H/T to Crooks and Liars for this Newsweek link. It seems that Ambassador Ryan Crocker and General David Patraeus are in the midst of negotiations with the Iraqi “government” to secure a “long-term strategic partnership” in Iraq. That would mean permanent bases for U.S. troops in Iraq and a long term deal similar to those we have with dozens of other nations across the globe. The signing of the deal seems to be designed to happen right about the time of the Democratic and Republican Conventions for the sake of – what else? – politics here at home rather than solving our actual problems abroad:
In remarks to the traveling press, delivered from the Third Army operation command center here, Bush said that negotiations were about to begin on a long-term strategic partnership with the Iraqi government modeled on the accords the United States has with Kuwait and many other countries. Crocker, who flew in from Baghdad with Petraeus to meet with the president, elaborated: “We’re putting our team together now, making preparations in Washington,” he told reporters. “The Iraqis are doing the same. And in the few weeks ahead, we would expect to get together to start this negotiating process.” The target date for concluding the agreement is July, says Gen. Doug Lute, Bush’s Iraq coordinator in the White House—in other words, just in time for the Democratic and Republican national conventions.
But of course, “long-term” is a subjective phrase that depends a great deal on both party’s ability to stick to the agreement. Considering that none of the stated benchmarks of “Teh Surge” are in place, there is no Iraqi Constitution, there is no oil sharing agreement and much of the country considers the current nominal “government” illegitimate, that ability seems very much in doubt. Frankly, I wouldn’t buy green bananas from the Iraqi government.
But this isn’t about doing anything that’s actually going to solve any problems. I think they’ve long-since abandoned any hope of doing such lofty things in the White House. Rather, this is about giving Republicans enough breathing room to eke out a victory at home, assuming such a thing is possible now. It is all Kabuki theatre, smoke and mirrors for the public’s “benefit,” just for the sake of politics.