The treaty masquerading as a Status Of Forces Agreement has passed the Iraqi Parliament in a vote that found 149 of 198 members voting for it (yes, Parliament has 275 members -- only 198 bothered to show). Our own little Judith Miller is on the spot in Baghdad. Judith, what can you tell us about today's events?
The Iraqi Parliament on Thursday ratified a long-delayed security agreement that lays down a three-year timetable for the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.
The pact was approved by a large majority, with more than 140 of the 198 lawmakers present in the assembly voting in favor. The vote marks a watershed moment in the era of the post-war American occupation, and the onset of a relationship in which Iraq has more sovereignty over U.S. and other foreign troops on its soil.
Well, Judith, we covered the count and had the specifics -- 149, not just "more than 140" but Iran's Press TV says it was 144 and maybe that's why you're hedging on the numbers?. Do you have any anything else to offer? Dig deep. You've practically rubbed yourself raw in the last few days as you've delighted over your ability to lie in print.
The new agreement comes into force when the United Nations mandate that currently governs the American troops expires on Dec 31. The new pact says all American combat forces should withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30 next year and all American troops should be out of Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011.
Uh-huh. I knew you had more lies to offer -- many, many more. Anything else?
However, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki's government, or its successor, can negotiate a later, separate, agreement with the Americans allowing them to stay longer if it believes Iraq is not yet stable enough.
Oh goodness. A little truth came out there, didn't it? Yeah. Yeah, you look shocked. It must be a huge shock for you.
It's not a shock for anyone in this community because the treaty is an extension to allow the US to continue the occupation. It does that via a one year binding agreement. Everything after 2009 is non-binding because it can be altered or the entire contract can be cancelled outright. 2010 and 2011 are options for renewal.
But the press loves to lie, especially the New York Times. And the little liars above are Alissa Rubin, Campbell Robertson and Stephen Farrell for "Iraqi Parliament approves security pact" which is up at the International Herald Tribune. Gareth e-mails to note this from the BBC: "The decision, praised by US President George Bush, means US troops will leave Iraqi streets by mid-2009 and will quit Iraq entirely by the end of 2011. " And to add: "It is always so easy to spot an American with an inferiority complex because they tend to praise the BBC's coverage of the Iraq War. Those of us suffer through it tend to grasp the reality of how it sold the war."
Yes, all the same players are out selling the treaty the same way they sold the illegal war. It's the propaganda model activiating and self-determining before our very eyes. Ruth's "Press deliberately lying " went up last night and be sure to check it out.
As a friend at the State Dept has already pointed out on the phone this monring, they had surmised the Sunni 'opposition' very well -- it did not exist, it only needed its palms greased. It held out for what it wanted and the State Dept had people working today the same way they did yesterday. The moon was promised for those votes. The moon will not be delivered. It'll be cute to watch the same ones who sold out the people they allegedly represent realize the State Dept screwed them over (in most cases, the State Dept screwed them over -- smart Judases got everything they wanted up front).
Don't feel sorry for them. If they weren't corrupt, they wouldn't have been so willing to grab bribes. Just like if the three 'reporters' for the Times weren't eager to sell the illegal war, they wouldn't have lied so often about the treaty. No guns were put to anyone's head.
The treaty now goes to the presidency council where any of the three members can veto it (the council is made up of Iraq's president and its two vice presidents). The consensus at State is that it will sail right through. They could be wrong; however, they called the Sunni 'objection' pose as the nonsense it was last week.
In the US, there are no plans by the White House to submit the treaty to Congress, despite the Constitution clearly stating that is what happens. To make your voice heard, American Freedom Campaign notes:
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.
American Freedom Campaign Action Fund
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alissa j. rubin