President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki signed a joint declaration Monday that sets out principles for a broad agreement to be negotiated in the next year that would define a future relationship between their countries and guarantee a U.S. troop presence in Iraq for at least a few more years.
Iraqi and U.S. officials said next year would be the last in which both countries ask for a United Nations Security Council resolution that tasks America with guaranteeing Iraq's security.
The new joint declaration calls for future political, economic and security relations between Baghdad and Washington to be negotiated in 2008. Baghdad also will ask the United Nations to remove it from Chapter 7 status, a legal designation that has in effect classified Iraq as a pariah state since ex-dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990.
The above is from James Gerstenzang and Ned Parker's "Bush, Maliki sign pact on future ties" (Los Angeles Times) and, be prepared, they're all laying it on thick. Some of them run with quotes from al-Maliki pawn Haidar Abadi, others run elsewhere. None note the very real fact that the Iraqi Parliament and only the Iraqi Parliament has the power to extend or not the UN mandate. None note that the Iraqi Parliament was so outraged over being side-stepped last go round that to back up their Constitutional powers, they also passed a law saying al-Maliki could not again take this decision from them. Here's Leila Fadel from "U.S.-Iraq agreement sets stage for talks on troop levels" (McClatchy Newspapers):
In 2005, Maliki, then a member of parliament, said the Security Council resolution authorizing the U.S. presence violated Iraqi sovereignty. He's also criticized the U.S. military presence in palaces that formerly belonged to Saddam Hussein and chastised American forces for operating with "impunity" in Iraq.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Iraqi officials will use the new agreement to set the number of U.S. troops that will remain in the country and their mission. He described the U.S.-Iraq military relationship as "very bumpy over the last three to four years."
Hoshyar Zebari? We get the con-man supreme as a trusted source? And sounding like a bad Bette Davis impersonator at that.
That the New York Times -- an outlet which regularly re-sells the illegal war -- offers more reality than other mainstream outlets is appalling but that is in fact what Thom Shanker and Cara Buckley do with "U.S. and Iraq to Negotiate Pact on Long-Term Relations:"
In Iraq on Monday, there was little public discussion of the agreement. It is not a popular move politically because many Iraqis view the United Nations mandate as a reminder that they cannot yet control their own destiny and must rely on outsiders.
In the past, members of the Iraqi Parliament have complained that allowing the continued presence of international forces abrogates the country’s sovereignty. While some of the complaints can be labelled political rhetoric, there is also a real underlying resentment that the nation still needs American help.
Meanwhile, Thom Shanker's "Defense Secretary Urges More Spending for U.S. Diplomacy" at a speech at Kansas State University. He certainly has a lot of time on his hands, doesn't he? And that's before you consider the fact that, in an effort to stack the board, Bully Boy named Gates last week as among his nominations for the Board of Governors of the American Red Cross.
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