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BREAKING: President Obama will announce total drawdown of US troops from Iraq by end of 2011 in a 11:45 press conference.


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This is not a political choice made by Obama. This is compliance with a treaty negotiated by the Bush administration called the SOFA agreement. Period. I am not enamoured by the Obama administration...however it was the Iraqi government who decided this and it is well known that the present administration tried to stop this as recent negotiations have been on-going till now. The Iraqi parliment sealed this deal. If you want to assign blame put it where it belongs and that is squarely on the Iraqi Government............However.........This is an opportunity for us as investors. It is also a peril.

We have been as always concerned about Iran. That is still the situation we all fear. Can Iran get it hands on Iran? The answer is Yes. But to actually do so is a bigger job than asking a question. The US has many military assets in the Gulf region. We have a battle fleet stationed in the gulf. We have many many troops based in the region. They aren't going anywhere. We have a huge presence in Kuwait and permission to protect Kuwait anytime we need to protect them. We have bases all over the region and political cooperation from some gulf states to be there and all of this is about IRAN. Containing Iran is the mission and that mission will continue as long as needed. Iraq will not fall to Iran. It maybe harrassed and influenced but fall to Iran is not the plan.

Look at Iran. They have as much chaos going on in country as Iraq. That group of religious fanataics that run that country are under their own pressure from many avenues and as such the government in Iran runs the country on fear and repression. Attributes that will not last forever. Even now the population in Iran is tired of it and the winds of change blow across that land. The Iranian economy is strangled by it's political choices. They are stiffled by sanctions that continue and they have more sanctions waiting for them everytime they make a move contrary to world opinion. Their best ally in the region is slowly and violently sinking into disentigration as Syria is imploding in a bucket of blood. In Iraq the Iranian ally is Sadr and an ever greedy Maliki who relies upon the Sadrist supprort to keep him in power..........Not a stable platform at all. Eventually a consolidation of power will have to occur and as such I will bet that Maliki will have no problem shipping Sadr back to Iran once he oversteps his bounds and he will surely do so as reality overtakes rhetoric. Sadr is dangerous to Iraq but he can be marginalized and quickly if the need arises. It will arise. Dictators will not share power. Look at Maliki's past and Sadr is a tool to be used till it doesn't work anymore.......Iran is weaker than all would assume and is on borrowed time. They are dangerous. But they are also weak. If they were to go crazy and do something that required a military response they could be gone thru like crap through a goose.

Look at their opposition. The GCC is opposed to Iran. The Saudi's gave permission to Israel to launch airstrikes against the Iranians if needed. So did Iraq. This is just the tip of opposition. Why do you think all those Islamic countries allow the US and it's allies to base in the Gulf region? The Iranians are the answer. They realize that an Iranian and Iraqi superpower would destroy them and they are not interested in being ruled by Persian Shiites as most GCC countries are Sunni. It's all racist and religious at it's heart and has been so for centuries. No way Saudi Arabia is gonna let this happen and they will sponser what ever is needed to contain or defeat the notion of a Sunni dominated Gulf Region. Then you have the US. It's ultimently about the oil and if a threat to the oil is manifested in an Iranian take over then watchout. We will go to war. That huge embassy in Iraq is not there for fun and games. It's is to contain Iran while assisting Iraq redevelop. Our military presence in the region is all about that mission. Protect the OIL. Redeveloping Iraq will facilitate that. Iraq's economy will help do away with Iran. Unhappy and poor Iranians will see that they got a raw deal from a government that beat them, killed them, tortured them all in the name of Allah.........The US cannot allow Iran to take Iraq.

The US has an unfortunate record of supporting dictators if their country has what we want. On one hand we want a democratic state that supports our alleged form of government but we have historically had no problem supporting a repressive dictator if we get what we want. Who built Saddam? We did. He went rogue and now he is dead. Ghaddafi....dead....Mubarak gone. Saleh of Yemen...going. Assad in Syria.......on his way out. Many we have dealt with have fallen and all because as they were empowered they crushed all opposition from threatening their rule.......But opposition only hides and waits for it's time and I believe that Iran is no different...........But even so they still remain dangerous and the mission of containment will continue till no matter the conclusion. Even if it calls for an all out war against the Iranian Theocracy as it is today.

This country will actively seek to empower Iraq to achieve success as it is a nessesity that we do so. I feel that our withdrawl of military forces is unfortunate and a bad descion by the Iraqi government but it is required by treaty..........but it is an opportunity as well. This could indeed allow Iraq to step out of Chapter 7 as it's military is going to be basically on it's own and in need of freedom to act in defense of Iraq......Lifting Chapter 7 will be needed to allow that.....There are many road blocks to block the lifting Chapter 7 but without a US military in Iraq in any numbers that may force many hands including the GOI's.

We can only watch, wait and pray. This is only IMO.

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Yes, this turns the heat up now and the pressure is ON! But honestly, the longer we stay in Iraq the longer they sit around and get NOTHING DONE! Our pending RV is too far along for it to just fall to the way-side. It's not like they're still in the beginning stages of studying this and trying to figure out whether this would be a good move for Iraq or not. Yes, this is about Iraq, but it has now become about the rest of the world as well....or else the IMF wouldn't be backing Shabbs and putting the pressure on him to get it done. There has also been way too much media coverage on this to turn back and let the rate stay at 1170. Not to mention all the bank restructuring that has been done and still continues to be done AND all the investing happening in Iraq

My opinion on Iran: They are not going to invade Iraq. Listen to what Ahmadinejad is saying: He's obsessed (and I mean obsessed) with wiping out Israel and US! That's what his last U.N. speech was about. He might be attempting to "woo" Iraq in order to create an Islamic caliphate...but invasion, no. If you're a US citizen (like myself), I'd be watching my own back when it comes to Iran...along with North Korea

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weird. 3 weeks ago both obama and maliki were talking about the US leaving about 5000 troops in iraq. if that is now untrue, what has changed?

let's see, is iran a threat? maybe not from the outside; but how about from the inside? al sadr ring a bell?

this can be really bad if the violence or threat of violence gets out of hand

Everyone knows or knew that we would eventually leave Iraq except for some specific forces to maintain certain protocols that would need our attention. Not to sound political, but my fear is that with the President's speech today, it sounded like we are all but leaving things to the fate of the Iraqi's. I certainly hope that there is much more going on behind the scenes than we hear about. There is still much mistrust with most of the factions in Iraq with regard to dealing with other ethnicities within the borders, and my hope is that things have been settled to the satisfaction of the various factions. Democracy is still so new to these folks that my fear is that we may pull out of the area too soon and that squabbling will happen quicker than we can move back in to settle an uprising, especially among the average disheartened citizen.

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