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article imageOp-Ed: American airmen evacuating Iraqi air base

By Robert Weller     Jun 12, 2014 in Politics
Baghdad - The surprisingly fast collapse of the Iraqi military has forced the evacuation of Americans from Balad Air Force Base. Several hundred Amerians were waiting to leave.
Associated Press said a dozen air force trainers were being pulled out and the training mission suspended indefinitely.
Iraqi’s parliament planned a meeting Thursday on a proposed national state of emergency as it lost control of more of the country and Washington reportedly denied a request for airstrikes on rebels who were within 70 miles of the capital.President Obama said some unspecified additional aid was likely to be given.
Russia gave the equivalent of "I told you so." Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, “We warned long ago that the adventurism the Americans and the British started there would not end well."
But it was unlikely enough members of the parliament would be able to attend to have a quorum.
The only area where rebels, split into two groups that included a faction supported by al-Qaida, stopped moving forward was in the northern Kirkuk. Kurdish forces, known as the peshmerga, seized the area and its oil refineries, Reuters reported.
Kurds could try to set up an autonomous area, not under the directly control of Shiite government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.
Reports said the US was preparing evacuation plans for its Baghdad embassy, the largest in the world. Iran suspended flights into Baghdad. said al-Maliki would attend the emergency parliament session Thursday but it was far from clear he would win support for the state of emergency order. His government told the BBC that it was preparing to push back against the rebels.
The US, which lost 4,500 soldiers during eight years of trying to create a democracy in Iraq, was in no position to send troops back. The last left in December 2011, and news disclosures that the Bush Administration had fabricated reports of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction means the US has no stomach for more war.
US lives are still being lost in Afghanistan, including five who were killed by friendly fire this week.
Iraq’s border with Syria was a lawless area and up for grabs.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant posted photos showing it was digging a border berm dividing the two countries. The ISIL is considered close to al-Qaida.
The other group of rebels calls itself the Islamic State of Iraq, and some consider them more fanatical than the ISIL.
The political blame game had already begun in Washington with some Republicans saying President Barack Obama pulled troops too soon, suggesting that 11 years was not enough. American politics were focused on battles between Tea Party Republicans and business-oriented regulars.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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