Iraq

Why 2010 May No Longer Only Be Remembered as a Crappy Roy Scheider Movie (Iraq Timetable Edition)

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BAGHDAD (AP)—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. A U.S. official in Washington acknowledges progress has been made on the timelines for a U.S. departure but offered no firm date. Another U.S. official strongly suggested the 2010 date may be too ambitious.

More here, but no details.

It's tempting to say better late than never, but given that I don't think we should have been Iraq in the first place, I'm not going to bother.

Cynical question for a political season: Assume this plan is announced, and soon. How does that affect the presidential race? It was conventional wisdom not so long ago that the Iraq War would be what mattered most to voters, but other concerns seem to have eclipsed that, especially questions about the economy.

Roy Scheider info here.

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  1. The candidates will find meaningless differences between each other on how to draw down numbers until 2010 and what to do about Afghanistan/Sudan/RainbowPuppyIsland.

  2. Crappy? It’s not crappy at all. Tonally completely different from 2001, but a solid little sci fi film nonetheless. It’s not their fault the Soviet Union fell and made their dramatic situation anachronistic.

  3. It’s a good thing that the neoconservatives are wrong, and our security and well-being don’t revolve around having a large number of forces on big bases in the middle of the Middle East.

    Because that ain’t gonna happen.

    Either that, or we’re all going to learn a whole lot about Syrian geography in the next six months.

  4. Either that, or we’re all going to learn a whole lot about Syrian geography in the next six months.

    Any date set in any timetable is PR. There will always be a “security” reaons for both parties to extended the deadline. US Troops will be in Iraq for decades.

  5. 2010! Arthur Clarke as the US President! HAL vindicated. Helen Mirren with a Natasha accent!

  6. How does that affect the presidential race?

    Dems won’t be able to make troop reduction an issue. But McCain looks like a bigger doofus for saying we’ll be there for decades.

  7. Roy Scheider or Rob Schneider?

    I kinda liked Roy’s movies.

  8. A 2013 timetable is perfect for candidates who want to promise to withdraw but not actually withdraw.

    As was said, we ain’t leaving. And that’s a shame, because there’s nothing to do in Iraq that’s worth even a single death.

  9. Oops, that was supposed to be me.

  10. Jaws II? Crappy Roy Scheider movie.
    Blue Thunder? Crappy Roy Scheider movie?
    2010? Underrated.

  11. What Fluffy said. “2010” is actually a good SF movie — in fact, it’s probably in my Top 10 SF films. It only suffers in comparison to Kubrick’s “2001.”

  12. There will always be a “security” reaons for both parties to extended the deadline.

    Maliki’s probably the most pro-American non-Kurd in Iraq, and he seems pretty determined to see us off. American troops may be able to handle security crises, but he realizes that having American troops all over the place means there will be more security crises and less political progress.

  13. Blue Thunder? Crappy Roy Scheider movie?

    Blue Thunder kicks ass. Well shot, well edited, fast moving and fun.

  14. How does that affect the presidential race?

    This could break a lot of ways. I don’t think it’s just difficult to predict how it will play, but literally impossible. It’s like a chaotic system – there is no way to look at current conditions and project future conditions from the information we have now.

  15. Cynical question for a political season: Assume this plan is announced, and soon. How does that affect the presidential race?

    It helps McCain. He trumpeted the surge and will take credit for “our glorious victory”. That after X trillions spent wasted flushed down the shitter the misadventure will end with a authoritarian/ totalitarian regime of some sort ruling Iraq is too hard for most voters to figure out.

  16. Bob Balaban and John Lithgow are also excellent. And the boss from MacGyver as the crafty russian. 2010 rocks.

  17. Why the hell would non-combat troops remain for an additional 3 years? When we get out, we should get out. (Although I think we ought to keep a port and a couple airbases, Europe or Philippines-style)

  18. It’s like a chaotic system – there is no way to look at current conditions and project future conditions from the information we have now.

