Monday, July 11, 2011

Does the White House already have a working memo with Iraq on continued occupation?

Hossam Acommok and Ines Tariq (Al Mada) report that there is a confidential memo on the "semi-agreement" between the White House and Nouri al-Maliki that would keep US forces present in Iraq until 2016. The memo outlines many things including that the US will paying 1,000 dinars for every consulate, embassy, base, etc it has in Iraq. The memo notes certain things -- such as land use -- end December 31, 2016 but -- pay attention all you bad 'reporters' in November 2008 -- it can be extended with the approval of both parties. Just like the SOFA could. Yesterday Al Mada reported on Jalal Talabani's Saturday statements that the government of Iraq would have an answer in two weeks about where they stood on withdrawal. However, AFP spoke with Ali Mussawi (Nouri's "media advisor") yesterday and he stated, "I believe that political leaders will not reach an agreement during the two-week deadline." Alsumaria TV notes, "Ahrar Bloc MP Rafea Abdul Jabbar expects on the other hand from the Iraqi government to sign understanding memorandums with the United States in order to extend the term of US Forces in Iraq without referring to the Parliament, he said."

Al Rafidayn and Al Sabaah both report that the Ministy of Defense has announced that they are looking for former Iraqi Air Force officers with certain skills who want to return to work for the Iraqi military. One of the biggest holes in Iraq's security right now -- besides no heads for the 3 security ministries -- is the lack of a functioning air force. However, considering the witch hunts that were part of the 2010 elections -- where Ali al-Lami and others tarred opponents as Ba'athists, some former officers may fear this offer is actually an attempt at a round up and not respond.

Dar Addustour notes US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta arrived in Iraq Sunday on an unannounced visit. David S. Cloud (Los Angeles Times) adds Panetta made remarks emphasizing his belief that Iranian elements are supplying weapons being used against US soldiers in Iraq: "U.S. officials said 15 U.S. troops were killed in June, the most in any month in two years. More than half of the deaths were caused by rockets, known as improvised rocket-assisted mortars, that U.S. officials say are provided to Shiite Muslim militant groups by Iran." Craig Whitlock and Ed O'Keefe (Washington Post) report, "Unlike some senior Obama administration officials, who have made clear that they would like the Iraqi government to invite thousands of U.S. troops to stay in the country, Panetta demurred when asked if he favored the idea but said he would press Iraqi leaders to make up their minds."

The latest episode of Law and Disorder Radio begins broadcasting at 9:00 am EST on WBAI this morning and around the country throughout the week. Attorneys and hosts Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) discuss impeachment and other topics at the start of the show and they address the law and natural gas issues with attorney Jordan Yeager and the economic issues and protests going on in Greece with Professor Costas Panayotakis.

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