Troop Agreement Misses Deadline; Provincial Law Misses Deadline; Bombings in Mosul, Diyala, Fallujah

First there was going to be a status of forces agreement between the US and Iraq, which would be ratified by the Iraqi parliament and would grant the US long-term bases. Private security guards and US troops would be immune from Iraqi law. US commanders would launch operations at will, would decide who a terrorist was, and would arrest and imprison Iraqis at will.

Then al-Maliki went to Iran for consultations. And Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani forbade a giveaway of Iraqi sovereignty. And the Sadrists began demonstrating every Friday. Then the US launched a unilateral operation in al-Maliki’s home town and killed his cousin.

So the private contractors won’t have legal immunity. And the agreement will be just for a year, not long-term. And it won’t be ratified by the Iraqi parliament, so it is just a vague agreement between two executives. It won’t stipulate long-term arrangements, but its interpretive context will be one in which the Iraqi leadership has expressed a desire for US troops to leave in 2010. It isn’t clear if US troops will have legal immunity or whether they will have full freedom of action or whether they will be able to arrest and incarcerate Iraqis at will.

And now, it won’t be signed by the deadline of July 31.

You have to wonder whether the Iraqis and the Americans in the end won’t have to go back to the UN for a troop mandate again. The Iraqis want out from under the UN but don’t want to recognize that the American presence detracts from their sovereignty. D’oh.

No provincial election law again on Monday. Maybe Tuesday. Maybe not.

The Iraqi legislative calendar is more like “Waiting for Godot” than it is like . . . a legislative calendar.

John McCain thinks that Iraq and Pakistan have a common border.


[Hat tip to Think Progress.]

Hey, everybody, ask McCain if he’ll pull out US troops by 2010 if that is what the Iraqi government says it wants.

McCain keeps boasting about being “right” about the “surge” and saying Obama was “wrong.”

Look, it is more important that McCain was consistently wrong. He was wrong about the desirability of going to war against Iraq. He was wrong about it being a cakewalk. He was wrong about there being WMD there. He was wrong about everything. And he was wrong about the troop escalation making things better. The casualty figures dropped in al-Anbar, where few extra US troops were ever sent. They dropped in Basra, from which the British withdrew. Something happened. Putting it all on 30,000 extra troops seems a stretch. And what about all the ethnic cleansing and displacing of persons that took place under the nose of the “surge?” McCain has been wrong about everything to do with Iraq. And he is boasting about his wisdom on it!

Guerrillas used a tractor bomb to kill 7 persons and wound 8 others in Diyala Province near Iran, where there is a lively contest for power among Shiites, Sunni Arabs and Kurds.

Reuters reports other recent political violence in Iraq:

‘ * MOSUL – A suicide car bomber killed two private security contractors serving as bodyguards to members of the Kurdish Democratic Party in an attack on their convoy in Mosul . . . The blast also wounded eight civilians nearby.

MOSUL – Gunmen killed two people when they opened fire on their vehicle in southeastern Mosul, police said.

MOSUL – Gunmen killed two brothers and their cousin in a drive-by shooting in northern Mosul on Sunday, police said. . . .

MOSUL – One body was found with gunshot wounds to the head in western Mosul, police said. . .

BAGHDAD – A parked car bomb killed one person and wounded four others on Sunday in Alawi district, central Baghdad, police said.

FALLUJA – Five people were wounded by two roadside bombs exploding within minutes of each other on different streets in central Falluja, 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

(Compiled by Aws Qusay and Tim Cocks) ‘