SOFA Vote Set for Wednesday;
The Iraqi parliament has postponed its vote on the proposed US-Iraq security pact from Monday to Wednesday. MPs had complained that there were not given enough time to study its provisions. It is still not clear how the Sunni Arab MPs will vote; without their support, the agreement would likely be seen as a joint Shiite-Kurdish conspiracy.
Sunni Arabs have grievances against the Baghdad government, but many seem willing to cooperate with it.
The presidency council in Iraq has criticized Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for building up tribal levies of Shiite Arabs into forces supporting the PM. There are rumors in Iraq that they are loyal to the Da'wa or Islamic Mission Party, and may play a role in strengthening that party against Shiite rivals.
Further evidence that Kurdistan is already acting like an independent country surfaced on Saturday, when it was revealed that the Kurds have imported arms from Bulgaria without directing so much as a by your leave to Baghdad.
An Iranian arrested last week by US forces at Baghdad Airport as a gun runner has been released. Maybe the Iraqis wanted him running guns (see story just above).
posted by Juan Cole @ 11/23/2008 12:49:00 AM