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LAKERMANIA
08-25-2008, 04:53 PM
BAGHDAD - Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki dug in his heels Monday on the future of the U.S. military in Iraq, insisting that all foreign soldiers leave the country by a specific date in 2011 and rejecting legal immunity for American troops.

Despite the tough words, al-Maliki's aides insisted a compromise could be found on the two main stumbling blocks to an accord governing the U.S. military presence in Iraq after a United Nations mandate expires at the end of the year.

Last week, U.S. and Iraqi officials said the two sides agreed tentatively to a schedule that includes a broad pullout of combat troops by the end of 2011 with the possibility that a residual U.S. force might stay behind to continue training and advising Iraqi security services.

But al-Maliki's remarks indicated his government was not satisfied with that arrangement and wants all foreign troops gone by the end of 2011.

That cast doubt on whether an agreement is near and suggested al-Maliki is playing to a domestic audience frustrated by the war and eager for an end to the foreign military presence.

"There can be no treaty or agreement except on the basis of Iraq's full sovereignty," al-Maliki told a gathering of Shiite tribal sheiks. He said an accord must be based on the principle that "no foreign soldier remains in Iraq after a specific deadline, not an open time frame."

Al-Maliki said the U.S. and Iraq had already agreed on a full withdrawal of all foreign troops by the end of 2011 an interpretation that the White House challenged. Until then, the U.S. would not conduct military operations "without the approval" of the Iraqi government, al-Maliki said.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said negotiations with the Iraqis were continuing and repeated the U.S. position that the withdrawal must be linked to conditions in Iraq a clear difference with al-Maliki's interpretation of what had been agreed.

"Any decisions on troops will be based on the conditions on the ground in Iraq. That has always been our position and continues to be our position," Fratto said Monday in Crawford, Texas. "There is no agreement until there is an agreement signed."

Fratto said the U.S. was "optimistic that Iraq and the U.S. can reach a mutual agreement on flexible goals" and allow "Iraqi forces to provide security for a sovereign Iraq."

President Bush has long resisted a timetable for removing troops from Iraq, even under strong pressure from an American public distressed by U.S. deaths and discouraged by the length of the war that began in 2003.

Last month, however, Bush reversed course and agreed to set a "general time horizon" for bringing troops home, based on Iraq's ability to provide for its own security. But the Iraqis insisted they want a specific schedule.

"We find this to be too vague," a close al-Maliki aide told The Associated Press on Monday. "We don't want the phrase 'time horizons.' We are not comfortable with that phrase," said the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations.

Another top al-Maliki aide, also speaking on condition of anonymity for the same reason, said the Iraqi government had "stopped talking about the withdrawal of combat troops. We just talk about withdrawals," including trainers and logistics troops.

U.S. and Iraqi officials said last week they had agreed to remove American combat troops from Iraq's cities by next June, withdrawing to bases where they could be summoned if necessary. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, but the plan appeared in line with a U.S. strategy to turn urban security over to Iraqi police.

During his Monday address, al-Maliki also suggested the question of legal immunity for U.S. military personnel or contractors remains a sticking point in the negotiations.

The draft agreement provides that private U.S. contractors would be subject to Iraqi law but the Americans are holding firm that U.S. troops would remain subject exclusively to U.S. legal jurisdiction. The U.S. has ruled out allowing American soldiers to face trial in Iraqi courts.

But al-Maliki said his country could not grant "open immunity" to Iraqis or foreigners because that would be tantamount to a violating the "sanctity of Iraqi blood." He did not elaborate.

One of the al-Maliki aides said he believed language could be found to overcome differences over the withdrawal schedule but immunity was a tougher issue to resolve.

U.S. officials in Washington have privately expressed frustration over the Iraqi stand in the negotiations, which were supposed to have ended by July 31. The agreement must be approved by Iraq's factious 275-member parliament, where opposition to a deal is strong.

It appeared al-Maliki was seeking to bolster his nationalist credentials ahead of provincial elections late this year and a national ballot in 2009.

Al-Maliki's Shiite allies face a strong challenge from followers of anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, long an opponent of the U.S. presence. The prime minister's strong statements in support of an end to immunity and for a firm withdrawal timetable would make it difficult for him to accept an agreement that falls short of his public demands.

In violence Monday, an American soldier was mortally wounded in a shooting attack on his foot patrol in north Baghdad, the U.S. military said. An Associated Press tally shows at least 4,147 U.S. military personnel have died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003.

Kind of a long article, but it is a good read.. Its good to see that Iraqi "officials" are finally starting to step up

blenderboy5
08-25-2008, 05:24 PM
Eh, he's just playing politics like everyone else. It's not going to happen, even if the messiah wins.

