Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Don’t reward violence in Iraq

President Obama should not bow to the Beltway voices urging him to keep U.S. troops longer in Iraq.

At a speech at West Point on Saturday, May 22, Obama said: “We are poised to end our combat mission in Iraq this summer.” His statement, which the cadets greeted with applause, is a reaffirmation of his pledge to have all U.S. combat forces leave Iraq by Aug. 31. Any remaining armed forces are required to leave Iraq by the end of 2011 in accordance with the binding bilateral Security Agreement, also referred to as the Status of Forces Agreement.

But Washington pundits are still pushing Obama to delay or cancel the U.S. disengagement, calling on him to be “flexible” and take into consideration the recent spike of violence in Iraq. Hundreds of Iraqis have been killed and injured during the last few months in what seems to be an organized campaign to challenge U.S. plans.

Read the full op-ed here.