Search This Blog

Friday, June 27, 2008

Brazen imperialism in the Middle East

Sat, 14 Jun 2008

The following is Press TV's exclusive full-length interview with American linguist, philosopher, political activist, author and MIT professor Avram Noam Chomsky:

Press TV: How do you characterize this so-called security treaty between Washington and Baghdad?

Chomsky: The security arrangement was in fact declared last November. There was a declaration from the White House, presumably a Bush-Maliki declaration, but had nothing to do with the Congress or Parliament or any other official institution. It called for an indefinite long-term US military presence in Iraq and that could include the huge air bases that are now being built around Iraq. The US is building what's called an embassy but it's unlike any embassy in the world. Its essentially a city inside a city. These are all declared intentions to retain a permanent dominant presence in Iraq.

The declaration also, a little to my surprise, had a rather brazen statement about exploiting the resources of Iraq. It said that the economy of Iraq, which means its oil resources, must be open to foreign investment, privileging American investors. That's pretty brazen. Now that's brazen imperialism saying we invaded you so that we can control your country; and so that our corporations can have privileged access to your resources.

It was not at all clear that any Iraqi was ever going to accept this and in the steps that had followed as there was an attempt to sort of formulate it, more precisely, there have been predictably increasing objections.

Different formulations and so on but without going through the details leading to prime minister al-Maliki's recent comment that you quoted.

Press TV: Do you think Nouri al-Maliki will eventually succumb? I mean previous occupants of that position, well, they have come and gone. Haven't they?

Chomsky: I mean look the country is under military occupation. It is not a free country, so there is a limit on how much any individual can do when your country is under military occupation.

The Wall Street Journal, which is not exactly a radical newspaper, states that the Maliki government survives only on the basis of US arms. That's an exaggeration but not an inconceivable perception, so he might not survive if he doesn't accept it.

Press TV: Professor Chomsky, of course, one country that is being blamed by Washington is Iran and what's on a lot of minds in the Middle East is this drumbeat of war as it were. Do you think the United States wants military action and will there be military action against Iran? And how do you characterize the IAEA's nuclear negotiation process?

Chomsky: It is interesting, the way everything is blamed on Iran. And that's a rather striking reflection of how deep-seated the imperial mentality is in the West, so for example when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is asked by the press: is there a solution to the problem in Iraq, and she says yes a simple solution - foreign forces should be withdrawn and foreign arms should be withdrawn, referring of course to Iran -, people don't laugh and collapse in ridicule.

I mean, of course, there are foreign forces and foreign arms in Iraq, but not Iranian. They are American, but those are not considered foreign forces.

In the Western conception, US and, indeed, much of the West, if our forces are anywhere, they are indigenous. They are not foreign because fundamentally there is a tacit assumption that we own the world, so our forces are not foreign - they are indigenous.

We talk about Iranian interference: it's like talking about Allied interference in Nazi occupied Vichy France; it doesn't make any sense, but the mentality accepts it.

Now as far as the IAEA is concerned, the United States handed over to the international agency a collection of documents recently and the agency says they have not received adequate explanation about them from Iran. OK that's where things now stand.

I have my own opinion about what ought to be done and, in fact, it happens to be the same as the opinion of the overwhelming majority of Americans and also the overwhelming majority of Iranians, according to the polls in the two countries, namely that the right solution to this problem is to declare a nuclear weapons free zone in the entire region which would include Iran, Israel and American forces deployed there and so on. About three quarter of Americans are in favor of that, and I think that's the right idea!

Press TV: Professor Chomsky, that's obviously not going to happen...

Chomsky: Who says? It won't happen on the assumption that the United States is a completely undemocratic country in which public opinion can't influence policy. I don't think that's a necessary assumption.

Press TV: We're hearing things from Israel. There were remarks about some 'Iran Command' being set up. Of course, we had Seymour Hersh in the United States saying that there was going to be an attack on Iran, obviously...

Chomsky: So will it happen you mean. Nobody knows whether it will happen. I mean it's conceivable. I mean the whole world is aghast at the possibility. One leading British military historian, Corelli Barnett, said it'll mean world war III. It will have very serious consequences, undoubtedly, not to speak of what would happen to Iran, but it's conceivable that they would be willing to take a kind of a wild gamble and just see what happens.