PHX-SOXFAN
08-26-2008, 06:59 PM
interesting that he's adopting the obama plan just like McCain

ink
08-26-2008, 07:11 PM
Isn't that the whole point anyway? Shouldn't the Iraqi democracy be making its own decisions?

Doc Fluty
08-26-2008, 07:34 PM
interesting that he's adopting the obama plan just like McCain


Mr Obama would cap troop numbers in Iraq at around 130,000, the level that existed in early January when the president announced another 21,500 more troops for Iraq.

His bill would require troops to start returning to the US in May and all combat forces to be back by March 31 2008.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/jan/31/usa.iraq

and please notice this from the ultra-liberal LA Times



A funny thing happened over on the Barack Obama campaign website in the last few days.

The parts that stressed his opposition to the 2007 troop surge and his statement that more troops would make no difference in a civil war have somehow disappeared.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/07/obama-surge.html


question: Knowing what you know now, would you support the surge?”

Obama’s answer was, “No.”

This must surely rank as among the most misinformed, ideological, and reckless statements by a presidential candidate in modern times.

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/wehner/17211

Obama wanted out of Iraq over a year ago.. he wanted to cut and run and leave the country in ruins.

he opposed the surge even AFTER it worked and now the country is in a position to handle itself...

now he wants a withdrawal in aug 2008 that is "consistent with whats on the ground"

same as mccain always said.. even years ago!!!!!!!!!

but somehow this was obamas all along?

BULL#$IT

obama wanted out.. period... no timeline... no lets see whats on the ground.. he wanted out over a year and a half ago.... and agai... those are facts you cant spin

PHX-SOXFAN
08-26-2008, 08:05 PM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/jan/31/usa.iraq

and please notice this from the ultra-liberal LA Times




http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/07/obama-surge.html



http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/wehner/17211

Obama wanted out of Iraq over a year ago.. he wanted to cut and run and leave the country in ruins.

he opposed the surge even AFTER it worked and now the country is in a position to handle itself...

now he wants a withdrawal in aug 2008 that is "consistent with whats on the ground"

same as mccain always said.. even years ago!!!!!!!!!

but somehow this was obamas all along?

BULL#$IT

obama wanted out.. period... no timeline... no lets see whats on the ground.. he wanted out over a year and a half ago.... and agai... those are facts you cant spin

obama said we shouldn't go to Iraq, he was right. Obama wanted a timetable, so does everyone else now. Fact:clap:

Doc Fluty
08-26-2008, 08:19 PM
oh my god PHX... you kill me

WERE TALKING ABOUT A TIMETABLE TO LEAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


you said.........
interesting that he's adopting the obama plan just like McCain
were not talking about who voted for it...

OBAMA WANTED TO LEAVE OVER A YEAR AGO... he didnt want a timetable.. he wanted out the next day...

once he learned how stupid he was he invented a "timetable" that is supported by conditions on the ground...

THE SAME THING MCCAIN ALWAYS SAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OBAMA WAS WRONG ABOUT THE SURGE.... THATS THE POINT OF THIS..

ink
08-26-2008, 08:39 PM
oh my god PHX... you kill me

WERE TALKING ABOUT A TIMETABLE TO LEAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


you said.........
were not talking about who voted for it...

OBAMA WANTED TO LEAVE OVER A YEAR AGO... he didnt want a timetable.. he wanted out the next day...

once he learned how stupid he was he invented a "timetable" that is supported by conditions on the ground...

THE SAME THING MCCAIN ALWAYS SAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OBAMA WAS WRONG ABOUT THE SURGE.... THATS THE POINT OF THIS..

Seems like you're confusing a few different issues. The surge and the withdrawal are not the same thing.

Doc Fluty
08-26-2008, 10:19 PM
ok ink...

PHX made the point that mccain is following obamas "idea" of a timed withdrawal... same as Iraqis are wanting now.

my point was that originally obama didn't want a timed withdrawal.. he wanted out the following week over a year ago...that he didnt support the surge.. and even now that it has succeeded wont admit it was a good idea.

it wasnt until people around him told him that immediate troop pullout just wasn't possible.. and that he saw the surge working did he change his mind and go with the whole "timed withdrawal" thingy...

mccain was saying that for years... thats where the whole "100 year war" thing came from.. mccain was talking about pulling out at the right time.. not just cutting and running in defeat Obama like wanted and pushed for

i hope that cleared it up

blenderboy5
08-26-2008, 10:28 PM
1) Both McCain and Obama changed their position on the war. They both became more centrist, McCain agreeing to pull out and Obama agreeing to look at the ground conditions.

2) Like most democrats, Obama was dead wrong on the surge. Bordering on hurting America big time wrong. And until he admits that frankly to the American people, he shouldn't get the Oval office.

PHX-SOXFAN
08-27-2008, 10:59 AM
1) Both McCain and Obama changed their position on the war. They both became more centrist, McCain agreeing to pull out and Obama agreeing to look at the ground conditions.

