Wednesday, October 22, 2008

U.S./Iraqi Agreement Already In Trouble

Last week the new U.S./Iraqi agreement was unveiled. It would keep United States troops in Iraq until at least 2011. The agreement was supposed to be final. The Bush administration said it could not be amended. The Iraqi Parliament would either have to approve it or reject it.

Bush thought that would force the Iraqis to approve it even though they don't like it much. Once again, it looks like he was wrong. The agreement hasn't even reached the Parliament and the Iraqis are already talking about amending it.

In an effort to try and save the agreement, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warned Iraq that failure to approve the agreement would cause "dramatic consequences". He said if there was no agreement, the United States would have to "basically stop doing anything".

That doesn't sound like much of a threat to me. That's exactly what the Iraqis want. Just a couple of days ago, the followers of Moqtada Sadr marched against the agreement. They don't want the United States to stay through 2011. They (and the vast majority of Iraqis) want us to leave immediately.

Frankly, I think it's time to give them what they want. We can't solve their problems for them. They know that and want us to get out of the way. Bush and McCain are the only ones who still believe that democracy can be spread by American military power, and they're wrong. The only thing we are accomplishing is to get more people killed -- Americans and Iraqis.

Forget the agreement. Bring our troops home. Let the Iraqis run Iraq however they want to.

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