Iraq to U.S.: Please leave

Posted: July 9, 2008 in america, Bush, john mccain, military, war

Throwing a monkey wrench into the Bush administration’s attempts to turn Iraq into an oil colony of the United States, Iraqi national security advisor Mowaffak al-Rubaie said recently that their government would not sign any agreement establishing permanent U.S. bases in his country.  As reported on

“There should not be any permanent bases in Iraq unless these bases are under Iraqi control,” Rubaie said, referring to negotiations over a bilateral agreement governing the future U.S. military role in Iraq. The agreement, if approved, would go into effect when a U.N. mandate expires in December.

“We would not accept any memorandum of understanding with [the U.S.] side that has no obvious and specific dates for the foreign troops’ withdrawal from Iraq,” Rubaie said.

U.S. officials said the remarks, along with a similar statement Monday from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, were aimed at local and regional audiences and do not reflect fundamental disagreements with the Bush administration.

This, of course, makes McCain’s recent suggestions of a “100-year presence” somewhat problematic.  How exactly do we justify maintaining a significant military presence in a country where we’re not wanted?  And only last year Bush was saying that we would leave if the Iraqi government requested it.

McCain, for his part, continues to impose a withdrawal timetable whether it’s imposed by Iraq or the U.S.  He wants American troops to leave “with honor”, whatever that means.  Bush seems to believe that the al-Maliki government is not, in fact, asking for a timetable despite this statement by al-Maliki himself:

“The current trend is to reach an agreement on a memorandum of understanding either for the departure of the forces or a memorandum of understanding to put a timetable on their withdrawal,” Al-Maliki said, according to a statement released by his office. “In all cases, the basis for any agreement will be respect for the full sovereignty of Iraq.”

What the Iraqi government is saying, in effect, is “thanks for the help, now please go away.”  We should respect their wishes and begin talking seriously about bringing home our exhausted and overstretched armies.


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