UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

February 28, 2009

OBAMA PROMISES TO OBSERVE TWO-THIRDS OF HIS IRAQ PROMISE

Kevin Connolly BBC - On the campaign trail Mr Obama pledged to remove troops in 16 months. America's combat mission in Iraq, which cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars, which broke homes and hearts, which angered enemies and alienated allies, will end by August 2010.

That means that tens of thousands of soldiers serving in what the US military calls "combat brigades" will be home 19 months from now.

America and Iraq have a bilateral agreement which envisages the withdrawal of all US forces by the end of 2011. . .

America will retain a substantial residual force in Iraq for many months after the August 2010 deadline, and the scope of its mission is far from clear. . .

Some Democrats are already irritated by the scale and length of that residual deployment, which was not mentioned in Mr Obama's campaign speeches, but he is adamant that he is doing the right thing. . .

Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle - A great majority of Americans approve of President Obama's early performance in office, but some of his staunchest supporters on the left are criticizing his troop surge proposal for Afghanistan and the withdrawal plan for Iraq that he's set to announce today at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Liberal filmmaker Robert Greenwald -- whose anti-McCain viral videos helped shape the campaign narrative in Obama's favor -- released the first of a series of documentary online videos that urge Americans to rethink Afghanistan and has called for congressional hearings on the surge. Historian-activist Howard Zinn, a liberal eminence grise, called Obama's plan to send 17,000 additional troops there "disastrous.". . .

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday she didn't see any justification for 50,000 troops remaining in Iraq. Usually supportive MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow said this week that Obama's plan "looks very much more like a Bush plan than it did like a Barack Obama-the-campaigner plan.". . .


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