In yet another sign that the Obama Administration’s “pullout” timeline for Iraq is not set in stone, General Ray Odierno told The Times today that US combat troops may remain in Iraq’s cities beyond the June 30 deadline mandated by the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). He pointed to increased trouble from al-Qaeda as the justification.
I keep saying the Obama plan for Iraq is identical to the Bush plan. Bush always promised a withdrawal sometime off in the future. Under Bush, we were told that we had to have all these troops there, but only until some 'milestone' came along. Elections, constitution, parliment ... the milestone kept changing, but the message was always the same. Keep the troops there now, but we'll withdraw in a year or so.
That's exactly the 'plan' Obama announced. That we have to keep all of these troops there until the national elections occurred. But, then we'll start to withdraw.
Except now, with the ink not even dry on the plan Obama announced a month or so ago, we are already being told that maybe the withdrawal can't happen as announced because of 'increased Al-Qaida activity'.
I'm thousands of miles away, but here's what I think I know from reading about the recent increase in violence in Iraq. The US had created a false peace in Iraq by paying some 100,000 Sunni fighters a monthly salary not to fight the US or the government. That program is ending. The announced plan was that the Iraqi government would take over paying these fighters, mostly by bringing them into the army.
Naturally, the Shiite government isn't real thrilled about paying for a hundred thousand armed men from their Sunni rivals. So, the number of of Sunni fighters who are still getting paid not to fight is much less than announced. This is causing tensions. A couple of weeks ago, the Shiite government started arresting the leaders of Sunni fighters. The Sunnis naturally fought back against the government forces. In the midst of this, someone started setting off bombs in the Shiite neighborhoods again.
So, the US basically bought a period of peace by buying off the Sunni fighters. Now the US is ending that program. Not at all surprisingly, the violence is returning. Yet, this is presented to the American people as 'increased Al-Qaida activity'. And, it shouldn't be a surprise at all that this is now presented to the American people as the reason that we can't even have the limited, partial withdrawal from Iraq.
And note, even though we are now starting to be told that we can't withdraw from Iraq, the plans for the escalation in Afghanistan and Pakistan continue. The idea that this was a 'redeployment' from 'the wrong war' to 'the right war' disappears. But, the escalation of Obama's war in Afghanistan and Pakistan continues.
If you liked the Bush wars, you gonna love the bigger, better, expanded Obama wars.
And, we are going to be about $2 TRILLION in debt for just this year alone. The last estimate I saw was $1.8 TRILLION, and that number keeps rising with each new estimate. So, here's where we get the bill for the bigger, better, expanded Obama wars.
Obama Seeks $83.4 Billion for Iraq, Afghan Wars
President Barack Obama will seek $83.4 billion in additional “emergency” funding for the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which if approved would bring the 2009 funding to around $150 billion and the overall costs of the two wars to nearly $1 trillion.
The request is in addition to the $534 billion military budget the administration unveiled earlier in the week. That budget was for fiscal 2010, and was an increase over 2009.
That's another $83 billion for just the rest of this year (until Oct 1 I believe). That's on top of the money that the Democratic congress had already approved last year for the wars in 2009.
It is simple. We can not afford these wars. We have to come home NOW!
Imagine, just for a moment, an $83 billion dollar program pumping money directly to homeowners. But no, we can't have that. Instead, we have to use it to go kill people on the other side of the world.