Iraqi Parliament Passes 2011 Withdrawal Deal
Amid the turkey and stuffing, I neglected to update everybody on this good news…
In a vote heralded by supporters as a momentous step toward restoring Iraqi sovereignty, lawmakers here passed a crucial bill Thursday, setting out a three-year timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraqi soil.
The bill passed after months of backroom negotiations with the Americans, political arm-twisting by Shiite Muslim Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, and warnings from a small but vocal bloc of hard-line Shiite opponents that the law could be manipulated to keep American soldiers in Iraq indefinitely.
And the whole process could still be derailed in July when, in a concession to Sunni Arab parties, a national referendum is to be held to ratify the accord.
Does anybody believe that the Iraqi people will vote against this? They want the US out as much as the folks in Parliament. In fact, even more so. They’d be foolish not to ratify this thing because it’s the most likely path to fully regaining their sovereignty.
In any event, it looks like we’ll be gone by 2011 and that’s something we can all give thanks for.