Majority Of Iraqi Parliament Calls For Timetable For U.S. Withdrawal

Today, the New York Times highlights a visit to Capitol Hill by Iraqi national security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie and reports that al-Rubaie is “trying to persuade American lawmakers who have all but run out of patience that still more patience is required.”

The Times piece fails to note that in June 2006, Rubaie was calling for a significant troop reduction. He wrote in the Washington Post, “We envisage the U.S. troop presence by year’s end [2006] to be under 100,000, with most of the remaining troops to return home by the end of 2007.”

Rubaie’s call for “more patience” is increasingly out of touch with Iraqi opinion. AlterNet reports a significant development that has yet to be noted in the U.S. media — a majority of Iraqi parliament members have signed a petition calling for a U.S. withdrawal:

On Tuesday, without note in the U.S. media, more than half of the members of Iraq’s parliament rejected the continuing occupation of their country. 144 lawmakers signed onto a legislative petition calling on the United States to set a timetable for withdrawal, according to Nassar Al-Rubaie, a spokesman for the Al Sadr movement, the nationalist Shia group that sponsored the petition.


Reached by phone in Baghdad on Tuesday, Al-Rubaie said that he would present the petition, which is nonbinding, to the speaker of the Iraqi parliament and demand that a binding measure be put to a vote. Under Iraqi law, the speaker must present a resolution that’s called for by a majority of lawmakers, but there are significant loopholes and what will happen next is unclear.

A new Gallup poll finds a majority of Americans — roughly 60 percent — are united with the Iraqi parliament.