The Iraq government is now stalling on a verbal agreement given to BushCo. in late 2007 that they will sign on to allowing US forces to be based inside the country beyond 2008. More than 70% of Iraqis are now reported to be in favour of the rest of the 'Coalition of the Willing' removing its troops, sooner rather than later. Later being 2009, or 2010.
In fact, there is something of a quiet, very democratic revolution boiling in Iraq's halls of power, as Iraq not only faces a future where US troops are no longer roaming free on their cities' streets, but now rumbles to get foreign forces out of the country as soon as possible. BushCo. has made it very clear they have no intention of leaving, having just completed the world's largest embassy complex in Baghdad, which will be permanently manned by hundreds, if not thousands, of American troops. But Iraq's politicians are clear in their intent :
A majority of the Iraqi parliament has written to Congress rejecting a long-term security deal with Washington if it is not linked to a requirement that U.S. forces leave, a U.S. lawmaker said on Wednesday.Meanwhile, Iraq is now actively reassuring Iran that it will not let BushCo. populate the country with more bases, or more troops. Iraqis are making it clear that withdrawal comes before long-term security negotiations, a stand that Iran no doubt backs.
The proposed pact has become increasingly controversial in Iraq, where there have been protests against it. It has also drawn criticism from Democrats on the presidential election campaign trail in the United States, who say President
George W. Bushis trying to dictate war policy after he leaves office.
"The majority of Iraqi representatives strongly reject any military-security, economic, commercial, agricultural, investment or political agreement with the United States that is not linked to clear mechanisms that obligate the occupying American military forces to fully withdraw from Iraq," the letter to the leaders of Congress said.
"What are the threats that require U.S. forces to be there?" asked Nadeem Al-Jaberi, a co-founder of the al-Fadhila Shi'ite political party, speaking through a translator.
"I would like to inform you, there are no threats on Iraq. We are capable of solving our own problems," he declared. He favored a quick pullout of U.S. forces, which invaded the country in 2003 and currently number around 155,000.
A Sunni Iraqi lawmaker, Khalaf Al-Ulayyan, founder of the National Dialogue Council, said bilateral talks on a long-term security deal should be shelved until American troops leave -- and until there is a new government in Washington.
"We prefer to delay until there is a new administration in the United States," he said.
Can't imagine the reaction inside the White House to this exercise in self-determination by the newest democracy in the Middle East is pleasant.
If Iraq refuses to agree to the sadistic American deal detailed below, it's easy to imagine a coup attempt by plotters that will never be brought to justice, along with an upsurge of extreme violence :
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has tried to reassure Iran over a planned security pact with the US, vowing Iraq would never allow use of its territory to "harm" the Islamic republic.
"We will not allow Iraq to become a platform for harming the security of Iran and neighbours," Mr Maliki said after a late-night meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in Tehran.
Mr Maliki's comments come amid Iranian alarm over US pressure on Baghdad to sign an agreement that would keep US soldiers in the country beyond 2008. Iran has always called for the immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.
US President George W Bush and Mr Maliki agreed in principle last November to sign the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) by the end of July. But Iraq has now said it has a "different vision" from the United States on the issue.
Iran's concern about the deal comes amid renewed tensions over its nuclear program, which the United States fears is aimed at making atomic weapons, a charge vehemently rejected by Tehran.
The United States has never ruled out a military attack to punish Tehran's defiance while Israel has also been warning there may be no alternative to a strike against Iran.
Mr Maliki, quoted by Iran's state news agency IRNA, said "Iraq's stability and security can have a great impact on the region ... We see the implementation of peace and security in Iraq and Iran as what both countries want."
Iraqi Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh had said Mr Maliki would be using the visit to assure Iranian leaders that Iraq "will not serve as a base or staging ground to launch attacks against neighbouring countries."
The Shiite Premier - on his third visit to Tehran since taking office two years ago - was due to also hold talks with other top officials including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Mr Mottaki, meanwhile, vowed that relations would expand further, saying the Iraqi delegation would "find good ground for creating new strategies in deepening the two countries' ties," according to IRNA.
It's hard to imagine that air strikes on Iran by the United States and Israel will be welcomed by the Iraqi government, who now host more than 160,000 American soldiers and more than 100,000 American private security guards and support services personnel.
US ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker stressed in Washington on Thursday that Iran and Iraq were neighbours and had to conduct a relationship. "The question is: what kind of relationship is it going to be?" he said.
Hitting Iran before the nuclear threat is resolved will make many Iraqis fresh enemies of Americans, and Iran may already have extensive special forces personnel inside Iraq. No doubt they have plenty of intelligence on how to conduct the most punishing retaliatory strikes on Americans inside Iraq. Attacking Iran would further unite Iran and Iraq, with Russia and China backing them both against the United States. EU state leaders may support the US and Israel if they hit Iran, but there would be little support amongst most Europeans, who now view the United States as probably the most dangerous threat to world peace in the world today.