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  • Token democracy, token sovereignty
    • smike (no login)
      Posted May 13, 2004 5:14 PM

      More bullsheeet from the chickenhawks, once again proving what a distorted verion of democ racy and soveriegnty Bush and sheeethawks consider good for them.

      How can any free citizen of the world support such an administration is beyond me.

      Jusdt like it is beyond me that a minority of Americans actually think Iraqis will settle for anything less then full independence.

      Would you?

      New Iraqi Gov't Can't Expel U.S. Troops

      Thu May 13, 2:21 PM ET Add White House - AP Cabinet & State to My Yahoo!

      By KEN GUGGENHEIM, Associated Press Writer

      WASHINGTON - The new Iraqi government won't have the authority to evict American forces from Iraq (news - web sites), a top State Department official said Thursday — quickly reversing a statement made minutes earlier before a House panel.

      The conflicting exchanges with Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman at a House hearing reflected the difficult balance the U.S. government is trying to strike as it moves closer to the June 30 handover of power to an as-yet unnamed interim Iraqi government.

      The United States needs to convince Iraqis that they will have full sovereignty and are no longer under occupation. But they also need to convince them that U.S. forces aren't leaving anytime soon. They say if Iraqis believe the Americans will abandon them, they would be less likely to cooperate with U.S. forces or a U.S.-backed Iraqi government.

      When first asked by House International Relations Committee members whether an interim Iraqi government could force U.S. troops to leave, Grossman stressed that Iraqi leaders wanted them to remain. He also said that the Iraqi interim constitution and a U.N. resolution gave them authority to do so.

      Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., kept asking Grossman, "If they ask us to leave, we will leave, will we not?" Pressed for a yes-or-no answer, Grossman eventually said yes.

      But he later agreed with another panelist, Lt. Gen. Walter L. Sharp, that the interim constitution and U.N. resolution gave U.S.-led forces responsibility for Iraqi security for the immediate future. Sharp is strategic plans and policy director for the military Joint Chiefs of Staff.

      After the hearing, Grossman was asked if that meant U.S. forces would not leave if asked by the interim government. "That is correct," he said.

      U.S. officials have said that the terms of the American military role will ultimately be determined by a status of forces agreement to be signed with the new Iraqi government. Though some officials have said such an agreement could be signed with the interim government, Grossman said it would be negotiated with the government formed after elections expected in January.

      Grossman said he expected U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi would offer names of leaders for the interim government within 10 days. Brahimi has been in Iraq, talking to Iraqi leaders and U.S. officials about possible candidates for what has been described as a caretaker government.

      He said the United States would not have veto power over the makeup of the government, but said "we do have our views and we've made them clear."

      Some Republican lawmakers expressed unease about the dominant U.N. role in the transition. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., questioned whether the United States has "outsourced the planning of Iraqi sovereignty to the United Nations (news - web sites)."

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