Gates to Iraqis: We’ll Stay, Just Ask Us

A revealing article appeared in Voice of America (VOA) on August 12. Defense Secretary Robert Gates made the following statement:

“I think we have an agreement with the Iraqis that both governments have agreed to, that we will be out of Iraq at the end of 2011,” he (Gates) said. “If a new government is formed there and they want to talk about beyond 2011, we’re obviously open to that discussion. But that initiative will have to come from the Iraqis.”

At the time of this post, if you do a Google “News” search for the sentence underlined, you will find it only at the VOA source. The article notes that Gates made the statement, “to reporters on his aircraft during a domestic trip on Wednesday.” Apparently, it wasn’t newsworthy except to the official news agency for the United States government.

President Obama’s withdrawal promise has been treated with some skepticism. Now we’ve got Robert Gates adding a cynical codicil: “if they want to talk … we’re obviously open to discussion.”

Who’s in charge here?

We’re used to some military officials challenging President Obama’s authority. Both General David Petraeus and former Afghanistan commander General Stanley McChrystal have contradicted Obama. But now we have the Secretary of Defense encouraging the Iraqi government to speak up if they want us to stay. He’s giving that government leverage to force a discussion of a set policy at a critical juncture.

One has to wonder where Gates gets the confidence that Congress would approve another year or ten simply because the Iraqis government asked.

Creating a Storyline

The Voice of America charter states that, “The long-range interests of the United States are served by communicating directly with the peoples of the world by radio.” VOA How well did it do its job in this article?

The narrative presented the troop withdrawal as being on time but then raised questions about the wisdom of the overall policy and the removal of all US troops by the end of 2011. VOA quoted Iraqi Lieutenant General Babakir Zebari and alluded to a larger unnamed group as questioning the 2011 deadline.

At that point, the article brought in “Iraqi expert” Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, a DC think tank supposedly aligned with the Democratic Party. Part of O’Hanlon’s expert credentials were earned as an early supporter of the invasion planning by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

The Iraqi “expert” of choice said that General Zebari’s views were probably those of most Iraqi commanders. Then he offered this endorsement of an ongoing occupation.

“Why do you want to run the risk of taking away this good friend of the Iraqi people, and this sort of stabilizing, independent, neutral capability in the form of the United States military, when you’re not yet sure all the Iraqi wounds have adequately healed for that country to really be on a path toward stability,” asked O’Hanlon. (Video.)

It was time for VOA’s message to the world, Gate’s offer to change the withdrawal deadline.

There was no mention of competing arguments including the stated policy of the US government. There was certainly no rebuttal offered for the absurd statement in O’Hanlon’s set up about the U.S. as “this good friend of the Iraqi people. Can he read? And there was not a mention that the Iraqi people have consistently favored a U.S. withdrawal in six to twelve months for years.

Corrective Action?

The VOA presented a one sided set of arguments for breaking the commitment of the President of the United States, Congress, and the will of citizens.

Surely, the president will fire the head of VOA and take Gates to the woodshed for creating confusion about a vital national security interest. Otherwise people might conclude that he agrees with this backpedaling on a full withdrawal by the end of 2011.

Michael Collins writes for Scoop Independent News and a variety of other web publications on election fraud and other corruptions of the new millennium. He is one of few to report on the ongoing struggles of Susan Lindauer, an activist accused of being a foreign agent, who was the subject of a government request for forced psychiatric medication. This article may be reproduced in whole or in part with attribution of authorship, a link to this article, and acknowledgment of images. Read other articles by Michael, or visit Michael's website.

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  1. hayate said on August 16th, 2010 at 8:56am #

    Well, first israel, then america and now al ciada recently got very critical of Turkey. I wonder why….

    Al-Qaeda tirade against Turkey

    UPDATED ON: Sunday, August 15, 2010 16:59 Mecca time, 13:59 GMT

    Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, has slammed Turkey’s government for co-operating with Israel and “killing Muslims in Afghanistan”.

