Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Iraqi Parliament Members: 70% of Iraqis Want U.S. Withdrawal

Wednesday, the House of Representatives hosted two members of the Iraqi Parliament in order “to hear their assessment of the proposed U.S.-Iraq Security Agreement.” That agreement, proposed by the Bush Administration, would permit U.S. combat forces in Iraq for an unspecified period of time.

Part of their testimony was very interesting. When discussing a possible withdrawal from Iraq, one of the Parliamentarians indicated 70% of the Iraqi public wants the U.S. to withdraw.
Ron Paul: What percent of the Iraqi people would agree with us leaving under those circumstances?

Nadeem Al-Jaberi: I ask you to perhaps have a referendum, and that will tell you the truth.

Paul: So you have no idea. You have no idea. Maybe only 5 percent would support us leaving. You have to have an idea.

Al-Jaberi: Of course not. The majority of the people of Iraq are with the withdrawal. … Perhaps even about 70 percent.

It's actually been said for a long time that the Iraqi people view us as occupiers, and want it out, and out now. So this really shouldn't be a surprise. But that's not all. Paul also asked about the much-criticized U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. 104 acres, $700 million, 3,000 employees, 27 building. The response?
Al-Jaberi: It is certainly larger than the diplomatic mission for which it has arrived for. … I mean why do we need 3,000 employees in an embassy in Iraq if we consider it as a diplomatic mission like any other diplomatic mission? From the principle of reciprocity, would it be appropriate for Iraqis to establish a 3,000 employee embassy in Washington? … It certainly would not be a very positive signal to the Iraqi people.
You can watch the exchange by playing this file in RealPlayer. Paul's exchange with Al-Jaberi begins about 1:11 into the video.

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