Article by Justin Raimondo.
Although assassination has become the leading cause of death among Iraqi males, the Iraqi government has its priorities straight: they’re enacting a ban on public smoking. As the New York Times reports, the law – already passed by the Parliament, and now up for an obligatory second reading – “would ban smoking from schools, universities, government offices and a wide range of private businesses, including restaurants and cafes. Billboards advertising cigarettes, which wallpaper commercial districts of Baghdad, would be outlawed. And cigarette companies would be forced to print harsher warning labels. ‘This is an important issue,’ said Jawad al-Bazouni, a member of Parliament’s Health Committee, which is pushing for the restrictions. ‘The citizen can complain to the smoker. He will get the law on his side, and it will be reflected in the public health.’”
The Westernization of “liberated” Iraq is apparently proceeding on schedule, albeit not fast enough for Washington: hints that the US was lobbying behind the scenes to extend the occupation beyond the “withdrawal date” announced by President Obama have been dropped for months, and now it’s semi-official. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki – who once opined Iraq could defend itself, without US troops – now says he will go along with US demands if 70 percent of Iraqi lawmakers agree.
This fix has been in for quite some time, as you’ve been warned repeatedly in this space: US occupation forces aren’t going anywhere, at least not until the banks (or the Chinese) hang a foreclosure sign on the Pentagon. In light of this, I ask you to review the many statements by this administration that we were definitely and absolutely winding down our military presence in that unfortunate country “as promised and on schedule,” as Obama put it. “The message is,” said a White House spokesman at the time, “when the president makes a commitment, he keeps it.”
So what’s the message now – when the president makes a commitment, he’s lying? Given Obama’s record, you can take that one to the bank.
You’ll recall that the first deadline for US troop withdrawal was supposed to have been September 1, 2010 – but that was quietly dropped. The new deadline – the end of this year – was announced with much fanfare: Rachel Maddow made a big deal about it when she interviewed what was supposed to be the last combat brigade coming out of the country, sometime last year. Naturally, this latest news has gone unmentioned by Rachel, or, indeed, by any of the Obama-friendly media. If a broken promise hits the pavement in Iraq, and goes unreported by the “mainstream” media, did it really happen?
The idea that we were ever going to voluntarily leave Iraq was always a fantasy, one fulsomely encouraged by the Obama-ites and their “progressive” amen corner.