The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do. It is the freedom to refrain, withdraw and abstain which makes a totalitarian regime impossible. --Hoffer
Whatever way the WH or supporters of continuing the occupation of Iraq spin the new resolution gaining steam in the Iraqi parliament, it's clear that the legislators there are counting down the days to our exit and are prepared to make that the law of their land.
As both Bush and Cheney were giving lip service to the notion that time was running out for the Maliki regime to follow through on the political promises Bush says our troops are fighting and dying to give them 'room' to carry through, legislators in Iraq's parliament were busy gathering an overwhelming amount of commitments from members of the National Assembly for a resolution setting a timetable for U.S. withdrawal.
It was reported today that as many as 144 members of Iraq's 275-seat national assembly have signed a draft law that would essentially have the Baghdad parliament decide the fate of the four-year old U.S. occupation; rather than those at the head of the propped-up regime whose lackeys were hobnobbing with our own legislators on Capitol Hill today, trying to convince wavering republicans to continue their protection behind the sacrifices of our soldiers.
It's become more than clear that the Iraqi regime has little incentive to make any of the political changes regarding their oil or mending their relationship with their Sunni rivals that the White House has been using as justification for continuing the escalated U.S. military presence. It's even less apparent that there is any discussion at all among the rank and file of the Iraqi parliament about the need for U.S. protection against terrorist elements the WH says are responsible for aggravating the violence to the point of making Iraq the 'center of the terror front' as Cheney called it yesterday, and echoed by the Maliki regime lackeys visiting Washington.
At some point Bush will either be forced to admit that there is no realistic hope of Iraqis achieving anything political which would bring an end to the fighting there; or else, just assert the truth which has been apparent to everyone looking on, that he intends to wage his militarism with impunity in Iraq no matter how Iraqis feel about it. But, right now, an increasing majority of those Iraqis he regularly points to as the product of the 'democracy' he says he brought to Iraq at the point of our soldiers' weapons, are lining up to give him the boot.
We haven't forgotten his hollow pledge in 2005 to 'stand down' when Iraqis tell him they've had enough. Asked by the NYT if the U.S. would leave Iraq if the government requested it, Bush answered,""Yes, absolutely. This is a sovereign government."
Even before protesters took to the streets demanding the U.S. exit in 2005 and earlier this year, there were polls of Iraqis showing solid opposition to the U.S. presence. In September, 71% of Iraqis polled said they would like the Iraqi government to ask for US-led forces to be withdrawn from Iraq within a year or less. 79% said the US is having a negative influence. 53% said a U.S. exit would strengthen their government, and 58% said they thought the violence would decrease if the U.S. went home.
Still, the Bush administration insisted they were acting on behalf of the Iraqi government in remaining, who they said, were representative of those who had voted in the elections held under the occupation of our invading forces years ago. Now, it's clear that the 'elected' Shia-dominated Iraqi government is satisfied enough with the spoils of their U.S. gifted authority to openly spurn the promised perpetuation of the Bush cabal's protection racket.
Bush spoke to his impression of the will of the Iraqis for continuing to tolerate his occupation as he tried to deflect the results of the defeat of his republican enablers in the November congressional elections:
"The enemy wants to know whether or not the United States has the will to stay engaged in this ideological struggle," he said in a WaPo interview in December. "They don't believe we do. That's what they say. And I believe that's what they believe," he said.
"The third group of people I speak to are the Iraqis," Bush continued. "They wonder whether the United States has got the will to help them achieve their objectives. That's what they wonder," he said. "The leaders I have talked to wonder whether or not - what the elections mean . . . But in the back of their mind, they're saying, "Are they going to leave us again?"
That now appears to be what the Iraqis are indeed saying, in overwhelming and increasing numbers. "Are they going to leave us again?"
"Will they ever leave us again?"