With the news of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria [ISIS] blazing a path through northern Iraq, the chattering class is again harping on the withdrawal of US forces in 2011. And predictably, the charges are rampant, that Obama "pulled the troops out early" and/or "refused to pursue a Status of Forces Agreement [SOFA]" with the Maliki regime.
Sadly for both talking points, the agreement reached between the Bush and Maliki negotiation teams, that stipulated US forces exit Iraq by Dec 31st, 2011....was a Status of Forces Agreement. It's accurately titled the Agreement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq On the Withdrawal of United States Forces from Iraq and the Organization of Their Activities during Their Temporary Presence in Iraq.
During those negotiations, the Iraqi's made it clear that "We will not accept any memorandum of understanding if it does not give a specific date for a complete withdrawal of foreign troops" BBC
Now, one could argue that the Bush Administration was simply having no luck in keeping US forces in country past 2011.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says no U.S. troops will be left in his country after 2011, calling the agreement for all American soldiers to leave by then "not subject to extension, not subject to alteration." Politico
But then one is going to have to acknowledge the same luck for the succeeding Administration.
So the politically and media driven noise machine is forced to support ignorance of this fact, forced to suppress any questions as to why the Bush Administration couldn't or wouldn't extend the withdrawal date....just as it supports an enforced ignorance of the differences between terrorism and insurgency....and the various groups involved with either....so that servile, patriotic fervor can be whipped up for campaign season..and for issues such as this.