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What Is Withdrawing 'Responsibly' From Iraq?

Bennis: Obama has to change the mindset that leads to war, US cannot dictate Iraq's future

WASHINGTON - The Real News spoke to author Phyllis Bennis to discuss
the conflicting views of how the U.S can withdraw from Iraq in a
responsible manner.

With many people speculating
about the U.S. strategic relationship with the Iraqi people and it's
government, Bennis suggests that the only relationship that exists is
with the U.S. backed government in Iraq,  "I think there's no question
that the U.S. military occupation forces have a strategic relationship
with the government in Iraq. The government in Iraq is fundamentally
dependent on the presence of the U.S. military."  Although the
strategic relationship with the current Iraq government is strong,
Bennis is not so confident in the strength of this relationship with
Iraqi civilians, stating "all the polls indicate a higher and higher
and higher level every year of opposition to  U.S. presence."

With Obama making withdrawal promises Bennis is somewhat skeptical
as to his real intentions, "I think that the Obama administration has a
commitment to a major reduction in the size of the occupation.  I am
less than convinced that there is a real commitment to a real

When asked how she would define leaving Iraq responsibly, Bennis
responded "It means ending the military occupation immediately, as fast
as possible.  It took six months to get in, it should take less than
that to get out.  That means a real withdraw, all the troops....shut
all the U.S. military bases, turn them back over to the Iraqi's and
stop all claims on Iraqi oil.  That's what it means to withdraw."

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