It sounded like a good idea at the time:
U.S. returns sovereignty to Iraq
Monday, June 28, 2004
Iraq's interim government was sworn in Monday after the United States returned sovereignty to the nation two days ahead of schedule.
The official handover of sovereignty occurred at 10:26 a.m. (2:26 a.m. ET), when former coalition civil administrator L. Paul Bremer gave interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi a leather-bound transfer document.
Of course, there were the inevitable whiny pessimists:
Some Iraqis dismissed the event as meaningless as long as U.S. troops occupy the nation, ...
Apparently, the whiny pessimists had a point (emphasis added):
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had a surprise for President Bush when they sat down with their aides in the Four Seasons Hotel in Amman, Jordan. Firing up a PowerPoint presentation, Maliki and his national security adviser proposed that U.S. troops withdraw to the outskirts of Baghdad and let Iraqis take over security in the strife-torn capital. Maliki said he did not want any more U.S. troops at all, just more authority.
The president listened intently to the unexpected proposal at their Nov. 30 meeting, according to accounts from several administration officials. Bush seemed impressed that Maliki had taken the initiative, but it did not take him long to reject the idea.
By the time Bush returned to Washington, the plan had already been picked through by his military commanders. At a meeting in the White House's Roosevelt Room, the president flatly told his advisers that the Maliki plan was not going to work. He had concluded that the Iraqis were not up to the task and that Baghdad would collapse into chaos, making a bad situation worse. And so the Americans would have to help them.
Poor George ... still having trouble with that whole "sovereignty" thing.