Everything is proceeding awesomely…please go shopping
…or dumpster diving as the case may be thanks to the also awesome domestic economy we in the Bush Administration have given you. So please pay no attention to this:
The Bush administration is conceding for the first time that the United States may not finish a complex security agreement with Iraq before President Bush leaves office.
Faced with stiff Iraqi opposition, it is "very possible" the U.S. may have to extend an existing U.N. mandate, said a senior administration official close to the talks. That would mean major decisions about how U.S. forces operate in Iraq could be left to the next president, including how much authority the U.S. must give Iraqis over military operations and how quickly the handover takes place.
Meanwhile, as was noted last week, Iraqi parliamentarians visited our Congress and had this to say:
In the hearing, parliamentarians Nadeem Al-Jaberi and Khalaf Al-Ulayyan expressed their support for a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops. In an exchange with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Al-Jaberi said that U.S. presence in Iraq is highly unpopular with the public, as roughly 70 percent of Iraqis favor a withdrawal
Which means this is no surprise:
Iraqi lawmakers say the United States is demanding 58 bases as part of a proposed "status of forces" agreement that will allow U.S. troops to remain in the country indefinitely.
Leading members of the two ruling Shiite parties said in a series of interviews the Iraqi government rejected this proposal along with another U.S. demand that would have effectively handed over to the United States the power to determine if a hostile act from another country is aggression against Iraq. Lawmakers said they fear this power would drag Iraq into a war between the United States and Iran.
"The points that were put forth by the Americans were more abominable than the occupation," said Jalal al Din al Saghir, a leading lawmaker from the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. "We were occupied by order of the Security Council," he said, referring to the 2004 Resolution mandating a U.S. military occupation in Iraq at the head of an international coalition. "But now we are being asked to sign for our own occupation. That is why we have absolutely refused all that we have seen so far."
Which sounds very similar to the words of the real winner of Bush’s Iraq adventure — the real leader of Iran:
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned Iraq’s visiting prime minister yesterday against signing an agreement with the US keeping foreign troops in the country beyond 2008.
The continued presence of US troops was Iraq’s “fundamental problem,” Khamenei told Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, expressing confidence that Iran’s western neighbour would dash the “dreams” of the US.
And now the quote that shows it takes $2 to 3 trillion to give Joe Lieberman agita:
Television pictures showed the Shia Iraqi premier wearing a white shirt, without the necktie he had been wearing until now during his visit. Ties are still frowned on in the Islamic Republic as a sign of Western imperialism.
He thanked Iran for its “ceaseless” support of Iraq, state television said.
“Definitely this was a fruitful trip. This trip was definitely a step forwards in the aims set by both nations, I hope that they are materialised,” Maliki told reporters before leaving Tehran.
Something for an actual journalist to mention to McCain when he discusses how awesomely right he’s always been about this war. That’s some serious "strategery". Not many leaders or enablers can spill so much blood and so much treasure to win a war for another country they dislike even more than the place they invaded.
Now, that’s change you can believe in…not repeating.
(picture via REUTERS/FARS NEWS (IRAN))