Monday, November 26, 2007
Same as the old deal?
It may, in fact, be a very good thing that President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki today signed an agreement to negotiate a new long-term deal about the continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq. As reported by the Associated Press, the agreement commits the two countries to an "enduring" military, economic and political relationship, but leaves it to future negotiations to decide what that means in practice. If the deal means the United States and Iraq will view each other as equal, independent states, then it is, indeed, a welcome development. Unfortunately, though, the agreement likely includes a commitment to the long-term presence of U.S. troops in Iraq and what the AP called "preferential treatment" for U.S. investors. Does that mean U.S. officials will continue to tell the Iraqi government what to do, but that U.S. companies will gain control over Iraq's oil? Say it ain't so, Mr. Bush.