Friday, October 17, 2008

US General forced to apologize to Iraqi leader

Wow.  The highly regarded US General in charge of operations in Iraq, Gen Ray Odierno (at right), has been forced to back down on accusations he has made regarding the conduct of the Iraqi parliament.   The US is in the midst of negotiations with Iraq Prime Minister Maliki about the occupation and Odierno accused the Iranian government of bribing Iraqi parliamentarians to vote against the negotiated settlement.

Maybe it's just me, but since when do US military generals apologize to foreign political leaders?  Somehow I cannot imagine Ike or Douglas MacArthur kow-towing to their Japanese or German counterparts during our post-World War II occupation.  Could you see Pershing apologizing to the leader of the Weimar Republic in 1921?

I cannot argue the merits of General Odierno's accusation and, frankly, the truthfulness of his remarks matters little to the situation.  Perhaps he should not have said them, true; but he damn well doesn't have to apologize for making them.  If they are true: if Iran is insinuating itself into the operation of the Iraqi Parliament, then the taxpayers of the United States who are paying for this charade and the citizens of the United States who have mandated this military operation certainly are entitled to know the details of General Odierno's allegations.

Where is John McCain's banner of "Country First" now?

This Iraq business is like nothing I could ever imagine.  In the agreement being negotiated, US soldiers and contractors will be subject to Iraqi law and Iraqi courts if accused of certain heinous crimes.  Iraq, a nation that has no history of any distinguishable form of justice, will now have tha ability to try, convict and imprison our soldiers.  Unbelieveable.

This is not to say that General Odierno may have been out of bounds with his comments about Iran, and this is not to say that US soldiers do not commit crimes from time to time.  Such a negotiated agreement begs the question that if Iraq has such national civic pride that could insulted by such a remark, and if Iraq has such a stable justice system that can determine the guilt or innocence of foreign nationals, then certainly they have the tools to defend their own borders and police their own streets.  How do they benefit from having the Leviathan military of the US in their country if we are such a distraction to their civic structure and their relations with their neighbor?

I am not being facetious or rhetorical.  This type of story emphasizes the fact that the US military has become an impediment to the normal conduct of the Iraqi government, as normal as such a nascent government's conduct can be, and it is indeed time for us to leave.

The US military is not serving the national interests of the US, if they ever were; and now it has become abundantly clear that we are not serving in the best interests of the Iraq nation either.

Time to get out.  Now.

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