MALIKI USING BUSH WEAKNESS TO NEGOTIATE STRONGER POSITION

Actually, they'd be far better off sending the U.S. neocons packing. On the mundane level, they could ask for help from all the various other nations in the area to act as peacekeepers. Iran would help for sure. Therefore the Sunnis would want to also help for balance sake. Even China, Russia, and India would pitch in a little if asked properly and given the proper guarantees.

They need peace to rebuild the country and to encourage the brain drain to reverse. They need co-educational universities. Many of their best educated people have been deliberately murdered by neocon-backed forces (death squads and/or false-flag special ops, Americans and British) or have fled the area.

Posted on Friday, June 13, 2008
Maliki raises possibility that Iraq might ask U.S. to leave
By Leila Fadel and Mike Tharp | McClatchy Newspaper

BAGHDAD — Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki raised the possibility that his country won't sign a status of forces agreement with the United States and will ask U.S. troops to go home when their U.N. mandate to be in Iraq expires at the end of the year.

Maliki made the comment after weeks of complaints from Shiite Muslim lawmakers that U.S. proposals that would govern a continued troop presence in Iraq would infringe on Iraq's sovereignty.

"Iraq has another option that it may use," Maliki said during a visit to Amman, Jordan. "The Iraqi government, if it wants, has the right to demand that the U.N. terminate the presence of international forces on Iraqi sovereign soil."

Earlier, Maliki acknowledged that talks with the U.S. on a status of forces agreement "reached an impasse" after the American negotiators presented a draft that would have given the U.S. access to 58 military bases, control of Iraqi airspace and immunity from prosecution for both U.S. soldiers and private contractors.

The Iraqis rejected those demands, and U.S. diplomats have submitted a second draft, which Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih told McClatchy included several major concessions. Among those would be allowing Iraq to prosecute private contractors for violations of Iraqi law and requiring U.S. forces to turn over to Iraqi authorities Iraqis that the Americans detain.
...
Some Iraqi officials, however, said they're concerned that Maliki has become overconfident of his military's ability to defend his government and might believe Iraqi forces alone can maintain security here without the help of U.S. troops.

Maliki's confidence in the security forces' abilities are fed, these officials say by the Iraqi security forces' recent successes in Basra, Mosul and Baghdad's Sadr City area, where Iraqi troops have disarmed rival Sunni and Shiite forces and brought relative calm to once troubled areas.
...
The status of forces agreement was the backdrop as well for an announcement by rebel Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al Sadr that he had created a special branch of his militia that would be allowed to carry weapons and attack American troops.

The remainder of his 60,000-strong Mahdi Army militia is expected to lay down its weapons. The announcement comes two months before a ceasefire that has been in effect for 10 months ends.

Sadr has been struggling for the past year to remain at the head of a militant anti-American movement and at the same time remain part of Iraq's political process. In August he ordered his followers to observe a ceasefire that has largely held despite complaints from his followers that they are being attacked and arrested by government-allied forces.

Mahdi Army militiamen were the principal targets of Maliki's recent military offensives in Basra and Sadr City and another offensive reportedly is being prepared for Amara, a Sadr stronghold in southern Iraq.

The creation of a separate wing authorized to attack U.S. forces may be intended to streamline the Mahdi Army and allow Sadr to maintain the ability to undertake military actions even as he accedes to government demands that most of his followers disarm.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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