Hoping to Appease Dems & Terrorists, Iraq Announces Troop Withdrawal
Reaching out to the Sunni Arab community, Iraqi leaders called for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces and said Iraq’s opposition had a “legitimate right” of resistance.
The communique — finalized by Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni leaders Monday — condemned terrorism but was a clear acknowledgment of the Sunni position that insurgents should not be labeled as terrorists if their operations do not target innocent civilians or institutions designed to provide for the welfare of Iraqi citizens.
The leaders agreed on “calling for the withdrawal of foreign troops according to a timetable, through putting in place an immediate national program to rebuild the armed forces … control the borders and the security situation” and end terror attacks.
The preparatory reconciliation conference, held under the auspices of the Arab League, was attended by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Iraqi Shiite and Kurdish lawmakers as well as leading Sunni politicians.
Sunni leaders have been pressing the Shiite-majority government to agree to a timetable for the withdrawal of all foreign troops. The statement recognized that goal, but did not lay down a specific time — reflecting instead the government’s stance that Iraqi security forces must be built up first.
Haider Ajina, translates the news from Iraqi media:
The following is a translation by Haider Ajinas of a headline and news from the November 22nd edition of the Iraqi Arabic newspaper Sot Al-Iraq
Al-Talebani: I expect and end to the resistance of “Saddam’s Loyalists” after this meeting.
In an interview with the Egyptian paper “Al-Ahram” Iraqi president Jelal Al-Talebani announced that the preparatory meeting for the Iraqi reconciliation convention in Cairo has the potential to tame the Arab nationalists and stop the violence committed by “Saddam Loyalists.
Al-Talebani pointed out that those who are currently fighting the Iraqi government are of two primary factions. The first, stand behind “Alqaida” and the Sunni Loyalists or Alzarqawi. The second faction is Iraq’s Arab loyalist and Saddam Loyalists. Each of these factions have their own militia. Al-Talebani added that the success of the Cairo meeting will allow us to win over the second faction. This will tame the Iraqi Arab nationalists and stop their armed resistance. Al-Talebani said he is willing to meet with the Iraqi resistance if those responsible for it ask. The positive atmosphere, which dominated the Cairo meetings, will have a constructive effect on the Iraqi elections in mid December. The U.S. forces will be leaving at the most within two years. He clarified; the American forces would rather leave today than tomorrow. The sooner we are prepared the sooner they can leave. This should not take more than one or two years. After we complete the preparations of the Iraqi Army and security forces during the next two years there will be no need for the American forces and they will leave at once.
Haider Ajina comments:
It is very clear that the pressure to bring our soldiers home is affecting the tone of the Iraqi leadership. This is the second time in three days that the Iraqi president has said that our soldiers should be able to come home within two years, but not before Iraq is ready. He is obviously concerned that we will pull out before Iraq is ready. He is showing that Iraq is doing its damnedest to prepare and get ready to meet its challenges. If in fact the Saddam Loyalists lay down their arms and join the political process it is a tremendous victory. This victory was possible because we and the Iraqis trained by us have dealt severe blows to the terrorist in Iraq.
Texas Rainmaker is confused on why here in the US we keep rehashing the same arguments.
John O’Neil of Swift Boat fame and the leader of the hundreds of veterans who disproved Kerry’s fabrications of wartime events, is out today with a blistering editorial on the new Democratic stance on the War in Iraq.
As Powerline says, it’s great to hear from John O’Neil again.
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Jeff Goldstein thinks the resolution was mostly a symbolic gesture.
Pajamas Media has a big roundup!