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George W tells us as loudly and as often as he can that the Iraqi government is steadily taking charge, and that this will allow America’s military role to shrink there.
Before you swallow that, however, you might chew on the provisions in a little-known “military agreement” that Bush & Company is quietly trying to rush through the Iraqi parliament. It requires that, for the foreseeable future, Iraq give the U.S. broad authority to conduct our own military actions in that supposedly-sovereign nation, that our troops be empowered to detain any Iraqis we want and be immune from any Iraqi prosecution, and that our military actions there will require no consultation or approval by their government.
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To add a little provocative spice to the agreement, there’s also a provision that America’s private mercenary forces, including the infamous Blackwater Corporation, would remain immune from Iraqi law.
In addition, there’s an especially nasty tidbit that should cause us all to choke on the deal. An early draft includes a pledge that America would support Iraq “in defending its democratic system against internal and external threats.” That commits our troops to all sorts of horrors, including participating in an all-out civil war! Now, the Bushites claim that this pledge was overly-broad, and, gosh, trust us, they say, we won’t go that far.
Trust us? You might note that, once again, Bush is trying to sneak his deal past us, avoiding our nation’s system of checks and balances. Such long-term commitments are normally done as treaties, requiring two-thirds approval by the senate. But by calling it an “agreement,” Bush asserts he can commit our country by executive fiat, with no debate and no vote.
Trust us? Ha! I’d sooner trust a coyote to guard my last lamb chop than to trust Bush & Company with anything involving Iraq.
“U.S. Asking Iraq For Wide Rights In Fighting War,” The New York Times, January 25, 2008
“No backdoor promises on Iraq,” Austin American Statesman, January 30, 2008