    Oh. Like the climate.

    Seriously, joe’s right. On the one hand, not having Iraq around a hot issue hurts Barack because it was a big issue for his base. OTOH, not having Iraq around as a hot issue hurts one of McCain’s best talking points – that Barack was dead wrong on the surge.

    I suspect Iraqi eagerness to see us gone is directly related to both (a) the apparent increase in their own security competence and (b) the apparent victory won by the US (and recently joint US-Iraqi forces) against the forces of evil.

    I will note that the US position all along has been that we’ll stay as long as we’re wanted, and that the surge, combined with recent talks, are proof that we weren’t kidding about either the staying part, or the leaving part.

  19. I don’t know if anyone saw it, but Al Sadr ordered his people to disarm. The war is over. There is no reason to stay. We can always come back if we need a launching pad for Iran or Syria. Iraq is going to be the only Democracy in the Arab world.

  20. There’s no thread for this yet — but in vaguely-related news, Hamdan just got sentenced to just a few months above time served.

    The neocons must be going batshit.

  21. Once again, Jeff P is right.

  22. I don’t know if anyone saw it, but Al Sadr ordered his people to disarm. The war is over. There is no reason to stay. We can always come back if we need a launching pad for Iran or Syria. Iraq is going to be the only Democracy in the Arab world.

    wait..what? was that a giant fireball of sarcasm that just flew by?

  23. Oh. Like the climate.

    Perfect comparison. Like the climate, it is impossible to tell what ramping the amount of energy in the “system” up or down will result in, but we can accurately predict that more energy would mean more events, more powerful events, and more disruption, while less energy would mean less of all that.

    We can’t tell what this would mean for the race, even whether it would benefit McCain or Obama, but it’s safe to say that it would make the issue of Iraq less important in the campaign.

    I will note that the US position all along has been that we’ll stay as long as we’re wanted Yes, there was never any discussion of the need to relocate bases from Saudi Arabia to Iraq. I just imagined all of those administration officials quoted in all of those National Review articles. I certainly imagined John McCain saying he intended to have a presence there for decades, or comparing it to Korea and Germany, and insisting that he didn’t mean a 100-year war, but a 100, why not 1000, why not 10,000-year military occupaiton.

    We never intended to establish a permanent presence in Iraq. We have always never intended to establish a permanent military presence in Iraq.

  24. RainbowPuppyIsland will have weapons of mass destruction by 2010 unless we invade NOW!

  25. Iraq is going to be the only Democracy in the Arab world.

    So technically they vote – as long as no law contradicts Sharia per their “constitution”. Big deal, Iraq will be a carbon copy of Iran when we finally leave – except with more of a reason to hate us.

  26. Why the hell would non-combat troops remain for an additional 3 years? When we get out, we should get out.

    The remaining non-combat troops are probably instructors/advisors and maintenance troops.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say that there will be some US presence in Iraq for years to come.

  27. I don’t think we should have been Iraq in the first place

    WE were Iraq?? Oh, shit! That explains all those IEDs in the parking lot at my job! And here I thought everyone was just pissed at Roy Scheider.

  28. Why 2010 May No Longer Only Be Remembered as a Crappy Roy Scheider Movie

    Crappy?!
    Fuck You Gillespie!
    You go to hell!
    You go to hell and you die!

  29. Well, I take back the last sentence of my snarky post. I did think you meant Rob Schneider.

    But still, I don’t think we should have been Iraq, either. And I’m pretty sure we weren’t.

  30. Iraq is going to be the only Democracy in the Arab world.

    No Arab Spring?

    I’m a bit more optimistic that the democratic government established in Lebanon a few decades ago will still be there, I guess.

  31. 2010 is not a crappy movie. My seconds will call on your seconds. Meet me at TMA-1.

  32. No, seriously, that’s just wrong. The smaller gulf states were progressing towards democracy before this episode, have been progressing towards democracy during it, and will most likely continue their self-directed progress towards democracy once it’s over.

