While most observers are focused on the U.S. Congress as it continues to issue new rubber stamps to legitimize Bush’s permanent designs on Iraq, nationalists in the Iraqi parliament — now representing a majority of the body — continue to make progress toward bringing an end to their country’s occupation.
The parliament today passed a binding resolution that will guarantee lawmakers an opportunity to block the extension of the U.N. mandate under which coalition troops now remain in Iraq when it comes up for renewal in December. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose cabinet is dominated by Iraqi separatists, may veto the measure.
The law requires the parliament’s approval of any future extensions of the mandate, which have previously been made by Iraq’s prime minister. It is an enormous development; lawmakers reached in Baghdad today said that they do in fact plan on blocking the extension of the coalition’s mandate when it comes up for renewal six months from now [bold mine-DL]. ~AlterNet
So, if this is all correct, let’s see if we have this straight. Iraq’s parliament will not grant the extension of the mandate without conditions, such as a timetable for withdrawal, and the Congress recently had passed a bill incorporating a timetable for withdrawal. Naturally, Mr. Bush vetoed the latter and duly received new legislation sans timetable, which means that Mr. Bush managed to pressure Congress into sending him legislation that put the American position more at odds with the position of a majority of Iraq’s parliament. “Responsible” people here in America know that having such a timetable is a Bad Thing, because it would “embolden” the enemy and undermine the Iraqi government, while a majority of the would-be representatives of Iraq seem to think that hastening the day when American forces leave their country is a great idea. It is not entirely clear how long everyone will be able to keep up the charade, but there have been indications that any vote by the Iraqi parliament effectively requesting our departure will be both the final straw and the perfect cover for Republicans who want to get out from under this issue.