Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Iraqis want US troops out, but fear for the future

by Staff Writers
Baghdad (AFP) Nov 16, 2008
Many Iraqis welcomed the government's decision Sunday to approve a military pact that includes a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops, but feared Iraq will not be able to defend itself without them.

Mohammed al-Asadi, a policeman guarding one of the hundreds of checkpoints scattered across the capital, said that although security is improving Iraqi forces will not be able to survive on their own.

"We and the Americans are cooperating and there are still many bombs and exploding cars. So how can we face this terrorism alone, this terrorism that is being fed by those who are closest to us, the neighbouring countries?" he said.

Many Iraqis believe Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia have stoked sectarian tensions and backed militias in the years since the 2003 US-led invasion, waging a bloody proxy war that killed tens of thousands of people.

That has led many, particularly in Iraq's Sunni community, to view the United States as an important if unlikely ally.

Given the threats, Asadi said he was certain the Americans will not stick to the timetable of the agreement, which requires them to leave Iraqi cities by the end of June 2009 and the country as a whole by the end of 2011.

"I don't think the day will ever come when the American forces leave Iraq, especially after they have built all these bases here," he said, referring to the more than 400 US bases in the country.

"For them the occupation of Iraq has been a dream come true. How are they going to give up this joy?" he said, chuckling.

"I am obliged to wait at this checkpoint for the next seven months, and we are going to see American forces driving through the streets of Baghdad without any hesitation."

Ali Hossam, a 29-year-old civil servant passing through the checkpoint, was more optimistic about the agreement.

"I support the decision on the agreement because it serves the Iraqi people, and in its form and content it will end the occupation," he said.

"It was the occupation that encouraged the sectarianism in this country. It's the occupation that caused the destruction of the country."

Abu Mustafa, a shopowner down the street, also backs the pact.

"Iraq cannot handle any more of this occupation, and we want -- today and not tomorrow -- to see them go and leave the decisions to us."

However, he doubts whether Iraq's present government will be able to address the challenges facing the country, which has been devastated by years of wars and sanctions and remains deeply divided.

"We want to see them go so we can know where the problems are, whether they were with them or with this series of governments we've had," he said.

"In the agreement (the Americans) give up the security file, but there is still the issue of external security where we need guidance. Is the government capable of defending the country from interference from neighbouring states?"

Iraq has insisted its security forces have improved and will be ready to take over when their US allies leave, but many Iraqis are not so sure.

"The date of the US withdrawal is too early, because the Iraqi forces will not be ready to defend themselves from the external enemies," Musa Khadim, a 37-year-old engineer said.

"Iraq, at this stage, needs international protection. The US forces have many mistakes, but their withdrawing before Iraqi forces are strong enough to defend themselves is not good for the country."

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Iraq: The first technology war of the 21st century

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

US pact holds pitfalls for Iraq's feuding factions: analysts
Baghdad (AFP) Nov 16, 2008
Most of Iraq's political factions believe that a military pact approved by the Iraqi cabinet Sunday offers the best hope for eventually expelling foreign troops, but convincing the public could prove divisive, analysts said.

  • Russia wants 'strategic partnership' with US: Medvedev
  • Outside View: Euro-Russian relations thaw
  • China's Enemies Are All Around Part Two
  • China's Enemies Are All Around Part One

  • North Korea Remains Calm And Stable As Kim Wastes Away
  • Marshalls landowners could lose millions in US missile base row
  • Turkey could be good mediator with Iran: Erdogan
  • Russia could ditch Kaliningrad missile plan, Medvedev tells paper

  • US denounces Iran missile test
  • Vandenberg Officials Launch Minuteman III Missile
  • USAF Awards Raytheon Contract Option For Maverick Missile Upgrades
  • Raytheon Awarded Contract For Standard Missile-2 Production

  • France Says Countries Should Be Free To Decide On Missile Shield
  • Raytheon Awarded Development Cintract For BMD Multiple Kill Vehicle
  • BMD Watch: Russia may talk to Obama on BMD
  • US missile chief to Obama: anti-missile system 'is workable'

  • China's air show saw four bln dollars in deals: report
  • China plane-makers take first steps to rival global giants
  • Aviation giants look to China amid global turbulence
  • Boeing sees China buying 3,710 planes over next 20 years

  • German Forces Test Stabilized Camera System For Mini-UAV
  • Honeywell Wins First Production Contract For T-Hawk Micro Air Vehicle
  • Aurora Wins USAF Contract On Vision-Based MAV Guidance
  • DCNS Achieves Automatic UAV Landing On Frigate

  • Iraqis want US troops out, but fear for the future
  • US pact holds pitfalls for Iraq's feuding factions: analysts
  • Iraqi cabinet approves US pact amid lingering violence
  • Looming US withdrawal puts spotlight on Iraqi forces

  • LockMart Receives Contract For Paveway II Laser Guided Bomb Kits
  • Outside View: Russian cops pack new heat
  • Kalashnikov turns 89, a 'happy man' for creating AK-47
  • TenCate Presents New Lightweight Composite Armour Solution

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement