Iraq: A Premature Withdrawal?

On December 14th, 2011, President Obama spoke to America’s Best and Brightest at Fort Bragg who were celebrating the withdrawal of American forces from the country of Iraq:

“As the commander in chief and with respect to a grateful nation, I’m finally proud to express these words: welcome home,” Obama told 100s of soldiers collected in the military base at Fort Bragg in New York.

“It is a historic moment for the country and our military,” stated Obama, who recognized the sacrifices from the military since March 2003 when he started the invasion of Iraq brought through the U. S.

“The final American troops will move south and mix the border of Iraq using their heads held high,” stated the leader, dressed whatsoever occasions by his wife, Michelle. “Probably the most remarkable sections within the good reputation for the U.S. military will finish. The way forward for Iraq is going to be at the disposal of its people,” Obama stated towards the military as well as their families.

The most recent U.S. contingent will return from Iraq on December 31. The U.S. military spent the final several weeks closing bases and moving control towards the Iraqis. Obama purchased the finish of procedures in Iraq in mid-2010.

After a preliminary withdrawal of troops, continued to be in the united states some 50,000 troops towards the mission of coaching the Iraqi military and monitor the safety from the bases. Progressively, the dpi continues to be withdrawn in the country and also the last number of soldiers the mission came to the conclusion when the last day of the season.

Throughout his speech, Obama was interrupted by applause and cheers several occasions through the soldiers collected at Fort Bragg, a military base that experienced 202 casualties throughout the war. Obama assured the U.S. military that they’ll respond with “100s of 1000′s of jobs for individuals who offered within the Military.”

Obama known in the speech towards the lengthy and winding route to war, considering that most of the soldiers who visited Iraq were very youthful. “You, the generation of September 11, have gained a location ever,Inch stated the leader, and stated that because of the job from the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, “[Osama] bin Laden won’t walk around the face of the world “and Al-Qaeda is greatly destabilized.

Even as Obama was making with the pomp and circumstance, Islamic Terrorists were raining on Scooter’s parade, according to csmonitor.com:

Output at Iraq’s Rumaila oilfield has been halved from about 1.4 million barrels per day after a bombing hit southern pipelines, but crude exports were normal, Iraqi officials said on Wednesday.

Iraq is looking to its vast oil resources for future stability as it emerges from years of war. But renewed attacks on its oil infrastructure are a challenge to Iraqi security forces as U.S. troops withdraw by December 31.

Salah Mohammad, general manager of the Rumaila Operating Organization, told Reuters production from Rumaila oilfield was cut by around 700,000 bpd since Tuesday due to the bombing on the pipelines network.

Total production from Rumaila was at around 1.4 million before the bombing, he said.

“We halted production in Rumaila South because of the explosion. It has been halted until now since yesterday,” he said. “The pipeline network was a main one.”

Rumaila, the workhorse of Iraq’s oil industry, has estimated reserves of around 17 billion barrels and produces the bulk of Iraq’s total output of 2.95 million bpd now.

The field is being developed by British oil major BP and Chinese partner CNPC.

Three bombs hit an oil pipeline network that transports crude from southern Iraqi oilfields to storage tanks around the oil hub of Basra, causing a fire that raged all night.

Iraqi officials said the blaze had been put out on Wednesday morning, but an oil police source later said strong winds had reignited the fire.

The Iraqis issued an arrest warrant for their chief suspect:

Iraqi Vice President Tariq al- Hashimi denied charges of terrorism and said he is ready to testify in his defense after the country’s top court issued an arrest warrant and barred him from travel.

“I have been rewarded for my eight years of work with what you heard,” al-Hashimi said today in a televised news conference in Erbil, capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, referring to the arrest warrant. He questioned the motivation and timing of the accusations, which come as U.S. troops leave Iraq, and said he wants to be tried in Erbil.

Al-Hashimi left Baghdad for Erbil after security forces searched his home and office late yesterday in the capital’s so- called Green Zone and arrested some staff members, according to a person close to the vice president who asked not to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak to the press.

The arrest warrant marks an escalation of tensions between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Shiite Muslim-led allies and Sunni Muslim politicians, such as al-Hashimi, who have been at odds for more than a year over the formation of a unity government. The leader of Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani, has called for urgent talks to avoid the collapse of the political process.

“The situation is getting more complicated,” Barzani said in a statement late yesterday. “I call upon all powers to reconcile and to be tolerant and review their adamant stances.”

So, has the Obama Administration pulled out prematurely, leaving a country on the verge of being seized by Islamic Radicals?  Opinions vary:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 24% of Likely U.S. Voters think the situation in Iraq will get better in the next six months. Thirty-eight percent (38%) feel the situation there will get worse in that time, while 26% say it will stay about the same. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that 61% believe the Iraqi people are better off today compared to when Hussein was in power.

Better off?  Yes.  

Are we leaving behind a stable country?  It sure doesn’t seem so.

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