The US installed puppet government of Nouri al-Maliki has begun to cut the strings that bind it to its puppet masters in the Bush administration. The Iraqi government is balking at many of the provisions in the so-called “status of forces” agreement between the Bush administration and the Iraqi parliament.
In an odd, anti-symmetrical show of non-democracy here in the US, the status of forces agreement is being voted on by the Iraqi parliament, whereas the Bush administration has refused to consider the agreement a treaty, and refused to put it before Congress for a vote. “We have to give them democracy over there so we don't have to have it here”, might be the Bush administration's slogan on this matter.
A number of provisions in the status of forces agreement have irked the Iraqis including the minor issues of 58 permanent military bases in Iraq, full use of Iraqi airspace up to 30,000 feet altitude, and complete immunity from prosecution for wrongdoing by all military personnel and contractors.
As it is written, the status of forces agreement would be permanent, with the provision that either side could pull out of the agreement with two years of notice. This means that if the agreement is signed at the beginning of 2009, the earliest the Iraqis could pull out of the arrangement would be 2011. The other option is for Iraq to permit an extension of the current agreement, which expires at the end of this year.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki just returned from another meeting with Iranian officials who are strongly opposed to the status of forces agreement between the US and Iraq. It is doubtful that the Bush administration foresaw the disagreement over the status of forces agreement would drive al-Maliki to deeper discussions with the Iranians, but then again, the Bush administration also thought the Iraq war would usher in the era of $20 a barrel oil. Oops, their bad.
Jalal al Din al Saghir, a leading lawmaker from the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq was quoted as saying: " Is there sovereignty for Iraq - or isn't there? If it is left to them, they would ask for immunity even for the American dogs.”
Can you hear the sounds of the puppet slowly cutting, one by one, the strings that tie them to their puppet masters?
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