Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Why aren't the Democratic candidates discussing these issues with Gen. Petraeus? -- or, for that matter, Sen. John McCain? (No, thank you for the offer, but we don't actually need you to tell us the answers.)
What's almost unknown in America is that al-Sadr isn't just demanding US withdrawal at the point of a gun. The Iraqis who want us to leave—ie, the great majority—have been trying to make it happen with words and the law for some time. They've followed all the rules of democracy and "won," but...we're still there.The legal authority for the US presence is the UN mandate. The Iraqi parliament passed a law last summer requiring that they got to approve and set conditions for any extension of the mandate when it expired at the end of 2007 . . . .
But in December, 2007 when the mandate was about to expire, Maliki (in his role as Bush's mini-me) told the Iraqi parliament "Suck. On. This." and got it extended to the end of 2008 without any vote. Now, despite the fact that the Iraqi constitution gives the parliament authority to approve all treaties (and the US constitution gives the congress authority to approve all treaties) Bush and Maliki are planning to sign an "agreement" approving a permanent US occupation...without the involvement of either country's legislative branch. Moreover, since Maliki is our puppet, this essentially is the administration agreeing with itself . . . .
The Iraqis who want us to leave, but are willing to work for it non-violently, can honestly ask: what else are we supposed to do? There unfortunately doesn't seem to be an answer.