The SOFA Fiasco


On the supposition that finetuning the provisions that Iraqis find obnoxious to their sovereignty will bring them or their government around, Bush remains optimistic about the outcome.

President Bush said Saturday he is confident the United States can reach a long-term security agreement with Iraq, one that will not establish permanent U.S. bases there.

“If I were a betting man, we’ll reach an agreement with the Iraqis,” Bush told a news conference in Paris.

Bush has been wrong about virtually everything having to do with Iraq. He overplayed his hand one too many times, and SOFA is done for.


2 responses to “The SOFA Fiasco

  1. Fiasco? In what way.

    This quote from the article should dissuade you from thinking that it is the administration that is desperate to keep troops in Iraq, and that the Iraqis want us gone as soon as possible:

    Maliki also raised an issue that is of deep concern to Congress, saying that Baghdad expected a firm U.S. commitment to protect Iraq from foreign aggression. Although that promise was made in an outline of the strategic framework signed by Maliki and Bush in November, the administration has since assured U.S. lawmakers that it is a “nonbinding” agreement that does not require congressional ratification.

    In addition to ending the U.N. mandate, Maliki said, “what we wish is . . . that if Iraq is subject to a foreign aggression it would be defended. And on the American side that was abandoned as well. So we reached a clear point of disagreement.”

    Also the article stated that if an agreement is not signed by the end of the year, the Iraqi government would seek to have the UN authorization for the UN presence in Iraq, which expires at the end of the year, extended. How many occupied nations want their imperial overlords to promise to protect them in the future?

    You are reading too much into these hardball negotiating stances. The article acknowledges that Maliki is facing an election contest and must compete with Sadr for the anti-American vote. Bottom line is that they want an ongoing military and political relationship with the US. Iraq needs it more than the US does. Bush is doing the responsible thing from the US standpoint by protecting our GIs from political and legal liabilities. You don’t ask our young people to fight for a foreign people on foreign soil, and then abandon them to the machinations of their legal system.

  2. Completely unacknowledged possibility: That the Bush administration included elements in the SOFA it did not really want.

    Why do you think that might be?

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