White House Releases "Principles" for Permanent Iraqi Presence
By Spencer Ackerman - November 26, 2007, 11:12AM
So it begins. After years of obfuscation and denial on the length of the
U.S.'s stay in Iraq, the White House and the Maliki government have released
a joint declaration of "principles" for "friendship and cooperation."
Apparently President Bush and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki signed the
declaration during a morning teleconference.
Naturally, the declaration is euphemistic, and doesn't refer explicitly to any U.S. military presence.
-- Iraq's leaders have asked for an enduring relationship with America, and we seek an enduring relationship with a democratic Iraq. We are ready to build that relationship in a sustainable way that protects our mutual interests, promotes regional stability, and requires fewer Coalition forces.
-- In response, this Declaration is the first step in a three-step process that will normalize U.S.-Iraqi relations in a way which is consistent with Iraq's sovereignty and will help Iraq regain its rightful status in the international community – something both we and the Iraqis seek. The second step is the renewal of the Multinational Force-Iraq's Chapter VII United Nations mandate for a final year, followed by the third step, the negotiation of the detailed arrangements that will codify our bilateral relationship after the Chapter VII mandate expires.
Doesn't this kind of thing need congressional approval? or even their input? Or is it sufficiently vague, with terms like "enduring relationship" instead of something more realistic like "permanent military bases," to merely guarantee that Mr. Nation-Builder-Chimpy-Commander-Guy (or anyone of like mind who steals the presidency in the future) can just basically do what he wants, when he wants?
Note that the agreement in the first point mentions the requirement of "fewer Coalition forces," which on its face sounds like great news, yet in the next point extends the "Multinational Force-Iraq's ... relationship" even after the mandate expires. In other words, indefinitely. As long as Chimpy likes. As long as Halliburton is making billions. As long as Eric Prince and his mercenaries feel like getting drunk and shooting people at random.
How far has our democracy spun out of control when these idiots can make their little backroom deals with zero input from the American people or the Congress we elected to represent our viewpoints? Do we, as citizens, even matter to this government? For the rest of this illegitimate presidency, will anyone in BushCo even bother to pretend that what the American people want is important? A majority of Americans wants this war OVER. Yet now, we're even farther from seeing that happen than we were before.
Just when I thought it couldn't get much worse, it did.