Thursday, November 27, 2008



Today another important milestone in the post Saddam era has been established. I was one of those who felt quite uncomfortable and impatient at the painful protracted negotiations and bargaining for concluding the so called “security agreement” between the U.S.A. and Iraq. Yet as things turned out, perhaps there are positive aspects about the way that it was done. The fact that the overwhelming majority that voted for the agreement included important factions across sectarian and factional lines is a positive development. Another important condition that was established as a condition for ratifying the agreement was that a general referendum is to be held in the middle of next year to give the people a chance to have their say. If the result of this referendum is rejection, then the government is obliged to use the clause that actually exists in the agreement concerning termination. Some may not like this, yet in the event of approval through a general referendum, this would be quite a resounding vindication of the American action in Iraq, and a slap in the face of all the slanderers and detractors. What will say all those who whined and raised that deafening noise about the unjust and cruel violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and the invasion etc. etc., when the Iraqi people through a general referendum say yes to what is essentially an approval of a strategic alliance and continued American presence, whether military or in other forms. That would indeed be a verdict that could only be disputed by someone far gone in delusion, prejudice and error. That would be the final judgment and justification for the liberating act carried out by the Americans and the real final “thank you" of the Iraqi people, even more remarkable considering all the pain, blood, mayhem and sufferings.

And you know what? I have one of those gut feelings about the outcome of such a referendum; so do all those M.P.’s who voted for the agreement. So indeed, now, I feel that this was a courageous and right decision by the parliament. The enemies are going to try their best to sabotage and disrupt during the coming months; primarily to avoid such a result. It is important to ensure the success of the transition, and above all the transparency and integrity of the proposed referendum and all electoral events.

And if you remember, I was one of those who believed in the wisdom of withdrawing the American forces to secure and safe bases outside population centers; to take the American foot soldier out of the streets and alleyways. Someone called it withdrawing inside. It must be understood clearly by everyone, that American presence in Iraq is indispensible and that it is the main safeguard against fragmentation and descent into chaos. On the other hand, things are indeed moving forward and Mesopotamia has a natural tendency towards civilized life, believe it or not. You only have to study the history of this land to realize this. Only, the midwife who helped deliver this enfant democracy must remain nearby to safeguard the newborn until it is strong enough. This withdrawal from the streets is a main feature of the agreement and it is to be accomplished by July 2009. This is correct in my opinion and will place the responsibility squarely on the Iraqi government and security forces to finally establish their full control in cities and everywhere without relying on direct American support. Meanwhile the American forces will be near enough in case something goes terribly wrong. I do not underestimate the dangers and difficulties; however I feel the general directions of the agreement are in line with my own thinking. All those who have been following my blog in previous years could see that.

Today was a good day, and I hope and pray for the poor old country that the sufferings and sacrifices of both the American and Iraqi people might eventually bear fruit and that the “project” that excited us so will succeed in the end.


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