How Obama Bungled Iraq
What you haven’t heard is that Obama wanted to keep troops in Iraq beyond the end of the year. The end of the year 2011 deadline is from the Bush administration. This is also something that was not mentioned last week. On Friday Obama gets all these rave reviews, it’s a campaign season of course, his base has frayed, the independents want no part of him. So it’s time to revive this whole promise that he’s gonna get everybody out of Iraq. Yeah. By the Bush timeline. But according to the Heritage Foundation Morning Bell, Obama was in negotiations with the Iraqis up until last week to keep troops in Iraq beyond 2011.
“The sticking point for the negotiations was immunity for US troops in Iraq. Heritage’s James Phillips explains: ‘Up until Friday, the Obama Administration had insisted that negotiations were on track for extending the presence of a small residual force that US and Iraqi military leaders agreed were necessary to support Iraqi operations in key areas such as counterterrorism, air support, intelligence gathering, logistics, and training. But Friday, in a hard-hitting article posted on The Cable blog, Josh Rogin reported that the Administration had bungled the negotiations.’ Those negotiations stalled, Phillips writes, because Iraqi political leaders didn’t want to risk the political consequences of extending immunity for U.S. troops.” Which, of course, is a must. Without immunity, there’s no way we’re gonna keep them there.
“And given the Obama Administration’s eagerness to withdraw from Iraq and unwillingness to confront Iran they didn’t want to put their political necks on the line. Now, as a result, US security interests will suffer — bilateral US — Iraqi cooperation in fighting al-Qaeda in Iraq and radical pro-Iranian Shia militias will be limited, and the ability to contain Iran will be weakened. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) criticized the Administration on Sunday, calling the withdrawal decisions ‘a serious mistake,’ and faulted the White House for its failure to negotiate with the Iraqi government: ‘There was never really serious negotiations between the administration and the Iraqis. I believe we could have negotiated an agreement. And I’m very, very concerned about increased Iranian influence in Iraq.'”