Sunday, November 16, 2008

Obama's Threat?

A bit ahead of what I predicted, but none the less very good news for Iraq!!!

Iraq's Government Approves Security Pact with US
Iraq's Cabinet overwhelmingly approved a security pact with the United States on Sunday, ending prolonged negotiations to allow American forces to remain for three more years in the country they first occupied in 2003.

"It's the best possible, available option," said government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh. He was referring to the conflict between Iraq's desire for full sovereignty and control over security and its need for American support and cooperation to achieve that goal.

Al-Dabbagh described the pact — intended to supplant the U.N. mandate expiring Dec. 31 — as an "agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. troops," and Washington welcomed the Cabinet's approval.


"I'm optimistic that this agreement will be passed through the Council of Representatives (parliament)," spokesman al-Dabbagh told Associated Press Television News. But he added: "You cannot guarantee 100 percent approval of anything."

Barring unforeseen developments, the document should receive the support of the 85 lawmakers of the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance, the 54 Kurdish lawmakers and most of the 44 lawmakers in the Iraqi Accordance Front, the largest Sunni Arab bloc.

Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who commands the loyalty of 30 lawmakers, urged parliament in a statement Sunday to reject the agreement "without the least hesitation." The statement was read by a top al-Sadr aide on Iraq's al-Sharqiya Television.

Honestly, I thought it would go right down to the wire as nearly every other significant event has since the handover of sovereignty to Iraq by Paul Bremer on June 28, 2004.

I suspect that Obama's threat to pull troops out may have put more pressure on the negotiations to get the deal done before he actually takes office. Now, let's hope he doesn't screw it up!

Note that Iran, its proxy, Syria, and its fatboy Muqtada al-Sadr all oppose the deal. Quelle surprise!!

Here's another article on it, from the British paper, The Telegraph.
...the Iraqi government could cancel the agreement if its own forces became capable of controlling security earlier.

"That matches the vision of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama. The Iraqi side would not mind withdrawal when the readiness of its forces is achieved."

Well, duh!! That's been Bush's position for a very long time.
The Iraqi government is grown increasingly confident of its own ability to keep order. Violence has dramatically reduced in the country over the past year and Iraqi forces now have command in 13 of Iraq's 18 provinces. October's death toll was the lowest since the invasion.
The Iraqi parliament now has to approve it. Expect raucous debate and posturing.

Next up: Provincial elections:
"The Iraqi people want these elections. The forthcoming elections are rightly viewed as an opportunity to establish a more inclusive sectarian balance and shape a new political landscape and are the most significant political event in the forthcoming months,..."
Go, Iraq!!!!


Post a Comment

<< Home