Looks Like Obama May Have One Less Issue to Run On
According to a report in The Washington Times, it seems that the United States and Iraq may be getting close to reaching a deal that would call for all U.S. combat troops to leave Iraq by late 2010 and all remaining U.S. forces to leave the country three years later.
Two Iraqi officials say the U.S. and Iraq are close to a deal under which all American combat troops would leave by October 2010 with remaining U.S. forces gone about three years later.
Personally, I'm not sold on the idea that announcing an arbitrary timetable is the best of ideas. It seems that the decision to show our hand in Iraq could cause more problems in the long-term well-being of the country's security, than would be worth any short-term goodwill that could come from the gesture.
Regardless, the article goes on to claim that one of the big conditions in coming to agreement on this seems to hinge on the issue of granting legal immunity to our military servicemen. If that is the case, I don't see the negotiations process having much of a need to last much longer. Except for the purposes of token, political consumption for the Iraqi people, the leadership in Iraq likely has no intentions of holding our servicemen legally accountable for the rare combat situation where there were questions about the rules of engagement.
A timetable is part of a security agreement being negotiated by U.S. and Iraqi officials. Both sides stress the deal is not final and could fall apart over the issue of legal immunity for American troops.
One of the U.S. officials said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had a long and "very difficult" telephone conversation Wednesday in which she pressed the Iraqi leader for more flexibility, particularly on immunity.
The thing that would be most interesting to take note of - if this agreement does actually come to fruition - is Barack Obama's response once this paramount issue of his whole candidacy is no longer at question. It was Iraq that was once the cornerstone issue of the entire presidential race, of course, before the economy and energy became the focus. Once Iraq is further taken out of the public debate, where will he turn? What issues and causes does Barack Obama then move on to?
Would he simply try to run on his desire to raise our taxes? Would he make a stronger effort to push his agenda of checking our tire pressure to solve our national energy crisis? How about a platform calling for The Club steering wheel locks in every car - as part of his national security policy, of course!
As rudderless as Obama's campaign has been thus far, imagine how greatly thrown for a loop they would be if they were tossed this curve ball before November!