2) Like most democrats, Obama was dead wrong on the surge. Bordering on hurting America big time wrong. And until he admits that frankly to the American people, he shouldn't get the Oval office.

being wrong on the surge is so minor compared to being wrong about getting involved in an unnecessary war in which the sanctions were shown to be working. I'd rather have the guy who was right on decision 1, as opposed to the guy who was wrong on decision 1,2,3,4,5,6, then right on #7.:speechless:

and by "bordering on hurting america bigtime", do you mean actually hurting america bigtime by allocating money, resources, and lives to an unnecessary war?

blenderboy5
08-27-2008, 11:45 AM
Let's be serious for a second. Even the people against the war in the beginning believed Saddam had WMD's. I don't know if that's a Rush talking point or not, but it's the truth.

And no, it's worse. By opposing the surge Obama wanted us out of Iraq sooner. When it would have left us, our interests, Iraq, and Iraq's interest in a worse state than they are today.

PHX-SOXFAN
08-27-2008, 11:49 AM
Let's be serious for a second. Even the people against the war in the beginning believed Saddam had WMD's. I don't know if that's a Rush talking point or not, but it's the truth.

And no, it's worse. By opposing the surge Obama wanted us out of Iraq sooner. When it would have left us, our interests, Iraq, and Iraq's interest in a worse state than they are today.

I seriously doubted this administration, their "intelligence", the marketing, etc. AS did many others against the war. Furthermore there are a large number of people who saw the sanctions at work and were shown to be right during the invasion with the fragile country that was invaded.

going to war that is unnecessary and proven to be completely wrong, getting people killed, dumping resources and money into something unecessary is waaay worse than being wrong on a strategy after the fact.

Bush, Cheney and McCain backed the Rummy plan at the beginning and ignored Powell, that's worse than being wrong on the surge.:speechless: so don't act like these clowns are strategic geniuses when they ignored the expert and sent him packing for disagreeing with their idiotic plan.

God I love the Powell argument, it's indefensible by conservatives that their shining military mind was ignored, right, and admits the facts.

blenderboy5
08-27-2008, 12:16 PM
This is the issue with libs. I never know if I'm defending McCain, Rummy, Haliburton, Bush, or even Reagan. How about we stick with one argument for 2008.

Based on the positive campaigning coming from the left, we know that McCain is Bush's love child. So let's stick with McCain vs Obama.

Obama was wrong on the surge. McCain, like most people, believed the intelligence and voted for the war. Had Obama's vote actually counted I imagine he would have voted for the war too. It would have been politically bad to vote against it. Fact (:D)

ari1013
08-27-2008, 12:36 PM
This is the issue with libs. I never know if I'm defending McCain, Rummy, Haliburton, Bush, or even Reagan. How about we stick with one argument for 2008.

Based on the positive campaigning coming from the left, we know that McCain is Bush's love child. So let's stick with McCain vs Obama.

Obama was wrong on the surge. McCain, like most people, believed the intelligence and voted for the war. Had Obama's vote actually counted I imagine he would have voted for the war too. It would have been politically bad to vote against it. Fact (:D)
I don't believe that anyone who voted against the war in the Senate lost their seat in the next cycle.

PHX-SOXFAN
08-27-2008, 01:05 PM
I don't believe that anyone who voted against the war in the Senate lost their seat in the next cycle.

quite true. many who voted for it did in fact lose their seat, so it did turn out to be bad. It also turned out bad for Hillary in her primary defeat. People don't like being lied to and they like those who stand up in the minority view and turn out to be correct. It's tougher to be in the minority opinion of a tough decision. It makes it much easier and much better for your credibility when history proves you right.

blenderboy5
08-27-2008, 07:21 PM
I don't believe that anyone who voted against the war in the Senate lost their seat in the next cycle.

Yes. Because 2004 the War in Iraq was less popular and there were no WMDs. But if, as a politician, you believed Iraq had WMDs and had no way of knowing none would be found it would have been politically bad to vote No.

ari1013
08-27-2008, 07:42 PM
Yes. Because 2004 the War in Iraq was less popular and there were no WMDs. But if, as a politician, you believed Iraq had WMDs and had no way of knowing none would be found it would have been politically bad to vote No.
At the same time, Bush won by a larger margin, and the Republicans gained control of every branch of the Federal Government.

blenderboy5
08-27-2008, 09:18 PM
Because the election wasn't just about Iraq, right? I mean they tried to turn it into one but look at the clown the DNC ran.

ari1013
08-27-2008, 11:06 PM
Because the election wasn't just about Iraq, right? I mean they tried to turn it into one but look at the clown the DNC ran.
And so? Even with that the Dems who voted against the war kept their seats.