Iraq Independence in June 2004 - mark your calendars!

According to Foxnews.com, the end of the U.S. occupation is a mere seven months away:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,103156,00.html

BAGHDAD, Iraq — As U.S. Apache helicopter (search) strikes taking part in Operation Iron Hammer (search) continued to target guerrillas thought to be preparing an attack on a U.S. base, reports surfaced saying that the United States was ready to grant Iraqi independence by June of 2004.

Now, let me think - the presidential election is when? Damned if I don’t smell something fishy. We’re announcing when we’ll “grant” Iraq it’s independence (hmm, grant sounds a little snobby.) Operation Iron Hammer - that sounds like a WAR initiative, and we all know the war ended this spring. We’re just occupying the region, as it were. But you have to admit Operation Iron Hammer has a certain ring to it.

This must be a political spin, right? As I watch the news each day, I don’t see any improvement in our ability to a)stop our soldiers from being killed; b)find those pesky weapons of mass destruction - so, why is the June 2004 date being thrown out there?

Opinions invited.

Wasn’t Bush recently quoted as saying that we wouldn’t leave until Saddam Hussein was captured or dead?

This report of a report seems to contradict enough very recent statements by the Administration to make me think it’s bogus, or misquoted, or something.

Yes, Leaper - I heard Bush on the radio today saying we would stay the course…etc…etc…
I would HOPE that Foxnews wouldn’t publish this news without verifying all sources, but the headline is still out there.

I’ve gotten the impression - just an impression, so far, nothing more - that this Administration is getting ready to do what it keeps accusing its opponents of wanting to do - cut and run. I have a feeling this is why Japan said it wasn’t going to send anyone to Iraq, because they probably got that impression too, and decided they weren’t going to put troops into Iraq only to find themselves abandoned by the US.
This Administration already has very severe credibility problems with the world, so I hope they’re not thinking of doing anything foolish.

If you read it carefully, you’ll note that Fox is just re-reporting the stuff that’s in all of the papers.

Haven’t heard nothing about leaving Iraq, just that we’re fixin’ to set up some kind of Islamic Chavez to run the country for us.

From your article:

By the way: you reckon we’re going to pull up our tent pegs and hotfoot right out of there? Any guesses on how many bases we’ll start out with?

Just in time for the Victory Parade and Re-Elect Our Troops and Support Our President Rally!

He also said something about getting Osama Bin Laden “dead or alive,” if I recall.

That means the troops are gonna be over there for a looooooooooooooong time… :wink:

The war ends the day oresident Bush says it ends, dammit! So what if the shooting not only continues but increases? The war has ended because the president has said so.

And Iraq shall be granted independence whenever president Bush says so, dammit! So what if American troops continue to occupy Iraq? (At the “invitation” of the Iraqi government, obviously). So what if the Iraqi government is a puppet of the USA and has little liberty to do anything else that what the US tells it to do? President Bush says they’re independent as of then and so they’re independent. Don’t you people understand anything about politics?
You know what’s kind of funny is that just a few short weeks ago, at the UN, France and other countries made it a condition for their cooperation a faster transition to Iraqi full sovereignty and the USA said “no way”.

The “independence” which the president of the USA is thinking of granting is not what normal people think of as “independence”. It is the “independence” to be a puppet of the USA: you can do anything you want so long as the big American brother does not object.

But it is a gesture directed to the American people, not to the Iraqis who will remain unaware that the war is over and that they are “independent”. I predict the shooting will not have stopped next summer. A damn fool war it is.

anyone besides me curious if this will affect the traditionally Republican/voting tendancy of troops (especially those stationed overseas)?

I damn well hope so.

The latest news:

MOSUL, Iraq — Seventeen American soldiers were killed and another five were wounded in Iraq Saturday after two U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk (search) helicopters crashed, the U.S. military said. One soldier remained unaccounted for.

I don’t even know any soldiers there - it must be hell for those who have loved ones on the front lines.

It just strikes me as very odd that a June 2004 “turnover” date has been set. Our soldiers won’t leave the country at that time, but somehow we’ll pass a magic wand to the new leaders?

I’m actually quite surprised that the day hasn’t been announced as well: On June 18, 2004, Iraq will regain it’s independence. Certain conditions apply, and only those…blah, blah.

It can be done.

By reconstituting the Army, the US will form the only real power base in Iraq, the charisma and gravitas of Achmed Chalabi have proved insufficient. That Army must have officers, and they will most likely have pretty much the same bunch, with the top skimmed off for a “Baathist purge”. All the majors become colonels, etc.

But they are still pretty much the same people, evolved into a military elite by tribal and ethnic…and familial…connections. What is an officer corps, after all, but a military elite?

Such power offers the only possibility that the Bushiviks strategic goal can be met: a stable Iraq, stable enough to attract the investments that will ease our sense of having attached Count Iraqula to our jugular vien, fiscally speaking. Stable enough to establish a foreign policy compliant with the wishes of its benefactors. Stable enough to oppress Islamic militancy within its own borders, and deny them a new haven. Stable enough to keep the Kurds and the Shia in check, firmly embraced to the point of immobility.

