Army soldier of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division patrols in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The Iraqi government is finally making its voice heard, and it's not the message the White House was hoping for.
Baghdad is saying there will be no security deal with the U.S. unless it includes a timetable for withdrawing our troops from their country.
This puts the Bush administration in a delicate position. The U.N. mandate that allows American troops to be in Iraq expires at the end of the year. Pres. Bush has long opposed a firm timetable, but he also wants the Iraqi government to stand on its own. President Bush himself has said in the past that he would go along with the Iraqi government's wishes.
U.S. officials now say Iraq has the right to determine its future, but once again insists that a timeline would be a bad idea. Resistance from the Iraqi government will probably make it difficult to finish those negotiations by the end of this month, like the administration wanted.
It might mean that a long-term deal won't be worked out until the next president comes into office. Some believe that the two countries might end up working out a short-term deal.
But, it shouldn't come as a big surprise that Iraq is standing its ground here. A poll conducted this spring showed that 72% of Iraqis oppose the presence of U.S. forces, and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki can't ignore that fact.
Some experts say that al-Maliki may be trying to show his people that he's tough enough to stand up to the U.S. After all, he doesn't want to lose support from Iraqis to the cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, one of his chief rivals. The prime minister's words might also be meant for Iran, who doesn't want the U.S. to use Iraq as a launching pad from which to attack them.
Here’s my question to you: Should the U.S. agree to Iraqi demands for a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Kerry from Grosse Ile, Michigan writes:
Iraq asking for a timetable for withdrawal is one thing and demanding it is another. As the old saying goes, "color me gone!" The downside is "if" Iran's nutsy runt of a leader makes good on any of his threats, we've lost a good strategical position in stopping him.
Karen from Fairfax, California writes:
Yes, but only if withdrawal includes a commitment to 'no permanent bases' and a departure from the Green Zone as well. I won't believe any timetable which finesses the question of leaving residual troops behind, nor will the Arab street.
It's not a question of whether we need to eventually get out, that's a given. This idea of publishing a timetable is nothing more than political expediency. This is a military issue and setting a timetable for withdrawal is naive and dangerous.
Darlene from Pennsylvania writes:
Isn't it funny how what Obama said from the beginning regarding getting out of Iraq is now coming to fruition. This is a big slap in the face for Bush and McCain and makes the junior senator look positively brilliant.
Yes. For better or worse, we're supposedly in this war until Iraq is stable and can function without our help. If they no longer want or need our presence there, it's time for us to leave. Also, if we refuse these demands and keep our troops in a place where they're not wanted, it can only anger the Iraqis and result in more deaths.
Chryssa from Boise, Idaho writes:
Yes, we should. They don't want us there, we don't want us there – this isn't exactly a gray area.
It's their country. If this is how they want it, we should agree to it.
yes jack, the u.s. should agree to a timetable for exiting iraq, but that would mean that bush & cheney have been in error since 2004!
tom, forest hills, pa
The u.s. should absolutely set a goal, or plan to leave iraq. It has been my experience that when you set goals you see more success than when you don't set any goals. Bush's rationale for not setting a timetable is absurd. The fact is Bush wants to be in iraq permanently. And i believe Mccain does as well. It seems both Bush and Mccain have this imperialistic ideal of globalizing around the globe in order to advance our capitalistic agenda.
Yes. And they should do it now.
Of course we should Jack, didn't we bumble into this country on lies and misinformation to begin with. This will be a good way to bow out gracefully without being accused of cutting and running. If Bush doesn't take this opportunity to get out now, then there must be a more sinister reasons why he wants to stay.
Of course we should have a timetable, Jack!
They don't want us there and we don't want to be there. What's the issue? I'll tell you: the Bush Regime hasn't finished getting all it can get out of their dirty little war.
And please, could we finish these before we start another war?
D. Casey |California
In 2004 John McCain said that if the Iraqis had a legitamate government that, as a sovereign nation, asked the US to leave, then we had an obligation to honor that request. In 2008, that John McCain does not exist. I just wish Tim Russert was here to play that clip from '04 on Meet the Press and then let McCain stew for a while.
I'm sorry? Iraq's demands of a timetable? Now that's a silly question.
The U.S. should listen to the American PEOPLES demand for a time table in Iraq, whether the Iraqies would like one or not. It isn't as if these are a desperate people in desperate need of U.S. interference in their affairs. We are occupying their country, even if it is to fix what WE broke, and WE, the American people, have already demanded a timetable. It's just fallen on deaf Bush ears.
