Monday, November 17, 2008

Iraq to US: get out

The Iraqi Cabinet has approved a new Status of Forces Agreement with their US occupiers. But rather than permitting an ongoing occupation, it instead sends a clear message to the US: get out. According to BBC, the terms of the deal include:

  • placing US forces in Iraq under the authority of the Iraqi government
  • US forces to leave the streets of Iraq's towns and villages by the middle of 2009
  • US forces to hand over their bases to Iraq during the course of 2009
  • US forces to lose the authority to raid Iraqi homes without an order from an Iraqi judge and permission of the government.

And all US troops have to be gone by the end of 2011. That's not an "aspirational target", subject to further negotiation and bullying if the US wants to continue to threaten Iran past that date - it's a hard deadline. They're being kicked out on their arses.

The deal still has to be approved by the Iraqi parliament - who might reject it for being too generous (notably, it doesn't seem to allow prosecution of US troops or contractors who murder civilians). What's more interesting is whether the US will actually abide by it - particularly that last clause about not kicking in people's doors in the dead of night without a warrant - or whether they'll just ignore it... and what comeback the Iraqis have if they do.