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Return of the Baghdad Pact
Bush wants to give Iraq one last gift: subservience to an agreement that perpetuates the US occupation and absolves invading and occupying US forces of their crimes, writes Galal Nassar
The US administration is in the midst of a desperate attempt to compel the Maliki government in Iraq to sign a "security agreement" before the end of Bush's term in the White House. This urgency is inspired by the desire to accomplish a number of ends, perhaps foremost among which is the desire to produce a political victory that would revive an element of respect for the outgoing administration whose foreign and domestic policies have come under scathing attack from all quarters of American opinion, including its own Republican Party. It undoubtedly also feels that such a victory would help the Republican Party candidate, John McCain, gain some ground against his rival, Barack Obama, in the presidential elections. But even in the event of an Obama victory, a signed and sealed agreement with the Iraqi government would saddle the Democratic administration with obligations that it would find difficult to wriggle free of, as much as the substance of the agreement may go against the Democratic platform on this issue. In other words, the Bush administration wants to present the forthcoming administration with a fait accompli, regardless of who the next occupant of the White House is.
If the agreement, the cosignatories of which can hardly be said to be equal, is concluded it will effectively end the international mandate over Iraq. Iraq would then be regarded as a "free and independent" nation and Washington would be relieved of the burden of being seen as a colonialist power occupying a founding member of the UN and a current member of the family of nations, in spite of the ongoing and glaring breaches in international law, the UN Charter and the principle of self-determination.