Al-Maliki and the “Odierno Amendment”

Fulgencio_Batista "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

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9 Responses to Al-Maliki and the “Odierno Amendment”

  1. JohnieB says:

    FDR finally abandoned the privilege as a gesture of “good neighborliness.” The Cubans unserstandably were glad to see the end of the “Platt Amendment
    I take it that the installation of Batista by the U S Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles is being excluded from consideration?

  2. Personally I would not in any way compare Iraq with Cuba, past or present. My guess is that Iraq is already shopping for a full replacement for the US for training, equipment, and logistical help. There are many candidates. When one shows up in next few months will be interesting to see how the US military and political leadership reacts. NO nation-state with strategic or tactical interests in the middle-east or in oil politics can avoid putting their hand in what to them might be the honey pot but to the US was a wasp nest. Hey in the long history of the population of Iraq, the US intervention will disappear into the sands of history in a big hurry. And now unfortunately, the Iraqis have some semblance of how to fight modern warfare. Who but Iran has had equivalent experience to the US occupation, and maybe not even Iran! We have built or rebuilt a major power in the arena of the middle-east just not one we can control. Does look like Pappa Bush a lot smarter than Dubya!

  3. That is one cool name: Fulgencio. My landlady called me “Don Roberto” in Honduras (even though I was only 26 years old at the time). “Don Fulgencio” would have sounded much better!
    From Wikipedia…
    In an uprising known as the “Revolt of the Sergeants,” Batista took over the Cuban government on September 4, 1933.
    First this NCO takes over Cuba, then some corporal takes over Germany and another takes over Italy.
    As usual, the enlisted guys are causing all sorts of trouble.
    As for Iraq, anyone who has been paying attention at all the last few years can see where all this is going. We’ll pull out and Iraq will descend into a power struggle. It will be violent, and will most likely end when Saddam II emerges as the victor.

  4. Watcher says:

    “Let us hope that the progress of independent Iraq wil not lead to a Fulgencio Batista look alike.”
    Tom Ricks gave a talk last month at the Center For National Policy on his book “The Gamble”. One observation he had (correct in my opinion) was that in throwing out Saddam Hussein, we tossed out the toothless, harmless, Hussein. Meanwhile, there are “Small Husseins” running around Iraq now, just waiting for a turn to come to power in the next ten years or so. Whether we leave tomorrow or find some way to delay, I think the die may already be cast.
    Besides, the mustachioed dictator look fits the bill so much better than the Batista pic.

  5. Homer says:

    PL: Yep. Frankenstein’s monster walks again.
    Its alive ….
    Just think this beast is basically the Bush admin’s response to the horrific attacks of 9/11.
    You did a heckuva job Bushies!!!
    Cheney had to have known of this beast, no???
    Q: Do you think the U.S., or U.N. forces, should have moved into Baghdad?
    A: No.
    Q: Why not?
    A: …. Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein’s government, then what are you going to put in its place? That’s a very volatile part of the world, and if you take down the central government of Iraq, you could very easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off: part of it, the Syrians would like to have to the west, part of it — eastern Iraq — the Iranians would like to claim, they fought over it for eight years. ….

  6. PL I am confused but is there a signed SOFA now in Iraq (or in Pakistan)? And what deadlines does it contain?
    Is it also true that all the Blackwater employees just moved under new corporate names, some owned by Blackwater?

  7. Homer says:

    PL: [T]he Iraqi (Shia) government may want want logistical and training help beyond Obama’s dates, no extension of American AUTHORITY in the country is acceptable.
    Authority may easily be replaced by `influence’ as well.
    This goes back a ways, but is clearly evident even in the drafting of the Iraqi constitution.
    We, the US, are getting next to nothing in return for our investment in Iraq: Maliki, Hakim, et al have always had a stiffened raised middle finger pointed toward the US and were never complying with the directives from the US as evidenced by the total absence of pro-American legislation that has been passed and enacted.
    Thanks to Bush and his supporters, you know, those who are suppose to be experts in national security, they’ve (Dawa and SCIRI) been able to begin to concretize their decades old plan to transform a secular Iraq into a sort of vassal state of Iran.
    It is just a matter of time when the Iraqi’s utilize their US armed forces’ training, turn their American bought guns upon Americans, and expulse the US from Iraq, a holiest of holies.
    Food for thought …
    The Victor? NYRB, Volume 54, Number 15 · October 11, 2007, by Peter W. Galbraith
    In the January 2005 elections, SCIRI became the most important component of Iraq’s ruling Shiite coalition. In exchange for not taking the prime minister’s slot, SCIRI won the right to name key ministers, including the minister of the interior. From that ministry, SCIRI placed Badr militiamen throughout Iraq’s national police.
    In short, George W. Bush had from the first facilitated the very event he warned would be a disastrous consequence of a US withdrawal from Iraq: the takeover of a large part of the country by an Iranian-backed militia. And while the President contrasts the promise of democracy in Iraq with the tyranny in Iran, there is now substantially more personal freedom in Iran than in southern Iraq.
    Iran’s role in Iraq is pervasive, but also subtle. When Iraq drafted its permanent constitution in 2005, the American ambassador energetically engaged in all parts of the process. But behind the scenes, the Iranian ambassador intervened to block provisions that Tehran did not like. As it happened, both the Americans and the Iranians wanted to strengthen Iraq’s central government. While the Bush administration clung to the mirage of a single Iraqi people, Tehran worked to give its proxies, the pro-Iranian Iraqis it supported—by then established as the government of Iraq—as much power as possible. (Thanks to Kurdish obstinacy, neither the US nor Iran succeeded in its goal, but even now both the US and Iran want to see the central government strengthened.)
    Since 2005, Iraq’s Shiite-led government has concluded numerous economic, political, and military agreements with Iran. The most important would link the two countries’ strategic oil reserves by building a pipeline from southern Iraq to Iran, while another commits Iran to providing extensive military assistance to the Iraqi government. According to a senior official in Iraq’s Oil Ministry, smugglers divert at least 150,000 barrels of Iraq’s daily oil exports through Iran, a figure that approaches 10 percent of Iraq’s production. Iran has yet to provide the military support it promised to the Iraqi army. With the US supplying 160,000 troops and hundreds of billions of dollars to support a pro-Iranian Iraqi government, Iran has no reason to invest its own resources.
    Of all the unintended consequences of the Iraq war, Iran’s strategic victory is the most far-reaching. In establishing the border between the Ottoman Empire and the Persian Empire in 1639, the Treaty of Qasr-i-Shirin demarcated the boundary between Sunni-ruled lands and Shiite-ruled lands.

  8. china_hand says:

    Odierno is clearly a man of the Junta. He showed his hand with these underhanded attempts at manipulation.
    Are there others in the U.S. military who have similarly demonstrated where their domestic loyalties lie?

  9. ads says:

    Cold War Zoomie wrote:
    First this NCO takes over Cuba, then some corporal takes over Germany and another takes over Italy.
    Mussolini became Prime Minister in 1922. For a time he was the senior Fascist leader in Europe (in terms of prestige, not time in office); Hitler even backed down over supporting the 1934 July Putsch in Austria when Italy threatened to intervene.

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