Saturday, October 22, 2011

Nouri says negotiations continue, Moqtada wants an emergeny session of Parliament

Today on All Things Considered (NPR), host Guy Raz and James Fallows breifly discussed Iraq:

Guy Raz: Jim, let's move to Iraq. The president announced a full US withdrawal by the end of the year. His take is that this is a fulfillment of a campaign promise but there's a bit of spin there, isn't there?

James Fallows: Oh sure. It's not at all the way he expected to fulfill the promise. The reason there's going to be this complete -- or near complete withdrawal-- of US troops by the end of this year is not so much the commitment of the US government to wind things down as the view on the Iraqi side that they are not willing to keep US forces in their country any longer than the end of this year and the reason for that of course is the disagreement about whether US uniformed troops and also contractors would be subject to Iraqi law for things that went wrong while they were serving in that country.

Near complete withdrawal. It takes but a moment to include those words. But with a press that, as Rebecca rightly points out, confuses itself for a public relations agency, those realities get tossed aside.

Negotiations to continue the US military presence in Iraq did not end. I thought it might take a few days for the facts noted in the snapshot yesterday to be evident. Didn't take that long at all. Wasn't the case of the SOFA where we spent almost three years repeatedly (and, for the record, rightly) explaining what it actually meant as opposed to the lies and spin so many insisted upon pimping.

Negotiations aren't over. Waleed Ibrahim (Reuters) reports that Nouri spoke today about how excited he was that "all" US troops would be leaving Iraq and how US "trainers" are needed by Iraq and that discussions will continue on that. Like the White House, Nouri's always drawn a false line between "trainers" and soldiers. So Nouri expects a "full" withdrawal of US soldiers and he's also expecting to be able to include US "trainers" after the end of 2011.

If you're a stupid or a liar, that is indeed a withdrawal. If you're even semi-honest, no, it's not.

Tim Arango, in a moment of kindness, I'm sure, made a perfect idiot out of himself with his Tweet yesterday (see yesterday's snapshot). Negotiations did not end last Saturday -- that is what AP reported last Saturday, check the article. Negotiations continued this week and, today, Nouri al-Maliki publicly acknowledged that negotiations still continue.

In other words, Tim Arango, the AP didn't have a scoop. They were misled. News is what happens, news is not predictions. I know reporters love to glorify themselves; however, they are not prophets and would be wise to stick with what happened as opposed to entering the land of fantasy and attempting to pass that off as real events.

I am not and have not attacked or negatively criticized Lara Jakes or Rebecca Santana of the AP. They went with what their sources told them. They accurately described that in their report; however, what they were told was not, in fact, accurate. And your first clue was the fact that no announcement took place on Monday. Or Tuesday. And you should pay attention to what Barack said Friday and what Nouri said today.

Al Sabaah quotes him stating that it's "natural" to have US trainers in Iraq. How will the number be determined? He says by the weapons purchasing contracts Iraq signs. Dar Addustour reports that Nouri claims he and Barack did not discuss the issue of the US Embassy "and immunity" on their tele-conference (it's Nouri, meaning they may have or they may not have) but tha the US embassy will be similar to other embassies in Iraq. Yeah, right. Where's a flying shoe tossed in Nouri's direction when you need it? While declaring the Status Of Forces Agreement dead, he noted that the Strategic Framework remains alive and "open" and that it can be altered and modified. Where's the US coverage of that? Guess they don't want to rain on Funny Girl Barack's parade.

The article quotes Moqtada al-Sadr declaring that he has learned the US Embassy in Baghdad plans to increase its employee numbers from 5,000 to 15,000. And Al Mada reports Moqtada called Saturday for the Parliament to hold an emergency session to address withdrawal and what's taking place (he doesn't appear to believe that is withdrawal).

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