True there are some who will say we can't do that because it will ruin our standing in the world, make all the efforts seem in vain, and cost us billions, if not trillions, of dollars, but the fact remains we never would have been in this mess, and would not even have our standing and funds jeopardized had it not been for the Bush Administration's billigerence in the first place.
The Iraqis want us out of Iraq. The majority of the American people want us out of Iraq. The counties of the Middle East want us out of Iraq. So what are we doing pursuing this elusive "Victory in Iraq?" And what is "Victory in Iraq" anyway? Does someone need to agree to a cease fire or surrender? And who might that someone be? Having been a project manager I know nothing will ever get done without a schedule. Without a timetable to leave, which obviously can be changed if conditions on the ground dictate, how can the US be seen as anything more than a colonial occupier?
Unless we want to overthrow the current Iraqi government and annex the country as part of the United States, of course we have to get out if they don't want us there. Uh oh. I may have given Bush an idea. Forget that annex business.
The Iraqi government could write 'Please Leave Now' In mile wide English lettering that could be seen by the International Space Station and John McBush would say that we had misunderstood them somehow and he knows what they really meant. Has anyone ever asked the Prime Minister about what he thinks of us staying in his country for 50, even 100 years?
Of course we should! We shouldn't have been there to begin with. Listen to them – it's their country.
I firmly oppose the US Government setting any timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. If the timetable is to come about, the Iraqis should be the ones writing it, since they're the ones who have to take over.
If Iraq wants us out,we should get out.Its that simple.
Hold up.... you meaning to say they don't even want us there?
Yes, it is way past time to leave Iraq. Let the Iraqis run their own country and finally charge Bush and Cheney with war crimes, crimes against humanity as well as violations of international law.
Frankly Jack I dont see that we have a choice. When the rationale of invading Irag changed from finding the WMD's to building a democracy in Iraq so that they can have a voice, it wasnt until only recently that the Iraqis have been using that voice. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stated that he wanted foreign troops out immediately or an agreement to have a timetable for withdraw, which happens to be exactly what the American people want. John McCain was asked if he would respect the Iraqi government if we were asked to leave regardless of conditions on the ground and yesterday he started flip-flopping on the issue. Besides, they have an elected leaders now and we need to respect that country's sovereignty. If we do not leave Iraq we would amount to nothing but a bunch of occupiers.
First, the Iraqi's should not be demanding that we get out, we should be demanding that they set up, defend their own country so we can get out. However, if they are demanding our exit, isn't that a clue that we should be leaving? Haven't we lost enough lives, and wounded enough soldiers? What is our government thinking?
For starters, I don't think Iraq is in any position to tell the US much of anything. They exist right now by the good graces of the US and its people.
Regardless of what the Iraqis think, the American people (by majority opinion) think we need to get out. So lets get out. Let them kill each other in therir inevitable civil war. Only then will Iraq see the light and do what is best for their nation.
If not....f- 'em.
No, we should give them a bill for the cost of the war and get out by the end of the month. Then we can forgive the debt just as we did in WWII.
Let me see...YES!!!!!
Bush has always said we are remaining in Iraq because the Iraqi people want us there. Simple, we should withdraw on our terms and not return on their terms.
Now you have armed your enemies in Iraq to prove the surge would work you better get out as soon as possible or you will likely pay terrible price for the profits of your oil magnates.
Remember this isn't the first time you've armed your enemies e.g. Osama Bin Laden to fight the Russians in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussien to fight the Iranians etc. etc.
Of course if you elect John McCain you will need to stay in Iraq so you will have a solid base in the area to help with your invasion of Iran.
How dare are puppet government forget its place and demand to control their own country. Timetables, that’s liberal speak, we can not leave Iraq until the oil is flowing and old glory is blowing in the wind.
West Palm Beach, Fl
Yes, a thousand times yes. After all, it is their country unless they have been taken over by BP, Chevron, Exxon, and Shell.
Port Aransas, TX
Since we are stuck with the Bush administration policies until next year, a decision on troop withdrawal will have to wait until the new president takes office. Let us hope that president is Barack Obama.
Fort Collins, CO
Where have you been, Jack ? Din't you hear yesterday the Iraqi officials begging the US to pull out ? – – and Dubya telling them, NOT until all the oil has been sucked out of Iraq !
