Do Not Forget Iraq

>> Sunday, August 31, 2008

With the incredible buzz and dismay over the selection of Sarah Palin as the McCain VP there is little else to be found out on the net. It is as if the entire media, traditional and otherwise, are 6 year olds chasing a soccer ball as a massive horde. Take a deep breath and realize that the world does not stop moving and events do not stop happening just because McCain picked his VP. There are some other stories out there that need oxygen. Some of these are taking place in Iraq.

I think once Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki came out for the withdrawal of US forces by 2011 the Dems declared Victory and went home. It is somewhat usrprising to me that it happened this way. Iraq was the central theme of the McCain candidacy and now it appears that we might have start leaving as early as 2009. The reason for this is that the agreement that would keep us there, The Status of Forces Agreement, is still hung up on several points including whether US soldiers will be subject to Iraqi jurisdiction and thus triable in Iraqi courts. It might behoove Obama to start hitting on this point. What would McCain do without a status of forces agreement?

Petraeus seems to be preparing in case we leave -are kicked out- of Iraq. He submitted an initial draft plan to set the pace of withdrawing troops from Iraq. This may simply be one of those pre election routines that the Republicans go through to make it seem like we might start leaving, but the context is a little different this year because of the uncertainty of the SOFA and the possibility that Obama takes over as the next CiC.

McCain meanwhile is still living in a fantasy land when it comes to the situation in Iraq. He claims, "Iraq is a peaceful, stable country now". Someone should be hammering him on this type of stuff. Especially when in the last month there have been several high profile and deadly attacks

Wednesday, August 27, 2008: "45 Dead, 79 Wounded in Wave of Violence; Bombing in Jalawla' Raises Tensions with Baghdad"

Monday, August 25, 2008: "54 Killed in Bombings, attacks;
Water Crisis;Fixing the Intelligence Around the Policy"

"Monday, August 18, 2008: "Bombing Kills 15, Including AC Leader in Baghdad; Al-Sadr Calls for Blood Pledge of Holy Struggle Against Occupation"

We also need to remember that we still have shady contractors in Iraq doing things like human trafficking. This is an instance where KBR went to the third world, recruited men under false pretenses, then shipped them to a war zone to work without consent. Maybe we could ask the reformer Sarah Palin how she feels about the legal status and actions of contractors and sub-contractors in Iraq?

The men were recruited in Nepal to work in a hotel in Jordan, but were later told they would have to work at a US air base in Iraq, their lawyers said.

Twelve of the men were kidnapped and killed by Islamic militants while being transported inside Iraq.

The 13th man was made to work against his will at the air base, lawyers said.

Kidnapped, brought to Iraq as forced laborers and ultimately captured and killed by our enemies. I am not even sure what the damages for that would be.

On top of the fact that KBR and other companies continue to turn our image into that closer to Dracula's castle on the hill rather than a shining city, the Bush Admin has failed in its goal of securing oil contracts for US companies. Instead the first contract to develop oil fields in Iraq went to China.

It was the first time in more than 35 years that Iraq has allowed foreign oil companies to do business inside its borders.

The contract with the China National Petroleum Corporation could be worth up to $3 billion. It would allow the CNPC to develop an oil field in southern Iraq's Wasit province for about 20 years, Oil Ministry spokesman Assim Jihad said.

It might be too cynical but i have a hard time swallowing the idea that 4150 US soldiers gave their lives so that the Chinese could have Iraqi Oil Contracts. I understand the whole global market idea but this just rubs the wrong way. Bush cannot even set up an empire properly.

As a simple political matter we cannot let Iraq fade away. The one thing that many kossacks cited as a reason not to support Clinton was her AUMF vote. Iraq, more than anything else, is the reminder of how poor McCain's judgment is and how strong Obama's is. Iraq also seems to be something that McCain's new VP is not that well versed in. Despite the poor economic news and all of the domestic Issues Iraq remains the hammer. Can this country really elect a man who, in the face of the last seven years, who do it all over again? So just because Iraq is no longer the biggest news story of the day does not mean we should stop talking about it.

Bloggers especially need to continue talking about it as the TM will not highlight it. Talk about it everyday with your friends and your acquaintances. When they talk about McCain and his leadership skills bring up Iraq. When they talk about Palin tell them she had was not interested in what was going on in Iraq last year. Unless we provide it with more oxygen Iraq will not be a major issue to most voters. A vote for McCain is a vote for more War.


O-le,O-le, O-le, O-le! O-le, O-le!

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