The Bushiviks professed ideal goal…democracy in Iraq, a nation without the slightest clue what that word means…cannot be acheived without a revolution: a complete and thorough upending of the structures of power, political, military, and beaurucratic. This Admin is not interested in revolutions. This Admin wants stability.

And if Iraq is not quite the shining paragon we imagined, not quite the nation of entreprenuers and Starbucks franchisees…

Ah, well. Still a success! Still toppled Saddam! Now there is no threat! Time to start bringing home the troops!

You know what? I wouldn’t be surprised if Our Leader doesn’t take the time from his crushing schedule of fundraising to be there to greet every one of those troop ships personally! Thats just the kind of guy he is.

CNN story

The end of June is seven and a half months away. Hey, that’s plenty of time to transition from American rule and a thumbs-up-their-asses, mostly-exiles-without-local-cred, but fortunately mostly powerless Iraqi ‘Governing’ Council to full-fledged self-government.

Each idea this Administration comes up with seems to be worse than the last.

Right you are - and I would imagine they are shaking in their boots at this point (or, if not, they should be.) The June 2004 independence is a rather pathetic attempt to push aside the recent news that the war (um, I mean occupation) has taken a turn for the worse.

It’s rather strange to long for the days when we were horrified that Clinton got a b.j. on the job, isn’t it?

Well, I’m pretty sure the vast majority of the citizens of Iraq really appreciate our army of liberation. It’s just that a lot of them are keeping their heads down while this reconstruction is going on.

And that CIA report about the growing resistance among the citizens of Iraq, well hell, the CIA was the ones who said that stuff about WMD and nuclear arms, or at least that’s what Bush said, right?

You guys crack me up. How much pissing and moaning was there that the empirialist US was an unwelcomed governing presence in Iraq, dishing out juicy contracts to Bechtel and Halliburton? Then the US announces a timetable for turning administrative authority over to actual Iraqis and now your pissing and moaning about that.

This is some of the best news out of Iraq I’ve heard since the occupation began. Until now, there was no sense of how long we would running things there-- no real sense of when Iraqis could start to feel like they were in control of their own desitny.

The news reports I’ve read all say that it is expected we’ll still have a sizable military presence in that country to maintain the security continuity necessary, as needed. And if the civil situation looks like to willl degenerate into chaos, we can always push the timeframe for transfer out further. But putting a stake in the ground gives everyone a goal to work towards, and gives the Iraqis a concrete timeframe they can focus on to build the kind of country they want.

If you don’t like this plan, what better one do you have to offer?

John Mace:

from http://mccain.senate.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=NewsCenter.ViewPressRelease&Content_id=1174

That’s number one. Number two is here:

http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=4515&sequence=0

…which shows that we can’t keep troops past March of next year without some major juggling.
My plan is to secure the ground first, and hand over to the Iraqis a situation where they can actually build a country from the ashes, rather than being left with a broken mess. The Bush Administration has yet to show that it is serious about making Iraq whole. In the absence of that kind of seriousness, this bit about Iraqi independence is nothing but a bad joke. Or would be, if it weren’t so sad.
Pathetic describes it exactly.

No, “your” the one misconstruing what is being said here. What I am sayinng is that there is no way in hell the USA is getting out of Iraq by June of 2004 and turning the country over to the Iraqi people. Mark my words. No way in hell. The American military will remain in Iraq and Halliburton and Co. will continue to milk the chicken of the golden eggs and whatever government is aparently running the country will remain a puppet of the USA. Which means the president of the USA is lying now. Once again. The USA has no intention of letting go of the loot.

let’s talk next summer and see how things are going, shall we?

In other words: We set a date but it can be cancelled for reason or no reason. We give a date because we are taleking to a domestic audience who is getting weary and wants to hear this will not go on forever.

I already offered my opinion before the invasion: stay out of Iraq. Why do I have any responsibility now to offer solutions to the mess which was created by ignoring my advice? But I’ll try anyway: Exile president Bush to St. Helena and turn the Iraqi mess over to the UN. Not that there’s any chance of that. And so, the mess will continue no matter what the words (lies) of president Bush.

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I think it will be done. Know how? Because the definition of “returning to Iraqi rule” will meld, melt and molt into whatever situation the White House deems.

So if, on July 4th, 2004, the US is raining daisy cutters on Bagdad, Bush et al. will tell the American people that they are Independence Day Liberation Bombs-- all part of the big Iraqi Liberation party. Fox News will have Fair and Balanced[sup]*[/sup] man-on-the-Bagdad-street interviews with jubilant Iraqi citizens hailing the bombs as manna from heaven and The President will appear on national TV on the Space Shuttle with a huge banner saying “Liberation Accomplished” streaming triumphantly behind him.

[sup]*[/sup]I await my letter from the Fox News legal department tellling me I’m being sued for copywrite infringement.