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Pulling Out of Iraq's Cities
An Iraqi Army soldier, left, and U.S. Army Sgt. Lou Rodriguez, right, from Chaos Co., 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment stand guard during a joint operation in Mosul, 60 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, June 14, 2009. Sgt. Rodriguez, 28, is from Brownsville, Texas. (AP)

An Iraqi Army soldier, left, and U.S. Army Sgt. Lou Rodriguez, right, from Chaos Co., 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, stand guard during a joint operation in Mosul, Iraq, on June 14, 2009. (AP)

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has declared tomorrow — Tuesday, June 30th — a national holiday. That’s the deadline for American combat troops to be out of Iraq’s cities.

Maliki has pushed hard for this pullout. He says Iraq’s own army and police will keep the country secure. His political future depends on it.

But questions remain about whether Iraq’s security forces are up to the task. Violence is ratcheting up. A lot of power is at stake. And the U.S. is shifting its focus to the fight in Afghanistan.

This hour, On Point: U.S. combat troops out of Iraqi cities — and where that leaves Iraqis.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guests:

Joining us in our studio is Anthony Shadid, Baghdad bureau chief for The Washington Post. He first reported from Iraq in 1998 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 2004 for his coverage of the Iraq war. He’s the author of “Night Draws Near: Iraq’s People in the Shadow of America’s War” (2005).

Joining us from Baghdad is Sahar Issa, an Iraqi correspondent for McClatchy newspapers based in Baghdad. See McClatchy’s Inside Iraq blog, written by Iraqi journalists working for McClatchy Newspapers in Iraq.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Joe B.

    The U.S. has done all it can do for Iraq. It’s time for the people of Iraq to take ownership of their country.

  • Mike

    hopefully soon,

    got some friends going to kuwait maybe iraq,and i few currently in iraq .

    It is truly not fair for them and any other solider to be there in the first place and have cost 100k plus lives of Iraqis and has injured, maim thousands of u.s. soldiers physically, and or mentally.also enabling iran to before stronger as well.

    Let the iraqis take control of there own country and let our service members come home.

  • Putney Swope

    What I think as been a revelation is the transcripts from the FBI interrogation of Saddam Hussein. While he was a despot, it appears he had a pretty good idea of what was going on in terms of the Al-Kida. He called them zealots and did not trust them. He was also worried about Iran.

    It appears from this interrogation that the Bush administration made some grave errors of judgment, however so did Hussein. He underestimated Bush and the Neo-Cons.

    Now we have this mess, a war longer than the one we fought in WW2 and the cost in lives and money has been astronomical. To say this is a success is a fools errand.
    This is Bush’s legacy, Iraq and the economic downturn, or should we say the worst recession since the Great Depression. Then there’s the torture issue.

  • Mike

    Putney,

    did u hear as well saddam interrogator did so using i guess now old school methods not involving torture against him or harse interrogation as well.

    also about how the bush admin was fishing around for any excuse to invade if saddam was assianated they still were going to invade,

    this is coming out from the investigation the british government is performing and inquiring the lead up to the war. Downing i think not the memo but private conversation that happen when he was FM.

  • Lilya Lopekha

    We are dancing about the same issue, but not asking the central question…

    Why did we invade Iraq?

    Does anybody have any idea?

  • Mike

    Liyla,

    reason for invading iraq is resources,iraq has the third largest reserve in the world with alot of untapped fields.

    during the 70′s when almost any nations who produced oil at a larger scale, took back there oil from at the time u.s. oil companies and made it illegal to have PSA(partner sharing agreement)and from than on became more of a cartel. During the 90′s under sanctions saddam was allow to do food for oil, and talks were being had between russia and china for them using there oil, and at a cheaper and better price, which at the time the u.s. oil companies could not touch.

    Neo-cons knew this, and nipped at Clinton to attack and invade which Clinton, like the first bush refuse to.

    Once the U.S. invaded they secured the oil fields first and installed a oil friendly psa partner on the iraqie side to give these oil u.s. oil companies and counties that supported it first dipped on iraqs oil.

    if u remember those bench marks set by bush one was about oil companies dealing with regions and allowing for oil companies to get a psa contract(which is only normally used for drilling offshore where the chances of hitting oil may be very costly and unlikely) as for iraq it well known and cheap to take oil out less than a few dollars a barrel. That time the iraqi parliament refused to do this and we had the u.s. government and paid puppets getting involved trying to say they didnt have to vote on such matters and such.

    also the bids that just came out this week went to russia and china and the u.s. oil companies are pissed and trying to find another way to get around it.

    i recommend u watch the video below it the head of the iraqi labor party and he talks though a translator and tells what the u.s. did when they came. also with reading up on PSA agreements and the history from the 1950s and on

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcZx9S-TJn4

    or democracy now

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rV13g7K53fo

    i probably missed some but that’s most of it

  • Lilya Lopekha

    We invaded Iraq for Oil?

    No, no, no, no.

