58 Bases But Nothing’s Going On

Not to worry; nothing to see here:

“Look, there is going to be no occupation,” said U.S. spokesman Adam Ereli. “Now it’s perfectly understandable that there are those that are following this closely in Iraq who have concerns about what this means for Iraqi sovereignty and independence. We understand that and we appreciate that and that’s why nothing is going to be rammed down anybody’s throat.

“It’s kind of like a forced marriage. It just doesn’t work. They either want you or they don’t want you. You can’t use coercion to get them to like you,” he added.

Well, honey, they don’t like you and they don’t want you:

Iraqi lawmakers say the United States is demanding 58 bases as part of a proposed “status of forces” agreement that will allow U.S. troops to remain in the country indefinitely.

Leading members of the two ruling Shiite parties said in a series of interviews the Iraqi government rejected this proposal along with another U.S. demand that would have effectively handed over to the United States the power to determine if a hostile act from another country is aggression against Iraq. Lawmakers said they fear this power would drag Iraq into a war between the United States and Iran.

“The points that were put forth by the Americans were more abominable than the occupation,” said Jalal al Din al Saghir, a leading lawmaker from the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. “We were occupied by order of the Security Council,” he said, referring to the 2004 Resolution mandating a U.S. military occupation in Iraq at the head of an international coalition. “But now we are being asked to sign for our own occupation. That is why we have absolutely refused all that we have seen so far.”

Sounds pretty plain to me, but the Bush administration is hard of hearing. Still, Iraqi resistance to signing over their sovereignty is stiff enough that the U.S. government may have to acknowledge it:

The Bush administration is conceding for the first time that the United States may not finish a complex security agreement with Iraq before President Bush leaves office.

Faced with stiff Iraqi opposition, it is “very possible” the U.S. may have to extend an existing U.N. mandate, said a senior administration official close to the talks. That would mean major decisions about how U.S. forces operate in Iraq could be left to the next president, including how much authority the U.S. must give Iraqis over military operations and how quickly the handover takes place.

Sounds like a good idea, but upyernoz gets suspicious when the Bushies admit to error:

last night the bush administration acknowledged that it may not get a permanent bases deal with iraq this year. which is pretty shocking, the administration almost never admits that its strategy won’t work, even when it’s pretty obvious that it can’t.

except technically it was ryan crocker, president bush’s ambassador to iraq, and not the entire bush administration, who made the acknowledgement yesterday. so today. the state department’s top advisor to iraq, david satterfield, insisted that an agreement can too be achieved by the end of july.

so it wasn’t the administration acknowledging reality but rather a case of the administration’s ambassador briefly wandering off the reservation.

More: Juan Cole, Norbizness, American Footprints, Hullabaloo, Firedoglake.

Via Memeorandum.

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