As I understand the SOFA (status of forces agreement), the urgency now underway is to come to a mutual agreeable agreement before Dec 31, 2008 as that is when the ?? ‘legality’ ?? of U.S. troops in accordance with UN mandate ends. The Iraqi government has not reached agreement with President Bush, and speculation is that Iraqis know there will be a new Administration after U.S. November elections and would rather wait and deal with the new Administration which will take office Jan 2009.
What this means for the deployed troops in Iraq after Dec. 31, 2008 is that they need to remove or remain on their bases. Troops not on their bases and found to be committing a crime (this would be according to Iraqi definitions of a crime) would be subject to Iraqi criminal justice system. I don’t have much of an idea of what an Iraqi criminal justice system looks like, but I can take an awkward guess and it doesn’t seem very reassuring that our U.S. troops deployed by this President/Commander-in-Chief have much protection from Iraqi criminal justice after December 31, 2008.
Look, I get it that all sides have been subject to violence resulting in maiming and death on a massive scale and being concerned about this element in the duration of the now 6 year war in Iraq is but one of a continuum of ongoing concerns. But this is an Administration who has clearly demonstrated a total disregard for the status of deployed U.S. troops and the preciousness of life on all sides. I have no reason to have trust or confidence that this President will preside with enough prescience to adequately deal with this development, any more than he has demonstrated prescience to deal with the ongoing developments of the last eight years of his administration. He is more than likely willing to play out the time he has left in office and leave it to the next administration to resolve.
I do take some reassurance that the Pentagon, Generals, and chain of command understand the stakes and will advocate on behalf of the troops, and this development cannot wait until January; it needs attention and resolution now! With my son-in-law deployed in Iraq now in his second ‘stop-loss’, extended 15 month deployment, it is discomforting enough, but to think he may be at risk now as well to Iraqi sense of justice is frightening. With the complete injustice of this war and the Iraqi people having reason beyond reasonable reaction to hate America and American troops, I shudder to think……
Video below explains much better than my grasping at words. Please watch the video. Read more at the news source, The Real News Network here.