Cross posted from Iraq Insider
Galbraith serves as senior diplomatic fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, the Council’s sister organization.
“The agreement represents a stunning and humiliating reversal of course by the Bush administration, which had vehemently opposed any timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. For the last two years, President Bush has pretended that Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki is a democrat and an American ally. In fact, Maliki is a sectarian Shiite politician who heads a government dominated by pro-Iranian religious parties. The U.S. presence now no longer serves the interests of Iraq’s ruling Shiite religious parties or their Iranian allies, so we are now being asked to leave. While U.S. withdrawal is made easier by the fact that both the Iraqi government and the new U.S. administration want American troops out, the confluence of events leading to the agreement underscores the folly of President Bush’s lost Iraq war.”
Of course, we timed this statement to come out this morning because the Iraqi parliament was supposed to vote on the SOFA today. Now, however, it appears that not only has the vote been postponed until tomorrow, but the Shiites and Kurds also have acquiesced to a Sunni demand to hold a national referendum on the SOFA next year. Even if the SOFA is approved by parliament tomorrow, it could still be rescinded if it is rejected in the referendum next year.
I don’t know if this is democracy, but the lack of any clear schedule and the multiple layers of caveats does remind me of the United States Senate. Now, if only we could get these guys to brawl the way the Iraqis have recently.