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You are here Editorials Reggie's Commentary Operation Iraqi Takeover Hits a Dead End (For Now)

Operation Iraqi Takeover Hits a Dead End (For Now)

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It’s not on the network news programs, because, in fact – it’s kind of secret. Even the print media, where they’ve covered a bit of this story, don’t know very much about it. Whatever it is, U.S. officials refuse comment on the details. Even members of Congress are out of the loop, but it really does sound super!

It’s got one of those feel good Bushco names, - you know – like the Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind, Clear Skies, and – of course, Operation Iraqi Freedom. All these clever captions successfully sold Americans some really toxic legislation, and anesthetized their free fall into dictatorship and economic collapse.

So what’s to worry about a US-Iraq Security Pact with our good buddies in Iraq?

Heck, Americans want security and surely Iraqis want security, - and don’t we all just want to get along? It does sound eerily comforting after so many years of killing and maiming, so maybe our compassionate leader and his cohorts are really working to provide us with peace and prosperity after all. So why all the behind-closed-doors stuff? And why, after months of bargaining has it come to a no-deal dead end?

Lets’ take a look at what we do know… with a one important caveat. George W. Bush and his neocon handlers will make sure that the American public believes that Iran is behind this failure, while Bomb, Bomb Iran is played as background music to their claim. Don’t buy it. Iran is surely frightened that this pact might succeed, and for very good reasons is pressuring Prime Minister Nouri Al- Maliki to develop a backbone and reject it.

But Iran is NOT behind what’s going on,

Bear in mind that ‘negotiations’ between the US and Iraq began last November. The story remained pretty much under the radar until earlier this month when a British paper leaked details of the ‘secret’ agreement between the US and Iraq. Just as suddenly, Iraqi legislators began to wail loudly about being railroaded into an agreement they did not want and could not accept. Here’s a recap of what went on:

• November, 2007: - U.S. and Iraqi leaders sign a non-binding plan for bilateral relations, setting the stage for formal negotiations about the long-term presence of American troops in Iraq. It is lovingly called the Declaration of Principles for a Long-Term Relationship of Cooperation and Friendship Between the Republic of Iraq and the United States of America. Wouldn’t you think this would stop the carnage? Nah.

• December, 2007 – In accordance with the November plan, (and under the direction of the US) Maliki asks the UN to extend the mandate that gives Bush the right to keep troops in Iraq. The mandate ends at the end of 2007, but is extended to 2008. That allows time for a sixth year of deaths and horror and pretense that the war is one of progress and success

• March, 2008 – Uh-oh, only months to go until the end of the 2008 mandate and a presidential election in which there is talk about bringing the troops home. Bush wants a permanent presence in Iraq, and negotiations begin for a binding, long term agreement that would supersede any attempts by the next US President to end the occupation of Iraq.

• June 3, 2008 – Trouble begins to brew in the open for the first time, - but not as a dispute between the US and the Iraqi leaders being bullied into an unending occupation. Instead, the AP reports that “a proposed U.S.-Iraq security agreement is shaping up as a major political battle between America and Iran, as the debate over the future of troops here intensifies ahead of the fall U.S. presidential election.”

• June 4, 2008 – The UK Independent publishes an exposé headlined: Revealed: Secret plan to keep Iraq under US control. The American MSM ignores the revelation.

According to the article, “A secret deal being negotiated in Baghdad would perpetuate the American military occupation of Iraq indefinitely, regardless of the outcome of the US presidential election in November."

"The terms of the impending deal, details of which have been leaked to the Independent, are likely to have an explosive political effect in Iraq. Iraqi officials fear that the accord, under which US troops would occupy permanent bases, conduct military operations, arrest Iraqis and enjoy immunity from Iraqi law, will destabilise Iraq's position in the Middle East and lay the basis for unending conflict in their country.”

• June 4. 2008 - A majority of the Iraqi parliament writes to the US Congress rejecting a long-term security deal with Washington if it is not linked to a requirement that U.S. forces leave.

• June 7, 2008 - Prime Minister Maliki arrives in Iran for talks aimed at improving relations between the two countries. The following day he publicly assures Iran’s President Ahmadinejad that Iraq will not allow its territory to be used to attack Iran.

• June 8, 2008 – The cat is out of the bag. A leading Iraqi Shiite cleric states that the status of forces agreement between Washington and Baghdad could lead to an uprising in Iraq. He says, "It is not to the benefit of the U.S. as a major power to lessen the sovereignty of Iraq. This treaty is humiliating to the Iraqi people, and might cause an uprising against it and those who support it,"

• June 9, 2008 – Bush tries to avert the total breakdown of the talks. He concedes for the first time that the United States may not finish a complex security agreement with Iraq before leaving office. US officials also try to soften the flashpoint phrase, ‘permanent bases,’ by stating that ” the proposed agreement would allow U.S. troops or personnel to operate out of U.S., Iraqi or joint facilities through either short or long-term contracts.” A rose by any other name is till a permanent base.

• June 10, 2008 – McClatchy News Services report that Iraqi lawmakers say the United States is demanding 58 bases as part of a proposed ‘status of forces” agreement that will allow U.S. troops to remain in the country indefinitely. Leading members of the two ruling Shiite parties claim that “… the Iraqi government rejected this proposal along with another U.S. demand that would have effectively handed over to the United States the power to determine if a hostile act from another country is aggression against Iraq.” They fear this power would drag Iraq into a war between the United States and Iran. Wonder why Iran objects so strongly to this pact.

• June 10, 2008 – Despite “a storm of rising" opposition from Iraqi lawmakers, David Satterfield, the State Department's top adviser on Iraq expresses ‘confidence’ that a deal will be finalized between the US and Iraq by July. As usual, US arrogance reigns supreme.

• June 11, 2008 – More opposition is voiced by Iraqi officials who denounce the intention of the US to maintain 60 US military bases in their country. They call for a radical reduction of the U.S. military's role here after the U.N. mandate authorizing its presence expires at the end of this year.

• June 13, 2008 – Prime Minister al-Maliki announces that talks with the United States on a new long-term security pact are deadlocked.. "We have reached a deadlock,” Maliki says, “because when we started the talks, we found that the U.S. demands hugely infringe on the sovereignty of Iraq, and this we can never accept.

And so, the agreement is on hold, at least for now.

At TVNL, we have followed these stories with alarm. All are linked on our ‘war-at-a-glance’ pages. The large majority of the American people are totally clueless that such a deal was in the works at all. The faux news networks, with minimal exceptions, have once again selected to report the stories that their corporate masters decide upon.

Rest assured that Iran is being set up as the fall guy for the failure of this falsely labeled ‘security’ agreement. Today, Israeli hawks once again pushed for strikes against Iran. Fear and loathing are the call words of the day, as the US continues its relentless efforts to carry out the PNAC agenda in the Middle East.

They will not go quietly into the night. Trust us on that.
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