Iraq is apparently serious about kicking us out of the country, and the Trump regime is doubling down, demanding billions more in cash to convince us to stay and protect them from Iran.
In a phone call with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi asked the United States to send a delegation to Iraq to set up a mechanism for U.S. troop withdrawal from the country, a statement from the prime minister's office said Friday.
The request followed a vote by the Iraqi parliament to expel thousands of U.S. troops, a direct consequence of a U.S. drone attack that killed senior Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani and nine companions in Baghdad a week ago.
But in a response Friday, the State Department said that any delegation to Baghdad would not focus on pulling out U.S. troops.
“At this time, any delegation sent to Iraq would be dedicated to discussing how to best recommit to our strategic partnership — not to discuss troop withdrawal, but our right, appropriate force posture in the Middle East,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
Ortagus stressed that “America is a force for good in the Middle East” and that the purpose of the U.S. military presence in Iraq is “to continue the fight” against the Islamic State. She did not reference Iraq’s request.
She noted that a NATO delegation is at the State Department on Friday “to discuss increasing NATO’s role in Iraq” in line with President Trump’s “desire for burden sharing.” Ortagus added: “There does, however, need to be a conversation between the U.S. and Iraqi governments not just regarding security, but about our financial, economic, and diplomatic partnership.”
This is State Department speak for "It would be a shame if Iran just rolled in there and took over your country and executed everyone in charge, huh." Pompeo certainly believes the Iraqi government is bluffing and that the next Iraqi PM will be much more amenable to the US staying and the Iraqis paying.
Time will tell if he's right.
Exit observation: I'm old enough to remember candidate Trump promising to bring America's troops home. Donald the Dove, Hillary The Hawk our media betters declared, remember?
How's that working out? It was stupidity 42 months ago and is grossly stupid now.
But hey, her emails.