Remember that everything the Bush administration has done, almost without exception, has turned into a catastrophe for the interest that they represent. And it's possible that they might decide to go out in some blaze of glory just to see what happens. Hit the system with a sledgehammer and see what happens. I frankly doubt it. I think that as far as anyone can tell, the US military is opposed and US intelligence seems to be opposed and surely the world is opposed. On whether they will accept those pressures or not, you can't really tell. People like Dick Cheney are unpredictable.

Press TV: Professor Chomsky, if people in your own country are opposed to the Iraq war, Afghanistan seems to be a sort of good war. There was recently a donors' conference in Paris. How do you see the situation in Afghanistan moving on with more money from multinational companies, more so-called donors and yet the security situation seems to be deteriorating.

Chomsky: Well this is a long topic, and I think we ought to talk about it another time, but, very briefly, what matters in this case is the opinion of Afghans. And though we don't have very good evidence about that, we have some. So, for example, this is a recent study, a very interesting study, a Canadian study of Taliban fighters... You know, it seems what they want is to get foreign forces out of the country in which case they can accommodate to the rest.

The general opinion in Afghanistan seems to be somewhat similar. They want accommodation with the Taliban not war and the majority think it's possible. If foreign involvement was reconstruction, that would be accepted undoubtedly, and it should be in my opinion not aid but reparations.

Russia, the United States, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have torn this country to shreds and they owe reparations for what happened, and then maybe the people can accommodate among themselves. That's what diplomacy ought to be pushing for.

Courtesy Press tv RZS/AA/HGH

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Media, Harakah and KDN

On 24 June 08 Bernama reported that For the first time in Parliament's history, reporters were barred from the Parliament lobby Tuesday. To counter the move, members of the media showed their solidarity by boycotting all press conferences held at Parliament, include those by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. The media personnel took such a bold step to express their unhappiness at the "unfriendly ruling" by Parliament's management.

After failing to get a satisfactory explanation from the Speaker (Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia) , the Parliament’s management committee and the minister responsible for giving the instruction, Datuk Nazri Aziz during the lunch break. The BN-BCC acted to remove the barriers place to bar the media personnel. This resulted in Datuk Nazri calling them “kids and gangsters”. Not happy with the incident, the BN-BCC will discuss on Monday, what action is to taken against Datuk Nazri, which to them is “very unbecoming”. was quick to make this comments : Having muzzled their own supporters, BN is now trying to prevent the Press from being present in Parliament to hear debates and meet MPs. Why BN should bother doing this is a mystery. Already the press is being directed by a "Supremo" on what to report and how to report it.

Maybe it is because among the pressmen there were bloggers. The Supremo is still unable to direct the bloggers on what they should say and how they should say it.

Read the comments from TG Dato’ Nik Aziz , Harakah was denied to the public and reduced their production to once every two weeks after 1999 UMNO poor election showing. Wasn’t it our very Tun Dr Mahathir who was the “Supremo” Not only Harakah even Cresent International was also banned in Malaysia, Crescent International was an equivalent of or Counterpunch or Information Clearing House for the Muslims. Ever wonder who started this Culture in UMNO?

To prove the gravity of lack of freedom of expression under the former prime minster, the acronym for UMNO baru was said to be Under Mahathir No Opposition. This interpretation was given to UMNO baru by UMNO members themselves. Today Tun Dr Mahathir is no longer in UMNO, he had resigned as a member of UMNO, so the UMNO members gave him another intepretation of an acronym MAHATHIR - which means Must Always Hentam Abdullah Till He Is Removed.

On 24 June 2008 it was reported that Dato’ Kamarudin Jaafar had written a letter of thanks to the Home Minister Dato' Seri Syed Hamid Albar for approving or issuing KDN to Harakah allowing it to be published 2 times a week (8 times a month). It was stated whether the circulation will be limted to members of PAS or Harakah will be allowed to be sold to the public. TG Dato’ Nik Aziz voiced out that it is high time for Harakah to be allowed to be published daily. From TG Dato’ Nik Aziz comments it appears that the KDN allows Harakah to be circulated to the public.

Constitutionalism - The Malaysian Recent Experience.

Assertive monarchy - In search of its constitutional basis

The perception among the public now is that the rulers, in the aftermath of the 12th General Elections, have begun assuming an active role.
Harakah spoke to Professor Dr Abdul Aziz Bari, a constitutional law expert at the International Islamic University Malaysia.

