So the topic is one that needs to be explored. And when I saw the name on the byline, I thought, "Uh oh." Diana Ohlbaum.
Even more so when the credit at the end of the article failed to note her politics.
She's not 'independent.'
Nor is she objective.
At Foreign Policy in Focus, you're either a Democrat or an 'independent' which is just code for Socialist.
Reading the article itself, it was clear that she was just another partisan liar.
Take this mixture of fact and fantasy:
Let's start by remembering that the 2007 surge was intended as a temporary build-up to buy time, not as a prelude to permanent occupation. It was President George W. Bush who signed the security agreement with Iraq that set a date of Dec. 31, 2011 for all U.S. forces to withdraw from the country. And despite the U.S. success in holding up its side of the bargain — reducing levels of violence in order to create space for political progress — the Iraqi government remained unwilling or unable to do its part.
She has the goal of the 'surge' correct -- she fails to note that's Barack's current strategy as well (bombs are being dropped to buy time).
But this nonsense of 'set a date of Dec. 31' blah blah.
She just might be stupid enough to know nothing about the UN mandate that existed prior to the SOFA. The UN mandate covered the occupation of Iraq by all foreign countries. It was a yearly mandate. Once Nouri became prime minister -- Nouri al-Maliki -- he faced extreme criticism over renewing the mandate. For 2007, the Iraqi Parliament was in an uproar that they had not been consulted.
Nouri swore they would be the next time.
But when the 2007 mandate was expiring and a 2008 one was needed, Nouri bypassed them again creating another huge uproar.
The SOFA replaces the UN mandate (for the US, the UK had to -- and did -- negotiate their own agreement) and the point of the SOFA was to allow Nouri to escape the yearly slams by the Parliament. This was done by doing a three year agreement for the occupation forces (US only in the SOFA) as opposed to the yearly one that the UN mandate had gone with.
The SOFA was not intended to be the last word.
Not by Bully Boy Bush, not by Barack.
And here's Barack speaking about it on June 19, 2014:
Q Just very quickly, do you wish you had left a residual force in Iraq? Any regrets about that decision in 2011?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, keep in mind that wasn’t a decision made by me; that was a decision made by the Iraqi government. We offered a modest residual force to help continue to train and advise Iraqi security forces. We had a core requirement which we require in any situation where we have U.S. troops overseas, and that is, is that they're provided immunity since they're being invited by the sovereign government there, so that if, for example, they end up acting in self-defense if they are attacked and find themselves in a tough situation, that they're not somehow hauled before a foreign court. That's a core requirement that we have for U.S. troop presence anywhere.
There's Barack admitting he attempted to keep US forces in Iraq longer.
So liars need to stop lying.
Now for this part:
Second, we must acknowledge our own role in giving rise to ISIS. Almost all of its higher-ups were members of Hussein's security forces, disbanded under the de-Baathification policy of the Bush administration. Set loose in society with arms, training and grievances, but no jobs or income, these sacked officers formed the core of the Iraqi insurgency. And it was in U.S.-run detention camps that terrorist leaders like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of ISIS, did their best recruiting.
Third, it is clear that leaving U.S. troops in for longer, or returning them now, would not essentially change the fundamentals of the conflict. ISIS and other extremist forces are expanding, not for lack of powerful enemies, but because those enemies are themselves so abhorrent. The repressive, violent and corrupt regimes in Syria and Iran are the chief antagonists and targets of ISIS. By inserting ourselves into this fight, we unavoidably strengthen the very regimes we find so repugnant and so threatening to U.S. interests in the region.
The role in giving rise to IS in Iraq has to do with Nouri's second term. That's not the Bully Boy Bush people. That's the 2010 election when the Iraqi people voted Nouri out but Barack refused to allow them to be heard and backed Nouri for a second term, backed Nouri for 8 months when Nouri refused to step down and had the US officials broker an agreement (The Erbil Agreement) that went around the Iraqi Constitution and the Iraqi people's vote to give Nouri a second term.
If you can't talk about that, you really shouldn't be talking at all.
On the third point, she's a liar again.
I don't support any US troops in Iraq.
But that's my opinion.
We'll go over the third point in the next Iraq snapshot because it's a long one.
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