10 Apr

Obama’s Big Lie Meets Iraqi Resistance


By: Siun Sunday April 10, 2011 6:45 am  


Obama promised that US troops would be out of Iraq by the end of 2009 – well actually he played semantics and said “combat troops” but American voters believed that his election signaled the end of our occupation of Iraq.

Now we’re in 2011 and not only have we not left but Obama is angling to keep US forces in Iraq past the December 2011 deadline for the removal of all US forces.

Not only was Sec. of Defense Gates in Iraq this week lobbying Iraqi politicians to “ask” for us to stay,

US Ambassador James Jeffrey told reporters April 1 that the embassy, already the biggest in the world, planned to double in size next year to 18,000 personnel. That would include security, support staff, and diplomatic offices outside of Baghdad.

18,000 for an embassy? Double the size?

Here in the US, reaction is muted at best. In Iraq the reaction is very clear indeed. And yesterday huge crowds of supporters of the Sadrist trend told us precisely how they will respond if we don’t leave:

What if the U.S. forces and others stay in our beloved lands?’ Muqtada al-Sadr issued in a statement read out in Baghdad’s Mawal Square Saturday, eight years to the day since U.S. troops helped oust Saddam Hussein.

‘Will you be silent? Will you overlook this?’

‘No, no America. No, no America,’ the tens of thousands of protesters shouted in reply.

And there was more:

“What if the invading forces don’t leave our land? What if they stay in in another form?… If their companies, embassies have the invading American flags waving over them will you remain silent?” Sadr asked in the message.

The cleric went on to say that if that US presence remained it would mean two things: “escalating the work of the military resistance and re-activating the Mahdi Army.”

Note that this includes the embassy:

Asked whether that meant that the Sadrists were opposed to even a US diplomatic mission here if US forces were gone, several officials said the Sadr movement opposed any expansion of the US civilian presence here and considered the embassy the headquarters for the occupation.

And US companies – and US forces “in another form” – as in contractors.

As markfromireland reported yesterday, the Imam of the largest Shia mosque in Baghdad also spoke, saying:

“We are all ticking time bombs”

Mfi goes on to note:

You can also take it that their audience approves, I was invited to witness the demonstration in al- Mustansiriyah Square, when the part of al-Sadr’s statement in which he discussed escalating military operations was read out there was a full throated roar of approval from the crowd the same was true when al-Araji made his ticking time bombs comment..

One attendee speaking to Al Jazeera said:

They have no credibility. They said, “By the end of 2011 we will be out of Iraq,” and yesterday, Gates came here and said that there are hints about keeping the US forces, although they denied this before.

They are not going to leave Iraq, and if they don’t leave Iraq by the end of 2011, then there will be no peaceful demonstrations, there will be something else.

What will we say when Obama tries this deadly bait and switch?

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