Saturday, November 08, 2008

A soldier dies in Baghdad, treaty still iffy

Today the US military announced:

A Multi-National Division -- Baghdad Soldier died of wounds and two Soldiers were wounded in a blast in northern Baghdad Nov. 8. The Soldiers were wounded when the vehicle they were traveling in was struck by an improvised explosive device at approximately noon. The Soldiers were quickly transported to the medical facility; however, one Soldier later succumbed to the wounds. The Soldiers' names are being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The names of the service members are announced through the U.S. Department of Defense Official Website at . The announcements are made on the Website no earlier than 24 hours after notification of the service member's primary next of kin.

The announcement brings the total number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war to 4193 and to three for the month of November thus far.

And that's the full announcement -- included for the factually challenged who e-mail whenever DoD makes a death announcement (and names the dead) despite M-NF never announcing the death. As outlined above, DoD is supposed to announce the name. The death is supposed to be announced via M-NF.

The treaty masquerading as a Status Of Forces Agreement remains in the news. Liz Sly's "U.S. ultimatum spooks Iraq" (Chicago Tribune) explains:

The Iraqi government is coming around to the view that it would be better to sign a security deal with the Bush administration than to wait to strike a deal with President-elect Barack Obama, spurred in part by fresh U.S. concessions as well as threats by the U.S. to suspend all operations in Iraq if there is no deal by the end of the year, according to Iraqi officials.
The political mood began to shift more than a week ago, before Obama's election victory, after the U.S. delivered a stiff warning that if there is no deal by the end of the year, the U.S. military will be forced to suspend all its operations in Iraq, including the provision of many services such as air-traffic control as well as campaigns against the insurgency.
That appears to have given government officials pause, said Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish legislator. "The Iraqi government realizes they still need the Americans," he said. "They still cannot survive on their own."

Ken Fireman and Daniel Williams (Bloomberg News) file a report maintaining that Iraq may decide to wait (until after Barack Obama is sworn in?) because al-Maliki's spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh stated on Iraqi television Friday more meet ups between the US and Iraq were required on the treaty. It is unlikely (though not impossible) that Iraq will wait until after December 31st to enter into some form of agreement.

In the New York Times, Katherine Zoepf's "Followers of Shiite Cleric Reject Iraq Security Pact" also covers the treaty and includes:

In his Friday sermon in Sadr City, Mr. Battat mocked offers by Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, to accept more American troops in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq if the pact was not signed.
"This isn't constitutional, Mr. Barzani," Mr. Battat said. "You can take the Americans any time if you want them."

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