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Iraq: Sadr has majority for US pullout

Cleric-in-hiding Moqtada al-Sadr has a majority of the Iraqi legislature supporting a timetable for US withdrawal and caps on troops deployments, as reported by Ed Morrissey at Heading Right:


Driven, of course, by Moqtada al-Sadr, the Iraqi National Assembly now has a majority of their members on the record for demanding a timetable for an American withdrawal. A letter circulated to the Nouri al-Maliki government has 144 signatures, or just over half of the Assembly, not only demanding a timetable for withdrawal but a cap on American troops allowed into Iraq:


Read the whole post and access the original news story at the link above.

If the 144-member bloc holds, this spells the end for American involvement in Iraq. It essentially says they don't want us cleaning the place up any more, and there is no way the Administration can sustain congressional or public support for the war under those circumstances.

We turned sovereignty back to the Iraqis some time ago, and we have to respect that. Interesting that Sadr is able to achieve politically what he could not do "on the ground." The only hope would be the intervention of Ayatollah al-Sistani - and there is no reason to expect that is forthcoming.

Bad news all around.


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Comments (38)

A light at the end of the t... (Below threshold)
mantis:

A light at the end of the tunnel.

Al-Sadr is Sistani's loyal ... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Al-Sadr is Sistani's loyal underling. So a stable Shiite Iraq sans Kurdistan can now be had (same as 3 years ago). Let's let them do it, so we can get out of Dodge in an organized fashion. File under: political solutions.

Sure, the Sunni Arabs are gonna get screwed, but that was Bush's doing. And since OBL is a sunni arab, Bush can say it was his Master Plan all along. Blogs for Bush will buy that.

I gotta hand it to Rove. Hi... (Below threshold)
Chip:

I gotta hand it to Rove. His idea of sending Cheny to Iraq to tell Maliki to ask the US to leave was sheer genius, it gives Bush his way out.

mantis:A light... (Below threshold)
marc:

mantis:

A light at the end of the tunnel.

Not for the hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands that die as a result.

bryanD[elusional]

Sure, the Sunni Arabs are gonna get screwed, but that was Bush's doing. And since OBL is a sunni arab, Bush can say it was his Master Plan all along. Blogs for Bush will buy that.

It's always Bush and or America isn't it? How European of you.

Not for the hundreds, th... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Not for the hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands that die as a result.

How exactly do you know that more will be killed by us leaving than us staying? And are you saying you wish for us to stay against the will of the elected Iraqi government?

Silly mantis,Repub... (Below threshold)
Herman:

Silly mantis,

Republicans aren't going to give a damn about the will of the elected Iraqi government.

It'll be interesting to see... (Below threshold)
cirby:

It'll be interesting to see what the "timetable" is.

I have a feeling that, due to the lack of actual info in the article, it's not exactly next month. If it was soon, they would have mentioned it.

2010 to 2012, probably. That way, the Sadrists get their "we're forcing them to pull out" quotes, and the terrorists get the "oh, hell, we have to do this for another three to five years" message.

A timetable?! Clearly the I... (Below threshold)
Brian:

A timetable?! Clearly the Iraqis want the terrorists to win!

mantis:How exa... (Below threshold)
marc:

mantis:

How exactly do you know that more will be killed by us leaving than us staying? And are you saying you wish for us to stay against the will of the elected Iraqi government?

How do you know there won't be? I base my assumption on long standing animosity towards to Sunnis who by most accounts will end up on the short end of the stick.

What's your counter assumption based on?

And no, if that is what the Iraqi Gov decides to do, so be it.

Herman:

Republicans aren't going to give a damn about the will of the elected Iraqi government.

You assume too much, and wrong

Question: The US when assisting in writing the Iraqi constitution placed a ban on capital punishment. The Iraqi Gov rescinded that portion of the document.

Did you see very much from Republicans denouncing that move?

And off hand question for b... (Below threshold)
marc:

And off hand question for bryanD[elusional]

Are you in concert with Dr. Anne Koerber?

cirby:The Iraqi re... (Below threshold)
marc:

cirby:

The Iraqi resolution calls for the Iraqi government to seek approval from parliament before it requests an extension of the U.N. mandate for foreign forces to be in Iraq.

