Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

Featured Posts        





Oct 9th, 2008

Iraq Pressured on Future of U.S. Troops

Oct. 7, 2008

BAGHDAD — The Iraqi foreign minister said Tuesday it will require “bold political decisions” to resolve the major issue standing in the way of a deal allowing American troops to remain here next year — Who would try U.S. troops accused of crimes?

Neighboring Iran stepped up pressure against the proposed agreement, with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad telling a visiting Iraqi official that Iraq had “a duty” to resist the Americans and another Iranian leader warning of unspecified consequences throughout the region.

American and Iraqi negotiators have been working for months to hammer out an agreement governing the operations of U.S. forces in this country after the current U.N. mandate expires at the end of the year.

Iraqi officials say the draft calls for U.S. troops to leave the country by the end of 2011 unless the Baghdad government asks them to stay.

But legal immunity for U.S. soldiers under Iraqi law has emerged as the major obstacle, with neither side able to find language to satisfy the other.

The U.S. wants the exclusive right to prosecute soldiers accused of crimes. The Iraqis want some form of legal jurisdiction over American soldiers as an affirmation of national sovereignty. …

The deal must be approved by parliament, and Iraqi officials fear opposition unless the agreement satisfies Iraqi nationalists and Shiite politicians with close links to Shiite-dominated Iran.

Against the occupation

An official of one of the Sunni parliamentary blocs, Hamid al-Mutlaq, said no meaningful agreement was possible “between an occupied country and the occupier.”

The Iranians hammered home their objections during talks in Tehran with Iraqi parliament speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, a Sunni.

“Today, the duty of the Iraqi government and nation is to resist the extravagance of the occupiers,” Iranian state television quoted Ahmadinejad as telling the Iraqi official.

The report also quoted Iran’s influential parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, as saying the proposed agreement would have many “unpleasant impacts” on Iraq and regional countries.

“The Iraqi people won’t be deceived by propaganda and the psychological warfare launched by the U.S. and its allies to pressure the Iraqi government to approve the security deal,” Gen. Masoud Jazayeri, deputy chief of staff at the Iranian armed forces, said in a statement.

“Undoubtedly, the Iraqi leaders are careful of any mischief in this regard and won’t allow Iraqi history to be stained with such a disgrace,” he added. …


U.S.-Iraq Security Pact Faces Hurdles

Thorny issues, including jurisdiction over U.S. troops, still unresolved

Oct. 8, 2008

BAGHDAD — A U.S.-Iraqi security agreement spelling out how American troops and contractors operate was supposed to be in place over the summer, but the thorniest issues remain unsettled and neither side is budging.

Time is running out. The deal must be finished and ratified by Iraq’s parliament before Dec. 31, when the U.N. mandate authorizing the U.S. military mission expires. Otherwise, there will be no legal basis for the U.S. presence in Iraq.

For President Bush, some of the pressure to get a fast deal has faded since Iraq is no longer a dominant issue in the presidential campaign.

For the Iraqi leadership, however, political crosscurrents have grown more complicated because of upcoming provincial elections and strong Iranian opposition to any security agreement.

Timeline for withdrawal

With the clock ticking, the thorniest issues — legal jurisdiction over U.S. troops and contractors and a timeline for a U.S. withdrawal — remain unresolved. …

“The Americans show no interest in committing themselves to any deadline or timetable and they think that such process depends on the situation on the ground,” Kurdish lawmaker Mahmoud Othman said.

Privately, Pentagon officials closely involved in the talks say they are not optimistic that a final deal will be clinched anytime soon. A top U.S. official said there is even less reason for optimism now than in recent months. …

Shiite support needed

Al-Maliki can probably count on support of the Kurdish alliance and the major Sunni bloc.

But al-Maliki needs strong support among his fellow Shiites to avoid threatening his political base in advance of the January provincial elections and national balloting later next year.

Followers of anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who control 30 of the 275 parliament seats, have announced they will oppose the deal. Al-Maliki’s Dawa party, with 25 votes, will likely support him.

That leaves al-Maliki’s major Shiite ally, the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council, which holds another 30 seats. The council is close to Iran but also works with the Americans. …

Iraqis carry the coffin of Iraqi parliament member Salen al-Ugaili during his funeral on Oct. 9, 2008 in the Sadr city district in Baghdad, Iraq. Al-Ugaili, who was a moderate member of parliament from the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s block, was killed on Oct. 9, 2008 when a bomb exploded near his car in the Sadr city district east of Baghdad, Iraq. (Photo credit: Wathiq Khuzaie / Getty Images)


Security Developments in Iraq

Following are security developments in Iraq on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008 as reported by Reuters.

MOSUL – Two minority Christian men were gunned down on Tuesday in northern Mosul, some 240 miles north of Baghdad, police said. In a separate incident, gunmen stormed a Mosul pharmacy and killed the pharmacist, also a Christian, police said.

MOSUL – One U.S. soldier and one Iraqi policeman were killed in a shootout overnight on Tuesday in the Hay Domiz neighborhood of southeastern Mosul, 240 miles north of Baghdad, Iraqi police and the U.S. military said. One gunmen was also reported killed and four others were arrested. Another police officer was also wounded.

BAGHDAD – U.S. forces captured five suspected insurgents early on Tuesday in Kut, 95 miles southeast of Baghdad. Another suspected insurgent was captured in eastern Baghdad on Monday. In other operations, U.S. forces captured 16 suspected insurgents across Iraq on Monday and Tuesday.

NEAR KUT – The bodies of two unidentified people were discovered with gunshot wounds in a rural area near Kut, hospital sources said.

Other violence, as reported by the Associated Press:

Two bombs attached to cars exploded shortly before a press conference with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte in the parking lot of the Foreign Ministry, wounding seven people.

A suicide car bomber attacked a U.S. military patrol Tuesday in Mosul, killing an Iraqi civilian and wounding 10 others, said Iraqi police spokesman Brig. Gen. Khalid Abdul-Sattar. Three American soldiers also were wounded in that attack, said U.S. military spokesman Sgt. Alfredo Jimenez.

4 Responses to “Iran Presses Iraq on U.S. Troops”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Obama Wins ‘Violence Prize’ Says:

    […] After the Primary Election: Day 30 […]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Ahmadinejad’s Letter to the Pope Says:

    […] After the Primary Election: Day 30 […]

  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Iraq, Predictably, Drifts into Iran’s Orbit of Influence Says:

    […] U.S. and Iraq Hammer Out Security Pact Amid Meddling by Iran […]

  4. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » ‘Day of Defeating the Occupier’ Celebrated in Iraq Says:

    […] Iran Presses Iraq on U.S. Troops (Oct. 9, 2008) […]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.