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The US-Iraq Security Plan
Published on June 21, 2008 By Bahu Virupaksha In International

While the two presidential candidates battle each other a quiet game is being played out in Iraq. Some may say that the gambit currently undeerway is the end game as far as Iraq is concerned, others may say that it is the beginning of a new phase in US occupation of Iraq. The UN security council resolution by which the "coalition of the willing" operates in Iraq expires in Cecemer 2008 and US diplomats and the Bush Administration even in the dying days of its Presidency is preparing the ground for an altogether new framework to govern US occupation of Iraq. USA has been tryin, so far unsuccessfully, to coerce the quisling government in Baghdad to accept a long term security agreement called Status of Forces Agreement or SOFA. This new deal will convert Iraq into a secure base for the US in the oil rich Gulf region and will considerable enhance US potential to wage aggressive awr against Syria, Iran and even Lebanon. And this too at a time when the so called coalition of the willing is disintegrating fast.

The US bases in al_Asad close to Syria has been expanded and at this point in time the Balad base close to Iran is being expanded. The US already has a huge presence in Mosul and in Kirkuk, both in northern Iraq. In fact many of the troops who now constitute the "surge" in Iraq have been transferred from Saudi Arabia. The SOFA draft agreement consists of 12 paragraphs and will allow US freedom to operate in Iraq for an unlimited period of time. And in complete violation of the very slender sovereignty allowed for Iraq under the US occupation, America can use these bases, without the sanction of the host country to launch attack against Iraq's neighbours. This agreement envisages the construction of nearly 50 bases in Iraq and thereby John Maccain's 100 year presence in Iraq will be fulfilled.

What is worse, considering the poor record of the current US administration in procecuting American War Crimes in Iraq such as Mahamoudiya massacre,  and the Black water terror operations in Iraq, is the fact that American troops will be immune from Iraqi law. In the 19th century such provisions were regarded as "extra territoriality". Further key Iraqi government ministries such as Interior, Foreign Affais and Defence will come under the direct supervision of US "mentors".

The Democratic hopeful Mr Barack Obama has not spoken on this issue though he has repeatedly said that all US troops will be remeoved from Iraq. How he plans to do this in the light of the SOFA treaty is not known and the good senator must clarify. Perhaps Bush is pushing the SOFA so as to hedge the policy options for an upcoming Democratic administration. Since this is only an "excecutive agreement" the lame duck Bush Administration hopes to by pass the Congress. It is not yet cleatr whether the Democrats will pass such a measure, but considering the alcrity with which they lined up behind Bush in the run up to the war, it is certainly possible that the Democrats will allow this one sides agreemnt to pass.

Within Iraq there is considerable opposition to SOFA. Sistani has come out openly against the SOFA and so has the influential Shia leader, Abdel-Aziz al Hakim.

Let us hope that SPFA remains only on paper.


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