Here’s Petraeus’s briefing to the Heritage Foundation earlier today. It is rather lengthy at 1 hr and 16 mins… He does give a good description of how the military describes the situation, I was taken aback at some of his assumptions. One particular egregious remark was at the 17:35 mark where he snidely remarks that; "we’d provided the Iraqis with ‘gated communities’ free of charge…" In reference to the miles of large blast walls that we’ve erected in Baghdad… I’d covered the blast walls in various prior posts, but, especially in this one… Mr. Maliki, Tear Down This Wall…

The NYT reports this from the briefing…

Petraeus Sees Value In Talking to Taliban

U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus said on Wednesday that negotiations with some members of the Taliban could provide a way to reduce violence in sections of Afghanistan gripped by an intensifying insurgency.

"If there are people who are willing to reconcile (with the government), then that would be a positive step in some of these areas that have actually been spiraling downward," said Petraeus, who will soon take up responsibility for U.S. operations in Afghanistan.

"The key there is making sure that all of that is done in complete coordination, with complete support of the Afghan government," he told a forum hosted by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

Hmmm… Did ya hear that McPalin? How about this…

30 Civilians Died in Afghan Raid, U.S. Inquiry Finds

An investigation by the military has concluded that American airstrikes on Aug. 22 in a village in western Afghanistan killed far more civilians than American commanders there have acknowledged, according to two American military officials.

The military investigator’s report found that more than 30 civilians — not 5 to 7 as the military has long insisted — died in the airstrikes against a suspected Taliban compound in Azizabad.

Kinda refutes this nonsense…

PALIN: Now, Barack Obama had said that all we’re doing in Afghanistan is air-raiding villages and killing civilians. And such a reckless, reckless comment and untrue comment, again, hurts our cause.

That’s not what we’re doing there. We’re fighting terrorists, and we’re securing democracy, and we’re building schools for children there so that there is opportunity in that country, also. There will be a big difference there, and we will win in — in Afghanistan, also.

Those reports don’t bolster your cause, McPalin…

Now, getting to my title topic, the status of the SOFA negotiations…

What is one to think when you see conflicting headlines like this…

Iraqi Says Pact With U.S. Is Near

US-Iraq security pact faces hurdles

Rather puzzling, eh? I’ve been covering the negotiations since April and have posted numerous posts trumpeting each new ‘breakthrough’ in the talks, only to see it recede… I’ve even covered all the various major players’ visits to Iraq, running the gamut from Shrub to Negroponte for our side. Ironically, all our visitors were ‘unannounced’ and surreptitious in nature, whereas, Ahminejad’s visit was announced and openly embraced with the full red carpet treatment… Fancy that!

Now, as many of the reports have enumerated, the key sticking points still revolve around Iraqi Sovereignty issues, mainly the immunity for our troops and private contractors that Shrub says is a ‘red line’, and, the absolute dealbreaker of them all, a definitive ‘Timeline’ for our withdrawal… Hence, we’re still in the same rut that we’ve been in since June… July…?

The Kurds, Sunni and Da’awa will all support Maliki in ceding those key points, however, the vast majority of the Shi’a are adamantly opposed, along with Iran, consequently, Maliki is in a serious bind… I predict, Maliki can stall long enough to see who wins here on Nov. 4th, then act accordingly. I think the UN mandate will be merely extended for 6 mos, and then pending the outcome of their Provincial elections in Jan. they’ll regroup and re-examine the SOFA treaty…

What say you?

CTuttle

CTuttle

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