Saturday, November 22, 2008

Status of Forces: A Mutually Agreed To Agreement

Only a few days after President Bush admitted making a mistake in 2003 by claiming "Mission Accomplished," White House Press Secretary, Dana Perino, cited the approval of a new security agreement between the US and Iraq as a reason to celebrate.
"This is a mutually agreed to agreement (sic). And that is one of the things that is different about an arbitrary date for withdrawal, when you want -- when you say you're going to leave, win or lose. We believe that the conditions are such now that we are able to celebrate the victory that we've had so far, and establish both a strategic framework agreement, which is a much broader document and talks about all sorts of cooperation that we'll have with Iraq from here on out -- from trade and health care and exchanges on science, and a real strong bilateral agreement that you would hope we would have with any of our allies."
Is this the English translation?  The mutually agreed to agreement?  This as opposed to the unilaterally unagreed to agreement or the agreed to non-agreement? But are we surprised? These are the same people who brought us the Iraq War (WMD and links to al-Qaeda).

The proposed Status of Forces Agreement is not a done deal yet.  The Iraqi Parliament will vote on the agreement next week on whether or not to set a firm deadline for American troop withdraw by December 2011 as well as place restrictions on the US military and their location within the country. A U.N. resolution which expires on December 31st would make it illegal for American soldiers to occupy Iraq unless the Parliament ratifies the deal.

Not everyone is happy about the proposal however. Thousands of Moqtada al-Sadr followers rallied in the streets of Baghdad yesterday protesting the new agreement, calling it a "surrender to American interests." Some were seen holding signs that read, "No, no to the agreement of humiliation." The protesters also stomped and burned an effigy of President Bush in Firdos Square(top picture below), the same location where American soldiers toppled the statue of Saddam Hussein five years ago (bottom picture).

So much for celebrating the victory, right? Not that Bush would take advice from anyone, but maybe he should have listened to Petraeus when he said this back in September. 

No comments: