Sunday, November 13, 2005

Goalposts, Updated

The latest set, as reported by the AP:
British troops could leave Iraq by the end of 2006, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said in a television interview to be broadcast on Sunday. Britain's top soldier said this timetable was well within the realm of possibility.

Talabani said Iraqi troops should be ready to take over from British forces in the southern provinces around Basra by the end of next year, adding no Iraqis wanted foreign troops to remain indefinitely in their country.

But he warned that an immediate withdrawal of U.S.-led forces would be a catastrophe for Iraq and would lead to civil war, with harmful consequences for the entire Middle East.

"We don't want British forces forever in Iraq. Within one year I think at the end of 2006 Iraqi troops will be ready to replace British forces in the south," Talabani said in the interview with Jonathan Dimbleby for Independent Television. The station released details from the interview before it aired.

British army chief of staff Gen. Sir Mike Jackson, said Sunday that this timetable was "well within the range of what is realistically possible."

"The president has said that we could leave within year or so. I would agree we most certainly could. But it's a question of achieving the right conditions," Jackson told the British Broadcasting Corp.'s Sunday A.M. program.
So after a bad week for Blair, Talabani runs interference for him and hangs a carrot about a mile in front of the horse's nose. Gen. Jackson chimes in and helps the ruse, of course adding that "it's a question of achieving the right conditions" lest anyone remind him of this a year from now and ask whatever happened to that possible 2006 withdrawal.

This has been and will continue to be the pattern, both in the U.S. and the U.K. Take a look at some more goalposts here, and here as well. When public pressure builds after a particularly bad stretch of days either politically or militarily, the carrots and sugar cubes come out and "strong possibilities" are fed to the press---always with caveats about security, of course. Politicians playing politics with soldiers' lives? Perish the thought.

Anyone want to guess when "the right conditions" will exist and Iraq will be insurgent-free?

54 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since I'm approaching the arbitrary "Senior Status", my guess would be not in my lifetime. I suppose if we got a couple of intelligent/competent administrations it could happen a tad sooner. Of course, we'll be totally broke by then.

11/13/2005 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Jeremy said...

You've nailed it again. I'm just curious now as to how long the public allows this obscene charade continues with such blatant lies being foisted.

11/13/2005 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As we know, those "right conditions" will never exist.

But I don't think that matters; we'll ever leave Iraq. They want a permanent presence to influence natural resources and development. The only way we'll leave is if enough people demand it and then elect the right people. Remember what Rumsfeld said about old irrelevant Europe and where the future lies.

11/13/2005 5:45 PM  
Blogger 277fia said...

No, I don't want to guess when Iraq will be insurgent-free.

I want the president to order the secretary of defense to ditch the snotty attitude and provide an intelligent and thoughtful analysis of long-range US military plans in Iraq to the American public.

After 3-1/2 years of war with no end, Americans are entitled to know the facts about whether the US is establishing permanent military bases in Iraq.

The US reportedly is spending billions of tax dollars to build one of the largest, if not the largest, embassies in the world in Baghdad.

Establishing the parameters of the US occupation of Iraq will go a long way to helping everyone understand the nature of the commitment the US has made to the Iraqi people.

BTW, Mrs Panstreppon is compiling information about Tom DeLay's charities at the TPM Cafe in the Auction House post entitled "Protection Money, Part II".

The NY Times reported that Jack Abramoff, in an email, wrote that Tom DeLay asked him to raise money through Abramoff's "charity", Capital Athletic Foundation.

The Capital Athletic Foundation donated $25,000 to the DeLay Foundation For Kids in 2003. The Capital Athletic Foundation's IRS 990s show deposits and disbursements of cash to Abramoff-controlled entities.

DeLay tried to fund a new charity, Celebration For Children, by hitting on attendees at the Republican National Convention in 2004. He was publicly shamed into shutting it down.

The Delay Foundation for Kids appears to be the primary sponsor of the Oaks At Rio Bend, another charity set up to provide housing for foster children.

The Oaks At Rio Bend changed its tax id number between fiscal 2002 and 2003. After the change, the Oaks At Rio Bend received its first significant donations in the form of cash,land and donated services.

I can spot a couple of opportunities for financial abuse.

What I don't know is whether there is an ordinary and usual benefit for a not-for-profit
to become an entirely new entity.

I am also interested in what mineral rights are and how they appreciate.

Given Mr. DeLay's demonstrated lack of regard for the rules governing charities, scrutinizing his charitable activities is in the public interest, imo.

11/14/2005 3:06 AM  
Blogger The Ignorant Investor said...

I think you're misreading the significance here. The Brits cover the shiite areas down south. The Brits have begun to have difficulties with shiites, so this can be seen as the shiite-dominated government telling the Brits, "We don't want you meddling bastards around here any more." Goodbye, Brits. Hello, Iran.

Up north in Sunni country is a different story. There the Shiites in the government need the U.S. forces to clamp down on Sunni insurgents.

11/14/2005 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt conditions in Irqa will be the only much less the most important aspect of ending a US committment or dialing down the US committment. I say 2006 mid-term elections and the 2008 presidential election will be more important.

11/14/2005 4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, we have all heard of Pandoras Box and it has come home to roost with a vengance.

Bush will fight to his last breath the withdrawel from Iraq, but I think he will loose. Also he nice and sve behind the secret service, and none of his family is in danger and the other poor americans in uniform don't count.

THE REASON: The military will have to leave because without a draft it will be broken sooner rather than later, and that without even considering the obscene higth of the military budget.

We are slowly bleeding to death, and if we want to survive as an international power we have to stop the bleeding - that means lower the military budget and reduce our presence to such a point that we might as well totally leave. As long as 1 soldier remains behind they will go after him.

11/14/2005 5:41 PM  
Anonymous thirdeye said...

The insurgents use the words "America" and "Israel" in the same sentence. America won't surrender Israel and will be forced to stay in the Middle East until the insurgents no longer want to destroy Israel. The big question is whether that can happen before hell freezes...

11/14/2005 5:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But, but --- are we safer?

According to the 9/11 commission, we are no safer today that 9/10/01.

“Although President George W. Bush has called weapons proliferation the country’s most serious threat and al Qaeda has sought nuclear arms for a decade, ‘the most striking thing to us is that the size of the problem still totally dwarfs the policy response,’ said commission chairman Thomas Kean.”

So much money spent, and so little to show for it..

Is this something new, private citizens offering bounties: Oprah gives $100k bounty to anyone that catches a child molester; Bruce Willis offers a bounty of $1M to anyone that catches one of the top 3 terrorists (#1 is bin laden).

11/14/2005 6:02 PM  
Blogger Mark Jones said...

Let's see, when have the "right conditions" come into play in South Korea? How long have U.S. troops been stationed there? The geopolitical situation in S. Korea and Iraq are, of course, totally different. But the concept is the same; the "right conditions" for U.S. troop withdrawl will never exist.

11/14/2005 10:17 PM  
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