I can't vote for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, of course, but I would if I could. He's said he wants us to leave his country. I want that too.
Maliki spoke with Arab ambassadors while visiting the United Arab Emirates. He talked about a security pact his country is negotiating with the United States.
"The current trend," he said, "is to reach agreement on a memorandum of understanding either for the departure of the (U.S.) forces or a memorandum of understanding to put a timetable on their withdrawal. In all cases, the basis for any agreement will be respect for the full sovereignty of Iraq." Oh hurrah!
The Bush administration, which invaded Iraq in the first place, probably hates all that. They talk about a democratic Iraq but what they want is a province in which the occupying American troops can do exactly as they please without taking any guff from the conquered population.
It's just wishful thinking on my part, of course. The Bush people aren't likely to let rhetoric about a free Iraq get in the way of their occupation. Making some sort of peace and leaving will be up to the next president, who may or may not want to pull out. Didn't John McCain say something about staying for a hundred years? After all, we've had troops in Germany for more than fifty years, since the end of World War II, and in Korea for almost as long, since the end of that war. These are peaceful garrisons, of course; no one is getting killed. But they are reminders that it's a lot easier to send troops in sometimes than it is to bring them home.
Probably the best we can hope for from this president is that he won't start a war against another country--Iran. It would start with just bombing, of course, but bombing doesn't win wars. London resisted the World War II blitz; allied planes destroyed Dresden, but it was troops on the ground that took Berlin and ended the European war. You could argue that atomic bombs ended the war with Japan, but surely even this president wouldn't--well, let's hope he wouldn't, anyway. Just six more months and we get a new one. Oh hurrah again!