Sunday, November 16, 2008

rotascope iraq cabinet approves SOFA

and the real cabinet did too. the version they approved has a firm pullout deadline of 2011. in its desperation to get a deal, the bush administration not only agreed to a timetable for withdrawal, but a firm deadline that precludes any permanent bases or any "residual force." it's a remarkable turnabout considering that just a little while ago the very administration that negotiated this agreement would refer to anyone who suggested a much more modest withdrawal plan as a traitor.

in retrospect, the biggest success of "the surge" was probably not that it was responsible for the entire reduction of violence in iraq, the awakening movement and al-sadr's cease-fire had big roles in that too. but rather because the surge gave president bush the ability to claim a success in iraq. and that gave him the political cover necessary to enter into a binding agreement to pull all american forces out.

of course, that's assuming that the deal passes the iraqi parliament. odds are, it will, but it's not assured of passage.

(and yes, i'm still playing with the cartoonizer)