It's 2300 hrs: Do you know where your Army is?
You're such a lovely audience
We'd like to take you home with us
We'd love to take you home
--Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,
The lady protest too much, methinks
A Tuesday report on the future status of U.S. troops in Iraq was reported as faltering on almost all points. Dawa party lawmaker Haidar al-Abadi described the talks as being at a standstill, and said, “almost all American suggestions were countered by different Iraqi ones (U.S.-Iraq Security Talks Stall.)”
Specifically, al-Abadi said,
"'The Americans have some demands that the Iraqi government regards as infringing on its sovereignty. This is the main dispute, and if the dispute is not settled, I frankly tell you there will not be an agreement.'
"Al-Abadi said Iraq insists that Washington pay fees for each of its military bases in Iraq, as well as promise not to hold the bases permanently or even long-term.
The point of the talks is to "outline the long-term security relationship between Iraq and the United States and provide a legal basis for American troops to stay in Iraq after their U.N. mandate expires at the end of the year."
Patrick Cockburn in The Independent writes,
"The US has repeatedly denied it wants permanent bases in Iraq but one Iraqi source said: 'This is just a tactical subterfuge.' Washington also wants control of Iraqi airspace below 29,000 feet and the right to pursue its 'war on terror' in Iraq, giving it the authority to arrest anybody it wants and to launch military campaigns without consultation. . . . (Secret Plan to kep Iraq Under U.S. Control.)
Though U.S. troops secured a U.N. mandate through the year's end, it lacks legitimacy as the questionable U.S. occupation is predicated upon an illegal war of aggression. But that reality doesn't stop the courteous U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Mirembe Nantogo from assuring us of the U.S.'s "recognition of and respect for the fact of Iraqi sovereignty."
"There is no question of the U.S. forcing anything." Of course, from Ms. Nantogo's position, the U.S. would never do anything so gauche as to make you drink the Kool-Aid at a State function if you preferred chardonnay.
But of course, if you're sitting on the other side of the fence, the entire occupation has been based upon forcing U.S. intentions upon the Iraqis, all the while calling it "Iraqi sovereignty." If Iraqi sovereignty were a reality, we'd get out and let them run their own country.
"The U.S. State Department’s top Iraq adviser, David Satterfield, met Tuesday with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, whose office issued a statement afterward saying the two 'discussed efforts to ensure Iraq’s rights and its full sovereignty'.”
The fact that Iraqi's sovereignty must be discussed indicates it is negotiable versus being an inviolate given, with American legions enforcing U.S. options and opinions.
The talks are being marketed as leading to a pact; if this is the case, and the resultant pact is between two sovereign nations, then the negotiations must be ratified by the U.S. Congress. Now that is an item of U.S. sovereignty dictated by the U.S. Constitution.
Besides the fact of the gridlocked talks, Ranger would like to know: Exactly what does the U.S. gain by this treaty/pact with Iraq? And just how does the average U.S. taxpayer benefit?