had planned for a 30,000-troop residual force still being in Iraq. Buy the time we get to 16 months we may be down to around 30,000– then when 2011 closes they may be near gone.

Larry, INRE a couple of your comments…

Obama will have lots of flexibility. It’s not like the Iraqis want the US to stay longer. In this negotiation, we were pressing for a longer occupation; the Iraqis wanted us to leave sooner. This agreement can be renegotiated at any time.

The biggest heat of this SOFA was not the timetable. That’s another ‘we were only there for WMD’s” red herring the press likes to pick up because of the traditional, elementary argument about troops in Iraq. The biggest issue was jurisdiction over troops and civilian contractors. But that’s less sexy a beef for the press to use as a headline.

INRE the withdrawal: the one that Obama proposed is similar (but too quick to remove equipment) than the withdrawal that is planned. AND, I might add, has been planned since the beginning… A withdrawal to happen as soon as the Iraqis were up to speed on providing their own security and self-governing. This is no concession to Obama or the DNC. This is the plan, progressing as was originally constructed.

The only difference (other than leaving the equipment) is whether the SOFA contained language about flexibility of withdrawal because of on the ground events.

The Iraqis have said over and over that if they need help, they do want to delay continued withdrawals. But for national pride and perception reasons, they didn’t want the language in there.

But as you said, they’ll renegotiate this as they need… and that includes requesting troops to hang around a little longer if they find themselves not up to the task.

We are currently spending as much money in Iraq (in the post-”victory” phase) in 4 months as we are spending on all of our intelligence services on one year.

Are you assuming – with our presence on the ground in Iraq, and moving among the people – that we are getting no valuable intelligence? Are you suggesting that, once removed from the theatre, our cyber “listening” and intelligence will improve?

The problem with that logic that I see is cyber listening and wiretaps are a huge issue here. If Pelosi/Reid pull the Obama strings, we’ll find that ability lessened, not strengthened.

And our best intelligence is HUMINT…. how are we going to get that being so removed from the area?

Private-sector economists believe the U.S. economy fell into recession last spring and now expect a sharp contraction in the fourth quarter of this year after slashing their forecasts for gross domestic product, a Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia survey said on Monday.

The bank’s quarterly Survey of Professional Forecasters also predicted non-farm payrolls would shrink by an average 222,400 per month during the last quarter of the year, nearly five times the pace of monthly job losses forecast when the previous survey was taken in August. The previous estimate was for 45,400 jobs lost per month in the quarter.

The forecasters survey also said the U.S. economy entered recession April and that the downturn would last for 14 months.

It wouldn’t matter, because the liberal illuminati are going to pull them out quicker than that, and it will be a very bad move.