Jun 30 2009

Iraqis Celebrate National Sovereignty as US Troops Withdraw

Feature Stories | Published 30 Jun 2009, 9:53 am | Comments Off on Iraqis Celebrate National Sovereignty as US Troops Withdraw -

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iraqisToday has been declared National Sovereignty Day in Iraq as U.S. troops officially withdraw from the country’s cities and towns. As agreed in a bilateral pact signed early this year, U.S. troops are to pull out of most Iraqi cities today and completely out of the country by December 31, 2011. Around 130,000 American troops will remain at two giant military bases near the Baghdad airport serving only as trainers and advisers for Iraqi soldiers. The U.S. military has spent more than $100 million improving its largest bases, in what some say indicates a permanent stay of U.S. forces in Iraq. But Iraqis are jubilant today as six years and three months after the start of the war, US combat troops have withdrawn. Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki declared, “Those who think that Iraqis are unable to defend their country are committing a fatal mistake.” Meanwhile, in just the past week alone, major attacks in three cities have killed almost 200 people in an apparent warning that Iraq’s troubles are not over.

GUEST: Ra’ed Jarrar, Iraq Consultant to the American Friends Service Committee, Catherine Lutz is with the Watson Institute at Brown University and author of The Bases of Empire: The Struggle Against U.S. Military Posts

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