Trump says Pindo troops will ‘eventually’ leave Iraq, but not now
Middle East Eye, Jan 8 2020

Pindo troops will “eventually” leave Iraq, but now is not “the right point” for a Pindo withdrawal, Donald Trump has said following confusion and uncertainty about his plans. Speaking to reporters from the White House on Tuesday, Trump said that when Pindo troops do withdraw from Iraq, he will seek compensation from Baghdad for the money spent in the country since invading in 2003. It is not clear what costs exactly Trump was referring to, but he did cite “airports” constructed by Pindo forces and the own embassy in Baghdad. Trump said:

If we do get out, we’ve spent a tremendous amount of money on building airports. It’s one of the largest embassies we have in the world. And we want to be reimbursed for the various costs that we have had, and they’re very significant, but we’ll work something out.

The Iraqi parliament and PM Adel Abd’ul-Mahdi have called for Pindo troops to leave the country. Over the weekend and again on Tuesday, Trump threatened Baghdad with “big sanctions,” saying he will penalise Iraq if Pindostan is not “treated with respect.” Trump dismissed the purported letter from the Pindo commanding officer agreeing to withdraw on Tuesday, saying the media is failed to report that the letter was “unsigned.” He went on to say that an imminent Pindo withdrawal would be “the worst thing” for Iraq. He said:

If we leave, that would mean that Iran would have a much bigger foothold, and the people of Iraq do not want to see Iran running their country. That I can tell you.

Facing further questions about the letter, Trump turned to Pompeo who was sitting to his right. Pompeo said:

The Iraqi people understand that we’re there to help them stand for their sovereignty.

Trump also defended his decision to kill Soleimani, saying that the Iranian general was planning attacks against Pindos, and erroneously claiming he was travelling with the “head of Hezbollah.” He said:

They weren’t there to plan a vacation. They weren’t there to a nice resort some place in Baghdad. They were there to discuss bad business. And we saved a lot of lives by terminating his life. He was a monster, and he’s no longer a monster. He’s dead.

Trump hit out at Demagog presidential candidates criticising the assassination, saying that the only people complaining about Soleimani’s death are “politicians trying to win the presidency.” On Tuesday, he appeared to walk back his weekend threat to target Iranian cultural sites if Tehran retaliates against Pindos for Soleimani’s killing. Trump’s threat, which would constitute a war crime, had been denounced by people across the political spectrum, prompting the Pentagon to rule out such a possibility. Trump said:

They’re allowed to kill our people. They’re allowed to maim our people. They’re allowed to blow up everything that we have, and there’s nothing to stop them, and we are according to various laws supposed to be very careful with their cultural heritage. And you know what, if that’s what the law is, I like to obey the law. I will say this, if Iran does anything that they shouldn’t be doing, they’re going to be suffering the consequences.


  1. Posted January 8, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    I just read they are leaving as I type this

  2. PB
    Posted January 8, 2020 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Its looking more and more to me that Trump is completely marginalised, despite him going all out (awkwardly) to make it look like he isn’t. We are not seeing even a tenth of what is going on behind the scenes here. Iraq war planning in 2002 was more transparent than this chaos.

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