Thursday, November 20, 2008
Iraqis don't believe US will leave
Despite the lofty pronouncements of important people, the average Ali on the street doesn't really believe it.
Iraqi and American leaders say that a new security pact will have all U.S. forces and military contractors out of Iraq by 2012, but 14th Ramadan Street is skeptical.Gee, we have only been there since 2003, why could they imagine we don't want to leave?
"Americans won't leave," said Mazin Ali, 30, a coach driver. "They are the decision makers in all Iraq. The decision is theirs."
He and others on 14th Ramadan Street, a commercial strip in Baghdad's Mansour district, see too many signs of a long-term American commitment to believe that the U.S. will withdraw on the timetable in the so-called status of forces agreement.
"It is not reasonable, because even if it was true and they would commit to the dates, there are great big loopholes," said Khalid Muhsin Abid, 57, pointing to the sprawling new, nearly $600 million U.S. Embassy compound on the Tigris River as evidence that the U.S. will stay.
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