“President Bush has talked about our staying [in
Iraq] for 50 years, maybe 100. We’ve been in Japan for 60 years, in
South Korea for 50 years or so. That would be fine with me as long as
Americans are not being injured or harmed or killed."
Republican presidential candidate, John McCain in New Hampshire, January 2008.
As for the Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton who voted in 2002 to authorize the illegal invasion of Irak refuses to set a timetable for the withdrawal of American troups, even by 2013. As for Obama, he has never called for a total withdrawal. Yet, in January 2007 he introduced legislation inviting to a phased withdrawal.
In 2004, the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546 stipulated that “by 30 June 2004, the occupation will end and the Coalition Provisional Authority will cease to exist, and that Iraq will reassert its full sovereignty.” However, the successive Irakian prime ministers have requested a renewal of the mandate for the United Nations multilateral force. Last January, Iraqi defense minister Abdul Qadir Jasim al-Obeidi, declared that his country would not be able to guarantee internal security before 2012 and its external frontiers before 2018. Jasim al-Obeidi, a Sunni Arab, is a former general in the army of Saddam Hussein; he was sentenced to jail for opposing the Koweit invasion. As a career armor officer, he commanded Iraqi troops who fought alongside Marine Corps forces during the battle for Falluja in 2004.
Two years ago, Iraq put up billions of dollars of its own money to buy U.S.-made weapons, but these weapons have yet to reach those Iraqi soldiers battling it out on the frontlines of the insurgency. According to a congressional testimony by Donald Rumsfeld in July 2003, the occupation phase in Iraq is costing the U.S. $ 3.99 billion a month. The total number of American soldiers killed is about 4,500 up to the end of April 208. That’s a death ratio of one American per 266 Iraqis.
As for the British troups, Gordon Brown’s pledge to reduce their numbers by a half this spring has never been kept.
Meanwhile, the dominant parties in the government and in those units of the security forces that battled their political rivals in Basra and elsewhere are the ones closest to Iran. The leadership of the Iraqi government regularly consults Iranian officials and is closer to Iran than any other element in Iraq today. American opinion leaders are blaming foreigners for U.S. failure in Iraq, and particularly Iran.
And now the next war?
President Bush called al Qaeda and Iran two of the greatest threats to America in the 21st century, John McCain sang about bombing Iran and Hillary Clinton recently threatened to "totally obliterate" Iran.
65% of the American population in the U.S. oppose the occupation, but the presidential campaign is presently drawing away from the issue.