In other news...SOFA still not done.

>> Tuesday, September 30, 2008

We still do not have deal with Iraq that would put in place a new status of forces agreement. Without this we have no legal justification for being in Iraq. Negotiations are ongoing but there seems to have been very little progress as al-Maliki is holding fast to the one demand that is holding up negotiations, jurisdiction over US troops.

The most important hanging issue here is the immunity or the legal jurisdiction over the American troops because certain powers, political powers inside Iraq are getting ready to use this issue once it's — if it's — approved, as a vehicle to overthrow, to destabilize the entire political system in Iraq, to destabilize the government. They would use it as a vehicle to re-ignite public feelings inside the country.

We have proposed that the legal jurisdiction would be on one hand, on one side, with the Americans ... when the troops are performing military operations. When they are not performing a military operation, they are outside their camps, the legal jurisdiction would be in the hands of the Iraqi judiciary.

Kevin Drum proposed giving this to the Iraqis with the definition of military operation being so broad an vague as to make it impossible for the US troops to actually end up in Iraqi courts. I think that is probably going to be getting to cute. The iraqi's are holding out for a reason and will clearly be able to tell if they substantively receive the provision they are asking for. Trying a legal trick like that might not work in a country that does not respect legal formalism in that manner. I dont know that Iraq is such a place but it might be and i dont think the bushies are willing to take that chance.

Also i suspect Bush may have tried this already. This is the type of thing they did with torture. Say we dont torture but define it in such a way that nothing is actually torture under the definition. Faced with this type of construction a court could simply hold to the intent of the law and hold the soldiers totally liable. It is more than possible.

Not to mention that al-maliki has the leverage. He wants the troops gone by 2010 but was willing to play bushs political game. However he understands that with the financial crisis we might want to be cutting back on the whole foriegn war thing. Via Juan Cole

Al-Maliki, who wants a timetable for US withdrawal by the end of 2010, ended the interview with a clever appeal over Bush's head to the American public:

' "If I had enough funds to assist the American economy, I would do all that I can. But unfortunately Iraq cannot solve America's economic problems.

"But what Iraq can do is take up more responsibility security-wise here inside Iraq. And I have told the Americans repeatedly that we are ready to take up responsibility here in Iraq so there are less losses, a decreased number of American lives lost, and I am prepared to present this case before the American people. ...'

Given the current conditions with the election and the financial markets i have a hard time seeing a deal completed. Never say never though...


O-le,O-le, O-le, O-le! O-le, O-le!

  © Blogger template Sunset by 2008

Back to TOP