Jason Ditz / Anti-War.com & Agence France-Presse – 2011-08-16 00:52:25
After Months of Pushing for ‘Request’ White House Will ‘Consider’ Staying in Iraq
Jason Ditz / Anti-War.com
WASHINGTON (August 15, 2011) — After months of haranguing the Maliki government to allow US troops to remain in Iraq [failed to move the leadership in Baghdad], the White House today insisted that it would “certainly consider” any “requests” by the Iraqi leadership to keep troops in the nation.
White House spokesman Jay Carney insisted that the administrationâ€™s position, in the wake of the deadliest day of attacks in over a year, was entirely unchanged and that it was simply a matter of waiting for Iraq to request to see if the US would remain or not.
Of course top Iraqi officials including Prime Minister Maliki have repeatedly ruled out keeping US troops in the nation, but after the administration ignored these comments and kept pressing for an “answer” Maliki has moved toward favoring “some” troops, particularly as violence is on the rise.
Though President Obama declared an end to “combat operations” in Iraq a year ago, combat continues nationwide, with US warplanes launching attacks against targets in the nation without cooperating with the locals, spawning complaints from the parliament and making parliamentary approval for the continued occupation all the more difficult.
White House: US Would ‘Consider’
Staying in Iraq Past 2011
(August 15th, 2011) — The White House said Monday it would “consider” any Iraqi request for a US troop presence past 2011 as the war-torn country mourned the bloodiest violence in more than a year.
Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that Washington’s “overall” posture “in terms of drawing down” was unchanged after the countrywide attacks, but that if Iraqi leaders “make some kind of request, we?ll certainly consider it.”
His comments came after attacks in 17 cities across Iraq killed 67 people on Monday, including 40 in twin blasts blamed on Al-Qaeda in the southern city of Kut, in the country’s bloodiest day in more than a year.
The surge of violence raised questions over the competence of Iraq’s forces after its leaders agreed to open talks with the United States over a military training mission to last beyond a projected year-end American withdrawal.
The attacks, which also wounded more than 300 people, were quickly condemned by Iraqi leaders, with parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi blaming security leaders for unspecified “violations.”
In the worst attack, an 8:00 am (0500 GMT) roadside bomb in the center of Kut, 160 kilometers (100 miles) south of Baghdad, was followed minutes later by a nearby car bomb, medical and security officials said.
Carney spoke as US President Barack Obama traveled here to launch a three-day bus tour through states key to his 2012 reelection bid, looking to reassure US voters worried and angry about the sour US economy.
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