No Means No

A US patrol attempts to enter an Iraqi university campus, but is stopped at the gates by campus officials.

Six months ago if we saw this as a lead in to a story, there was a good bet the rest of it would involve the university president being marched out into the streets in chains and follow-up stories desperately trying to link him to some militant faction or another.

But with a little over a month left before the UN mandate expires, and the Status of Forces Agreement set to severely curtail the authority of US forces on Iraqi soil, things turned out a little different. After being told they could only enter unarmed, out of uniform and then only after they make a proper appointment, they turned around and left, no incident.

Asking permission is likely as novel a strategy for the military, used to getting its own way in Iraq on all things, as the notion of getting search warrants before entering peoples’ homes, but with the days of unchecked authority and arbitrary detentions seemingly over its something they’re going to have to get used to. So is hearing “no” when it asks for access.

17 thoughts on “No Means No”

  1. I would like to see the Iraqi Parliment just say no to the SOFA and see ALL troops pulled out of Iraq. Now that would be something to write about, although this story is indicative of progress of a sort.

  2. I have to wonder – are there any detailed plans at the Pentagon addressing the procedures for a rapid withdrawal from Iraq? I’ll bet there aren’t. The military develops all sort of contingency plans. No matter how absurd the possibilities, there are the necessary contingency planning. There are probably contingency plans for war with Canada, even war with aliens from anothere galaxy, but I bet the idea that we may actually have to leave Iraq at Iraqi insistence is viewed as too unpatriotic to even consider.

      1. Reminds me of a story told by Dr. Statz(sp?) (famous psychiatrist known for his social libertarian views). He said they had an institute for crippled women in old Europe. The staff could never determine which women were truly unable to walk and which just refused to walk — until the night the place caught on fire.

  3. There is nothing stopping Bush (or Obama on Jan. 20th) from issuing an order that all American patrols cease immediately. The Iraqi government would then become responsible for all security matters and decision-making within its borders. That’s what sovereignty means. Logistics would dictate how long the withdrawal process takes, but the salient point is that we would no longer put American soldiers in harm’s way in a war that never should have been fought.

    Screw the stupid “stay the course” mentality. When you’ve dug a really deep hole for yourself, the first step is to stop digging.

  4. How would American students like it if armed Iraqi soldiers were in the USA and trying to bully their way onto some campus in America?

    1. Not in the slightest, in all likelihood, but as R. Nelson affirmed several posts back, the greater part of the American populace seems almost congenitally incapable of empathy.

    2. “How would American students like it if armed Iraqi soldiers were in the USA and trying to bully their way onto some campus in America?”

      If the soldiers had shiny enough uniforms, big enough guns, and goosestepped with adequate swagger, half of them would probably cream their jeans.

    3. Maybe a more relevant question is, how would they like it if American soldiers attempted to bully their way onto campus (and in a manner that makes Kent State of 1970 look like an orientation day)? There’s a much greater chance of that happening in the near future than most realize…

    4. We have already accepted this type of behaviour in our public schools. My children go to a school with less than 50 kids per graduating class. But now thanks to homeland security we have an armed security liazon (local cop). I can’t even remember the last time they had a fist fight at school, let alone anything that would require an armed thug from homeland security. We don’t have the money to pay for a librarian on staff or an arts program anymore but we can afford a cop? Of course they also conduct locker checks at random or sweeps even though I have never heard of anyone getting busted for anything. So even in my sleepy little town in Northern Michigan we have thugs working for homeland security running around with guns at schools. What a sad joke this has all become!

      Peace!

  5. This whole story sounds like baloney to me…
    Why the patrol was attempting to enter the
    campus is not explained but only dismissed.

    College campuses are now sacrosanct?

    Bullshite.

    I don’t buy it. This story stinks of propaganda.

    Now if the U.S. military could be forced to
    respect Iraqi neighborhoods, innocent Iraqi men
    women and children, then I would be impressed.

  6. This story stinks of propaganda.

    Why the troops were attempting to enter
    the campus is not given and simply
    dismissed.

    College campuses are now sacrosanct?
    Bullshite.

    Now if the U.S. military could be forced
    to respect Iraqi neighborhoods, innocent
    men, women and children then I’d be impressed.

    1. But it is true! Completely. Just ask the Associated Press.

      In other news, American troops are now engaged in rescuing kittens from trees and helping little old ladies in Iraq cross the street.

      This is just one of the many salutary effects of electing President Obama to office. He is already making the world a happier and healtier place for everyone!

  7. The rules of engagement (murder) change from unit to unit and based on rank. If they felt like going in all they needed to do was get it approved from higher up. They obviously had little or no reason to go in or they would have found a way. I agree that this story is just more BS propaganda.

    Peace!

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