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously in November to extend the U.S.-led forces' mandate until the end of 2007. The resolution, however, said the council "will terminate this mandate earlier if requested by the government of Iraq."

"It's always Bush and or Am... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"It's always Bush and or America isn't it? How European of you.
Posted by: marc"

Hiding Bush behind "America"[cringe]. I guess that's better than hiding him behind Mother Duck and her ducklings. You know? Crossing the busy road; will they make it? Will some cow on her cell phone not see them in time?

And what's wrong with Europe? As jo would say: LOVE IT!

marc:...and when t... (Below threshold)
cirby:

marc:

...and when the time comes, they'll vote for the extension, using the justification of "our timetable gives them until 2010, and the US is still giving us money."

It also leaves open the question of the UN voting to extend the time for forces in Iraq, even if the Iraqis don't request it.

It's a lovely piece of indeterminate legislation.

"Question: The US when a... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"Question: The US when assisting in writing the Iraqi constitution placed a ban on capital punishment. The Iraqi Gov rescinded that portion of the document. Did you see very much from Republicans denouncing that move?" -- marc

And what proportion of Republicans oppose capital punishment, marc???? WELL??? What's your answer, dude??? And if you're able to correctly discern that there aren't many Republicans opposed to capital punishment, you'll at last be able to understand why there wasn't "very much from Republicans denouncing that move."

It's best to think first, conservatives, before presenting your arguments.

"And off hand question for ... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"And off hand question for bryanD[elusional]

Are you in concert with Dr. Anne Koerber?

Posted by: marc"

I thought you were directing me to one of those German fisting sites with the "medical" setting. How disappointed I was to discover I don't know what you're talking about. Is dentistry an oriental fetish I've not heard of?

I mean, you are trying to pick me up, right?

BryanD What makes you lie ... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

BryanD What makes you lie and say Al-Sadr is loyal to Sistani. He is loyal to mulla but the ones his is loyal to call Iran home. Logic has once again proven itself a greased poal for you to grasp.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft III ,... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Zelsdorf Ragshaft III ,

You to learn about the strict heirarchy of Shia Islam.

We have spent over $340 bil... (Below threshold)
ellec:

We have spent over $340 billion in Iraq, with the price tag and death toll rising, and no good has come out of it. There is no peace, no end to terror and worst of all we have left the Iraqi people in deeper turmoil and poverty. If the Iraqi people oppose the occupation, why do we insist on remaining? Our only role in Iraq should be a supporting one, where we provide economic support and equip the Iraqi people with the tools they need to succeed.

According to the Borgen Project, $340 billion has already been spent in Iraq and we have a $522 billion military budget. What has resulted from that money? The money would be better spent on plans such as the UN Millennium Development Goals to end global poverty. Just $19 billion annually can end starvation and malnutrition. Issues such as poverty foster a lot of the tensions that exist in the world today. As leaders in this world, we really need to get behind peaceful growth rather than war.

The money would ... (Below threshold)
marc:


The money would be better spent on plans such as the UN Millennium Development Goals to end global poverty.

Bah-haHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH!

Come on bryanD[elusional] you can't be that obtuse to not see the connection between your most favored position to blame Bush for all the worlds ills and some nut PHD that wants to blame Bush for her students cheating on a dental school exam.

Herman - I doubt very much whether many republicans even know what the Iraqi Constitution contains never mind they amended it to allow the death penalty.

ellec - you ask: What h... (Below threshold)
marc:

ellec - you ask: What has resulted from that money? referring to money spent on the Iraq war.

My question to you is what has resulted by spending billions propping up the Palestinians?

