Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Iraq PM Considering a Timetable for US to Leave.

What a novel thought. Nouri al-Maliki said on Monday that he would consider setting a timetable for US troops to leave Iraq. The idea was given even more intensity when Iraqi national security advisor, Mowaffak al-Rubaie chimed in that his government is “impatiently waiting” for the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops.

“There should not be any permanent bases in Iraq unless these bases are under Iraqi control. We would not accept any memorandum of understanding with [the U.S.] side that has no obvious and specific dates for the foreign troops' withdrawal from Iraq.”
What did George Bush say about what he would do if Iraq asked us to remove our troops from their soil?

“We are there at the invitation of the Iraqi government. This is a sovereign nation. Twelve million people went to the polls to approve a constitution. It's their government's choice. If they were to say leave, we would leave.”
Looks like the Iraqi government has called Bush’s bluff.

It’s obvious to me what is going on. The US and Iraq are currently in negotiations on the structure of the US/Iraq SOFA or Status of Forces Agreement. This agreement, a treaty really, sets up the nature of Iraq’s military ties to the US going into the next president’s term of office. And it sounds to me like the US negotiators are balking at including any timetable language in the SOFA, so al-Maliki and al-Rubaie have gone public with this.

As well they should. Iraq is after all their country, isn’t it?

Or is it?

US out of Iraq, now.

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