Untitled Document
Taking a Closer Look at the Stories Ignored by the Corporate Media
Donate | Fair Use Notice | Who We Are | Contact

NEWS
All News
9-11
Corporatism
Disaster in New Orleans
Economics
Environment
Globalization
Government / The Elite
Human Rights
International Affairs
Iraq War
London Bombing
Media
Police State / Military
Science / Health
Voting Integrity
War on Terrorism
Miscellaneous

COMMENTARY
All Commentaries
9-11
CIA
Corporatism
Economics
Government / The Elite
Imperialism
Iraq War
Media
Police State / Military
Science / Health
Voting Integrity
War on Terrorism

SEARCH/ARCHIVES
Advanced Search
View the Archives

E-mail this Link   Printer Friendly

IRAQ WAR -
-

Calling U.S. troops "occupation forces," Iraqis seek timetable for exit

Posted in the database on Thursday, September 15th, 2005 @ 17:21:37 MST (644 views)
by Nancy A. Youssef    Knight Ridder  

Untitled Document

BAGHDAD, Iraq - In an attempt to lay the legal groundwork for asking the United States to withdraw its troops, an Iraqi National Assembly committee released a report Tuesday that said the presence of the American military prevents Iraq from becoming fully sovereign.

The 18-member National Sovereignty Committee, made up of legislators chosen in national elections in January, said the only way Iraq could achieve sovereignty was for multinational forces to leave. The report called for setting a timetable for the troops to go home and referred to them as "occupation forces," a first.

The report is the second time in four months that National Assembly members have expressed frustration with the continued American military presence. In June, one-third of the 275 assembly members signed a petition asking the United States to set a timetable for withdrawal.

It wasn't clear what impact the new report would have. Iraqi government officials have said they oppose a U.S. withdrawal or setting a timetable, a position that President Jalal Talabani repeated Tuesday in Washington.

"We will set no timetable for withdrawal. A timetable will help the terrorists," said Talabani, who's a Kurd.

Most of the committee members are members of the Shiite Muslim political coalition that dominated January's parliamentary elections, though it was impossible to know how widespread their view is among government supporters.

Assembly members were silent after Jawad al-Malikit, the committee's chairman and a member of the powerful Shiite United Iraqi Alliance, completed reading the four-page report.

Later, members of the committee said they'd compiled the report to create a legal channel that would make their country independent. "It's normal to ask for our full sovereignty. It should have happened right after the elections because the government is legal," al-Malikit said.

Hassan al-Rubai, another committee member, said he was grateful to the United States for removing Saddam Hussein from power. But he added: "We want the United States to make us feel they came here to liberate us, not occupy us."

The report also asks the United Nations to issue a resolution declaring Iraq a sovereign country and the government to repeal an order enacted by the U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority that gives foreign nationals here immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts.

It also called for the government to have control over its intelligence operations, palaces and prisons. American forces so far have refused to grant Iraqis access to many intelligence operations, to allow them to occupy several palaces that Saddam built and to let them operate several prisons.

The real measure of the report is how leaders of the Iraqi government, other National Assembly members and the people react to it in the next few days, said Anthony Cordesman, an Iraq analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a national-security research center.

"It's posturing," Cordesman said. "The question is: What kind of clout does the political posture have?"

Indeed, some wondered whether the committee released its findings as a way to reach out to Sunni Muslim Arab leaders. The assembly is seeking to win a national vote next month on a proposed permanent constitution. Many Sunni Arabs, some of whom have said they'll vote down the proposed constitution, have called for a timetable for withdrawing foreign troops.

Still, many were surprised that a committee made up of Shiites and Kurds would call for a timetable.

The United States returned sovereignty to Iraqis in June 2004, when L. Paul Bremer, then the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, signed a resolution and dissolved the CPA.

But many National Assembly members and average Iraqis have said it's impossible to feel sovereign when troops are running through their streets and foreigners direct the actions of the Defense and Interior ministries.

"This country hasn't had sovereignty since the beginning of the occupation," said Saleh Mutlaq, who was one of the four principal Sunni negotiators in the drafting of Iraq's constitution. "People already know they are not sovereign because the Americans are everywhere. They are in the streets. They are on top of our houses. How can we feel sovereign?"

Committee members said they planned to asked officials of the Defense and Interior ministries when they thought Iraq would be able to defend itself.



Go to Original Article >>>

The views expressed herein are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of Looking Glass News. Click the disclaimer link below for more information.
Email: editor@lookingglassnews.org.

E-mail this Link   Printer Friendly




Untitled Document
Disclaimer
Donate | Fair Use Notice | Who We Are | Contact
Copyright 2005 Looking Glass News.