Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki To President Obama: GET OUT!
Progressives and Libertarians alike have felt largely ignored by the Obama administration regarding their calls for immediate troop withdrawals. It now appears there is some hope on the horizon. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki just stated to the Wall Street Journal that he wants U.S. troops out by the end of 2011. Period. No ifs, or buts.
Despite what many in the Administration have reportedly disclosed — that by the deadline for withdrawal, the U.S. would likely have found a way to extend its presence (in some significant capacity) — Nouri al-Maliki just revealed that U.S. troops would have no presence in Iraq after the end of 2011. He believes the Iraqi government and its security forces are fully equipped and trained to confront “any remaining threats to Iraq’s security, sovereignty and unity.” He states:
“The last American soldier will leave Iraq” as agreed, he said, speaking at his office in a leafy section of Baghdad’s protected Green Zone.
“This agreement is not subject to extension, not subject to alteration. It is sealed.“
The Prime Minister believes America’s apprehension in fully withdrawing is largely due to its “paranoia” of a potential Iraqi-Iranian alliance. He believes this concern is unwarranted, and says Iraq has no intentions of entering into any kind of alliance with Iran, Turkey, or any Arab country. He states that Iran itself is similarly paranoid about U.S. influence over its bordering neighbor.
When asked to elaborate on Iraq’s current security situation, he stated:
“Not a single militia or gang can confront Iraqi forces and take over a street or a house,” said Mr. Maliki. “This is finished; we are comfortable about that.”
He said full withdrawal of U.S. troops also will remove a prime motivator of insurgents—both the Shiite fighters tied to militia groups and Iran, and Sunnis linked to Mr. Hussein’s ousted Baath party.
Let’s hope other overseas leaders — namely, the corrupt and alleged heroin-addict, Afghan president Hamid Karzai, who continues to grow paranoid of U.S. intentions — will follow suit, and send us packing.
Otherwise, the U.S. Military Industrial Complex, with its stranglehold over Washington, will keep our overextended troops and contractors stationed across the world indefinitely, until they’ve effectively squeezed every last dollar out of the American taxpayer.
With spending cut proposals on the near horizon, there’s good reason to be concerned. Our military commitments are unsustainable. And now that nearly a trillion dollars in tax cuts for the richest 2% have been signed, sealed, and delivered, the only thing left on the chopping block seems to be domestic programs that will severely impact the lives of everyday struggling Americans.
What remains of a safety net for seniors and the unemployed, and social programs for the poor and needy; along with our floundering public education system, and our already-stretched local police forces — will all be starved, if not entirely defunded. We cannot continue to feed this insatiable, ever-growing, military industrial monster.
By telling the U.S. to ‘scram’, PM Nouri al-Maliki is doing our country a favor of epic proportions — something President Obama seems incapable of doing himself.
Here’s a new clip of John Bolton fearmongering, as always; this time against defense spending cuts:
Unfortunately, Democrats are so terrified of being called “weak on national defense” that they reflexively acquiesce to this right-winged pro-defense narrative 99.9% of the time. Defense spending has largely remained immune from the chopping block.
Again, thank you PM al-Maliki!
Film Review: ‘Brothers’ — Directed By Jim Sheridan
In Jim Sheridan’s powerful new movie “Brothers,” he hits his audience with a subject matter that can only be described as emotionally explosive — gut wrenching, at times. This is not a feel-good movie — not by any stretch, but it is an absolute must-see. It draws you in, and manages to captivate you long after the final credit line. The timeliness of the subject matter alone — the human sacrifice made by our troops and their families — makes the movie feel all the more urgent.
Grace Cahill, a military wife (played by Natalie Portman), and her two young daughters are devastated to learn that her husband/their father, Sam Cahill (played by Tobey Maguire), was killed during another tour of duty in Afghanistan. Unbeknownst to everyone, Sam wasn’t actually killed; he had been captured by an al Qaeda-like group. He was subjected to physical and emotional torture in a way that would forever alter his mental and emotional stability. After many months under their capture, American forces finally came, bombed the camps, and rescued him.
Sam’s brother, Tommy (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) — the black sheep of the Cahill family — had been released from prison just before Sam left for his last tour. Despite his strained relations with most of his family, Tommy and Sam had remained close over the years. Confronted with his brother’s death, a devastated Tommy turns his attention to helping out a distraught and struggling Grace and her two girls. You can see where this is headed …
It’s a story of a close family coming undone by circumstances beyond their control.
Jim Sheridan (“In the Name of the Father,” “In America,” “The Story of My Left Foot,” etc.) is in my top-five of all-time favorite directors. Natalie Portman delivers one of her strongest performances, to date. Tobey Maguire is exceedingly believable in each stage of his emotional/mental transformation. The screenplay was written by David Benioff — a fantastic author in his own right. His novel City of Thieves was one of the best books I read this year. So considering all this remarkable talent — it’s no wonder this movie came off as well as it did. I predict it will be nominated for several Oscars.
Here’s the trailer:
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