The Bush administration is currently trying to push Iraqis into accepting a indefinite long-term security agreement, with demands including nearly 60 permanent bases, immunity for foreign contractors, control over air space, and authorization for war with Iran.
But Iraqis are rejecting the administration’s stubborn attempts to control Iraq’s future. Today, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki remarked, “The American version of the agreement infringes hugely on the sovereignty of Iraq and this is something that we cannot ever accept.”
Today, CNN’s Michael Ware said the U.S. presented a second draft of the agreement, but Iraqis rejected it because the draft is “the same as the first.” According to Ware, many Iraqis now want to “go it alone” and may even “take over this war”:
WARE: What we’re also hearing from the Iraqi government is they may go it alone, using a hangover snippet of law left over from the original American occupation authority of Paul Bremer.
They could create their own legislation in their own Congress or Parliament, and thereby dictate to America what U.S. troops can and cannot do in this country, where they can go, where they must stay, and how many you’re allowed to have. So you may see the Iraqis taking over this war, and you may see a lot of U.S. gains being drawn back.
Ware explained that in his conversations with U.S. officials, they have accepted that Iraq “going it alone, passing its own laws” is indeed a “legally viable option.”
The negotiations on the long-term agreement are going so poorly that today, a senior government official “expressed doubt an agreement could be reached before the U.S. presidential election in November,” according to the AP.
The administration and its allies are still in a state of denial, however. “We know the Iraqis want us there,” said White House Press Secretary Dana Perino this week. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) absurdly claimed the dissent in Iraq regarding the agreement is a “sign of our success.”