Iraqi PM Says He Wants Us to Leave

Iraqi prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.Thomas Stolte/Intertopics via ZUMA

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The Washington Post reports that Iraq is serious about wanting American troops to leave:

It had become clear that the U.S. military presence in Iraq is growing increasingly untenable, at least in its current form, in the wake of the killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani last week, which drew threats of retaliation from Iran and its regional allies against U.S. troops in Iraq and beyond….In comments to the Iraqi cabinet, broadcast on state television, Abdul Mahdi expressed exasperation with the conflicting signals coming from Washington. The letter he received “was clear,” he said, in its reference to a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. “It’s not like a draft or a paper that fell out of the photocopier and coincidentally came to us,” he told the cabinet.

Two Iraqi officials said the caretaker prime minister had read the letter as a signal of a U.S. intent to withdraw and concluded that it was necessary in light of the spiraling tensions between the United States and Iran, which risk putting Iraq in the middle of a new war….Abdul Mahdi has asked the United States to put in place a timeline for a withdrawal, the official said.

The letter that we’ve all seen wasn’t signed by anyone, but apparently the copy Abdul Mahdi received did bear a signature. So it was a wee bit more than a “mistake.” I wonder how serious Abdul Mahdi is about following through with a complete American withdrawal?

This is not quite the way I envisioned us leaving Iraq, but I’ll take it. We shouldn’t be there, and if Donald Trump’s blundering is what it takes to get us out, then I’ll count it as an ugly win, but a win nonetheless.

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