Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The door is open....

BAGHDAD – Iraq is willing to have the U.S. withdraw all its troops and assume security for the country before the end of 2011, the departure date agreed to by former President George W. Bush, the spokesman of the Iraqi prime minister said.

Spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh made the comment Tuesday, a day before President Barack Obama and his senior commanders were to meet in Washington to discuss the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama promised during the campaign to withdraw all U.S. combat troops from Iraq within 16 months of taking office. The new president said in his inaugural address Tuesday that he would "begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people."

The government-owned newspaper Al-Sabah reported Wednesday that Iraqi authorities have drafted contingency plans in case Obama orders a "sudden" withdrawal of all forces and not just combat troops.

Al-Dabbagh told Associated Press Television News that Iraqis had been worried about a quick U.S. departure.

But with the emphasis on a responsible withdrawal, al-Dabbagh said the Iraqi government was willing for the U.S. to leave "even before the end of 2011." The Bush administration agreed in a security agreement signed in November to remove all U.S. troops by the end of 2011.
Alrighty, then! What's keeping us?

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