12:58 PM, Jan 21, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
At the new White House website, Obama lays out his agenda for Iraq. In addition to assuring the American people that he "had the judgment and courage to speak out against going to war" (unlike the cowardly fool Joe Biden), Obama promises a responsible withdrawal, a 'diplomatic surge,' a new effort to assist refugees, and then this odd item:
It's possible that the Obama team didn't have an Iraq expert proof this portion of the website before it went live, but our new administration is so competent, and so web savvy, we should assume this isn't just a screwup. So what to make of it?
The Bush administration did, following the election, sign a new status of forces agreement with the Iraqi government. The deal took nearly a year of wrangling with the Iraqi leadership, who faced strong domestic opposition to the deal, and ultimately required the Bush administration to accept a fixed time-line for withdrawal (all U.S. forces must leave Iraq by the end of 2011). The Bush administration and General Petraeus were also satisfied that the agreement provided all necessary legal protections and immunities for U.S. forces. Moreover, the left was largely pleased with the new agreement. Marc Lynch recently called it "Bush's finest moment on Iraq."