Posted on Categories Podcast Info, Politics

Dahr Jamail Reality Check: Obama Ends US Combat Role in Iraq

Journalist Dahr Jamail returns to comment on President Obama’s Oval Office speech of August 31, announcing that Operation Iraqi Freedom has ended. Jamail is author of Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Iraq and more recently, The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2004, Jamail has made several trips to Iraq, and has provided “reality checks” to PBC listeners on a regular basis. We begin the show with the President’s opening remarks from his speech, and offer informed criticism of what he said and what he left out. We talk about how Obama has compromised his own position by embracing the myth that Bush’s “surge” in 2007 turned the tide in Iraq, and how that is falsely linked to Obama’s escalation in Afghanistan, while acknowledging that he is entitled to claim that he has kept his campaign promise to get “combat troops” out of Iraq. He barely mentioned that there is no government in Baghdad right now, and failed to properly acknowledge that the war was a mistake that spawned torture, rendition, and other atrocities that in turn produce a new generation of people who have reasons to hate America–some of whom are Muslim extremists. Jamail recounts the series of blunders and crimes that punctuated Bush’s occupation of Iraq, updates us on Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi army, the head count of military contractors who remain, and expresses doubt that all US troops will be out of Iraq at the end of next year. And we respond to revisionist history on Iraq from Bush’s National Security Secretary, Stephen Hadley and Sen. John McCain, whose twin op-eds appeared in the Wall Street Journal on 8/31/10.