Sunday, November 23, 2008

And the war drags on . . .

In today's New York Times, Campbell Robertson and Katherine Zoepf offer up "Iraq Needs Security Pact For Order, Officials Say" and it's really sad that a tree died for this nonsense. The agreement is not needed "for order" or any other purpose. The paper damn well knows a UN mandate can pass the Security Council (Russia's publicly stated it would not veto a proposal). An extension of the UN mandate (set to expire December 31st) could go through much easier than the treaty the White House and its puppet goverment are currently attempting to push through.

A UN extension could go through easily because Nouri al-Maliki's already ignored Parliament's role in that twice now. Twice he's renewed it over Parliament's objection. Parliament is the stumbling bloc for the treaty currently and going after a mandate (of six months or one year) knocks them out of the picture. The mandate has always been the easiest avenue to pursue and the paper damn well knows that. Why they think they can get away with LYING to their readers probably goes to how Michael Gordon remains with the paper even though no reader trusts Gordo.

A UN mandate could be presented, voted on and concluded in one-day. Instead, the White House has publicly been working on this treaty since November 2007. Who's wasting time?

The reporters include this lie: "the security officials on Saturday reiterated that, under the terms of the agreement, all American troops would leave the country by the end of 2011."


First off, the US is closing their embassy in Iraq?

I hadn't heard that from friends at the State Dept, in fact, I've heard about how they're planning new drives in an attempt to actually fully staff the US Embassy in Baghdad.

If the embassy remains open then US troops remain on the ground in Iraq. That's reality and lying doesn't change that fact.

They need to stop lying and they need to stop real soon.

Second, the treaty is a one year agreement that either side can break for calendar year 2010 or 2011. In addition, if they extend it to 2010 or 2011, they can modify the terms. There is nothing in writing regarding 2011 that is enforceable. Quit trying to PIMP it off what it could do and focus on what the hell it does do. That would be reporting and it's so damn difficult for the New York Times to ever report. They're like a lying studio head promising "real profit" but you read the contract and they're offering you a slice of the net, not the gross. And they're getting away with it because there is so damn little attention to Iraq and forget your so-called 'independent' media in the US. Pru, however, notes Simon Assaf's "Iraq deal does not end the war" (Great Britain's Socialist Worker):

It is being hailed as an honourable end to a disreputable war, the Status of Forces Agreement signed by the Iraqi cabinet last weekend sets out a timetable for the withdrawal of US combat troops from cities by June 2009, and the whole country by December 2011.
But the deal, the full text of which is yet to be published, will not end the occupation.
By signing the accord the Iraqi government is agreeing to a ten-year mandate for US troops to "guarantee the security of Iraq" against war, coup, rebellion or revolution.
The US will have the right to maintain 50 military bases, store military equipment, control Iraqi airspace, sail warships in its waters and continue its "supervision" of the interior and defence ministries. The military will also have the right to seize any Iraqi "working against US interests". The US has made small concessions over the prosecution of US soliders or citizens who break Iraqi law while not on operation duty -- but this can only be done in agreement with a US military panel.
The deadline for the withdrawal of troops can also be changed if the US or Iraqi government feels that the "situation on the ground" has changed.
Opposition to the agreement threatened to sink the deal. But after threats against the country, which included withdrawal of $50 billion in aid and the sequestration of its assets held in US banks, the Iraqi government caved in.
The powerful Shia religious establishment, headed by Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, withdrew its opposition to the pact. All Iraqi parties that are allied to the occupation have also dropped their objections.
Britain hopes for a similar agreement guaranteeing its role in the south of the country.
The only voices of dissent to the accords are those of rebel cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and his supporters. Sadr has denounced the accords and called a protest on Friday of this week.
Far from ending the occupation, the Status of Forces Agreement would leave the US in almost total control of the country, and guarantee the future of the occupation.
The following should be read alongside this article: »
Obama's new strategy as the US faces defeat in Afghanistan
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The US has over thirty-times the amount of service members stationed in Iraq as does the UK; however, the UK press can pay more attention to Iraq than can the US? That is how it appears and file it under why the war drags on . . .