It seems that Harakah is trying to clarify .....
"these includes the formation of the state governments, dissolution of Parliament, declaration of emergency and even the dismissal of government."

the ruler's recent acts :

"It appears to me that those who are not happy with the rulers' activism overlook the government's sway over so many things. This is indeed very much the antithesis of constitutionalism and limited government both of which are inherent in the constitution."

the scenario :

"We have to bear in mind that the three parties did not go to the polls as one unit like the Barisan Nasional and this has, I think, made the matter rather messy and complicated. But the palace has helped to stabilize the situation and I think we must give them the credit."

"Previously the rulers took the clue from the Umno leadership at the centre but the post-election scenario this time around was different. Unlike before, Umno was not able to control its own assemblymen."

what the Raja of Perlis did :

"the Raja of Perlis went and ascertained the person who had got the most support in the House himself"

what the Sultan of Trengganu did :

"Terengganu was more than just the exercise of power of appointment. I think the palace actually resorted to the notion of reserve power in order to avoid the state from being put under someone whose image was autocratic and unclean."

do not fear Palace intervention :

"To my mind the fear was rather misplaced for it failed to take into account the guardianship role of the monarchy; something that allows the institution to assume a kind of reserve power in order to save the constitution."

a caution in declaring emergency :

"Given the extreme and devastating impact of an emergency on the constitutional provisions, he (the Monarch) has a very important role to make sure that the government does not abuse the provision to protect its interests."

a reminder

" . . . we have not seen any glaring abuse of powers by them, at least in comparison with the successive governments since independence. And perhaps one needs to see the excesses of some of the rulers as a reaction to the elected politicians who, instead of ruling the country democratically, have become another bunch of autocratic politicians manipulating the system for their own vested interests."

the caveat "if"

"If the system works there is no need to depend on the monarchy but if there is a breakdown or that the system is prevented from functioning then there is a good case for the intervention on the part of the monarchy. Indeed this is an obligation; namely the duty to protect the constitution and its ideals from being subverted and undermined. We've got to remember that it is the duty of everyone vested with public powers to do the same but when these people fail to do that then it is incumbent on the monarchy to come forward. I believe this is wide enough to justify extreme measures so long as it is done with a view to protect and uphold the constitution." . . . to be in context, read the interview.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The secret success lies in politics.

Power v poverty

Privatisation, free trade and market forces . . . the rich world insists poor states play by our rules. But they don't work. Time to let countries determine their own destinies?

The fight against poverty, inequality and environmental collapse will define the 21st century, as the fight against slavery or for universal suffrage defined earlier eras. It is hard to imagine a more worthwhile cause. . . more

Sunday, June 15, 2008

US Chief of Air Force changes hands

At the end of April 2008 recently General David Petraeus replaced Admiral William Fox to oversee military operations in the Middle East.

The two top US Air Force Men

Early this month June 2008 US Defense Secretary, Robert Gates relieved air force secretary Michael Wynne and air force chief of staff General T. Michael Moseley of their duties after a probe revealed mismanagement in the US nuclear arsenal.

Mr Gates had accepted the two men's resignations and said then, that he would announce their replacements at a later time.

Mr Gates cited two embarrassing incidents. In the first, electrical fuses for ballistic missiles were mistakenly sent to Taiwan in 2006 in place of helicopter batteries. The fuses, designed for the nose cone of a nuclear missile, were sent from a US airbase in Wyoming.

The other embarrassing incident, Mr Gates added, was a flight across the US by a B-52 bomber mistakenly armed with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, without anyone realising the weapons were on board.

The New US Air Force Chief.

Gen. Norton Schwartz, a Jewish freighter pilot has been chosen by US defense secretary Robert Gates as the new Air Force chief of staff.

If confirmed by the US Senate, Schwartz would be the first Air Force chief of staff not to have served as a fighter or bomber pilot, an Air Force spokeswoman said Monday

US Sec of Defense Robert Gates

Robert Gates also lashed out "I have noticed that none of the services easily accept honest criticism from outside their branch, or scrutiny that exposes institutional shortcomings. This is something that must change across the military,"

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Who pays the price of speculators' greed?

While the world faces one of its worst crisis and millions of people are struggling with starvation and death, analysts point finger at several factors.

Soaring oil prices, high consumption of food products in developing countries including India and China, and unprecedented drought in Australia, one of the major producers of wheat and rice are among factors analysts blame for the hike in food prices.

Although such factors have contributed to the current situation they cannot explain why food prices have been skyrocketing in the past six months.

"We have enough food on this planet today to feed everyone," says the head of the UN Environment Program, Achim Steiner, but "the way that markets and supplies are currently being influenced by perceptions of future markets is distorting access to that food."

