Saturday, June 07, 2008

Iraqi Parliament to Washington - Just Get Out!

A letter to Congress signed by a majority of Iraq's members of parliament warns they reject any long-term security deal that doesn't provide for the total withdrawal of American troops from their country. From Reuters:

"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.

Two Iraqi lawmakers whose parties were listed as signatories testified to Delahunt's panel on Wednesday that U.S. troops should leave Iraq, and that talks on the long-term security pact should be postponed until after they are gone.
"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. The United States elects a new president in November; Democrat Barack Obama, who clinched his party's nomination this week, is among senators sponsoring a bill requiring any long-term pact with Iraq be submitted to Congress for approval."

Bush is pressuring the Maliki government to ink the deal that provides for the establishment of up to 50-permanent US military bases in Iraq. It's widely believed that such a deal would play directly into the hands of Muqtada al Sadr as well as Sunni nationalists.

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