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Iraq | International

Iraq's US security charade
by Al-Ahram Weekly (reposted)
Saturday Dec 6th, 2008 7:37 AM
Whatever agreements the US forces Iraq to sign cannot obscure the obvious: the US should withdraw from Iraq and acknowledge the mess it made, writes Ramzy Baroud*
World media rashly celebrated the "historic" security pact that allows for US troops to stay in Iraq for three more years after the Iraqi parliament ratified the agreement on Thursday, 27 November. The approval came one week after the Iraqi cabinet did the same.

Thousands of headlines exuded from media outlets, largely giving the false impression that the Iraqi government and parliament have a real say over the future of US troops in their country, once again playing into the ruse fashioned by Washington that Iraq is a democratic country, operating independently from the dictates of US Ambassador to Baghdad Ryan Crocker and the top commander of US troops in Iraq, General Ray Odierno. The men issued a joint, congratulatory statement shortly after the parliamentary vote, describing it as one that would "formalise a strong and equal partnership" between the US and Iraq.

Jonathan Steel of the British Guardian also joined the chorus. "Look at the agreement's text. It is remarkable for the number and scope of the concessions that the Iraqi government has managed to get from the Bush administration. They amount to a series of U-turns that spell the complete defeat of the neo-conservative plan to turn Iraq into a pro-Western ally and a platform from which to project US power across the Middle East."

Even Aljazeera.net English seemed oblivious to the charade. It assuredly wrote that the agreement "will end the 2003 invasion of Iraq that toppled Saddam Hussein. It is effectively a coming-of-age for the Iraqi government, which drove a hard bargain with Washington, securing a number of concessions -- including a hard timeline for withdrawal -- over more than 11 months of tough negotiations."

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http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/925/op37.htm