"Real people and real lives are being affected by a dimension that is essentially speculative," says Steiner.

According to the UN official millions "have found themselves unable to pay for food" as food prices began to go through the roof since the beginning of 2008.

Now, millions of people across the world are struggling with what Josette Sheeran of the World Food Program (WFP) describes as "a silent tsunami".

Although the issue of food crisis has recently been grabbing headlines, public media have barely scratched the surface of the catastrophic situation. The reason is obvious: in a capitalistic dog-eat-dog world the exchange market must be considered as a source of prosperity and no one should be allowed to cast doubt on its sacredness.

In his article, The trading frenzy that sent prices soaring published by the Newstatesman, Iain Macwhirter, writes: "The reason for food 'shortages' is speculation in commodity futures following the collapse of the financial derivatives markets. Desperate for quick returns, dealers are taking trillions of dollars out of equities and mortgage bonds and ploughing them into food and raw materials. It's called the 'commodities super-cycle' on Wall Street, and it is likely to cause starvation on an epic scale."

The reality is that hedge funds and speculators have found future food contracts a lucrative field of activity which can be considered as a license to print money.

The injection of these large sums of money into the marked has created artificial demands which have sent food prices soaring; however, this lucrative trade has so far claimed 100 million lives and left many others struggling with poverty and hunger.

The price of wheat is estimated to be increased by 73 percent by the end of 2008. The situation for other food items is not better: the price of soybeans is expected to rise by 54 percent and that of soybeans oil by 49 percent.

Deutsche Bank estimates that the prices of corn, one of the main food sources, would double over a short period of time.

"Just like the boom in house prices, commodity price inflation feeds on itself. The more prices rise, and big profits are made, the more others invest, hoping for big returns. Look at the financial websites: everyone and their mother is piling into commodities. It is the great bull market of the Nineties. The trouble is that if you are one of the 2.8 billion people, almost half the world's population, who live on less than $2 a day, you may pay for these profits with your life.

This speculation doesn't happen on its own, however. Commodities such as gold and oil are favourite "hedges" against falling currencies. But this time all manner of other commodities, such as wheat and rice, have been swept along in the inflationary slipstream," Macwhirter adds.

The issue of future contracts and speculations is not the only contributing factor in the current global crisis; the industrialized world's US-led drive to use food products for developing bio fuels has fanned the flames of famine and hunger across the world.

The developed nations justify their move which UN officials described as "a crime against humanity" by the notion that such fuel resources would cut their dependency on fossil fuels whose resources are mainly located in other parts of the world. The US grants heavy subsidies ($11-12billion) for the production of ethanol corn every year.

At the beginning of a recent FAO summit in Rome, Jacques Diouf, the head the UN organization lashed out at the US over the issue: "Nobody understands [why] $11-12 billion of subsidies in 2006 and protective tariff policies [should be used to] divert 100 million tons of cereals from human consumption, mostly to satisfy a thirst for fuel for vehicles."

As Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram says converting food products to bio fuel is "the most foolish thing" that humanity can do and should be condemned, yet Washington encourages farmers to follow this unwise practice, isn't it surprising?

The painful fact is that we have enough food to feed the world but many people, mainly innocent children, have to die to satisfy "the deadly greed" of speculators and certain politicians.

Courtesy Press TV : Fri, 13 Jun 2008 18:32:08

Monday, June 9, 2008

Tweedle McCain Tweedle Obama

At the AIPAC conference Barack Obama shows that on foreign policy he has moved closer to McCain and Bush.

Iraqi MPs against US bases

Leaked document says US plans for permanent bases in Iraq being discussed with Iraqi government.

What's Keeping Saniora from Announcing New Cabinet?

07/06/2008 Mora than 15 days have passed since the Doha Accord that put an end to the political crisis in Lebanon was signed. A new President has been elected and the opposition sit-in in down-town Beirut has been removed, however the new government with a guaranteeing one-third of ministers from the opposition (as stipulated in the agreement) has not been formed yet.

The Doha agreement ended a three-year epoch of power monopoly and decision appropriation by the ruling bloc against the Lebanese people.

What is keeping this new government from seeing light?
It's the ruling bloc itself, but how?

