Jul 27 2005

Iraq Standing Up, US Standing Down

Published by at 4:23 pm under All General Discussions,Iraq

The stories coming out of Iraq prior to the unvieling of their constitution in under 3 weeks time predicts a major shift coming. The news will not be one of endless bombings by dead ender hudlums. It will be of the phoenix rising from the ashes of Iraw 30 years in the making. The first sign was Iraq’s return to the ME-Arab stage as a major player as seen
and here.

Then came these announcements from Iraq and the US Coalition on the coming changing of the gaurd. From the Iraqis:

Iraq’s transitional prime minister called Wednesday for a speedy withdrawal of U.S. troops and the top U.S. commander here said he believed a “fairly substantial” pullout could begin next spring and summer.

Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said at a joint news conference with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that the time has arrived to plan a coordinated transition from American to Iraqi military control throughout the country.

Asked how soon a U.S. withdrawal should happen, he said no exact timetable had been set. “But we confirm and we desire speed in that regard,” he said, speaking through a translator. “And this fast pace has two aspects.”

First, there must be a quickening of the pace of U.S. training of Iraqi security forces, and second there must be closely coordinated planning between the U.S.-led military coalition and the emerging Iraq government on a security transition, he said.

“We do not want to be surprised by a withdrawal that is not in connection with our Iraqi timing,”‘ he said.

In other words, liberals of the world be quiet, we will decide when. And then the US statement:

The United States hopes to sharply reduce its forces in Iraq within the next year, its top commander on the ground said on Wednesday.

“I do believe that if the political process continues to go positively, if the developments with the (Iraqi) security forces continue to go as it is going, I do believe we will still be able to make fairly substantial reductions after these elections — in the spring and summer of next year,” General George Casey said at a briefing with visiting Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Iraq is scheduled to hold two elections in the coming months: a referendum on a new constitution in October and an election for a new leader in December.

This is not really news. We posted earlier on the fact that a majority of provinces are ready for handover now. What is good is that the Iraqi and US government are seeing indications that make them feel comfortable coming out on the record. Fingers crossed for a new era in the ME.

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