The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Obama Announces 50,000 Troops to Stay in Iraq

Mar 9, 2009

Barack Obama announced his plans for withdrawing troops from Iraq. “Let me say this as plainly as I can,” said Obama. “By 31 August, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end.”

You would have thought he was making a clean break with the Bush administration’s policies–especially after all the media headlines like the Detroit News saying, “Obama announces Iraq withdrawal plan.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. Obama even admitted there will be 50,000 troops left behind. And those troops will remain in Iraq until December 31, 2011–34 months from now. What Obama forgot to say is that he is following the very same timetable that George Bush laid out in an agreement he signed with the Iraqi government–down to the very day for leaving!

And even that’s not sure. “There will surely be difficult periods and tactical adjustments,” said Obama.

NBC reported “Military commanders ... are already making plans for a significant number of American troops to remain in Iraq beyond that 2011 deadline.... And one senior military commander told us that he expects large numbers of American troops to be in Iraq for the next 15 or 20 years.” Apparently, that’s just “tactical.”

Just like Presidents Johnson and Nixon, after they promised to wind down the Vietnam War, Obama says one thing while preparing to do its opposite. And just like Johnson and Nixon, who expanded their war into Cambodia and Laos, Obama is expanding his into Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Obama is fast making Bush’s wars his own.