Joe Biden wants to know what exactly John McCain’s plans are for Iraq, beyond this vague claim of ‘victory.’
Iraq has approved a preliminary deal with Royal Dutch Shell to develop its natural gas fields. Shell recently pulled out of a deal to develop Iran’s much more extensive gas fields, out of fear of being slapped with economic sanctions by the US.
The Iraqi parliament will reconvene this week and will attempt to pass a law enabling provincial elections. There are lots of other laws that need passing, including one governing oil and gas contracts.
It is not a good thing that al-Maliki is pressuring Iraqi refugees in Egypt and Jordan to return. The UNHCR says it is too dangerous for them as yet. Some returnees in Diyala Province were recently evicted from their homes yet again by militia action. Since Iraqis are still leaving Iraq for Jordan and Syria in some numbers, the whole thing is a publicity stunt. Thousands came to Jordan last May alone. More are certainly leaving than returning.