The Iraq War is over! Or.. not. Again.

posted at 3:05 pm on November 30, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

So, the Iraq war is over at last. Or at least it will be on New Years Eve. Or so we were assured by the Commander in Chief not very long ago. Or… maybe not.

Remember when President Obama solemnly announced in October that he would keep his 2008 campaign promise and bring all U.S. troops home from Iraq? Never mind!

In a joint press appearance in Baghdad on Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki disclosed that the end of the eight-year U.S. military mission in Iraq, currently scheduled for December 31, will come with an asterisk. The fewer than 15,000 U.S. troops still in Iraq will indeed depart by then — only to have a smaller contingent of them welcomed back to Iraq later on, probably next year.

You know, when I heard that Uncle Joe was making a surprise trip to Baghdad, I foolishly assumed that he was just there to share a bit of turkey and cranberry sauce with the troops while they packed up their things. Who knew that he planned on hooking up some jumper cables and trying to get the war machine kicked back into gear? So what exactly does he think this is going to accomplish, and how does it change any of the factors on the ground which drove the original decision to bug out?

According to Maliki, whose public (and parliament) doesn’t want U.S. troops in Iraq any longer, there’s “no doubt the U.S. forces have a role in providing training of Iraqi forces.” That’s a big change, since it’s his government that’s the obstacle to a residual U.S. troop presence. Biden seized on that, and went further. Not only will the U.S. and Iraq maintain a “robust security relationship,” but they’ll head back to the negotiating table to work out a post-2011 role for U.S. troops, “including areas of training, intelligence and counterterrorism,” Biden declared.

Pardon my skepticism, but precisely how is that different from the original plan which fell apart this fall? (Aside from a few digits on the total troop numbers, anyway.) And what about the refusal to provide immunity and protection to our troops? Is that problem now solved? (And I don’t mean “solved” in that Maliki said something hopeful and nice about it. I mean something approved and written in stone at the required levels.)

Sounds like more of the same, only with the added expense of packing everyone out only to ship some of them back next year. Further, this just sounds like an unwarranted security risk. During the time we’re gone, who knows what forces will be up to what hijinks in the currently secured areas? Somebody has some serious explaining to do to the public before the ink is allowed to dry on any plan like this.

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Pardon my skepticism, but precisely how is that different from the original plan which fell apart this fall?

That’s easy. The original plan was inherited from the Bush administration, so it was fatally flawed. This plan, on the other hand, is genuine Democrat so it’s wonderful and fantastic.

Steven Den Beste on November 30, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Bumbling bafoons of the lowest caliber.

preallocated on November 30, 2011 at 3:17 PM

reality of Iran sinking in?

jp on November 30, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Somebody has some serious explaining to do to the public before the ink is allowed to dry on any plan like this.

If serious explaining is required, Joe Biden is certainly the man for the job.

Lily on November 30, 2011 at 3:21 PM

“Sounds like more of the same, only with the added expense of packing everyone out only to ship some of them back next year.”

Expense…?

… What is this ‘expense’ that you speak of?

Seven Percent Solution on November 30, 2011 at 3:25 PM

When the troops return is the mission going to be to police up the heads of the embassy personnel?

docflash on November 30, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Jazz, you’re making a seriously dangerous assumption…that Biden knows what the he!! he’s talking about.

Trafalgar on November 30, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Is “training” the new euphemism?

John the Libertarian on November 30, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Looks like Cain isn’t the ony one reassessing things.

fogw on November 30, 2011 at 4:21 PM

It’s more entertaining when it’s not your family with a crazy Uncle Joe.

shick on November 30, 2011 at 4:26 PM

..it’s still unpleasant for the rest of us families when crazy Uncle Joe has the keys.

shick on November 30, 2011 at 4:27 PM

More 2012 presidential race politics…Joe to the rescue, Joe & O gets re-elected in 2012, Joe & O pull the troops out in 2013.

albill on November 30, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Somebody has some serious explaining to do to the public before the ink is allowed to dry on any plan like this.

All just part of Barry’s “Smart Diplomacy”.

Just ask Joey.

GarandFan on November 30, 2011 at 5:17 PM

George Washington: “first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen”

Barak Obama: “incompetent in war, incompetent in peace, cursed in the hearts of his countrymen”

landlines on November 30, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Come on Jazz. This is a “Camel out of the tent, but nose under the tent” situation. The danger is that we will have to go back in in 2012. I think Iran is all in a kerfuffle: OK, America is mostly out, not all out (like Billy Crystal saying of Wesley in “The Princess Bride”: “No, he’s just mostly dead. There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead.” ) So Iran does what? Attack after 2 January 2012 and risk BHO looking foolish and having to rush troops back in after he takes them out thereby having a huge campaign point for the Repubs? Or if BHO loses, what will the new Repub President do? And of course, let’s not forget Israel as they look at but will not tolerate a nuclear Iran. If Israel attacks Iran, what does BHO do? How does that play out for Iraq? How does that play out in the region with BHO not exactly being Israel’s buddy?
Lots of potential moves on the chess board for a “Present” voting Commander in Chief.

Amendment X on November 30, 2011 at 6:42 PM

We need troops there for the next war….with Syria. And who the heck knows when Iran will flame up.

BryanS on December 1, 2011 at 1:20 AM