    Heck, with the Iraq War over, maybe the democratic movement that was sweeping Iran before we started this war will be able to reignite.

  33. “The remaining non-combat troops are probably instructors/advisors and maintenance troops.”

    Anybody remember another police action in which The United States had “advisors” on the ground?

  34. Well the US would have to pull the troops out, they’ll be needed to fight the USSR in Nicaragua

  35. Joe has it right. Iraq will be a “democracy” in the same way Lebanon is. Yeah, its an improvement. Not sure if its worth 4,000 dead and trillions of dollars, though.

  36. “Joe has it right. Iraq will be a “democracy” in the same way Lebanon is.”

    Democracy, how lovely:
    http://www.mises.org/store/Democracy-The-God-That-Failed-P240.aspx

  37. Helen Mirren has been a communist astronaut, assorted british royalty, Ayn Rand, and Morgan Le Fey.

    How are there not jokes about this?

  38. “Helen Mirren has been a communist astronaut, assorted british royalty, Ayn Rand, and Morgan Le Fey.”

    When Appolo 13 came out I heard about a small child who remarked “No wonder they had problems, Forest Gump was the pilot!”
    http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/contributor/1800010392/filmography

  39. It’s because I was a major hottie and still look extraordinarily good for my age. That Queen Elizabeth look was all makeup. Look at these!

  40. That’s a pretty impressive make-up job right there.

    I never realized that actress was hawt.

  41. SOME PIG

  42. 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

    Is Obama behind any secret negotiations on this? I wonder if this will go down as Obama’s own October Surprise? Methinks an investigation is in order.

  43. It’s because I was a major hottie and still look extraordinarily good for my age.

    You really do!

  44. “Is Obama behind any secret negotiations on this?”

    No, Paris Hilton is behind this. She came up with a compromise plan of her own combining ideas from both McCain’s plan and Obama’s plan.

  45. R.C. Dean,

    I will note that the US position all along has been that we’ll stay as long as we’re wanted…

    Doesn’t that depend on which actors inside and outside the U.S. government were representing the “U.S. position?”

  46. The Iraqis are much better situated with front-line combat units than with support (especially logistics/supply) units, so the two phases is pretty much as-expected. Since Iraq doesn’t have front lines, withdrawal of “combat troops” doesn’t mean withdrawal of U.S. troops from combat.

  47. I will note that the US position all along has been that we’ll stay as long as we’re wanted

    No, it hasn’t.

    On the day the war was announced, Bush specifically and emphatically swore that we would only be in Iraq long enough to accomplish the goal of regime change.

    That means if we change the regime, and the new regime says, “Oh, hey, fellows, why don’t you build a lot of bases and stay,” and we say, “Well, you know, we always said we’d stay as long as we were wanted,” we’d be lying.

  48. “Maliki’s probably the most pro-American non-Kurd in Iraq, and he seems pretty determined to see us off.”

    If Maliki is as pro-American as it gets, then we’re fucked. Because he’s a member of a political party that blew up our embassy in Kuwait a while back.

  49. On Iraq we had “a choice, not an echo” between McCain and Obama. But now that the front burner issues are the economy and Afghanistan, we are left with Echo and his other brother, Echo. (Apologies to the brothers, Darryl.)

  50. Helen Mirren has been a communist astronaut, assorted british royalty, Ayn Rand, and Morgan Le Fey.

    She was also once the most promiscuous woman in ancient Rome.

  51. Bob Balaban and John Lithgow are also excellent.

    Yes, but isn’t it a pity that they didn’t get an Indian actor to play Dr. Sivasubramanian Chandrasegarampilai?

  52. I think the important question here is how is all this going to affect joe?

  53. Doesn’t that depend on which actors inside and outside the U.S. government were representing the “U.S. position?”

    I can’t recall anyone saying we would stay if the Iraqi government asked us to leave. Linky?

