Tuesday, December 11, 2007

You can't even find a puppet government willing to allow US troops in Iraq permanently

Iraq rejects permanent U.S. bases


By Peter Graff

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq will never allow the United States to keep permanent military bases on its soil, the government's national security adviser has said.

"We need the United States in our war against terrorism, we need them to guard our border sometimes, we need them for economic support and we need them for diplomatic and political support," Mowaffaq al-Rubaie said.

"But I say one thing, permanent forces or bases in Iraq for any foreign forces is a red line that cannot be accepted by any nationalist Iraqi," he said, speaking to Dubai-based al Arabiya television in an interview broadcast late on Monday.

The United States has around 160,000 troops in Iraq, officially under a United Nations mandate enacted after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Iraq formally asked the United Nations on Monday to renew that mandate for a year until the end of 2008 but made clear it would not extend it beyond next year, and that the mandate could be revoked sooner at Iraq's request.

President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki signed a "declaration of principles" last month agreeing to friendly long-term relations, but arrangements for U.S. troops to stay beyond next year have yet to be negotiated.

Iraq has become less violent in recent months after Bush sent an extra 30,000 troops to the country. Washington intends to reduce its force by more than 20,000 by June 2008, and is expected to decide in March on force levels beyond that date.

U.S. commanders say al Qaeda Sunni Arab militants remain a serious threat, especially in the north of the country. Last week an al Qaeda-linked group threatened a wave of new attacks.

On Tuesday, a suicide bomber blew up a car bomb at a checkpoint in a heavily guarded affluent west Baghdad neighborhood near the homes of former interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and the leader of a small Sunni Arab party.

Two people were killed and 12 wounded in the attack. Neither politician was at their homes at the time.

The head of Iraq's largest mental hospital was killed by gunmen in a drive-by shooting late on Monday, the latest in a wave of attacks on medical experts that has caused an exodus of many of Iraq's most skilled doctors.

Original article posted here.

1 comment:

K. said...

Boo hoo, even the lackey natives are rebelling.

It all seemed so easy on our neocon stationery paper.