U.S. Would Leave Iraq if Asked?!
UPI/Interest!ALERT – U.S. will leave Iraq if asked
U.S. and coalition forces will leave Iraq if asked to do so by an interim Iraqi government, a State Department official told the House Thursday.
During occasionally combative questioning by bipartisan members of the International Relations Committee, the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman said that the United States would respect the wishes of a newly sovereign Iraq even if it meant withdrawing troops before Iraqi general elections are held in 2005. The sovereignty handover is scheduled for June 30.
Grossman repeatedly insisted that he did not believe such a request would be made by the new Iraqi body.
The notion that coalition forces would take marching orders from Iraqis was challenged by a military representative testifying before the committee. Lt. General Walter L. Sharp of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that U.S.-led multinational forces were authorized under U.N. resolutions to operate in Iraq at least until a permanent constitutional government was elected.
Surely, this isn’t our actual policy? I could understand this as diplomatic nicespeak to preserve the illusion that the Iraqi transitional government will actually be “sovereign,” but I can’t imagine we would simply march out of there after all we’ve been if they merely asked.