The failure of months of negotiations over the more detailed accord -- blamed on both the Iraqi refusal to accept U.S. terms and the complexity of the task -- deals a blow to the Bush administration's plans to leave in place a formal military architecture in Iraq that could last for years.Whew. That was close.
[A]cknowledged one U.S. official close to the negotiations[,] Iraqi political leaders "are all telling us the same thing. They need something like this in there. . . . Iraqis want to know that foreign troops are not going to be here forever." [...] Maliki, who last week publicly insisted on a withdrawal timeline, wants to frame the agreement as outlining the terms for "Americans leaving Iraq" rather than the conditions under which they will stay, said the U.S. official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because U.S.-Iraqi negotiations are ongoing. The idea, he said, is to "take the heat off [Maliki] a little bit, to rebrand the thing and counter the narrative that he's negotiating for a permanent military presence in Iraq."Oh, please, you moronic bastards, stop w/ the advertising/PR talk, the "rebranding," the "narratives" & so on. Would it be possible to deal for once in reality? It's already been well proven that none of you can "make your own reality" or whatever the anonymous Bushite said so many yrs. ago. Everyone's on to you now. What Constitution?
[United Snakes] [l]awmakers have also objected to Bush's insistence that a status-of-forces agreement -- and a separate strategic framework outlining broad economic, political and security cooperation -- can be enacted with his signature alone and does not require congressional approval.We imagine White House mouthpiece Perino saying, "It's not a treaty, it's a 'status-of-forces agreement.' Don't you understand the difference?" in her best "Words are what we mean them to mean" style.
How to bring democracy to the Middle East: Avoid it whenever possible, both there & here.
According to U.S. officials, Maliki also hopes that a temporary protocol would circumvent the full parliamentary review and two-thirds vote he has promised for a status-of-forces agreement. "He is trying to figure out, just as we did, how you can set up an agreement between the two and have it be legally binding," one official said, "but not go through the legislative body."
In May, Iraqi and foreign media published U.S. negotiators' demands that one administration official now describes as "frankly unrealistic," including unilateral control over U.S. combat and detainee operations, immunity for U.S. personnel from Iraqi prosecution, and control over Iraqi airspace. Additional accounts outlined a list of 58 separate military installations that would remain under U.S. control.That's not five, that's not eight, it's 58!
Bush subsequently instructed U.S. negotiators to "be more flexible and open-minded," one official said.Ah yes, "stay the course" George advises his flunkies how to do things. Irony or hypocrisy? We report, you decide. Or, you sit there w/ your jaw dropped to your knees & your mind numbed.