Obama in his recent announcement declared ever so solemnly -- as is his wont -- that our nation's military operations in Iraq will cease at the end of this year. To many decent Americans, this was music to their ears, and they leaped to embrace the message that they had hungered for across too many years of senseless slaughter in what will become a most shameful epoch of America's future history.
This news was simply to good to deny! But the reality is that its messenger is simply too duplicitous to be trusted. And, of course, there is an election coming, and apparently a re-election campaign not yet formally announced, but already started.
Obama did not confess to the actual failure of his government's initiative to achieve the status-of-forces agreement it sought to maintain an open US military presence in Iraq after 2011, with a guarantee of immunity of US military personnel from prosecution. Prosecution from what? Well, whatever soldiers will do with weapons.
How many of his hopeful audience missed the "mention" that unspecified thousands of American "civilian contractors" would be "maintained" in Iraq? This is the side deal between him and Maliki to fool both of their peoples. Those "contractors" will not be filling potholes or doing horticulture. They will be caponized and on ready alert status to do whatever soldiers and black-ops are commanded, at incidentally many times higher cost per trooper than an honestly declared American soldier.
I personally did not catch a statement on air-base privileges. Such will be there.
Now to our State Department's presence: The US will maintain three (or four?) major "diplomatic stations," including the embassy in Baghdad, the world's largest of any nation's, which accommodates 4500 personnel. Diplomats, clerks and chaplains? I would suppose not. And in the meantime, there is a boom of American construction in Iraq, and no one knows, or rather admits to knowing of what.
There are many more unknowns in this arena beyond a decent person's imagination to prompt inquiry. A prudent person would be wise -- as was advised by Rumsfeld no less -- to beware the unknown-unknowns as well the known unknowns. Is that befuddling? You see: it's working!
So, in summary, we will be in Iraq well past 2011, not chancing to neglect our "investment." And, of course, it would be imprudent and unprofitable to neglect its real estate in accommodating the next combat boot to drop in "Freedom's March" across the Middle East.
Listen to and watch Obama very carefully when he speaks. He lacks the Bushian sneer that we relied upon to warn us of presidential duplicity. But it's there. It's there.