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Iraq minus US

Al Arabiya has an article up detailing an interview with Iraq Deputy Parliament speaker Qusay al-Suhail, who is a political ally of Moqtada al-Sadr.  Al-Sadr has been a staunch believer that a complete withdraw of US troops at the end of 2011 was the only acceptable outcome, which fortuitously President Obama has now announced will be the case.  Al-Suhail explains his position that once the United States had completed its mission of removing Sadaam Hussein from power, it then became an occupying force imposing itself on Iraq.  He also suggests that the stress put upon Iraqi society by the invasion is what motivated so much strife and violence, which is not a behavior consistent with the Iraqi character.  Finally, he explains that Iran, while often accused of having undue influence on the new Iraq, is not as dominant as it is sometimes thought to be.

“Many countries in the region interfere in the Iraqi political scene and not just Iran and any delay in the formation of the government can be due to several factors related to some or any of those countries that influence Iraq’s internal affairs in one way or another.”

Many were surprised when President Obama announced that he wanted a complete withdraw from Iraq by the end of 2011.  My opinion is that there is little to be gained for Iraq by leaving 5-10,000 US troops behind, although I have no empirical evidence to defend my guesswork.  To me, it seems like an ambitious decision that trades short term ramifications for (hoped for) long term benefits.  What do you all think?  Is a complete withdraw the right decision, especially when its biggest proponents are in the Sadr political corner?


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