No wonder the Bush administration did not try the diplomatic route before launching us into a war without end. They simply do not know how to perform that most basic of governmental duties. America and Iraq are currently working on a pact that will govern how US troops operate once their UN mandate expires on December 31st of this year.
Until recently, it looked as if the pact was going to pass with little problems. Not it seems that the Iraqis have some issues with the language of the pact. These areas concern the building of permanent bases (Iraq does not want them) the control of Iraq’s oil (the US wants it, the Iraqis want it–and they should be the ones to get it, it is their oil after all) and the issue of American troops operating with impunity. Iraq wants to be able to prosecute American soldiers who act as murderers and tyrants, rather than as part of a force there to help maintain security in the country.
None of these seem like unreasonable requests to me. After all, we are trying to help Iraq once again become its own country, and it cannot do that if the terms under which that haoppens are dictated by someone else. We want Iraq to be a stable and free democracy, or at least that’s what we say. In reality, it is more likely that we want a puppet in the region to do our bidding, and give us a place to launch other operations of this sort.
In response to Iraq’s concerns, Washington has told them that if they do not sign the pact that they will face dire consequences. Like what? The removal of American troops from the country (a lot of Iraqis want this so this isn’t really a valid threat). Sure, it probably wouldn’t be the best thing for Iraq right now as their security forces are not quite ready to go at it alone, but it is whatr a lot of Iraqis and Americans want.
And of course the threat is an empty one because it is 99.9999999999% likely that the UN Securtiy council will vote to extend the UN mandate until an agreement is reached. This threat of dire consequences it a scare tactic, designed to force the Iraqis into an agreement that they may not necessarily agree with. We want Iraq to be our ally, and work with us, but the last time I checked, the basic rules of allies working together did not include threatening each other. This threat from the Bush administration, while probably intended to “light a fire under the Iraqi’s asses” is not a smart move. It runs the risk of increasing anti-American sentiment in the region, and in Iraq in particular.
This is a country that we want access to. We want them (when they are finally their own sovereign nation again) to work with us. I am sure that threatening them with withdrawal, or “dire consequences” is just the way to go about ensuring future cooperation with and by them. I mean I know that when I tell my friends to do something or else, they always do it, and with a smile. Oh wait, that’s not what happens at all. Just the opposite in fact. I end up losing friends, and they continue to ignore the request I made from them in the first place. I understand being tough on our enemies. But being tough on our allies? That’s just Bush, I mean dumb.