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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Iraqi Factions Seek Timetable for U.S. Pullout

    Well Bush has no excuse now. Even Iraq wants to know when we are leaving.
    Maybe they are budding Democrats?

    November 22, 2005
    Iraqi Factions Seek Timetable for U.S. Pullout

    CAIRO, Nov. 21 - For the first time, Iraq's political factions on Monday collectively called for a timetable for withdrawal of foreign forces, in a moment of consensus that comes as the Bush administration battles pressure at home to commit itself to a pullout schedule.

    The announcement, made at the conclusion of a reconciliation conference here backed by the Arab League, was a public reaching out by Shiites, who now dominate Iraq's government, to Sunni Arabs on the eve of parliamentary elections that have been put on shaky ground by weeks of sectarian violence.

    About 100 Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish leaders, many of whom will run in the election on Dec. 15, signed a closing memorandum on Monday that "demands a withdrawal of foreign troops on a specified timetable, dependent on an immediate national program for rebuilding the security forces," the statement said.

    "The Iraqi people are looking forward to the day when foreign forces will leave Iraq, when its armed and security forces will be rebuilt and when they can enjoy peace and stability and an end to terrorism," it continued.

    The meeting was intended as preparation for a much larger conference in Iraq in late February. The recommendations made here are to be the starting ground for that meeting.

    In Washington, Justin Higgins, a State Department spokesman, said, "The United States supports the basic foundation of the conference and we certainly support ongoing discussion among Iraq's various political and religious communities."

    But regarding troop withdrawal, he said: "Multinational forces are present in Iraq under a mandate from the U.N. Security Council. As President Bush has said, the coalition remains committed to helping the Iraqi people achieve security and stability as they rebuild their country. We will stay as long as it takes to achieve those goals and no longer."

    Shiite leaders have long maintained that a pullout should be done according to milestones, and not before Iraqi security forces are fully operational. The closing statement upheld a Sunni demand for a pullout, while preserving aspects of Shiite demands, but did not specify when a withdrawal should begin, making it more of a symbolic gesture than a concrete agenda item that could be followed up by the Iraqi government.

    The statement, while condemning the wave of terrorism that has engulfed Iraq, also broadly acknowledged a general right to resist foreign occupation. That was another effort to compromise with Sunnis who had sought to legitimize the insurgency. The statement condemned terror attacks and religious backing for them, and it demanded the release of innocent prisoners and an investigation into reports of torture.

    Almost all the delegates belong to political parties that represent the spectrum of Iraqi politics.

    But while Sunni parties hinted at their lines of communication to nationalist and tribal insurgents, none would admit any link to militants like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who has led a wave of suicide bombings through his group Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.

    The wording was a partial victory for Iraq's Sunni politicians, who have long demanded that the United States commit to a scheduled pullout.

    While the wording stopped short of condoning armed resistance to the occupation, it broadly acknowledged that "national resistance is a legitimate right of all nations."

    "This is the first time that something like this is said collectively and in public," Muhammad Bashar al-Faythi, spokesman for the hard-line Sunni Muslim Scholars Council, said Monday, referring to the timetable. "We managed to convince them of the importance of a timed pullout."

    On Monday, Iraq's interior minister, Bayan Jabr, said American-led forces should be able to leave Iraq by the end of next year, adding that the one-year extension of the mandate for the multinational force in Iraq by the United Nations Security Council earlier this month could be the last, The Associated Press reported.

    "By mid-next year, we will be 75 percent done in building our forces, and by the end of next year it will be fully ready," Mr. Jabr told Al Jazeera, the pan-Arab news channel.

    The Monday statement offered Shiite politicians concessions, too, by condemning terrorism against Shiites, condemning trumped-up theological arguments for attacks on Shiites, and legitimizing the political process that has made Shiite leaders the dominant political force in Iraq.

    "Some of the sides that were especially sensitive have opened up with the support of the Arab League," said Sheik Humam Hamoudi, a Shiite who headed the Iraqi constitution-drafting committee. "We now clearly see that Sunnis have entered politics, and this meeting won't change that."

    "If this meeting did anything, it was to comfort the Arabs and the Iraqi Sunnis about the whole process," he added. "The solution first is that Sunnis enter politics, then they enter government, then we deliver services to their areas, and then we build a strong government."

    The statement also called for the release of all prisoners who had not been charged or were deemed innocent, and asked Arab League members to cancel Iraq's debts and assist in building Iraqi security forces.

    Perhaps the biggest winner of the meeting was the 22-member Arab League itself, which has entered the political scene in Iraq hoping to repeat its success in 1989, when it brokered an end to Lebanon's 15-year civil war in a similar conference.

    The Arab League's secretary general, Amr Moussa, said Monday that the results of the meeting were a success, but he warned that expectations should remain modest.

    "This is a success for the most part," he told reporters. "We succeeded in 70 percent of the issues. We will move step by step, but what happened was very significant."

    The Iraqi politicians thrashed out their differences in the most open debate about the country's future yet. Starting Saturday, they wasted no time expressing their complaints and differences, after more than two years of sectarian violence.

    "Even if there is no agreement, we will have accomplished a conversation," Iraq's interim president, Jalal Talabani, said Sunday. Mr. Talabani and other senior members of the government refrained from taking a direct part in closed-door sessions of the three-day conference.

    The meeting ultimately centered on Iraq's insurgency and its causes, seeking to goad Sunnis to lay down their weapons and join the political system, while forcing Shiite politicians to acknowledge Sunni grievances. On Sunday, Mr. Talabani said he was willing to meet Iraqi insurgents if they dropped their weapons.

