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Politics

Wait, See, Hope and Pander - The Plans for Withdrawal

And now Iraqi National Security Adviser Mowaffaq al-Rubaie says that the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) -- the future security arrangement being hammered out between the Iraqi government and the U.S. -- must contain a time table for U.S. withdrawal . This "demand" has been characterized as without any real teeth and is motivated by upcoming Iraqi elections.

President Al Maliki's government can posture tough against the U.S. occupation and pander to anti-U.S. Shia groups and leaders like Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army. Yet the Iraqi government has yet to make any real strides to build up its own security forces or forge a strong political leadership.

Politicians from both countries talk ceaselessly about how everything is dependent on conditions on the ground and about consulting generals before making any concrete plans. Meanwhile, the Taliban tide is rising in Afghanistan and we are undermanned. &

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The only thing not in doubt is the fact that Iraq is a mess and the only "plan" is a game of wait, see and hope. The U.S. military has been victimized by a pumpkin headed commander-in-chief. Only a new commander-in-chief will be able to give new directives and consult his generals on a new directive. The commander-in-chief cannot be a politician - and right now McCain and Obama cannot be anything but politicians. I expect no straight talk on this issue from any side until November.

Unless it's from a politician with nothing to lose - enter Ron Paul.

- Citizen Voices blogger Chris McConnell is a bookseller, freelance writer, & former & high school & English teacher & and odd jobber who lives in La Jolla.