0 votes

Iraq: The Endless Occupation Obama's broken promise

Iraq: The Endless Occupation
Obama's broken promise

By Justin Raimondo

Keeping his campaign promises has not been Barack Obama’s strong point, as those who hoped the closing of Guantanamo would end a shameful chapter in American history have learnt to their sorrow: and surely those who hoped “change” meant a new era in American foreign policy have reason to be disappointed. As usual, on most issues Obama gave himself a lot of wiggle room, so that if a strategic shift were required he could dance around the contradiction with ease, but on one question he painted himself into a corner:

“Let me say this as plainly as I can: by August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end.”

He said that, not only during the campaign, but in a speech at Camp Lejeune last year. However, it looks like his administration is preparing to backtrack, as the Guardian reports:

“The White House is likely to delay the withdrawal of the first large phase of combat troops from Iraq for at least a month after escalating bloodshed and political instability in the country. … The withdrawal order is eagerly awaited by the 92,000 US troops still in Iraq – they mostly remain confined to their bases. This month Odierno was supposed to have ordered the pullout of 12,500, a figure that was meant to escalate every week between now and 31 August, when only 50,000 US troops are set to remain – all of them non-combat forces.”

Odierno’s order, however, has yet to be issued, and the likelihood it will be postponed indefinitely is rising.

With a complicit Democratic majority in Congress, and a Republican minority all too eager to keep us bogged down in Iraq until Kingdom come, no one is holding the Obama administration accountable – and the American public, which never hears anything about Iraq in the “mainstream” media, doesn’t even know what’s happening. They voted for Obama, in the Democratic primaries and the general election, in large part because he promised to end the war. That he now appears to be reneging on his firm pledge comes as no surprise to us foreign policy mavens, never mind observers of the Obama Method – which is to strike an angular stance, and then come up with all sorts of convincing reasons for abandoning his position.

To the majority of Americans, however, the pledge to get out of Iraq is carved in stone, and the only way to erase it is to shatter the tablet on which the President’s electoral mandate is written.

What the Democrats are counting on is the complicity of the “opposition” party, which is not going to make Iraq an election year issue — except insofar as they see it as a “model” for how to win the war in Afghanistan. The administration is also counting on the silence of the “antiwar” left, in congress and at the grassroots, simply because these forces – easily bought off, and/or intimidated – haven’t given them any reason to worry in the past.

The excuse being given is that, while the “surge” supposedly worked like a charm, the political component has so far eluded Iraqi stakeholders, and so it would be “premature” to leave before the job is done. But what, exactly, is this job we’re supposed to have agreed to do: and, by the way, whatever happened to “Mission accomplished”?

Continue reading: http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2010/05/13/iraq-the-endle...