Sunday, August 21, 2011

Editorial: US will be in Iraq beyond 2011, Panetta and Iraqi government explain

"Everybody should know like the gig is up, the American troops are staying, they're not leaving," Jake Diliberto declared last Monday on Adam vs. The Man. And, yes, it was obvious then what was happening.

Still Friday hit like a sucker punch to the gut.


That's when US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (above), speaking with Stars and Stripes and Military Times, declared of US troops remaining in Iraq beyond December 31, 2011, "My view is that they finally did say yes, which is that as a result of a meeting that Talabani had last week, that all of the, it was unanimous consent among the key leaders of the country to go ahead and request that we negotiate on some kind of training, what a training presence would look like, they did at least put in place a process to try and get a Minister of Defence decided and we think they're making some progress on that front."

The denials from the Iraqi government were instant.

And the press responded by burying the story.

The Secretary of Defense says it's a done-deal and where's the damn coverage?

Would pursuing the story interrupt American Princess Barack Obama's vacation?

Who the hell cares, Panetta spoke the truth.

That scoop was broken at The Common Ills on Saturday ("Nouri's spokesperson confirms Panetta was correct") as C.I. translated two Arabic newspaper reports:

Al Mada reports on Panetta's remarks and on Nouri's spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh denying an agreement has already been made. But while denying it, Ali al-Dabbagh also stated that when "the polical blocs met, they approved the need to train security forces and the Iraqi military" which would be Panetta's point that it was now a done deal. So despite his denial, Ali al-Dabbagh's actual remarks back up what Panetta said. Dar Addustour also offers Ali al-Dabbagh's quote and, in addition, they report that the only perplexing issue in the negotiations is how many US troops remain.

But not everyone speaks or reads Arabic.

For those who don't, you can refer to Aswat al-Iraq which quotes Ali al-Dabbagh stating that "the meeting of the Political Blocs had approved the need for training the Iraqi Security and Military forces, but official negotiations have not started yet to decide the type, period and number of the needed (US) training forces, according to which the need for the presence or non-presence of such training forces in Iraq is decided."

Read the above. Panetta was correct. They did say yes. It's right there in al-Dabbagh's statement ("the meeting of the Political Blocs had approved the need for training the Iraqi Security and Military forces"). Panetta said details still needed to be worked out but that the agreement had been made to extend beyond 2011.

Panetta told the truth. Where was the media?

Covering for Barack as usual. And that's pretty much All Things Media Big and Small. Though Panetta's remarks came Friday, by midnight Saturday, 'antiwar' David Swanson still hadn't found time to post on it -- though he'd done many posts already at War Is A Crime.

You know what's a crime, David Swanson? Being a spineless suck-up to the administration, being too damn scared of your shadow to tell the truth.

He's far from alone.

But the reality is, Panetta was correct, it's a done deal. Even Nouri's spokesperson said so. All that remains is working out the amount of so-called 'trainers.'

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