    From the start, the meeting was beset by controversy as many, especially Shiites, objected to plans to invite former Baath Party officials to take part. Even the statement's release was delayed Monday because of last-minute objections by Sunni leaders. But with some diplomacy, which included shuttling from the general assembly to Mr. Moussa's offices for private talks, a compromise was reached Monday evening.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Re: Iraqi Factions Seek Timetable for U.S. Pullout

    Hi Lady Mod.

    I saw that story too. Finally, the Bush administrations cannot keep saying; "We are doing good." "The Iraqi people welcome us." "We have won the hearts and minds." Blah, blah,blah. The Iraqis are saying "Get the h*ll out!" Good for them.
    Now there is NO excuse to stay. "Cutting" and "running" is not longer an issue.


  3. #3
    umdkook Guest

    Re: Iraqi Factions Seek Timetable for U.S. Pullout

    but wait guys, the US cant leave, then terrorists might take over and ruin teh "progress" that Bush had hoped for.

    What else did you think would happen in the desert mr G DUb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Iraqi Leaders want us out.

    Iraqi Leaders Call for Pullout Timetable

    Tuesday November 22, 2005 3:16 AM

    AP Photo XAN107


    Associated Press Writer

    CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Leaders of Iraq's sharply divided Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis called Monday for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces in the country and said Iraq's opposition had a ``legitimate right'' of resistance.

    The final communique, hammered out at the end of three days of negotiations at a preparatory reconciliation conference under the auspices of the Arab League, condemned terrorism, but was a clear acknowledgment of the Sunni position that insurgents should not be labeled as terrorists if their operations do not target innocent civilians or institutions designed to provide for the welfare of Iraqi citizens.

    The participants in Cairo agreed on ``calling for the withdrawal of foreign troops according to a timetable, through putting in place an immediate national program to rebuild the armed forces ... control the borders and the security situation'' and end terror attacks.

    The conference was attended by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Iraqi Shiite and Kurdish lawmakers, as well as leading Sunni politicians.

    Sunni leaders have been pressing the Shiite-majority government to agree to a timetable for the withdrawal of all foreign troops. The statement recognized that goal, but did not lay down a specific time - reflecting instead the government's stance that Iraqi security forces must be built up first.

    On Monday, Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabr suggested U.S.-led forces should be able to leave Iraq by the end of next year, saying the one-year extension of the mandate for the multinational force in Iraq by the U.N. Security Council this month could be the last.

    ``By the middle of next year we will be 75 percent done in building our forces and by the end of next year it will be fully ready,'' he told the Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera.

    Debate in Washington over when to bring troops home turned bitter last week after decorated Vietnam War vet Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., called for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, and estimated a pullout could be complete within six months. Republicans rejected Murtha's position.

    In Egypt, the final communique's attempt to define terrorism omitted any reference to attacks against U.S. or Iraqi forces. Delegates from across the political and religious spectrum said the omission was intentional. They spoke anonymously, saying they feared retribution.

    ``Though resistance is a legitimate right for all people, terrorism does not represent resistance. Therefore, we condemn terrorism and acts of violence, killing and kidnapping targeting Iraqi citizens and humanitarian, civil, government institutions, national resources and houses of worships,'' the document said.

    The final communique also stressed participants' commitment to Iraq's unity and called for the release of all ``innocent detainees'' who have not been convicted by courts. It asked that allegations of torture against prisoners be investigated and those responsible be held accountable.

    The statement also demanded ``an immediate end to arbitrary raids and arrests without a documented judicial order.''

    The communique included no means for implementing its provisions, leaving it unclear what it will mean in reality other than to stand as a symbol of a first step toward bringing the feuding parties together in an agreement in principle.

    ``We are committed to this statement as far as it is in the best interests of the Iraqi people,'' said Harith al-Dhari, leader of the powerful Association of Muslim Scholars, a hard-line Sunni group. He said he had reservations about the document as a whole, and delegates said he had again expressed strong opposition to the concept of federalism enshrined in Iraq's new constitution.

    The gathering was part of a U.S.-backed league attempt to bring the communities closer together and assure Sunni Arab participation in a political process now dominated by Iraq's Shiite majority and large Kurdish minority.

    The conference also decided on broad conditions for selecting delegates to a wider reconciliation gathering in the last week of February or the first week of March in Iraq. It essentially opens the way for all those who are willing to renounce violence against fellow Iraqis.

    Shiites had been strongly opposed to participation in the conference by Sunni Arab officials from the former Saddam regime or from pro-insurgency groups. That objection seemed to have been glossed over in the communique.

    The Cairo meeting was marred by differences between participants at times, and at one point Shiite and Kurdish delegates stormed out of a closed session when one of the speakers said they had sold out to the Americans.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    Re: Iraqi Leaders want us out.

    What? They want us out of Iraq? Why those dirty traitors! Don't they know that it will demoralize our troops? Those lousy Bush haters. They should be horsewhipped! This is all Cindy Sheehans fault. This is all Michael Moore's fault. I thought they loved us in Iraq? Now 80% of the people in Iraq want us out? I'm shocked! Shocked! :D

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Re: Iraqi Leaders want us out.

    These threads were combined by Tommy's request. I don't know why the software does what it does though, it keeps his title but I was made the author of the thread. He is the author.


    Lady Mod

  7. #7
    coontie is offline Vashudeva; Ferryman - doing the work...
    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    Re: Iraqi Leaders want us out.

    That's very good news!

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