Saturday, October 18, 2008


Bush and Cheney and their gang have only three months left in office. The election for a new president is only two and half weeks away. For those reasons, the U.S. government should not be ramming through a status-of-forces agreement with the government of Iraq. Any decision or agreement should be left to the new president.

The proposed agreement calls for U.S. forces to be in Iraq until 2011. This is unacceptable. The world sees Americans as occupiers, not as liberators. The U.S. needs to pull out as soon as possible. Consider the demonstration today by tens of thousands of Shiites against the proposed agreement.

Hamza Hendawi writes in the website of The Washington Post:

"Anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr urged Iraq's parliament to reject a pact that would extend U.S. presence in Iraq for three years as tens of thousands of his followers marched through Baghdad's streets Saturday to reinforce that demand.

"The large turnout points to trouble ahead for the U.S.-Iraqi security deal as Sunni and Shiite lawmakers weigh the political risks associated with the far-reaching agreement."

The BBC reports on the Shiite demonstration:

"Chanting slogans and waving banners, tens of thousands of Shias, mainly young men, marched on the eastern suburb of Sadr City towards the centre of Baghdad.
"The BBC's Jim Muir in Baghdad says Moqtada Sadr's militant opposition to the US presence has strong grassroots support among many Shias - and this was a physical manifestation of that opposition."

I applaud the protesting Iraqis. They want the foreign Americans out of their country. If the roles were reversed and Iraqis were the invaders and occupiers, who would find it strange that Americans would be protesting without end? Instead of trying to saddle the next president with his ill-conceived foreign adventure in Iraq, Bush should quit trying to make a deal on keeping American troops in Iraq. The sooner they come home, the better for both the U.S. and Iraq.

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