The new government should comprise 30 ministers. According to the political distribution, the loyalty bloc takes 16 seats, the opposition takes 11 and the President takes 3 ministers.
In terms of confessions, the government should be made up of 6 Maronite, 6 Sunni, 6 Shiite, 4 Orthodox, 3 Druze, 3 Catholic and 2 Armenian Ministers. Such distribution has put the loyalty bloc in front of a big problem on the Christian and Sunni levels.

The problem gets more complex on the Christian level, particularly the Maronite level. Of the 6 Maronite seats in the Cabinet, the President wants a minister and the Lebanese National Opposition – Namely MP General Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement – wants 2 seats leaving the loyalty bloc with three Maronite seats.

The problem begins here.

Prime Minister designate Fouad Saniora wants a seat reserved for his finance minister Jihad Az'our, the Phalanges Party (of former President Amine Gemayel) is demanding 2 seats and the Lebanese Forces (of Samir Geagea) is demanding three seats. Moreover, the Qornet Shehwan teams is also demanding a seat in the new Cabinet. Of course, there remains the representation dilemma of Social Affairs Minister in the caretaker government Nayla Moawwad and MP Butros Harb.

For Sunnis, there are 6 seats and there are Saniora, the Tripoli Bloc (headed by MP Mohammed Safadi who has become a burden on the loyalty bloc) and there is Tripoli MP Misbah Ahdab who wants a seat in the new Cabinet. This explains why Ahdab has been assailing Safadi.

There are similar complexities for the Orthodox and Catholic seats.
This has prompted the loyalty bloc to seek to take whatever it can from the opposition's share in the government. Saniora suggested giving them 8 portfolios and 3 ministers of states, however a source in the opposition said that Saniora's proposal was odd. "Suppose that we distributed the seat equally between Hezbollah, Amal and the Free Patriotic Movement, Shiites would have four portfolios in a government of 30 ministers, whereas Shiites had five portfolios in a government of 24 ministers, so how can this be?" the source wondered.
He also noted that the loyalty bloc still insists on considering some portfolios as its exclusive right. "The ministry of finance that MP Aoun is demanding is a red line and the communications ministry that Hezbollah is demanding is also a red line," the source said.

The government should have been announced before the arrival of French President Nicholas Sarkozy to Beirut, however the loyalty block has so far failed to resolve its differences over representation in the new Cabinet.

courtesy : almanar

Mohamad Shmaysani

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Zimbabwe: Sharp crackdown on political opponents

4 June 2008

Amnesty International today condemned the detention of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai, saying that his detention was part of a sudden, sharp and dangerous crackdown on political opposition in the run-up to the elections.

“Morgan Tsvangirai should be released immediately – or charged with a recognizable criminal offense,” said Amnesty International.

MDC Leader Morgan Tsvangirai, Mugabe Oppositon

According to reports, Morgan Tsvangirai was arrested at a roadblock north of Bulawayo and is being held at a police charge office in Lupane. It is not clear what the charges are against him.

In March 2007, Tsvangirai, along with other MDC and other civil society activists, was severely beaten while in police custody and had to be hospitalised.

His arrest comes the day after the publication by Amnesty International of a damning report highlighting the extensive human rights violations that have taken place since parliamentary and presidential elections were held in March 2008. These include unlawful killings, torture and other ill-treatment, beatings, and the harassment and intimidation of mainly MDC supporters and human rights defenders in Zimbabwe.

The organization revealed that a witness to the abduction of an MDC senatorial candidate Shepherd Jani by suspected Central Intelligence Organization (CIO) agents has gone into hiding after he and his family received threatening phone calls from men believed to be state agents, who told him to hand himself in at Harare Central Police station. Amnesty International says his life is at risk and his family has also been threatened.

Kumbirai Masimo witnessed the abduction on 21 May of Shepherd Jani, senatorial candidate for Murewa North. Jani was abducted by suspected CIO operatives and his body was found days later.

“The government of Zimbabwe must ensure the safety and security of Morgan Tsvangirai, Kurmirai Masimo and all others at risk during this dangerous crackdown on those deemed to be a political threat to the ruling government,” said Amnesty International.

Mugabe rejects UN request to send special envoy.

The organization said that the bulk of the human rights violations are being perpetrated by supporters of the Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party and members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWA) -- generally known as “war veterans”.

State security organisations, in particular the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) have been unwilling to act against these perpetrators – allowing them to kill, torture, assault and burn homes and businesses of suspected MDC supporters with impunity. In fact, in some cases authorities have instigated or even directed attacks by these groups.

The Zimbabwean government is also severely tightening restrictions on international aid agencies operating in Zimbabwe.