We should leave as soon as they want us to go. We have no right to take over their country. What if another country did that to us???? We would lose our mind. Has much changed since we have been there?
Yes they should and the sooner the better. It will help the U.S. by not having to spend all that money over there and more importantly less lives lost
When Dems and Obama called for a timetable it was a cowardly act for political gain. Period. Obama is trapped because the surge is working.
Unlike the Dems, the Iraqi government is asking for a drawdown of American troops against a timetable that will not play havoc with their nation’s sovereignty or security. They are looking at a 3-5 year timetable, and only if conditions are right.
This is in direct contrast to Obama and majority of Dems timetable which centered on ….. get out now, run for the hills, people are dying, it’s turned into a civil war, things will never improve, the surge is a waste of time, we’re screwed and Bush is stupid.
I have it about right, there Jack?
We definitely should have a timetable...I'm still not sure what's been accomplished. According to Bush we should be happy that the gargantuan mess that we've made is only a huge mess...mission accomplished indeed.
It's their country, not ours. Unless we're deciding on a national policy of imperialism and colonialismlike England and Spain of the past, we have little choice but to leave soon. To do otherwise would be to invite an eternal bloodbath and to betray every ideal we claim to cherish.
Yes, just like Obama said. It should be orderly and timely Jack.
As President Bush himself has said, "If they were to say leave, we would leave." Get out that time table Mr. President because it appears the Democrats are more in tune with what both the American and Iraqi people want. Our troops to come home.
After we didn't find any WMDs, our administration told us we were actually there to establish democracy. Well...let them vote on it.
Most Iraqis want a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal, and most Americans want a timetable for withdrawal. Why is there a question here? It isn't rocket science. But it may well depend on whether or not Halliburton wants a timetable for troop withdrawal. I hope President Obama rejects the idea of a corporate boss.
It's about time! We should abide by Iraqi timetables and Get Out ! Enough of this war and the catastrophic damage its done to our economy!
It would seem that are goals of ridding Iraq of WMD and Saddam have been completed. We were going to free the Iraqi people and give them the gift of self government. That is evidenced by the purple fingers and duly elected leaders, whom wish to have a timetable for the U.S. to exit their country.
I have a "novel" idea....I suggest we role out a big "Mission Accomplished" banner and have Bush start giving speeches.
I don’t know how soon the Iraqis want us out (the sooner the better). But if it is a day less than 100 years I say YES. In fact I would push for tomorrow.
Of course, Jack. Iraq did not ask to become a foreign occupied country. The U. S. A. should be able offer a cooperative timetable. Hmmm. In 2002, Barack Obama said "I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than the best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitmant arms of Al Qaeda". Hmmm.
Jack: They should because then the Bush Administration can claim victory and safe face at the same time, becasue the Iraqis requested us to leave......a political window of opportunity for all to claim victory, however, victory or defeat, each one comes at the same price.
Of course! It is their country! There will be less danger in leaving when they want us to than for us to continue to dictate terms of our occupation. A protracted recall of our troops will add to the peril of those troops remaining the longest. Get them out ASAP!
Absolutely. Once there is a time table, there will be seriousness in getting the troops home and by the way it is not only for the good of the troops but also for the good of Iraqi people because there will not be meaningful peace so long as they remain there. The time-table is long overdue!
Absolutely we should! It is time they assumed the responsibility for their own country. The American people have been patient, gracious and self-sacrificing long enough. And it will be surprising if they show us any favor with their oil. It is time the American people start taking care of their own families, using the genius that we have in this country to make ourselves not dependent on foreign oil!
Thank you Iraq for saying what Sen. Obama has said for years!
I think that if the Iraqis don't want us to be there anymore occupying their country then we should honour thier request and leave.If we stay any longer it's called imperialism.
Welcome back Jack, hope you had a nice vacation. Absolutely we should leave if Iraqis want us out. After spending this money there and their still killing our soildiers and fighting us daily. Let'em live by a dictator if thats what they want. why should we the U.S. suffer for people who aren't appreciative.
Yes Jack of course we should agree to any time tables the Iraqis insist on.Have we forgotten Iraq and it's people do not belong to us? The insurgency showed just how much we were wanted there, and we have overstayed our welcome. We aren't liberators we are occupiers.
Iraqis want us out. Time to pack up and get out of Bagdad before we further wear out our welcome.