  54. It’s nice to see 25M Iraqis on the way to achieving the kind of liberal democracy people kept saying was impossible for them. It’s always good to see more people free; to paraphrase Donne, every man’s enslavement diminishes me.

    I can’t recall anyone saying we would stay if the Iraqi government asked us to leave.

    The U.S. been quite clear on that question since the first Iraqi elections.

  55. Iraq will be a carbon copy of Iran when we finally leave

    The mullahs are not elected. Iraqis like free elections, alcohol, music and unveiled women and have just spent the last couple years cheering kicking the crap out of the religious nuts who wanted to take all those things away.

    Iraq is going to look more like Israel than Iran.

  56. cheering the Iraqi Army for kicking the crap out of the religious nuts*

  57. “Maliki’s probably the most pro-American non-Kurd in Iraq, and he seems pretty determined to see us off.”

    Naturally, he wants to run his own country. This is also smart domestic politics, as Iraqis feel the same way. This is all very healthy, and what we’ve been trying to get them to do for the last 5 years.

    Keep in mind, at the same time they’re “running us off” they’re buying tens of billions of U.S. arms for what is now probably the most proficient Mideast military outside of Israel. In Basra, they accomplished in weeks what the British failed to do in years, running the Sadrists out of town and restoring basic rights.

    That’s the strategic masterstroke here: we’ve not only established democracy in the heart of the old caliphate, we’ve recruited, trained, and equipped half a million Muslims to fight Muslim extremists. We’ve got Iraqis in Anbar so gung-ho they’re begging to let us them join the fight against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

  58. “It’s always good to see more people free; to paraphrase Donne, every man’s enslavement diminishes me.”

    I think the rub is how these people become free. If it was just a case of snapping one’s fingers and all of a sudden people were free, I don’t think many would object.
    Where madness enters into the equation in terms of our country’s involvement in Iraqi freedom has to do with the lectures that people who oppose our involvment with Iraq recieve from people like you who support out involvement in Iraq. Quoting Donne sounds brillant and is very eloquent. However, all one has to do is look at our country’s relationship with Saudi Arabia to see how very empty quoting Donne is when speaking of freedom. When the President takes his Freedom Agenda and uses it as a political wedge to make opponents of the Iraq War seem like freddom-hating monsters, well he, and all those that do the same thing, come off looking like hypocrites.
    Just a few days ago, Bush took China’s leadership to task for limiting it’s peoples freedoms. Yet Bush will gladly stroll hand in hand(literally) thru a rose garden with the thugs that run Saudi Arabia and barely a word about what goes on inside from that country comes from Bush’s lips.
    So at the same time that we’re sending American citizens to die for the sake of the “enslavement”(to borrow from your paraphrasemnt of Donne) of Iraqis, the “enslavement” of the Saudi citizens, that suffer directly as a result of all the support we give to a corrupt royal family that lords over them, apparently doesn’t diminish us enough to have the same principled actions we apply to Iraq.
    It almost makes it seems like forces larger than “freedom” are at stake in Iraq.

  59. “The mullahs are not elected. Iraqis like free elections, alcohol, music and unveiled women and have just spent the last couple years cheering kicking the crap out of the religious nuts who wanted to take all those things away.”

    Umm, the largest political party in Iraq sought shelter from the mullahs and various other “religious nuts” in Iran for years while Saddam was in power. And the Iraqi Constitution states “No law that contradicts the established provisions of Islam may be established.” I’m pretty sure that things like alcohol, music, nonveiled women etc, have all been previously banned as being un-Islamic before.
    But I’m sure things will be just fine.

  60. “Keep in mind, at the same time they’re “running us off” they’re buying tens of billions of U.S. arms for what is now probably the most proficient Mideast military outside of Israel.”

    That’s awesome news!! Because the US arming a Middle East country that sits atop massive amounts of oil and is lead by a group of Muslims with a slight radical bent to them couldn’t possibly come back to bite us in the ass.

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