Should We Go Or Should We Stay?

The death ofm the Iranian general has had a flurry of statements and Tweets (mostly by Trump)….plus the SecState Pompeo on every Sunday news channel to regurgitate a pathetic clarification of what the attacks were all about and what we should do……

The usual chest thumping by Trump and the warhawks…..but the big news was the vote in the Iraqi Parliament…..

Iraq’s Parliament, the Council of Representatives (CoR), passed a non-binding resolution to cancel the request for military aid from the government of Iraq to the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition. The resolution does not require a U.S. withdrawal, which only the Prime Minister can order by rescinding the Status of Forces Agreement with the U.S. It is unclear whether caretaker Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mehdi has the authority to do so. The CoR resolution sets political conditions to justify subsequent Iranian proxy attacks on U.S. forces and installations, however. Nationalist Shi’a Cleric Muqtada al Sadr also called for the mobilization of new “resistance” groups to support such attacks.
 
Iraq’s parliament passed a non-binding resolution rejecting the presence of U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. 172 members of the Iraqi Council of Representatives (CoR) convened on Sunday, January 5 in an “extraordinary session” to discuss the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian IRGC Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi Popular Mobilization Committee Deputy Chief and Kata’ib Hezbollah commander Abu Mehdi al-Muhandis on January 3, 2020. Kurdish political parties boycotted the session, as did many Sunni political parties. Caretaker Prime Minister (PM) Adel Abdul Mehdi submitted the resolution. It passed with 170 votes.
 
The resolution does not require an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces. The CoR’s resolution asks the Government of Iraq (GoI) to cancel the 2014 military aid request from the GoI to coalition forces. The resolution does not explicitly ask the GoI to revoke the State of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the U.S. and Iraq. It does, however, say the GoI “must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason.” It also calls on the Iraqi government to establish a timetable for the withdrawal of all foreign troops. The CoR cannot itself cancel the 2014 request for coalition support or the SOFA, which requires executive action from the PM. It is unclear if PM Mehdi has the legal authority to do so given his status as a caretaker PM. Mehdi resigned on November 29, 2019 during mass protests.
 
Nationalist Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr may participate in attacks on US forces and installations. The leader of Sadr’s Toward Reform bloc issued a statement to the CoR on Sadr’s behalf that included demands for an even greater response. In addition to withdrawing from U.S. security agreements, Sadr called for the immediate closure of the “Embassy of American Evil in Iraq,” the closure of U.S. bases in the country, the “humiliating expulsion” of U.S. troops, the “criminalization” of any communication with the U.S. government, and the boycott of American products. In a tweet following the session, Sadr condemned the CoR resolution as insufficient and called on “the Iraqi resistance factions in particular and the factions outside of Iraq for an immediate meeting to announce the formation of “international resistance groups.”
 
Implications: This resolution renders the maintenance of a U.S. or coalition military presence in Iraq politically difficult but does not yet legally require a U.S. withdrawal. However, it solidifies the Iranian narrative of a U.S. “occupation” of Iraq and sets political conditions to justify subsequent attacks on U.S. forces across the Middle East. These escalations will likely come not only from Iran’s direct proxy militias, but also from a pan-Shi’a resistance movement that Muqtada al-Sadr is now attempting to generate. The Iraqi Security Forces have up until this point depended on coalition military support to sustain pressure on the Islamic State (ISIS). Any withdrawal of coalition forces from Iraq offers ISIS increased freedom of movement and improves conditions for ISIS to reconstitute itself inside of Iraq and Syria.
Iraq wants the US to leave and yet we say “no way”…….what part of that is anything but an authoritarian approach to the situation?
 
That said let’s return to SecState Pompeo and his performance on the Sunday talk shows…..

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hit the Sunday talk-show circuit and blamed the entire Iran crisis on former President Obama, USA Today reports. “We’re trying to correct for what was the Obama administration’s appeasement of Iran,” Pompeo said on ABC News’ This Week, after President Trump ordered the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, sparking protests in Iran and threats of retaliation. “This is a regime that has been acting against America for an awfully long time. And we are suffering from eight years of neglect and we’re trying to push it back. We’re trying to contain them.” Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, he referred to the current conflict as a “war,” saying “this war kicked off” when Obama and the European Union signed its nuclear deal with Iran. For more:

  • ‘BS’: “This is BS from Pompeo,” tweeted former Obama adviser Ben Rhodes. “This isn’t a ‘both sides argue’ issue, it’s about facts: Iran was complying with deal that rolled back nuke program and there were 0 rocket attacks on US interests in Iraq during that time. Trump pulled out and Iran resumed nuke program and rocket attacks.”
  • ‘Endless war’: “I really worry that the actions the president took will get us into what he calls another ‘endless war’ in the Middle East,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) on This Week, per the Washington Post. “He promised we wouldn’t have that. And I think we’re closer to that now because of his actions.”
  • ‘Act of war’: “Let’s not mince words: the assassination of Qasem Soleimani was an act of war undertaken without Congressional authorization,” write Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Barbara Lee (D-Texas) in a statement, per KSTP. “…We in Congress must exercise our Constitutional duty—and do everything in our power to stop another disastrous war.”
  • In his defense: Trump “is not saying, ‘Congress, I need 100,000 American troops to invade Iran.’ That’s why all this talk about war powers and congressional authority is so silly,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) on CBS’s Face the Nation, per the Sun-Sentinel. “The president’s not talking about invading Iran. He’s talking about responding to anything Iran may do in the future.”
  • More Pompeo: “Endless wars are the direct result of weakness,” Pompeo said on Fox News Sunday, per RealClearPolitics. “And President Trump will never let that happen. We’re going to get it right.”

So much spin…like the attack will prevent a war……Trump will never let our wars become endless……two examples of manure spreading.

Sorry but targeting cultural sites is targeting civilians….is they what them US has come to?  If so then we are no better than some of the “terrorists” we are supposedly fighting.

All this chaos is looking like “amateur hour” foreign policy.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

2 thoughts on “Should We Go Or Should We Stay?

  1. The US is supposed to be there by invitation. If that is withdrawn, then they are only a foreign army of occupation. (Similar arguments were used by the US against the Soviet presence in Afghanistan)
    Best wishes, Pete.

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