Hey Jack, We missed you,glad you are back!
When they finished the sentence american generals should have been yelling "PACK IT UP BOYS, WE'RE OUTTA HERE!"
They do not want us there. We should just pack up our tents and come home in an orderly fashon asap.
Iraq asking us to set up a time table for the U.S. to get out so they can plan when they can take care of their own problems. Sounds like something I have heard before but not from them. Could it be they want us out soon so they can get a larger piece of the oil pie? No matter the reason we should do it.
Absolutely. How does 2108 sound?
as long as it takes to gather sufficient transportation to get everyone of our troops the hell out of there. In other words as soon as possible.
If the U.S. does not agree they would become accupiers and that would give rise to a new insurgency and much more bloodshed. Remember they had no right in Iraq in the first place.
Of course we should get out. It probably would be wise
to negotiate a time table, but then it would take someone
who is willing to negotiate.
We went in and bombed their country and have mismanaged
everything since. With the money that has been spent the
country should be in good shape, but unfortunately, the
funds were not monitored so who knows where it all
Let's take care of Afghanistan and then goodbye to the
Jack: As previously stated by President Bush, our troops must leave if Iraq orders them out, however; the timetable for leaving should be determined by America, not Iraq. Besides, that's Obama's job.
Of course we should agree to a timetable, as long as they understand that once we leave they will be taken over immediately by Iran, and that we aren't coming back except to sop up what's left of the oil after we take out Iran from the air. Let those corrupt fools hang themselves.
I'm in favor of cutting off the money, first. A timetable starting yesterday would not be soon enough to bring the troops home, at least to suit most of us. We really don't need to build any more bridges, buildings, etc., for that strange society to blow up! We need to bring our troops home to build bridges here. They might even finish that fence along the Mexican border before we start requiring e-cards with numbers that give permission to work in the United States.
Yeah !!!!! Let's get going – Right Now !!!!
But, let's make sure they pay us back for our trouble.
We can't leave, as that would mean the terrorists have won
Not just yes, but heck yes. We should have been out of there years (and hundreds of billions of dollars) ago. Maybe we wouldn't be faced with a 10% cut in medicare payments to physicians if we had.
Failure to comply with Iraq's request to set a timetable for withdrawing our troops would only prove to the world that we are Imperialist Pigs! We have declared Iraq a sovereign nation. To borrow Bushism, refusal to treat them as anything less will cast the U. S. as a pillar of evil.
Last I heard this was a soverign country.
Furthermore, George Bush has consistently stated, one of the few things he's said, that 'We will remain in Iraqi only as long as they want us. If asked to leave, we'll leave".
I'm more curious to know why we can leave now. What changed? Was it the oil companies getting those no-bid contacts? And if we leave, does Blackwater leave too? Or do the oil companies need their private security militias?
If the Iraqis want us out of Iraq, and we want us out of Iraq, -what's the problem? Jump at the opportunity to start disengaging.
Rory in South Carolina
Jack, if Iraq wants us out and the American people want our troops out then what exactly is the problem? Let’s diplomatically set an agreement and get this show on the road.
Absolutely we need to get out of Iraq. They have asked us to leave. We can not afford to squander more and more tax payer money to continue the occupation till US BIG Oil gets total control of the Iraqi oil reserves. With half the money already spent invading and occupying Iraq we could have developed alternative energy sources, owned the patents and put Americans back to work while exporting our technology. Think of that; prosperity at home, paying our way, cutting our deficit and rebuilding the value of the US Dollar.
Yes it way past time to get out of Iraq!
Yes they should! A better question would be "Why is the U.S govt still using depleted uranium when it has been banned by the U.N. Or even better would be why the U.N allows it to continue?
And thats just the way it is...
Ted Poe from Texas
Agree to Iraqi demands? Do you mean Iraqis are demanding their freedom? I thought that's what this whole war was about. The U.S. got it for them, why not now give it to them?
The answer is simple. Yes. They don’t want us there and we can’t afford it. With our Military stretched thin, our economy in shambles and our reputation around the world tainted we need to end this war. With the Iraqi Government stating that they want us out, no permanent occupation and a timetable for withdraw this falls right in to the message of Barack Obama, John McCain can no longer say we are surrendering.
If the Iraqi want a timetable, it should be given to them on their timeframe and not anyone elses. After all it's their country, I think....