    Here is the list. People who tried to sell the war to American people.
    List 1: Possible or Remote Connection to “Oil”
    List 2: People who have no public trace of “Oil” motivated

    Are there any objections to the separation of List1 and List2. Then we will look for histric evidence of Oil/$ as the motive.

    People who believe that we Invaded Iraq for Oil or Oil Related matters… get ready! Your chance to post who said what connecting the Iraq Invasion to America’s worries about oil supply and/or Oil Contracts.

    The “Oil” names:
    George Bush
    Frank Carlucci
    Dick Cheney
    Lewis Libby
    John Ashcroft
    Newt Gingrich
    Francis Fukuyama
    Richard Armitage
    John Negroponte
    Colin Powell
    Condoleezza Rice
    Tom Ridge
    Karl Rove
    Donald Rumsfeld
    James Schelisger
    John Yoo
    William Bennett
    Stephen Hadley
    Zalmay Khalilzad
    Jeane Kirkpatrick

    The Non-Oil Names:
    Elliot Abrams
    Madeleine Albright
    Jeffrey Bergner
    John Bolton
    Paula Dobriansky
    Charles Fairbanks, Jr.
    Douglas Feith
    David Frum
    Aaron Friedberg
    Richard Haass
    Robert J. Loewenberg
    R. James Woolsey
    Frederick Kagan
    Robert Kagan
    Donald Kagan
    Charles Krauthammer
    William Kristol
    Michael Ladeen
    Joe Lieberman
    Richard Perle
    Daniel Pipes
    Norman Podhoretz
    Dennis Ross
    Peter Rodman
    William Schneider, Jr.
    Stephen Solarz
    Vin Weber
    Paul Wolfowitz
    David Wurmser
    Meyrav Wurmser
    Dov Zakheim
    Robert Zoellick

  • Lilya Lopekha

    Mike & The Motive & Oil

    We are aware of those video’s and scatter here-say tid-bits. In every war, there is a motive/reason for going into the war and there are “spoils” when the war is won.

    In the case of Iraq, even the spoils are misleading. In the year 2002, Saddam was reduced to Mayor of Baghdad while Iraq was getting its daily dozage of bombings every day.

    With such supremacy, we could have forced Saddam into signing any commercial deal, ie. giving up Iraq’s entire oil fields to USA forever. But we did not. The whole world was favoring (at least considering) lifting the sanctions, but US insisted on keeping them. Why? Because, Iraq [regime] had a defiant attitude problem to a subject that was dear to a certain group of people with overwhelming influence in Wash.

    Sanctions = No oil/refinery deals with Iraq!!!

    You have to show this: One piece of [early] evidence from the mouths of the Salesmen listed about that we should “overthrow” the Regime in Iraq between Sep 12, 2001 and March 2003.

  • Mike

    actually liya, its was against the law and writen into the iraq’s laws that states there can be no psa agreements, like in saudia arbia and the UAE.

    and under santions no U.S. company could do business with iraq.

    hench the effort over and over agian to change such laws agains the wish of the iraqi people and even the new iraqi governement.

    Also we invaded months before saddam was going to make oil deals(not psa) with russia and china, which guess what they made some just this week with russia and china over the protest of u.s. oil company ex/mobil.

    and since the 70s u.s. oil companies could not touch iraqs oil.

    Israel probably have a part in it, most likely since the neo-cons hold most of the same beliefs as the far-right on israel. They mis-calulated the iraqi struggle against them. as there i assume thought they could take out saddam than install a government very friendly to the u.s. oil companies.

    Which both were found to be wrong. As fo israel part on behalf on the neo-cons back-fired as well since it enable iran to become much stronger, adn weaken the u.s. in the middle-east and world opioion.

    yes the u.s. insisted to invade cause they did not want russia or china having access to iraq(the 3rd largest oil reserves in the world). And as anothe of the neo-con agenda is to control the resources that will be scare in the future.

    The Big push for war with iran is israel and we all know this , but israel is fearful of the retaliations from the rest of the world so they need the u.s. to stike first or cover its butt. As for iraq thess sales man where trying to do the same thing with bush the first and clinton , but unlike bush to foolish, the prior prez knew it be a mess not able to clean up.

    Main reason for iraq invasion is oil. history of these groups that promoted it showed it.

  • brianna

    I disagree with Mike. Maybe Lilya is on to something.

    With the occupation there were hundreds or even thousands of Crimis committed by the Occupiers. When it comes to the Motive of such an action (Declaration of War), you need to see some hard evidence, not just Covenient and Lazy Assumptions.

    Why did Michael Ladeen hired thugs to break into Niger’s Embassy to forge documents, so that Saddam and rumors of WMD could be linked? Michael Ladeen is a scholar in a University, connected to AEI and has only one love in his life – and it is not Oil.

    You have to show some hard evidence to identify the Motive – not just an assumption.

    If there is a lack of evidence or dispute; isn’t it time for a committee with a subphonea power to ask the first question; ie. which meeting finalized the decision for the first shell to be fired and where are minutes and who are the signatories and where is the justification.

    When you buy a desk for Dept of Defense, you need a justification; and there was not a single piece of “written” justification for as friging war?

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