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Al-Maliki assures Tehran that U.S.-Iraq security pact will not harm Iran

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“Iraq, today, does not represent a threat as it was during the former regime because it has become a constitutional country based on the rule of law,” the statement quoted al-Maliki as saying. “Iraq is working on developing its relations with the countries of the region on the basis of mutual understanding and cooperation.”

That is a remarkable response. How many nations in the region can make a statement like that? Iran certainly can't.

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Iran has lead a vocal campaign against the deal, with powerful former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani vowing last week that people in Iraq and the region won’t allow it.

Hashemi Rafsanjani is known as the "free-market mullah."

"it has become a constitutional country based on the rule of law,”

Al-Maliki has disregarded the constitution when it suited him, such as in the way Saddam's execution was carried out. The Iranians are suspicious of Al-Maliki. Although he is also a Shi'ite, his political survival depends on staying on the right side of the US.

From Al-Maliki's perspective, more problematic is Iraqi opposition to the security pact.

“The U.S.-Iraqi negotiations on the pact concern the American and the Iraqi sides. As we have noticed, the Iranian contribution again is not positive regarding this,” U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Mirembe Nantongo told journalists Sunday in Baghdad.

There is talk of having a national referendum on it, although the logistics are unclear. Those Iraqi constituencies who oppose it, and it's more than al-Sadr's slum dwellers, will find the Iranians willing to back them as they have backed insurgent groups in Afghanistan. As we have witnessed over the past 5 plus years, a little bit of insurgent mischief goes a long way toward destabilizing a country.

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Iran has nothing to worry about. Maliki will establish an Shiite dicatorship close modelled on the Iranian mullah regime, with the US forces a willing constabulary. What an absurd world.

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I'm not sure I even understand what this agreement is supposed to protect. If it's a mutual defense pact then US forces are stationed within the host country to defend against external enemies. Such agreements are written to exclude defense of disputed territory. Otherwise, Chiang Kai-shek would have had US troops fighting so he could retake mainland, lord knows he certainly tried to engineer such an opportunity, and Ferdinand Marcos would have enlisted US assistance to defend the Philippines' claim on the Spratleys.

If it's to provide internal security, well then we can expect to continue to lose people in this endeavor. The era of colonialism is over and trying to reopen that chapter of history has proven incredibly costly; over four thousand lives lost and half a trillion dollars (which excludes long-term wounded vet care, disability payments, etc).

Finally, unless the GWB Administration has found some way to finaggle it, such agreements need Congressional approval. That's going to be a tough sell.

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So Iraq does not pose a threat? Cool, so can we now withdraw all U.S. troops please?

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Ahmadinejad, in turn, insisted Iran had a key role in Iraq’s security."

Why didn't he propose a multi-national force? Perhaps a pan-Arab and shiite type?

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Maliki is in a tough corner as the SOFA the US is pushing is for 50 permanent bases and complete freedom from any Iraqi interference in American operations in Iraq. Any Iraqi that signs up for 50 permanent American bases had better have his passport and traveling clothes handy.

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proxy:

On the other hand, any US government that allows the US military as Malikis own Shiite militia should cringe in shame. That is not to say that Obama will not deliver precisely that and then proceed to dress the giant blunder in wonderful rethoric.

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Long live a world without the us

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Well ... congrats to the US! By hook or by crook, you got what you came for. Military presence next to Iran (like old friends getting together!), a bit of oil, the Iraqis pay the bill from here on in as they do in Germany.

Here's to 100 years in Iraq! Well done boys. Finally, got them WMDs in Iraq and the lefties can stop raving about wtf they were.

Nice job.

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Betzee, great post! I suspect getting this through the senate won't be as hard of a sell as you think. Lets put things in perspective ... the Spratleys ... no offense to the good folks folks on this board from there but the Pacific was probably taken care of irrespective of what the Marcos regime tried to pull off (although a great example of the Constabulary as pointed out by WilliB).

The Taiwan issue ... probably a case of the US thinking that the Chinese didn't matter, the Russians would take care of them, or they could never get their act together. Besides, they'd already addressed the issue of Taiwan when CKS's wife gave her speech to the senate and it was obvious they didn't care.

Iraq is different. The US has a history there, not to mention the renewed interest in the war generally, the price of oil (sorry but its true), the recent loss of life, the loss of face. Their allies, the Brits, who have been there even when it got ridiculous, basically created the Palestinian problem (which is why they stayed). And so too, the Americans have to stay and fix the mess. Mc Cain was totally right - this is a long term investment. If anyone here is voting democrat to "bring them home" - think again. They ain't comin' home.

The SOFA, will be totally different to the Korean, Japanese and German versions ... because they still got guns. So the US won't ask as much and let's be honest, we'll never know who is getting paid, how much etc.

As much as I think the guy is a supersonic jerk, as someone who furthered the American cause (as defined by securing resources, ensuring that the motherland is secure for a while to come etc.), George Bush was a gift to the US. He did what no President anywhere has done to maintain the living standards of his people. By some definitions, this might be what a statesman is. Who knows? Anyway, it was a lie in the beginning and trying to make sense of it now is much of a muchness. It doesn't matter anymore, is what they want you to think. And they've succeeded; the war is over.

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That's for an envigorating response!

He did what no President anywhere has done to maintain the living standards of his people.

Yeah, but he did it by transforming the USA into a rentier state. This term was in fact coined to explain the interaction, or lack of, between rulers and the ruled in oil-rich Middle Eastern countries. In sum, if you're not taxing your citizens, and GWB cut taxes, you don't need their input. By the same token, if you're not paying taxes, you care less about how the government spends its money (since it's not coming out of your pocket).

The war in Iraq has been largely charged to a credit card in Uncle Sam's name issued by Bank of China. That made it easy for the American public to sink into a state of indifference once the war exceeded "the six weeks to six months" prediction. "If I don't think about it, it doesn't affect my life."

But things have changed; the dollar has plummeted in value and oil speculators are using it as a hedge to drive prices higher. The Iraqis are pumping a bit now, but nobody knows where the revenues went. They are certainly not being plowed into the country.

Regardless of who's elected in the United States come November, things will change in Washington because the costs have become unsustainable (and the recession has made people aware of that). On the Iraqi side, the elected legislature is having difficulties with some of the provisions; it's hard to see how it would pass in a national referendum.

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This is a promise that al-Maliki cannot keep. I suspect that the Iranians don't feel particularly reassured.

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Betzee, wanna bet the Iraqi oil revenues are going into the pockets of the people that will have to flee, should they sign the deal being pushed.

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Few Americans are familiar with the proposed treaty. If they were, they might be shocked at its provisions, ashamed about its naked sadism. It:

grants the U.S. long-term rights to maintain over 50 military bases in their California-sized country allows the U.S. to strike any other country from within Iraqi territory without the permission of the Iraqi government allows the U.S. to conduct military activities in Iraq without consulting with the local government allows U.S. forces to arrest any Iraqi without consulting with Iraqi authorities extends to U.S. troops and contracters immunity from Iraqi law gives U.S. forces control of Iraqi airspace below 29,000ft. places the Iraqi Defense, Interior and National Security ministries under American supervision for ten years gives the U.S. responsibility for Iraqi armament contracts for ten years

Now would you sign an agreement like that for your people unless you were threatened with your assassination by Cheney at your last meeting like al_Maliki was?

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Hmmmm...Iraq trying to get Iran to tone down it's Anti-American rheteric.

Kewl!!!

Who's going to talk to the United States and Isreal about toning down it's Anti-Iran rheteric? < :-)

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The Iraqi oil revenues are staying right there. Iraq isn't pumping more than 1 or 2 million barrels a day and it ain't coming to the United States. It'll never come to the United States. Eventually it'll be sold for euros and not USD.

Oh george bush started the damn "george bush memorial War in Iraq" for their oil and it's not coming to the US.

Just like the Iranian oil. It's going to go for euros and not USD. Good ol' george bush. < :-)

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shock and awe? saddam hussein attacked kuwait because iraq oil reserves were rapidly dwindling - that's why hussein attacked kuwait to begin with.

they went there for oil and to their shocked dismay, there's not as much of it as they once had thought.

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rephrase - 'they once thought' not 'had'.

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