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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Can we go home now?

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, July 5 in the AP:
Iraq's prime minister said Saturday that the government has defeated terrorism in the country, a sign of growing confidence after recent crackdowns against Sunni extremists and Shiite militias.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki launched the crackdowns to extend the authority of the government over areas in Baghdad and elsewhere that have largely been under the control of armed groups since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

"They were intending to besiege Baghdad and control it," al-Maliki said. "But thanks to the will of the tribes, security forces, army and all Iraqis, we defeated them."
Sudarsan Raghavan and Karen DeYoung reported on the front page of The Washington Post, July 8:
"The current trend is to reach an agreement on a memorandum of understanding either for the departure of the [US] forces or a memorandum of understanding to put a timetable on their withdrawal," Maliki said, according to a statement released by his office. "In all cases, the basis for any agreement will be respect for the full sovereignty of Iraq."
Also on the 8th, MSNBC reported this quote from Iraqi National Security advisor Mowaffaq al-Rubaie:
"We can't have a memorandum of understanding with foreign forces unless it has dates and clear horizons determining the departure of foreign forces. We're unambiguously talking about their departure," Rubaie said
Today's Post went even further:
Iraqi spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in Baghdad on Wednesday that a U.S. pullout could be completed in several years. "It can be 2011 or 2012," he said. "We don't have a specific date in mind, but we need to agree on the principle of setting a deadline."
One final point -- Democracy Arsenal reminds everyone that Senator McCain said 4 years ago that the US should leave Iraq if its government favors withdrawal.

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