Arab Sprung

World Wide Socialism: how’s that workin’ out for ya?

President Obama’s announcement on Friday that all American troops would leave Iraq by the end of the year

Wow. Lemme just take that in for a moment…

“All?” ….

In August, after debates between the Pentagon, the State Department and the White House, the Americans settled on the 3,000 to 5,000 number, which was reported in August. According to two people briefed on the matter, one inside the administration and one outside, the arguments of two White House officials, Thomas E. Donilon, the national security adviser, and his deputy, Denis McDonough, prevailed over those of the military.

Intelligence assessments that Iraq was not at great risk of slipping into chaos in the absence of American forces were a factor in the decision, an American official said.

The same “intelligence” that couldn’t find the WMD? Cuz, seriously, while the Iraqis might — in a perfect world where they would be left undisturbed by non-Iraqui forces — they might be able to reconstruct some semblance of a working country. But, glancing around, I see quite a few ‘outside forces’ drooling like starving jackals over an unguarded gem like Iraq. Maybe I’m just cynical.

…the Iraqi leadership quickly said publicly that they would not support legal protections for any American troops. Some American officials have privately said that pushing for that meeting — in essence forcing the Iraqis to take a public stand on such a controversial matter before working out the politics of presenting it to their constituents and to Parliament — was a severe tactical mistake that ended any possibility of keeping American troops here past December.

Smart Diplomacy™

Yet, given those conditions, the decision to remove all troops is the only one that could be made.

Shortly after Mr. Obama’s remarks, which were carried on Iraqi television, Gen. Babakir Zebari, the chief of staff of the Iraqi Army, who has said previously that Iraq’s security forces would need American help until 2020, said in a statement that the country still needed military trainers.

…Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta held out the possibility of keeping a small force of American military trainers in Iraq in the future, although there are no negotiations under way on numbers or a mission.

…Possibilities being discussed are for some troops to return in 2012, an option preferred by some Iraqi politicians who want to claim credit for ending what many here still call an occupation, even though legally it ended years ago. Other scenarios being discussed include offering training in the United States, in a nearby country such as Kuwait, or having some troops here under NATO auspices.


Besides — we got ….stuff to do in Uganda, anyway…

Oh. and this:

Arab politicians and financiers at the World Economic Forum in Jordan called on Saturday for a huge injection of cash to narrow the inequalities that led to the Arab Spring revolts against authoritarian regimes across the region.

…I am afraid that Arab Spring could turn into an autumn if the issue of social justice is not achieved. A Marshall Plan is needed,” said Hassan al-Boraei, Egypt’s labor minister.

The old model of relying on state employment and big projects is no longer viable,” Boraei said, adding that Egypt needed to find jobs for 950,000 people entering the workforce annually, with unemployment running at 12-17 percent.

US Sept. 2011 u6 unemployment rate: 16.5

“This region needs 85 million jobs … and a Marshall Plan with the help of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund has become a pre-requisite of development,” said Dabdoub, a Palestinian who heads the National Bank of Kuwait, the country’s biggest lender.

Whaaa? You want help/money from the infidels? Whadd’re you — #OccupySand

In recent years Arab states have tried to emulate the ‘Dubai model’, encouraging the setting up of big holding companies tied with the ruling hierarchy that were awarded privatization deals and embarked on large property ventures while public corruption deepened and unemployment remained stubbornly high.

Asked about his advice for Arab rulers, [Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad al-Thani] said: “Don’t fight to stay in your position. What sort of power (will) you have after killing your own people?”

Libya’s Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril was more skeptical about whether money alone would improve the region’s lot, saying “the problem of the Arab world is not a question of money but the management of money.”

There might — just miiiight — be some, oh, I dunno, Cultural Issues to work out, as well…


  1. Tom Smith
    Posted October 22, 2011 at 8:24 am |

    Gotta start making his friends on the left happy. Only 3 years late but he needs the votes

  2. DougM (jackassophobe)
    Posted October 22, 2011 at 10:20 am |

    The problem is always the same, and their solution is always to apply more of the problem: top-down economics.
    All state-run economic solutions will eventually fail; because they buy into the outcome-based fallacy (a “just” distribution), not free enterprise (a rising tide floats all boats).
    Also, there’s that pesky 21stC. hurdle … thing.

  3. ZZMike
    Posted October 22, 2011 at 12:25 pm |

    “Claire: connector of dots, etc.”

    Troops leave Iraq: great political move. Energize your base, which haas been grumbling for months because you didn’t pull them back a long time ago. Great cover story, though, about Iraq wanting them out.

    “… the country still needed military trainers.”

    Let’s think outside the box: if’n we can fly cruise missiles from halfway ’round the world (and sometimes hit the Other Guys), we certainly should be able to do teleconference-training (“teletraining”). (Of course, there’s nothing like a good ass-chewing in person by a motivated DI.)

    “… Arab politicians and financiers at the World Economic Forum in Jordan called on Saturday for a huge injection of cash …”

    If they’d just cut loose a few bushels of shekels for their oppressed, downtrodden Palestinian brothers, that situation would improve (just so long as there isn’t a Yasser Arafat to siphon off the top 99% of the cash).

    “… a Marshall Plan with the help of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund …”

    What hippocrites (a hippo being a large, unpleasant water animal). The House of Saud (among others) is sitting on gazillions of dollars worth of gold and oil and gold-plated AK-47s and God-knows-what-all. It’s your area, dudes, you clean it up.

  4. Colonel Jerry USMC
    Posted October 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm |

    Cash to illiterate Islam is like giving dynamite to teenage boys! (…in fact, it is EXACTLY LIKE…)

  5. Stick
    Posted October 22, 2011 at 4:13 pm |

    So after 9 years of blood and treasure, we leave because Muqtadā al-Ṣadr doesn’t want us there & numb-nuts fucking diplomacy cant neutralize one of three factions? Had him in Najaf & the politcal weenies let him off the hook. Should have blown up his mosque with him in it.

    My disgust over obama laying the dead & wounded patriots on the alter of a re-election is overwhelming. Damn him to Hell.

  6. dick not quite dead white guy
    Posted October 22, 2011 at 6:43 pm |

    What Stick said.
    The American OIC in Iraq should march his troops right thru Maliki’s palace and collect the bill for our services on the way out. And give Mookie green teeth a third eye.

  7. Andouille
    Posted October 22, 2011 at 6:49 pm |

    Wonderful news from Viet Nam Iraq, eh? It’s all over but the shooting.

  8. Spin
    Posted October 23, 2011 at 12:28 am |

    And chiming in as if on cue…

    Afghanistan would support Pakistan in case of military conflict between Pakistan and the United States, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in an interview to a private Pakistani TV channel broadcast on Saturday.

    Yet we’re remaining in that sand dungeon for the foreseeable future.

    And the real reason the Iraqis want us out is we will not allow them to prosecute American service members for war crimes. Once we’re gone the international community will help them in that respect though.

    Here’s the link to Karzai’s statement. Cation MSNBC cooties!