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Shiite Clerics Warn Against U.S.-Iraq Deal
Say security deal serves American interests


Nov. 7, 2008

BAGHDAD — Shiite clerics warned the government Friday not to sign a security pact that would keep U.S. troops here until 2012, as the prime minister studied what U.S. officials described as the final draft of the agreement.

Parliament must approve the agreement by the end of the year when the U.N. mandate expires. Failure to approve the agreement or get the U.N. Security Council to issue a new mandate would force the U.S. to suspend operations in the country.

Last month, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Cabinet proposed amendments to the pact, including a demand for expanded Iraqi legal authority over U.S. soldiers and the removal of language that could allow U.S. troops to stay past 2012. …

“We renew our total refusal of the security agreement and again we demand parliament and government not to sign it,” Sheik Assad al-Nasiri told worshippers in Kufa, 100 miles south of the capital.

In Baghdad’s sprawling Shiite slum of Sadr City, Sheik Sattar al-Battat maintained the deal infringes on Iraqi sovereignty, and would threaten other countries in the region.

Both preachers are followers of Muqtada al-Sadr, the Iran-based cleric who has long opposed the U.S. military presence. Al-Sadr controls 30 of the 275 seats in parliament, and his bloc has announced it will vote against the agreement.

But criticism also came from Sadralddin al-Qubanji, a member of the largest Shiite party, the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council. The party has not taken a position on the agreement, and its support is critical if the agreement is to pass.

“We are not happy with this agreement which is binding to one side that is Iraq and not binding to the other side that is the United States,” al-Qubanji said. …

———

IRAQ UPDATE

Security Developments in Iraq

Following are security developments in Iraq on Nov. 8, 2008, as reported by Reuters.

NEAR RAMADI – At least eight people were killed and 14 others wounded in two suicide bombings targeting a police station just east of Ramadi, police said. Ramadi is 60 miles west of Baghdad.

MOSUL – A roadside bomb killed one Iraqi soldier and wounded two others on their patrol on Friday in northern Mosul, 240 miles north of Baghdad, police said.

MOSUL – Gunmen killed an off-duty policeman in a drive-by shooting in southern Mosul, police said.

BAGHDAD – A roadside bomb killed one person and wounded seven others in the Qahira district, northern Baghdad, police said.

KUT – Gunmen killed a former member of Saddam Hussein’s Baath party on Friday in city of Kut, 95 miles southeast of Baghdad, police said.

———

WASHINGTON MEMO

Harsh Words About Obama? Never Mind Now

By Jim Rutenberg

Nov. 9, 2008

Excerpts

That whole anti-American, friend-to-the-terrorists thing about President-elect Barack Obama? Never mind.

Just a few weeks ago, at the height of the campaign, Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota told Chris Matthews of MSNBC that, when it came to Mr. Obama, “I’m very concerned that he may have anti-American views.”

But there she was on Wednesday, after narrowly escaping defeat because of those comments, saying she was “extremely grateful that we have an African-American who has won this year.” Ms. Bachmann, a Republican, called Mr. Obama’s victory, which included her state, “a tremendous signal we sent.”

Video

Bachmann suddenly an Obama supporter (MSNBC Countdown, Nov. 7, 2008) — After Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., became infamous for calling for investigations of anti-Americanism in Congress and Barack Obama in particular, she now speaks as though she’s been an Obama supporter all along. Keith Olbermann names her the “Worst Person in the World.” (02:25)
 
[Note: Embedded video (Bachmann suddenly an Obama supporter) not part of New York Times report]

And it was not too long ago that Senator John McCain’s running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, accused Mr. Obama of “palling around with terrorists.”

But she took an entirely different tone on Thursday. … “Barack Obama has been elected president,” Ms. Palin said. … “And God bless Barack Obama and his beautiful family.” …

The presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin said she was hard-pressed to find a similar moment when the tone had changed so drastically, and so quickly, among so many people of such prominence.

“I don’t think that’s happened very often, Ms. Goodwin said. “The best answer I can give you is they don’t want to be on the wrong side of history, and they recognize how the country saw this election, and how people feel that they’re living in a time of great historic moment.”

Others in the professional political class were not so sure. Some wondered whether simple pragmatism was the explanation.

“My experience is, its less an epiphany and more a political reality,” said Chris Lehane, a former Democratic strategist who worked on the presidential campaign of Al Gore. “I’m thinking they will continue in this direction so long as the polls indicate its a smart place to be.” …

———

6/26/11 Update

Video

Bachmann: Obama ‘failed’ African-American community (MSNBC TV, June 25, 2011) — Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are firing sharp criticism at President Obama over unemployment numbers among minorities in America. (04:03)

Related report

Bachmann: 2012 Bid Not ‘Personal’ Against Obama

By Douglass K. Daniel

June 26, 2011

WASHINGTON — Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann said Sunday her bid to unseat President Barack Obama shouldn’t be viewed as “anything personal” against the Democrat — he’s “just wrong” on his policies for America.

In an interview with The Associated Press on the eve of her entry in the 2012 GOP presidential race, the Minnesota congresswoman said she does not foresee problems moving from frequent naysayer to the country’s proposer-in-chief. …

The nothing-personal message was a departure from her 2008 comments questioning whether Obama had “anti-American” views [link added]. She has said she wishes she framed her criticism differently. …

Bachmann, a tea party favorite, planned to kick off her campaign Monday in Waterloo where she has been greeted with a new poll predicting she’ll be a force in the state that opens the GOP nomination context [link added]. The Iowa Poll released Saturday by The Des Moines Register showed her in a statistical tie with Republican rival Mitt Romney among likely caucus-goers. …

Speaking later to hundreds at a nearby ballroom, Bachmann effusively mentioned her Iowa roots.

“We need more Waterloo. We need more Iowa. We need more closeness, more families, more love for each other,” she told her enthusiastic crowd.

The audience soaked it up.

“She’s one of ‘us.’ There are too many of ‘them’ in Washington and not enough of ‘us,'” said insurance salesman David Alderman. “I think she’s got star power. She’s a frontrunner right now.” …

Full story





4 Responses to “Iraq: Shiite Clerics ‘No’ to U.S. Pact”
  1. Iraq » Nine killed in Iraq attacks Says:

    […] Iraq: Shiite Clerics ‘No’ to U.S. Pact … Shiite clerics warn against US-Iraq deal … Say security deal serves American interests. … Shiite clerics warned the government Friday not to sign a security pact that would keep U.S. troops in Iraq until 2012. […]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Bachmann’s March of Folly Says:

    […] Bachmann Suddenly an ‘Obama Supporter’ (Nov. 9, 2008) […]

  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Guimond: “Justice for Josh” March Says:

    […] Iraq: Shiite Clerics ‘No’ to U.S. Pact […]

  4. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » GOP ‘Resentful’ of Bachmann Says:

    […] Iraq: Shiite Clerics ‘No’ to U.S. Pact […]

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