Saturday, December 13, 2008

And the US admission that it's not all concrete

The top American commander in Iraq said that U.S. forces will remain in dozens of small bases inside Iraq's cities despite language in a recently-signed security pact which appears to require an American withdrawal from Iraqi urban areas by next summer.
Gen. Raymond Odierno told reporters here that the U.S. troops assigned to "joint security stations" inside Iraqi cities like Baghdad would remain in the outposts indefinitely. The bases, which are a key part of the U.S. counterinsurgency strategy, house thousands of American personnel across the country. There are well over a dozen such outposts in Baghdad alone.Gen. Odierno, who assumed command in September, explained that the withdrawal provision in the security pact applied only to combat personnel. The U.S. forces assigned to the joint security stations mentor and fight alongside Iraqi troops, so American commanders classify them as training personnel and don't consider them to be covered by the withdrawal language, he said.

The above is from Yochi J. Dreazen's "U.S. Troops May Stay in Iraqi Cities Beyond Deadline" (Wall St. Journal). And we're still supposed to mean the treaty means a damn thing? Maybe we're supposed to be insane like Patrick Cockburn and just ignore the above reality and all other bits? If so, we too can write crazy columns about how the White House got trumped by their puppet and title our pieces "Total Defeat for U.S. in Iraq." It doesn't resemble reality and the US has never come out on the losing end of any treaty, but, hey, when crazy talks Cockburn listens, right? And it's apaprently more important to publish revenge fantasies than reality. Translation, Cockburn wants so much for his rant to be true that he can't face the reality that it's not.

The treaty was never for the benefit of Iraq. The treaty was to extend the occupation. It is non-binding, it can be cancelled in 2010 or 2011. All it guarantees is that the US remains on Iraqi soil for one more year -- the way the UN Security Council mandate has each year.

This is from American Freedom Campaign:

The document parading around as the U.S.-Iraq agreement is not valid under the U.S. Constitution. Its legitimacy is based solely on the silence of lawmakers (and members of the media), who seem to be paralyzed by the fear of having an independent and intelligent opinion. Fortunately, one lawmaker has broken the silence and has acknowledged the truth before everyone's eyes.
It is now time for others, including you, to join their voices with hers.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the pending U.S.-Iraq agreement, decrying the fact that the Iraqi Parliament was being given the opportunity to vote on whether to approve the agreement while Congress was being denied - and was refusing to fight for - the same opportunity.
Well, thanks to our efforts and the leadership of Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), the U.S. House of Representatives may finally get to voice its opinion on President Bush's unconstitutional usurpation of Congress's legislative power.
Yesterday, Rep. Lee introduced a
resolution related to the U.S.-Iraq agreement, inspired in part by AFC's call for a "signing statement" resolution. The primary purpose of this resolution is to express the sense of the House that President Bush does not have the power under the Constitution to negotiate and sign such a far-reaching agreement with another nation without seeking congressional approval of the agreement.
Passage of this resolution -- most likely following re-introduction in January -- will send a message to the Bush administration, the incoming Obama administration, and the rest of the world that the agreement holds no legal weight under U.S. law and will be considered merely advisory by Congress.
In truth, even without passage of this resolution, Congress shall not be bound by its terms. No president can unilaterally commit $10 billion per month in U.S. treasure to keep our troops in another nation. The United States has never been a monarchy or a dictatorship and we are certainly not going to accept any similar kind of system today.
Putting aside the question over whether this agreement is currently binding or not, it is important that as many lawmakers as possible openly reject the constitutionality of the agreement. So please tell your U.S. representative to co-sponsor, support, and vote for Rep. Lee's signing statement resolution (H.Res. 1535) by
clicking on the following link
Once you have sent your message, please forward this email widely to friends and family. In the alternative, you can use the "Tell-A-Friend" option on the AFC Web site that will appear after you have sent your message.
Thank you so much for taking action.
Steve Fox

Campaign Director
American Freedom Campaign Action Fund

The following community sites have updated since yesterday morning:

Rebecca's Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude;
Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man;
Cedric's Big Mix;
Kat's Korner;
Mikey Likes It!;
Like Maria Said Paz;
The Daily Jot;
Trina's Kitchen;
Ruth's Report;
and Stan's
Oh Boy It Never Ends

And stealing this from Elaine to remind about tonight's concert online:

"Live Saturday: Aimee Mann's Christmas Concert" (NPR):
WXPN, December 12, 2008 - Aimee Mann doesn't seem like the type to gravitate toward Christmas music -- there's nothing Bing Crosby or Mannheim Steamroller about her. Yet for the third year in a row, she's about to perform material from her beautiful 2006 holiday album, One More Drifter in the Snow, and more at the Keswick Theater in Glenside, Penn. Hear the complete concert, webcast live by WXPN this Saturday, Dec. 13, starting at 8 p.m. ET. Nellie McKay and Grant-Lee Phillips will join Mann onstage for special duets.

The e-mail address for this site is

yochi j. dreazen
the wall st. journal
aimee mann

thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends