During the 2008 campaign season, the December 2011 deadline was then-President Bush’s plan and candidates like now-President Barack Obama were pushing for something earlier. Now, having missed his “something earlier” several times over, President Obama is embracing December 2011, albeit reluctantly, and officials and candidates are lining up to loudly condemn the notion.
Sen. John McCain (R – AZ), Obama’s 2008 opponent and general war enthusiast, termed the idea of leaving Iraq a “serious mistake,” saying that Obama should have propped up Ayad Allawi after Iraq’s last elections since he would have been more open to an open-ended occupation.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I – CT) termed the pullout a “profoundly disappointing” move and a “failure” that risks the putative gains made in the last eight and a half years of occupation.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R – MN), a 2012 presidential hopeful, also condemned the pullout but focused on demanding that Iraq reimburse the US fully for the cost of occupying their country for so long.
“They’re a wealthy country,” Bachmann insisted. But with the cost of the Iraq War estimated conservatively at upwards of $818 billion, it seems unfathomable that Iraq, a nation with a GDP of only about 1/10th that amount, has the capability of doing so, even if they did have the inclination.
Lost in all of the rhetoric, of course, is the Obama Administration’s “private army” of State Department contractors, which will be many thousands of US combat personnel remaining in the enormous embassy in Baghdad for years to come.
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