(UPDATE IS AT THE BOTTOM.)
Here’s the official announcement:
6 JAN 2020
[TO:] sLTG Abdul Amir
Deputy Director, Combined Joint Operations Baghdad
Iraq — Ministry of Defense
Sir, in due deference to the sovereignty of the Republic of Iraq, and as requested by the Iraqi Parliament and the Prime Minister, CJTF-OIR will be repositioning [i.e., moving] forces over the course of the coming days and weeks. In order to conduct this task, Coalition Forces are required to take certain measures to ensure that the movement out of Iraq is conducted in a safe and efficient manner.
During this time, there will be an increase in helicopter travel in and around the International Zone (IZ) of Baghdad. This increased traffic will include CH-47, UH-60, and AH-64 sec urity escort helicopters.
Coalition Forces will take appropriate measures to minimize and mitigate the disturbance to the public. In addition, we will conduct these missions during hours of darkness to help alleviate any perception that we may be bringing more Coalition Forces into the IZ.
As we begin implementing this next phase of operations [i.e, the post-U.S.-military-occupation-of-Iraq; i.e., the end of America’s war against Iraq, phase], I want to reiterate the value of our friendship and partnership. We respect your sovereign decision to order our departure.
[FROM:] WILLIAM H. SEELY III
Brigadier General, U.S. Marine Corps
Commanding General, TF-Iraq [Task Force – Iraq, representing the Combined Joint Task Force – Iraq, of the Joint Operations Command – Iraq, of the Department of Defense, of the United States Government]
On January 6th, Reuters headlined “Pentagon chief denies U.S. leaving Iraq”. Their News-report opened:
BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has no plans to pull its troops out of Iraq, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Monday, following reports by Reuters and other media of an American military letter informing Iraq officials about the repositioning of troops in preparation to leave the country.
Word of the letter came a day after Iran’s demand for U.S. forces to withdraw from the region gained traction when Iraq’s parliament passed a resolution calling for all foreign troops to leave the country.
To view a pdf of the letter, click here.
That “here” leads the reader to a photograph of the letter, which this reporter has copied out character-by-character, so that its content is the news-report, and so that the letter’s content becomes web-searchable-findable in any part of it, for quotations from it, so as to assist subsequent commentators upon it. The article that Reuters headlined “Pentagon chief denies U.S. leaving Iraq” provided no documentation of the allegation in its headline, other than the article’s lead sentence “The United States has no plans to pull its troops out of Iraq, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Monday, following reports by Reuters and other media of an American military letter informing Iraq officials about the repositioning of troops in preparation to leave the country.” If that allegation is backed by some documentation, then perhaps Mr. Esper or else Reuters, or perhaps U.S. President Trump himself, will subsequently make that public.
In any case, the entire letter constitutes important, historic, news, of America’s assertion to Iraq’s Government that the U.S. Government is now complying with Iraq’s demand to leave Iraq, after 17 years of military occupation of that country. If the U.S. Government reverses itself on that decision, and goes to war again against the sovereign Government of Iraq, then that will be the subject of a subsequent news-report.
UPDATE: Late on January 6th, The Daily Beast headlined “Joint Chiefs Chairman: Letter on U.S.-Led Coalition ‘Repositioning Forces’ in Iraq Was ‘Mistake’” and reported that,
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said on Monday that a letter written by the United States-led coalition against ISIS stating that it will be “repositioning forces” in Iraq in the coming days is in fact a draft.
“That letter is a draft, it was a mistake, it should not have been released,” he told reporters, adding that it “implies withdrawal” and “that is not what’s happening.”
In other words, Trump changed his mind, and the U.S. will be trying militarily to force the Government of Iraq to continue accepting America’s military occupation of their country.
This presents to America’s allied Governments a solemn decision whether or not to remain allied with a nation that now unapologetically is an imperialist fascist power like Italy, Japan, and Germany were during World Wat II. If the U.S.-allied Governments abandon their alliances with the United States, and NATO terminates as a direct consequence, then perhaps World War III will be able to be avoided; but, otherwise, either NATO will continue forward as an international fascist-imperialist alliance, and then nations that NATO treats as enemies, such as Russia, China, and Iran, will then need to consider whether or not to go to war against the fascist-imperialist alliance, or, instead, capitulate to them.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.