Today the Iraqi parliament has voted to accept a deal on the future presence of US troops. This means that US troops will stay in the country for another 3 years. In addition, the parliament voted on another resolution that call for a referendum in July 2009, during which the public will get the chance either to accept or reject this pact. What does that mean? This means that this pact will replace the U.N. mandate, which will expires at the end of year, and according to the agreement sets June 30, 2009, as the deadline for U.S. combat troops to withdraw from all Iraqi cities and towns. This will be followed for a December 31, 2011 for all U.S. troops to leave Iraq. Without going into the details of the agreement and what are the advantages and the disadvantages, this is a new chapter begin in the history of Iraq (I am not echoing the words of George W Bush, who welcomed the decision by Iraqi lawmakers), but having an occupying force that defied the whole world community, launched a war against another country, and at the end it replaces the force of that international community law by closing a deal with the government of that occupied country, all this sounds awkward to me from the point that the country is still not healthy enough (politically) to make such agreements. Some argue that this is one of the main reasons for approval on that security pact, but as a friend of mine put it: what a mess!
What will happen next? Will this help in restoring security to the country? and how? everyone is talking about the sovereignty of Iraq being violated the moment this pact is approved – of course there is always the counter opinions to that, especially seeing how Iran already penetrated within the political and social structure of Iraq today, and some of those agreed on the Iraq-US security pact was driven by the fact that this would limit the Iranian influence. How far from truth is it? that remains to be seen. On the other hand, those for the agreement argue that it would bring stability to the country by giving enough time for the Iraqi forces and military to be 100% ready to take control of all Iraqi cities and villages on their own. I am not with this agreement, neither rejecting entirely – I am with cooperation with the United States on different levels, but on a condition that this would respect the will and integrity of a sovereign state. The way this fiesta has been going on for months now with many rumors on what is good and what is bad about the agreement is something that raise suspicions. The way the whole thing came around is also like “here, you have to sign these papers, we know what is good for you, sign, and lets get into business” Therefore, with the absence of clarity it is not possible setup a concrete opinion on anything. In addition, I don’t know who to blame? is it the U.S. for imposing its will on Iraq, as some indicates, which will cost more suffering by the Iraqi people, especially seeing the past 5 years did not deliver but more sorrow and agony and above all that violence. Or, should I blame the Iraqi government that did not show a little mercy for its people since the fall of the dictatorship and until this very moment? However, I don’t think that the blame can be put on the U.S., it is our house, Iraq is our house and we should care for it, not someone else.
I get back to the same question: what will happen next? demonstrations? yes, there will be peaceful demonstrations. More violence? and by whom? yes, and by different parties to put one blame on the other. To make long story short: there will be no stability in Iraq, as long as no stable government exists i.e. a government that reflect the opinion of the common citizen.
I wish many times that I could be proven wrong on some issues, this is one of these things I would hope for being wrong in it.