So - What do Iraqis think about the American pull-out? I spoke to many people, politicians. security people and just plain Iraqis and will post their oppinions.
Qaswar Abu Tariq – officer in the Iraqi Army – 31 years – father of four:
"People have a right to be afraid. It (what the US has done in Iraq) is not a job well done. No one in his right mind, only perhaps a politician would like to see occupation forces extend their presence. But look around you – what do you see? The country's borders are open on all sides, open for any who wish to enter and do their will inside Iraq, whether Iran, Syria or any other of the neighbouring countries. Was the decision to withdraw come at a time when they (US) left a force able to secure our borders? No. There is no such thing - whatever the politicians say.. Believe me, if we were able to secure our borders the terrorist attacks would fall to one half – at least. So they (US) failed to provide Iraq with secure borders.
"And how sovereign can a country be if it needs the air-force of the U.S to protect it's air-space? In seven years, why have no steps been taken to revive our air-force?
"What about the ground security forces – The Army is riddled with officers who have no loyalty to Iraq or Iraqis but to their own political parties and affiliations. It cannot function as one unified command because it isn't – It was built wrong. Men – not officers, men from Badr Brigade, from the Sadrist trend, Dawa Party, the Communist Party, IIp and others where employed as officers according to an agreement between the political parties – as if in a quota, a number to appease each party. These men are known as the "merger officers". They are not officers; they have no military training at all, and were given ranks according to their age. So a 40 year old man would probably be made into a brigadier general, some can't even read and write. These are the bane of the army; their loyalties are for their parties - openly, and they hinder every effort to make the army one unified fighting force. Is this the good job the Americans set out to do? How did they allow this to happen under their authority? And how can such a divided force secure the country, when each group is working for its own ends? So they failed there, too.
"The Federal Police, better known as the "commandoes of the Interior (ministry) – or better still, Badr Brigade don't even bother to conceal their loyalty, They are known to be setarian and have loyalties to Iran, where they were trained – They don't have to hide it. Who are they afraid of? This is the better trained and equipped force and maybe the only force that can act as a fighting unit. But its sectarian leanings are well known and they are not trusted by all Iraqis.
"So when Iraqis see their politicians on television talking about democracy and making promises – they no longer get angry – they just laugh weakly, dismissing them in despair.
"You see us four? (there were four men sitting there, Abu Tariq and three others) – Does any one of us truly believe that we have a functional government - nevermind a government that can keep the peace? No!
"So if the Americans want to leave in despair because they have completely failed and don't know what to do about it – let them go, not in honour but in disgrace. But they must not, in all honesty, give the impression that they are leaving after having accomplished their mission in Iraq – unless their mission was to wreck the country and leave it bleeding from every pore".