"Iraq will not extend withdrawal deadlines for U.S. troops set out in a bilateral accord, ending months of speculation about whether U.S. combat troops would stay beyond June in bases in the restive northern city of Mosul.
Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said Iraq was committed to adhering to the withdrawal schedule in the pact, which took effect on January 1, including the requirement to withdraw U.S. combat troops from towns and cities by the end of June and a full withdrawal by the end of 2011.
"These dates cannot be extended and this is consistent with the transfer and handover of responsibility to Iraqi security forces," Dabbagh said in a statement." Washpo
There was a provision called the "Platt Amendment" in the arrangement under which the US withdrew its forces from Cuba in 1901 or thereabouts. Under this "Amendment" to the treaty between the US and independent Cuba the US could intervene again in Cuban affairs just about any time it wanted to. The senate put that in the treaty. FDR finally abandoned the privilege as a gesture of "good neighborliness." The Cubans unserstandably were glad to see the end of the "Platt Amendment" because its existence made a mockery of their sovereignty.
Recently, General Odierno made statements to the British media which indicated his "reservations" concerning the timetable that President Obama announced for the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. The gist of his remarks was the "dangling" of the possibility of delays based on stability and security considerations. Those were the concerns that caused the insertion of the "Platt Amendment" as well. The White House wisely ignored Odierno's pronunciamento from the field, but here we have one Ali Dabagh making it clear that although the Iraqi (Shia) government may want want logistical and training help beyond Obama's dates, no extension of American AUTHORITY in the country is acceptable. Yep. Frankenstein's monster walks again. Was Cuban history better for the Cuban people without the "Platt Amendment?" I am sure you all will have something to say about that.
Let us hope that the progress of independent Iraq wil not lead to a Fulgencio Batista look alike. pl