Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Total defeat for US in Iraq

Patrick Cockburn: On 27 November the Iraqi parliament voted by a large majority in favour of a security agreement with the US under which its 150,000 troops will withdraw from Iraqi cities, towns and villages by 30 June next year and from all of Iraq by 31 December 2011. The Iraqi government will take over military responsibility for the Green Zone in Baghdad, the heart of American power in Iraq, In a few weeks' time. Private security companies will lose legal immunity. US military operations will only be carried out with Iraqi consent. No US military bases will remain after the last American troops leave in 2011 and in the interim the US military is banned from carrying out attacks on other countries from within Iraq.

The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), signed after eight months of rancorous negotiations, is categorical and unconditional. America's bid to act as the world's only superpower and to establish quasi-colonial control of Iraq, an attempt that began with the invasion of 2003, has ended in failure...

Even Iran, which had denounced the first drafts of the SOFA, fearing that any agreement would enshrine a permanent US presence in Iraq, now says that it will officially back the new security pact: ... a sure sign that America's main rival in the Middle East sees the accord as marking the end of the occupation and the end of any notion of Iraq being used as a launching-pad for military assaults on its neighbours.

Astonishingly, this momentous agreement was greeted with little surprise or interest outside Iraq... America's troops will depart, leaving behind a ruined country.

Image source here.