They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)

Last Sunday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4,201. And tonight? 4204 is ICCC's count. Just Foreign Policy's counter estimates the number of Iraqis killed since the start of the illegal war to be 1,288,426 up from 1,284,105.

Reuters notes that today's violence included, a Baghdad roadside bombing that claimed 1 life and left six people injured, two more Baghdad bombings that left eight injured, a Mosul car bombing that injured seven people and two police officers wounded in a drive-by shooting outside Tirkrit.
Saturday's reported violence included the discovery of a mass grave in Iskandariya (10 corpses).

The puppet spoke to the press today. Reuters reports he said his country would not ask for an extension of the United Nations mandate. Really? Call his bluff. (His and the White House's bluff.)

The only thing keeping the puppet in power are US forces on the ground in Iraq and, once upon a time, Joe Biden was damn clear about the fact that it was not in the US' interest to be entering into agreements with al-Maliki or shoring up this puppet government.

al-Maliki's a puppet, he'll do whatever masters tell him to as long as he's allowed to continue to slice off his cut on every US dollar coming into the country and as long as he can hide behind US troops and pretend he is a legitimate leader (as opposed to the third choice of the White House and a grave disappointment since they installed him).We were told (by the same lying press) that Barack was the change ticket. We're not seeing any change. Anyone paying attention to Iraq has yet to see the president-elect step up and insist upon anything he said he would do regarding Iraq. That includes his 16-month withdrawal 'pledge' and it includes his insisting that the treaty must have Congressional approval.

AP reported that the Parliament vote on the treaty, scheduled for Monday, has been pushed back to Wednesday and they note:

Wednesday will likely be the last parliamentary session before the 275-seat legislature goes into recess for the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha, which falls in the first week of December. Some lawmakers will then travel to Saudi Arabia for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, denying the house a quorum.

The delay provides additional time for those interested to heed this from the American Freedom Campaign:

Does this sound right to you? Next week, the Iraqi Parliament is expected to vote on whether to approve an agreement setting the terms of the ongoing military relationship between the United States and Iraq. So far, so good. A legislative body, representing the people of a nation, shall determine the extent to which that nation's future will be intertwined with that of another. Of course, one would expect that the United States Congress would be given the same opportunity. That, however, is not the case. Or at least it is not what the Bush administration is allowing to happen. Shockingly, the Bush administration is not even letting Congress read the full agreement before it is signed!
We need you to send a message immediately to U.S. House and Senate leaders, urging them to demand the constitutional input and approval to which they are entitled.
The administration has asserted that the agreement between the U.S. and Iraq is merely a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and therefore does not require congressional approval. Yet the agreement goes far beyond the traditional limits of a SOFA, which typically set the terms for bringing materials and equipment into a nation and outline the legal procedures that will apply to members of the military who are accused of crimes. Believe it or not, the current agreement contains terms that will actually give Iraq a measure of control over U.S. forces. No foreign nation or international entity has ever been given the authority to direct U.S. forces without prior congressional approval - either through a majority vote of both chambers or a two-thirds vote in the Senate in the case of treaties.
If this agreement goes into effect without congressional approval, it will establish a precedent under which future presidents can exercise broad unilateral control over the U.S. military -- and even give foreign nations control over our troops. Congress must take immediate action. Unfortunately, they are about to adjourn for at least a couple of weeks. But it is not too late for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to make a statement, signaling their strong belief that Congress will not be bound by and need not fund an agreement that has not been approved by Congress.
Please send an E-mail encouraging such action to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid immediately by clicking [here]
This is truly a dire situation and we hope that you will join us in calling for action. Thank you. Steve Fox

Campaign Director
American Freedom Campaign
Action Fund

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