By David Swanson
The Iraqi Parliament has approved a treaty with the United States or rather its government or rather its lameduck president, although its lameduck president has already made clear his intention to “interpret” it to mean whatever the heck he wants, meaning that the new president will be free to do that or not as he and his progressive supporters or he and his neocon advisors see fit.
The vote came after a flurry of last-minute negotiations in which the main Sunni parties secured a package of political reforms from the government and a commitment to hold a referendum on the pact in the middle of next year. Should the Iraqi government decide to cancel the pact after the referendum it would have to give Washington one year’s notice, meaning that troops would be allowed to remain in the country only until the middle of 2010.
So, that could get the United States out of Iraq in a year and a half, or about the timeframe Obama promised anyway, except perhaps more completely than in Obama’s original plan. Or the United States and Iraq could simply agree to get out faster or more slowly; nothing is carved in stone.
The curious thing, of course, about this brutal mission to continue imposing our system of democracy on Iraq by staying and killing for additional years is that their parliament voted, and our Congress covered its ears, closed its eyes, and hummed. Their media covered the ongoing negotiations, while ours watched Sarah Palin pardon turkeys. Their people will get to vote on the fate of their country, while ours only got to vote for the guy who wanted Robert Gates to be Secretary of “Defense” or the other guy who preferred Robert Gates for that job.
What would happen if the American people got to vote or had people in Washington actually represent them on Iraq, on Paulson’s Plunder, or on defunding all such madness and paying instead for green jobs, schools, and things we can actually use? Maybe there’s something we can learn from Iraq. Oddly nodoby’s requested an occupation of Iraqi troops to help “teach” us.