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Posts Tagged ‘Iraq reconstruction

If the Shoe Fits – Throw It at the Occupier

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george missed the point, as usual

george missed the point, as usual

In 2003 the press made a big hoo hah about the fact that it was a deep insult in Iraq to toss ones shoes at the object of derision. It was around the time the mission was “accomplished” and a toppled statue of Saddam was being dragged around being pelted with shoes by the incensed (and relieved) citizenry. Five and a half years later, at the other end of that war, and flying shoes have once again hit the headlines in Iraq. With Saddam long gone, the proud recipient of the double shoe-toss was the man responsible for ousting aforesaid dictator. President Bush.

Shouted the size-ten shoe-tosser in Arabic, identified as Muntadar al-Zeidi, a correspondent for Al-Baghdadia television, an Iraqi-owned station based in Cairo, “This is a farewell kiss, you dog!”

That’s gratitude for ya. Read the rest of this entry »

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Obama and Iraq – Now Comes The Hard Part.

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04/24/95_15.58_SAIGONViet Nam

saigon 1975. will it be different when we leave Iraq?

Ivan Watson, NPR’s Baghdad Correspondent was the target of an assassination attempt today when he and his team were nearly killed by a car bomb. And in recent weeks there has clearly been a spike in violence in Iraq. Let nobody say that the situation that war-torn country is anything close to peaceful.

And yet the next President is going to withdraw our troops. Not in victory, or in defeat, but ‘believing’ and ‘hoping’ that peace will break out when we’re gone. That’s a bet many wouldn’t make.

Obama staked his early rise to prominence on a speedy withdrawal from Iraq, and superficially, facts on the ground seem to bear him out. He’s committed to a “safe and responsible” withdrawal of US troops around sixteen months from taking office. He has the support of the Maliki government, and the vast majority of the Iraqi people want us gone. The Status of Forces agreement which mandates our withdrawal by the end of 2001 also provides us with some political cover too.

So what’s the problem? Simple. When we leave, there is simply no way we won’t be leaving a power vacuum in Iraq. Read the rest of this entry »