The candidates and pundits are wrestling over who gets the credit for the troop withdrawal in Iraq and a great deal is made of an agreement about withdrawal without any serious attention to the contents of the agreement. The withdrawal agreement seemed to me to amount to little more than an opportunity for political posturing without any indication of the substance behind it, if any.
Apparently the talks have broken down in part over an item that we have been told was already a part of the agreement. The Iraquis want the departure date to be a hard deadline and that apparently is not agreeable to the U.S. I had understood from the news reporting here that we had already agreed to this, but I guess not.
I applaud the effort by the Iraqis to have a legitimate and sovereign nation, rather than a United States protectorate. The current discussions about the withdrawal terms seem to highlight the fact that we are in Iraq in spite of the wishes of the Iraqis, not because of them. It appears that, after installing an oil executive in Afghanistan as its leader, we are having a little trouble with a puppet regime in Iraq.