Monday, August 04, 2008

Monday news roundup

President of the Republic Jalal Talabani left for America on Saturday evening to have that knee looked at again, and Azzaman this morning adds that one of his vice presidents, Tareq al-Hashemi, is in the Turkish capital Ankara recovering from an operation on his nasal cavity that was carried out in that city last week. The other vice-president, Adel AbdulMahdi, the only one of the three who doesn't seem to be in need of foreign medical attention, received on Saturday evening a phone call from president Bush, the "greasy little weasel from Texas", during the course of which Bush reiterated his support for the Iraqi political process. Make of it what you will.

Meanwhile, the GreenZone newspaper AlSabaah says this morning that the GreenZone political leadership have received a new summary of progress in the bilateral talks, adding this:
...the continuing negotiations between the two parties are nearing completion, which could permit the signing of a SOFA security memorandum of agreement in the coming period of time. And the sources, who preferred not to be named, spoke of the attainment of great progress in the talks and the attainment of bilateral in-principle agreement on the withdrawal of American forces during 2010 and 2011, and that these timings are subject to adjustment according to circumstances, and there could be withdrawal mid-2010. [The sources] also explained that there is agreement on the issue of arrests, where the agreement says that all arrests carried out by the American forces will be subject to prior knowledge of the government, and that there will be no violations of the rights of Iraqis. ...The sources added in a telephone call that there is also agreement on prior return of all the American forces to their camps (barracks) and the continuation of training... and supply...
Which, if you compare the recent AlHayat summary, you can easily deconstruct as follows: The American troops might, depending on circumstances, return to their camps ("withdraw") by 2010 or 2011, meanwhile arresting Iraqis with the "prior knowledge of the government", without of course violating their rights by killing any of them, or anything like that. Actual withdrawal from the country, the AlHayat reporter said, would be negotiated starting in 2010 at the earliest, and these talks would include a guaranteed period of non-withdrawal of three or five years.

Back to this morning's AlSabaah account, here is the stinger:
[The sources] stressed that the political leadership has authorized Prime Minister Maliki to sign the memorandum of understanding, following the national[ist] attitudes that he has expressed during the course of these negotiations between Iraq and the United States of America.
In other words, the GreenZone-friendly readers are being told that the vaguely-indicated "political leadership" (actually "political leaderships") have agreed that it won't be necessary to put this through any parlimentary process, because the recent "expressions of nationalist attitudes" has been enough.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"vague" is the word. Withdrawal of forces? Combat forces or all forces? What about bases?

...oh, forget it,

Only certainties in life are death and taxes.

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Alex said...

In other words, the GreenZone-friendly readers are being told that the vaguely-indicated "political leadership" (actually "political leaderships") have agreed that it won't be necessary to put this through any parlimentary process, because the recent "expressions of nationalist attitudes" has been enough.

I took the paragraph to mean that the "political leadership" were authorising Maliki to sign at all. There is not a hope in hell of such an agreement passing the parliament. The question is how true is even this lesser meaning. It certainly seems to be so, but it is not a done deal yet.

5:59 AM  
Blogger badger said...

I took AlSabaah's "political leaderships" to be parliamentary, so the okay they are referring to means okay without parliamentary participation. But whichever way you read it, you're right, we won't know for sure until a deal is or isn't done.

7:36 AM  
Anonymous Shirin said...

"the national[ist] attitudes that [Maliki] has expressed..."

"Nationalist attitudes" my Aunt Fatima! Not from Maliki, and not from any of those opportunistic bozos.

11:39 PM  
Blogger Bruno said...

Shirin, Maliki HAS been making a lot of nationalist noises lately. However (and I have to admit I got excited myself at some point) it seems that he's just posturing for the benefit of the Iraqi masses, whom he hopes won't know any better. It seems that his idea of "withdrawal" is the same as the American one - they will leave, but not really.

12:00 AM  
Anonymous Shirin said...

Bruno, I agree with you completely.

But you know, I almost threw up my breakfast a day or two ago when I saw Iyad `Allawi characterized as a nationalist! I would believe that of Maliki before I would ever be convinced that `Allawi has a nationalist bone in his body.

12:18 AM  

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