Sovereignty, Schmovereignty

December 20th, 2007at 08:15pm Posted by Eli

“I mean, you’re a – you’ve been given sovereignty, and you’re viewed as a sovereign entity.”

If you’re still clinging to the belief that Iraq is in any way a real, independent country whose government has the final word on, well, anything… please stop.

On Tuesday, the Bush administration and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki pushed a resolution through the U.N. Security Council extending the mandate that provides legal cover for foreign troops to operate in Iraq for another year.

The move violated both the Iraqi constitution and a law passed earlier this year by the Iraqi parliament — the only body directly elected by all those purple-finger-waving Iraqis in 2005 — and it defied the will of around 80 percent of the Iraqi population.

Earlier in the week, a group representing a majority of lawmakers in Iraq’s parliament — a group made up of Sunni, Shiite and secular leaders — sent a letter to the Security Council, a rough translation of which reads: “We reject in the strongest possible terms the unconditional renewal of the mandate and ask for clear mechanisms to obligate all foreign troops to completely withdrawal from Iraq according to an announced timetable.”

(…)

James Paul, director of the Global Policy Forum, which follows the United Nations’ intrigues, said that while “there’s concern in many delegations at the United Nations about what is going on,” Security Council delegates “are under instructions from their governments to lay low and pass the U.S. resolution.” According to Paul, the move “shows the despotic power of the U.S. government to force everyone to knuckle under, no matter how much the law is violated.”

It was an egregious assault on Iraq’s nascent democracy, as well as its supposed “sovereignty,” and can only encourage more bloodshed. Yet the commercial media has so far ignored the story entirely, reporting only that “Iraq” had requested that the mandate be renewed.

The real picture is dramatically different. Just as some congressional Democrats in Washington have tried desperately to limit Bush’s ability to maintain troops in Iraq forever — inserting various conditions into the endless series of supplemental spending bills that have financed the occupation — and been thwarted by the administration, so too has a majority of Iraq’s parliament come out against renewing the mandate without attaching conditions to it, including a requirement that the United States set a timetable for withdrawal.

…This move speaks to the degree to which occupation and democracy are mutually exclusive, and to how Bush and Maliki must run roughshod over the Iraqi legislature (not to mention the U.S. Congress), sacrificing opportunities for political reconciliation along the way, in order to maintain an almost universally despised American military presence in the country.

It’s a pretty impressive trick, really. Dubya’s thumbing his nose at the collective will of the people and their elected representatives in not one, but two countries. Awesome.

If there were a Nobel War Prize, Dubya would win it every year.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Constitution,Corruption/Cronyism,Iraq


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