    In a 20-minute Arabic audio message posted on an Islamist website on Sunday, al-Zawahiri also offered condolences to the families of Turkish activists killed by Israel during a raid on a Gaza bound aid flotilla.

    “The Turkish government shows sympathy with the Palestinians through statements or sending some relief aid, but actually recognises Israel, engages in trade, carries out military training and shares information with it,” the Egyptian-born al-Zawahiri said.

    He called on Turks to pressure their government to end relations with the Jewish state.

    ‘Co-operating with Israel’

    “The change will come when the Turkish people urge their government to stop co-operating with Israel … or taking part in killing Muslims in Afghanistan,” he said, referring to Turkey’s participation in the Nato mission in the country.

    Turkey, Israel’s strongest Muslim ally prior to the flotilla raid in May which killed eight Turkish activists and one Turkish-American, has demanded an apology from Israel for the deaths.

    So far, Israel has refused to do so, severely damaging relations between the two former-friends and US allies.

    “The Turkish government issues statements against Israel, but at the same time commits the same Jewish crimes against the Muslim mujahideen in Afghanistan, burning their houses, demolishing their villages and even assuming the leadership of Nato there,” al-Zawahiri said.

    He said the siege on Gaza demonstrates what he called the Zionist Crusader campaign, aided by “Arab traitors” and the United States.

    Al-Zawahiri, who has a US bounty of $25m on his head, made is last known public statement in July, when he criticised Barack Obama, the US president, for launching “a new stage in the Crusader and Zionist campaign”.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2010/08/201081513118391787.html

    The Turks are distancing themselves from israel, and israeloamerica’s cut-out, al ciada, chides them for being too friendly to israel. Very clever, zionists. Now the zionist occupied media will connect Turkish independence from israeloamerica with association with al qaida.

  2. hayate said on August 16th, 2010 at 6:55pm #

    Mohsen ROCKS

    Woman hits Senate Armed Services chairman with pie

    15 mins ago

    BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – A woman identified as an anti-war protester hit U.S. Sen. Carl Levin in the face with an apple pie during the Armed Services Committee chairman’s meeting with constituents in northern Michigan, authorities said Monday.

    The senator took a question near the end of the Monday morning meeting in Big Rapids from a man who said he was a student, Levin’s office said in a news release. The man read a long statement, then a woman came up and hit Levin with a pie.

    Big Rapids police arrested Ahlam M. Mohsen, 22, of Coldwater on a felony charge of stalking, as well as misdemeanor counts of assault and disorderly conduct. She has no listed telephone number in Coldwater.

    Mohsen told the Big Rapids Pioneer she hoped “to send a message that liberals and Democrats are just as implicated in the violence (of war) as the Republicans.”

    Mohsen was one of three protesters arrested in January 2009 after a sit-in at Levin’s office in Lansing, according to Michigan State University’s campus newspaper. She told the newspaper then that the group wanted the United States to begin cutting military and other support to Israel and call for an investigation of Israeli war crimes.

    The earlier arrest, plus the escalation to a physical assault, formed the basis for the stalking charge, Officer Erik Small told The Associated Press. He said Mohsen was being held without bond and was expected to be arraigned Tuesday.

    Police said the man who read the statement before Mohsen hit Levin with the pie and a woman who videotaped the attack also could face charges. Police do not have the videotape, Little said.

    Levin appeared to take the pie toss in stride.

    “They didn’t hurt me, but they hurt their cause even more than their own extreme words had already done,” he said in a statement.

    The constituent meeting was sponsored by the Mecosta County Democratic Party. The city of about 10,000 is 50 miles north of Grand Rapids and 150 miles northwest of Detroit.

    (This version CORRECTS county name in last paragraph to Mecosta instead of Meekest.)

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100817/ap_on_re_us/us_senator_pie_in_face

    крута