Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Conditions? What conditions?

Dear Gentle Reader(s), the following quotes are taken from the print edition of Riverside, California's, The Press-Enterprise (Page A1 July 9, 2008)They are from an AP article written by Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Segastian Abbot.

It seems there's a sort of disconnect between The White House and the Iraqi government regarding the current negotiations of SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement).  Here's a quote from Mouwaffak al-Rubaie, Iraq's national security advisor, "We will not accept any memorandum of understanding that doesn't have specific dates to withdraw foreign forces from Iraq." 

Here's a quote from Gonzalo Gallegos, of the U.S. State Department,"We want to withdraw.  We will withdraw.l  However, that decision will be conditions-based.  We're looking at conditions, not calendars, here."

Abdoul-Zarha and Abbot include, "The White House said Monday it did not believe Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was proposing a rigid timeline for U.S. troop withdrawals."

One must ask, what is the difference between "specific dates" and "rigid timeline?"

And why isn't something to the effect of the Iraqi government wants us out by a specific date a condition which should be factored into the equation?

Doubtless al-Maliki is hanging tough to improve his bargaining position, but it's beginning to sound like the White House wants to hang around Iraq longer than the Iraqis want us to hang around.

Sort of like they're telling us, DGR(s), "Thanks for getting rid of Saddam for us.  We couldn't've done it without you--at least not for a generation or two, but now we'd just as soon you left and let us get on with the business of sectarian cleansing."

Trust, but verify.  (Even though trust is more and more difficult every day.)

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