Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Every one wants US troops out of Iraq, except politicians.
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.
Not only do they want us out, but they've also greenlighted further attacks on US and allied forces.
Iran's supreme leader urged the Iraqi president on Tuesday to seek a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, saying the American presence harms the country.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who is paying a three-day visit to Iran, a country the United States accuses of meddling in Iraq but that is closely allied to Iraq's new Shiite and Kurd-dominated leadership.
Leaders from Iraq's divided Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish communities agreed in a conference in Cairo this week to call for a timetable for a US withdrawal, but gave no specific time frame and tied it the training of Iraqi forces to carry on the fight against Sunni-led insurgents. The interior minister said this week expected Iraqi forces to be capable of taking over security duties by the end of next year.
UPDATE: Remember when.... they said if Iraqis wanted us to leave, we would?
January, President Bush said that if asked by the Iraqis, U.S. forces would leave the country:
President Bush said in an interview on Thursday that he would withdraw American forces from Iraq if the new government that is elected on Sunday asked him to do so, but that he expected Iraq’s first democratically elected leaders would want the troops to remain as helpers, not as occupiers.
From the Washington Post, 5/15/04:
Secretary of State Colin Powell emphatically said yesterday that if the incoming Iraqi interim government ordered the departure of foreign troops after June 30, they would pack up without protest, but emphasized he doubted such a request would be made.
… “If the provisional government asks us to leave, we will leave,” Bremer said, referring to an Iraqi administration due to take power June 30. “I don’t think that will happen, but obviously we don’t stay in countries where we’re not welcome.”