“By introducing restrictions against aid workers in Zimbabwe, including CARE International, which was recently forced to suspend all of its field operations in Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwean government is attempting to hide the worst of the state-sponsored violence from the eyes of the world,” said Amnesty International.

Millions of people in Zimbabwe will be affected by the aid restrictions, which are likely to worsen significantly Zimbabwe’s food security problems.

To see a copy of the report Zimbabwe: A trail of violence after the ballot, please click here.

Courtesy Amnesty International

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Deal American wants from Iraq Part 2

The mandate of US troops in Iraq will expire in December 2008 and Washington has been trying to win the support of Iraqi politicians over the deal which, the major terms, would allow the US military to have at least 13 permanent military bases and grant American citizens immunity from legal prosecution.

Thousands of Iraqi protested against the agreement

Al-Maliki's government is under US pressure to sign this 'mutual security agreement' which would allow the long-term presence of US troops in the oil rich country. There are widespread objections from Iraqi religious and Political figures and has raised doubts that negotiators can meet a July target to finalize a pact which according to critics would turn Iraq into a 'US colony'.

The Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the US President George W. Bush signed the draft SOFA in 2007. The White House has also been struggling to win the support of the Iraqi lawmakers for the agreement by offering them bribes. According to sources in Iraq's parliament, Washington has offered three-million dollars in bribe to the MPs who sign the "framework accord."

Iraqi Cleric opposition

Iraq's Ayatollah Mohammad Sadegh Shirazi and Ayatollah Kasim al_Haeri has voiced concern over Washington's proposals for a long-term security agreement with Baghdad. Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani had already voiced his strong opposition to the deal in a meeting with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in the holy city of Najaf on Thursday.

Moqtada Al-Sadr has been vocal too, saying he will send delegations to other neighboring countries to gain their support in objecting against the SOFA and has called for demonstrations.

On Friday Tens of thousands of people took to streets throughout the country after Moqtada al Sadr called for the protests. Al-Sadr has also called for weekly protests against the deal.

Iraqi Politicians opposition

Head of the main Shia bloc in Iraq, Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, whose alliance constitutes the backbone of the Iraqi government, has also expressed his reservations about the accord.

Iraqi politicians loyal to Shia cleric Moqtada al Sadr including lawmakers Falah Hassan Shanshal and Maha Adel, have urged the government to hold a referendum on the US-Iraq 'security pact' and issued a statement on Saturday in Baghdad and called on the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki to halt negotiations with the White House and hold a public referendum on the controversial issue.

The lawmakers also said they 'absolutely reject' the accord and urged all Iraqis to continue their peaceful demonstrations against it. A former Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari highlighted that the agreement brings shame to the Iraqi nation.

Government reaction

In a new twist, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says the Iraqi nation will never fall under foreign tutelage nor will Iraq ever lose its sovereignty.

Maliki said Friday that there will be no need for the presence of occupational forces in Iraq as long as his government is able to enforce the law equally toward all factions and political parties in the country. "No one in Iraq will accept the guardianship of foreigners. All Iraqis oppose it," he added. He made these remarks in a meeting with Iranian apeaker and Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on the sidelines of the Stockholm conference on Iraq.

Meanwhile, a senior Iraqi official has said that negotiations between the US and Iraqi government over a security agreement to extend US troops presence in Iraq beyond 2008 has hit snag. Sa'ad Javad Qandil, an advisor to the Iraqi vice president, said: "There are many big problems in the draft of the security deal; there would also be many setbacks in future talks."

Qandil added: "What is important at this stage is discussion over the principles and codes determining the details of the agreement." "These principles include respect to the Iraqi government's sovereignty, safeguarding the country's independence, removing the country from the UN charter's Chapter Seven, attempts to end the foreigners' presence in the country and taking from them the entire responsibility for establishing security, transparency regarding the items of the agreement, and making it public for the people's knowledge".

the deal american wants from iraq part 1

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Iraqi clerics against SOFA & US bases

The Bush administration will have a hard time extracting a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) from the government in Baghdad – indefinitely stationing US military troops in the country just as in Japan and South Korea. Muqtada al-Sadr wants any agreement to be submitted to a national referendum. Grand Ayatollah Sistani has recently been visited by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Najaf. And he practically ordered Maliki to call a national referendum. Now Ayatollah Kazim al-Haeri – the 5th grand Ayatollah of Iraq - has issued a fatwa against the agreement.

Search Box

Import - Export Business

Search Box