While Bush tries to badger Brown and the Brits to stay in Iraq – and Maliki hops from neighbor to neighbor spinning the SOFA agreement complete with flipflop speeches that say negotiations are at a deadend one moment, then saying there will be a successful agreement the next, our buddies at the Washington Post have discovered the joys of being a colonial power.
In an editorial with the uplifting title A Partnership with Iraq, the WaPo makes a series of claims that are astonishing even given the source. After announcing that Iraqi Shiites want the deal (perhaps the WaPo editorial board needs a few lessons in Iraqi politics given their equation of “Shiites” with the puppet government?) they launch into an attack on Democrats who oppose it:
So it’s hard to fathom why Democrats in Congress have joined Ayatollah Khamenei in denouncing the U.S.-Iraqi agreements even before they are written. Critics such as Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) are professing to be outraged that the Bush administration might be forging a relationship with Iraq "that parallels the Korea-Japan history," as Mr. Webb put it. They claim to be shocked by the suggestions of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that U.S. forces might remain in Iraq for decades without controversy if they did not suffer casualties, as has happened in Japan and South Korea. Yet the U.S. alliances with Japan and South Korea have been among the most successful in this nation’s history. While building a similar bond with Iraq may prove impossible, it’s hard to understand why Democrats would oppose it in principle.
Note bene the smear approach where our representatives who are demanding scuttling the SOFA are equated with the leading Iranian Ayatollah and the warm support for McCain’s 100 Years in Iraq gambit. The editorial continues in the same vein – arguing that the SOFA is all that will protect us from increased Iranian power in the Middle East.
While the villager’s local rag touts such nonsense, the Boston Globe thankfully talks sense:
President Bush has been treating Iraq less as an ally than a vassal. He has been pushing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to accept two long-term agreements that would, as many Iraqis rightly object, compromise Iraq’s sovereignty and independence.
… Though Bush speaks of Iraq as a free, democratic ally, the original versions gave the United States privileges in Iraq more suitable to the relationship between a colonial power and its protectorate.
The contents of the agreements were not cast in the form of a treaty because a treaty would have to be ratified by the US Senate. Bush plainly does not want senators asking troublesome questions about the implications of an open-ended Iraqi approval for 58 American military bases on Iraqi soil.
Emailing our representatives a copy of the Globe’s editorial would be a great way to remind our representatives that while their Village paper may support colonialism, there’s a very different view outside the beltway.
And of course, the view from Iraq is even clearer. Residents of Amara are spending this weekend stocking up on water and food as they watch US and GZG forces march into their area in yet another of Maliki’s attacks on “criminals” who always seem to be members of the Sadrist opposition. Having lost to the Sadrist forces in Basra and Sadr City, perhaps he hopes that third times a charm?
Video from Japan’s NicoVideo.
Update: Don’t miss the new TomDispatch on permanent bases – it’s a must read and a good piece to send to your representatives.