This will give the US time to sit back and find another global hall monitor rather than getting in everybodies business when no other country will take the lead.
It's about time the USA steps back and not act on the behalf of all nations that do nothing.... easy way to become the bully on the block.
Jack did not Iraq have free and fair elections ?and if a electected gov't policy wants a timetable is for an amercian timetable for withdraw from an Iraq or is it once again the only US policys that counts. Or the drilling has not started ?
Cambridge ONT Canada
Absolutely YES! A resounding YES!!! It's a no brainer on a silver platter. Thank you, Iraq!!!
i'm sure president obama will speed up our withdrawal,if it can be done safely.the majority could be out within a few months.but,republicans will then call him a flip-flopper for not taking exactly 16 months to do it.who cares tho?republicans are becoming extinct,at about the same rate as polar bears and gorillas.that's one species the world could do without,anyway.
it is time and past time for a time table. I kind of like 20 January 2009 at twelve hundred one hours.
Pablo in Arlington, texas
Yes we should leave, since the majority of the Iraqis want us to leave yesterday. Unfortunately, Bush & Co won’t leave until the Iraqis puppet government privatize the oil fields and allows us to maintain permanent military bases in Iraq to be short striking distance of Israel’s enemies. Israel then can continue the methodical ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their land unchallenged.
Get out while the gettin's good!
If it will help them (or push them) at putting in their own security forces more efficiently, then Yes, let them know when the training wheels will be completely off… And pray they can ride all by themselves.
Hell yes, and we want a time-table for their repaying our expenses for saving their sorry asses and conpensation to the families of our dead and wounded!
Why shouldn't we? We invaded it and now occupy it. If the elected Iraqi government thinks they can get along with out us, then who are we to say different.
Oh, yes I forgot. It's about the oil, isn't it? Has Exxon and Chevron, et al, go their "contracts" signed yet? We can't go until that is settled, can we? Bush and Cheney have a retirement to finance.
We should set a time table with or without their urging. With them asking for a departure date, it kind of shoots McCain's 100 year plan right out of the water.
Buy the clock first.
The U.S. is going to stay bogged down in Iraq until Iran and Syria get their oil…I mean their regimes changed.
The bases, the Vatican-sized Embassy in the Green Zone, the Corporate Contracts (military and non-military), the Pentagon, all of the payola to Senators and Representatives-all of these entities DO NOT WANT THE U.S. TO LEAVE.
We’re you know what.
Oh, I didn't answer the question. The answer is yes. After all,
Iraq is now sovereign nation, isn't it?
El Paso, Texas
We should just make Iraq a state # 51 and Afghanistan 52. If Iran keeps firing missiles they will find themselves # 53. Maybe we take a few more and we will get to that 57 number Obama was talking about.
if the Iraqi government feels that they can handle their own business in their country and want a timetable, we need to listen to them. That's all we have to hear from them to know that they want us out soon as well.
Absolutely. Any policy opposite of what the Iraqi government wishes can only be considered an unlawful occupation!
Wow what a monkey-rench in the political discussion! Who knew Iraq actually has it's own opinion of it own country's destiny?
Is that when they will greet us with flowers...when we are boarding to leave?
Will they then pay us the money we have spent there...b/c this war wasn't going to cost the American people ANYTHING...Iraq has OIL!!
Ohhh... Exxon and BP have their oil now...hmmmm.
WILL BIG OIL be paying for this WAR FOR OIL now that they got the big contracts with Iraq??
It seems very simple if the Irag's want a time line We should provide one ASAP. 68% of American's want the same. I do not understand the the delay, is it those that are making fortunes by our occupation there such as Haliburton or other Chaney / Bush supported "independant contractors?"
The better question is "How are we going to address the real problem in the reqion – IRAN?" We saw footage of Iran's test fire of missles that can reach Isreal. We didn't end the "Cold War" with diplomacy....we won it by building up our millitary power and forcing the former USSR to try to keep pace. Build missle sites on the Iraq/Iran border....and put the fear of God or Alla in them. They can ignore and play with the world with their display of "power", ignore the world's request to abandon their missle and nuclear programs....but put enough firepower (including Nuclear Missles) pointed at Iran right next to them and "dare them" to try something.
Obama will set a time table, but McCain will not. He will take the same position as Bush. We need to get out in 2009, no later, no matter what situation Iraq is in. That government is so corrupt, we cannot continue to give them billions of dollars.