Gareth Porter discusses his article of quarrels between Obama, Gen. Petraeus, and the Pentagon. Mr. Obama repeated his pledge to remove troops from Iraq, but the State Dept. is looking to replace Blackwater troops, who the Iraqi gov’t recently expelled.
AntiWar Radio’s Scott Horton interviews journalist/historian Gareth Porter to discuss his 3 Feb article, “Generals Seek to Reverse Obama Withdrawal Decision.” (55:29):
The Real News Network interview with Mr. Porter – “Petraeus Versus the President?” – Part One – 3 Feb 09 (11:02):
There’s no question that President Obama will be following the Clinton line he ran against by leaving residual forces in Iraq (along with lobbyists throughout the administration), though the president said in an NBC interview yesterday that a “substantial” number of troops would be home to watch the Super Bowl in late January/early February next year. There’s no question that Mr. Obama has consulted the Pentagon. He’s the Commander in Chief of the US military that is calling a 16-month timetable “too risky”. The pressure isn’t only on the president from the people who elected him into office, but the Iraqi people who want US troops out by 2011.
On “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” Lawrence Korb, made it very clear that Mr. Obama can have all US troops out of Iraq within a year (5:54):
There’s another twist to withdrawing from Iraq — private contractors. Iraq has ordered Blackwater to remove it’s ‘security forces’ and the State Dept. has complied by not granting Blackwater a new license, but the State Dept. has also been looking to expedite the mobilization of two other private American security firms, Dyncorp International and Triple Canopy.
Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, discusses Obama and Blackwater – 15 Nov 08 (9:48):
The point isn’t Blackwater’s atrocities, but the contracting of these firms with US taxpayer dollars without the jurisdiction of US taxpayer law.
Mr. Obama will have his inner conflict with the Pentagon and the result we do not know, yet. But, US funded Americans with the consent to use deadly force will be in Iraq more than 16 months from now. Right now, there are about as many Blackwater troops in Iraq as there are US military troops and the State Dept. shows no will to change the quantity of these lawless, private servants of the elite.