As President Bush continued to spin developments in Iraq over the holiday weekend, few people noticed an important development in Baghdad, reported by Al-Hayat newspaper — 83 members of Iraq’s transitional parliament supported a demand for a timetable for troop withdrawal from Iraq.
This represents nearly one-third of Iraq’s democratically elected leaders in the 275-seat assembly.
Though President Bush and many leading Democrats oppose timetables, Iraqi leaders who represent their people are starting to raise the need for timetables for withdrawing U.S. forces.
At the same time, there are signs that the transitional government in Iraq is looking for new sources of outside support — like Iran. Iraqi Defense Minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi visit to Tehran this week unveiled plans for Iran to help with training troops and increasing security in Iraq.
These developments are bound to complicate U.S. efforts in Iraq. They also raise questions about the narrow debate over Iraq we currently have in the United States, a debate that rarely questions President Bush’s assumptions.
(Click here for Part I)
— Brian Katulis, Director of Democracy and Public Diplomacy