What has resulted in the billions spent in an attempt to bring education, better health care and prosperity to all the African nations?

the interesting thing is th... (Below threshold)
ke_future:

the interesting thing is that a vast majority of global hunger is due to political impediments to aid rather than any actual lack of food. most of the time this is because the government in power is corrupt, tyrannical, and has no desire for their people to see the "bread" come from any other hand than their own.

as for poverty....how is poverty defined? how do you end it? when do you know when it is ended? and what are the ramifications of your plans to end it? honestly, this is snark her (well maybe a little) but i really am curious as to the answers to these questions.

back on topic...if the iraqi government wants us to leave, we should leave in a responsible and orderly manner. personally, i think that it would be a mistake for them to ask for that given how things have been improving lately, but it *is* their country.

however, having said that, i have no desire to see the US abandon people to genocide or slaughter by our withdrawl

mantis, are you too young t... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

mantis, are you too young to remember Vietnam. The democrats killed 3 to 5 million as sure and they had went and shot them themselves. I know the schools don't teach the truth in history anymore but the truth is out there, just look around. The hundreds of thousands is a low estimate, it will be in the millions and it won't stop in Iraq. Every bordering country will fall to the terrorists in less than a year.
I'm a Vietnam Vet and my hands are clean. The blood in on your and the dimwit,s hands you support. The Iraqi blood will be directly on your hands, your part of it at least, and from reading your post you will have a large amount. I no longer wonder why so many democrats are under the care of mental health professionals.

Within the last month sista... (Below threshold)
Judith:

Within the last month sistani has met with the iranians....and he has refused to meet with us. The powerful in that country are in the pocket of the mullahs of iran and my god have mercy on the iraqi people and our dear military.

"Come on bryanD[elusional] ... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"Come on bryanD[elusional] you can't be that obtuse to not see the connection between your most favored position to blame Bush for all the worlds ills and some nut PHD that wants to blame Bush for her students cheating on a dental school exam.-MARC"

You smelt it, you dealt it.

OK BD, edify me. What is t... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

OK BD, edify me. What is the exact heirarchy of Shia Islam. I know this. Sistani does not care for nor listen to the Persians who practice a doomsday version of Shia. You should stop pretending you know anything about anything. I thought you a fool from your first post here. Nothing you have written has changed my opinion. Yours is the writings of an immature person.

This is bad news for sure a... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

This is bad news for sure and it is a perfect example of how the terrorist-cheering section in the West, esp the US has harmed our war effort. All their effort to smear the US military with Abhu Graib, Guatanamo has emboldened the enemy. Sadr is our enemy and we should have dealt with him decisively. This PC propaganda has handcuffed our military there. And the enemies of America know it. Sadr knows that the liberal dems in this country are determined to ensure American defeat in Iraq. So he is maneuvering to give the liberals in this country the prop tool to call for withdrawal even cut-off funding now. I can't imagine that Pelosi or Reid would go to Iraq and demand Sadr to be dealt with "decisively". They would rather go to Syria and Iran to talk about American withdrawal. So Cheney has to send them the message to deal with Sadr now or we won't be able to sustain it politically. Unfortunately, the liberals have chalked up another victory for the enemies of America. This is indeed bad news.

To answer a question asked ... (Below threshold)

To answer a question asked (probably not seriously) earlier:

Yes, if the Iraqi government says they want us out, I would support our withdrawal.

However, I'd make it very clear to the Iraqi government that out means out. No aid; no rushing back in to "keep the peace" between Sunnis, Shia, and Kurds; no working with the UN to keep Iran from testing their border security.

If they want to go it alone, let them reap the consequences of their actions.

ccg, We need to sen... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

ccg,
We need to send them the message. Given the Dems are willing to spend billions of dollars to buy votes here. We can give them a financial reward for a "benchmark" progress: deal "decisively" with Sadr. Let the Iraqui deal with him that way. I suspect that the Kurds want to be out and we should help them. Let the Sunni and Shiittes fight it out if they want.

LAI:Excellent poin... (Below threshold)

LAI:

Excellent points, as usual. I concur with most of them, but I am not sure a partition of Iraq would be for the best long-term. I've seen good arguments on both sides, but am truly not sure which side is right.

b Why did the chicken cros... (Below threshold)
kim:

b Why did the chicken cross the road?

a I don't know.

b To get the Chinese newspaper. Do you get it?

a No.

b Neither do I. Neither does the chicken. That's why he crossed the road.
===============================

Driven, of course, by Mo... (Below threshold)

Driven, of course, by Moqtada al-Sadr, the Iraqi National Assembly now has a majority of their members on the record for demanding a timetable for an American withdrawal.

Gee, isn't it funny how these Iraqis aren't that concerned about the 5,000 or so Al Qaeda in Iraq taking the country over if we leave?

That should tell you something. Namely, that Al Qaeda isn't going to take over Iraq if we leave.

Gee, isn't it funny how ... (Below threshold)

Gee, isn't it funny how these Iraqis aren't that concerned about the 5,000 or so Al Qaeda in Iraq taking the country over if we leave?

Or, that Sadr wants al Qaeda to take over.

That's an equally valid conclusion.

In Sistani we Trust. Last ... (Below threshold)
kim:

In Sistani we Trust. Last year he gave up answering political questions in exasperation over Sadr the Lesser. Now who's run over the border?
==============================

How do you know there wo... (Below threshold)
mantis:

How do you know there won't be?

I don't. I can't see the future.

I base my assumption on long standing animosity towards to Sunnis who by most accounts will end up on the short end of the stick.

Short end of the stick? Is that supposed to be a euphemism for genocide? Won't happen. The Sunni in Iraq comprise far too large a segment of the population and control too much geography. There will surely be violence, as there is now, but I don't foresee a slaughter; it's very unlikely. In any case a large scale struggle between the Sunni and Shia in Iraq would put pressure upon the cooperation between Iran (Shia) and Syria (Sunni) vis a vis Lebanon and elsewhere. This would actually serve our strategic goals in the region, while we would certainly remain in capacity enough to protect the Kurds. It's entirely possible that there will be a break up of the Iraqi state in two (Arab & Kurd) or three (Kurd, Shia, Sunni) separate states or autonomous provinces, but that's not up to us to stop, even if we could. In any case if there is a Shia-Sunni showdown in the making, it is born of far older conflicts than this and is not our place to referee. A gradual withdrawal on a timetable based on the Iraqi government's own assessments is the best possible outcome I can see at this point.

What's your counter assumption based on?

You know, knowledge instead of propaganda.

In any case, when I say there is "light at the end of the tunnel," what I mean is that the Iraqi parliament is making steps towards taking responsibility for their own country. This matter is only a petition at this point, and is far from a foregone conclusion. But it does give me some hope that the Iraqis are more and more willing to step up and take over from us. Them wanting us out of there is a good sign. Those who think it is not seem to want us never to leave. We are not an empire; we must give them back their country at some point.

Or, that Sadr wants al Q... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Or, that Sadr wants al Qaeda to take over.

That's an equally valid conclusion.

Please, it's only a valid conclusion if you know absolutely nothing about the place. Arab Shia aligned with al Qaeda? You are delusional.

Mark my words, once our forces are no longer there, the small numbers of al Qaeda in Iraq will be slaughtered or will take flight out of the country. If there's anything Iraqi Shia and Sunni would agree on, it's that they don't want al Qaeda in their country. They are tolerated by those who want harm done to us, for now. They will not be tolerated forever.

And the idea of al Qaeda "taking over" in Iraq is just absurd. How the hell anyone believes they could accomplish that is beyond me. Stop listening to propaganda about "surrendering to terrorists" and learn something about the groups involved.

Honestly, at this point, th... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Honestly, at this point, the Iraqis deserve it. If they want death and destruction, fine.

Those morons are too stupid to realize what they are willingly throwing away. If I see stories of atrocities committed by their government, I will simply laugh.

The moment they do something that upsets us, we should just carpet bomb that entire toilet of a region. Israel is the only country worth saving at this point.
-=Mike

Stop listening to propag... (Below threshold)

Stop listening to propaganda about "surrendering to terrorists" and learn something about the groups involved.

I happen to have a good friend of many years' standing in neighboring Turkey, who is engaged to marry a Turkish man.

I'd say my information on what's going on in that area, and the various versions of Islam, is quite a bit better than yours, Mantis. Turkey is, after all, an Islamic nation... and a democracy, showing that the two are not necessarily incompatible.

We must referee, mantis, in... (Below threshold)
kim:

We must referee, mantis, in the absence of moderate Islam; who else will?
===================




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