Lost in the current bitchfest that is the U.S. Congressional debate over troops in Iraq -- "We're pulling out! No, we're not! Yes, we are! Airhead! Dumbass! Traitor! Pedophile!" -- is a simple fact that everyone seems to have forgotten: Iraq is a sovereign nation and, by that definition, should have the sole authority to make that decision, don't you think?
Oh, I'm sorry ... you'd forgotten about that whole sovereignty thing? Here, let me refresh your memory (emphasis added for the hard of thinking or the Blogging Tories):
U.S. Makes Early Handover of Iraq
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraq became a sovereign country on Monday, 15 months after the United States led a coalition to oust Saddam Hussein from power and two days before the June 30 deadline for control to be turned over to the interim Iraqi government. ...
"This is a day of great hope for Iraqis and a day that terrorist enemies hoped never to see," [Commander Chimpy Chimpster Mc]Bush later said in an address with Blair. "The terrorists are doing all they can to stop the rise of a free Iraq but their bombs and attacks have not prevented Iraqi sovereignty and they will not prevent Iraqi democracy.
"Iraqi sovereignty is a tribute to the will of Iraqi people and the courage of Iraqi leaders." ...
Saying the turnover is a "proud, moral achievement" for the U.S.-led coalition, Bush said, "we pledged to end a dangerous regime to free the oppressed and restore sovereignty — we have kept our word." ...
Bush was passed a note from National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice that put it this way: "Mr. President, Iraq is sovereign." Bush wrote "Let freedom reign!" on the note and passed it back.
But what's the value of alleged "sovereignty" if you can't even use it to kick an invading foreign power out of town?
The Bush administration has gone and on and on and droningly on about elections and purple fingers and the courage of all those little, brown Iraqis and their amusing headgear to stand up to the "terrists" but, in the end, all that supposed courage to elect their own government has meant exactly squat since it didn't do them any good at all. Their country is still occupied, they're still not running it, and all their natural resources are being looted out from under them while the U.S. is happily still building the largest monument to diplomatic excess in the history of the universe.
It would be amusing to watch someone in the White House Press Corpse (no, that's not a typo) put this question directly to administration Spokesreptile Tony Snow, sort of like this:
"Tony, it's been over three years since this administration explicitly and unambiguously declared Iraq to be a 'sovereign' nation. And yet, the U.S. continues to occupy that country and make all of the political decisions for Iraq. Under the circumstances, then, can you explain what it even means to have declared Iraq as 'sovereign' in the first place? And, as a followup, given how much this administration praised the Iraqi people voting in elections to take control of their own country, wouldn't you say that this administration owes all of those people an apology for having encouraged all of that 'democracy' which, in the end, made no difference at all in terms of their ability to exercise their freedom as a 'sovereign' nation?"
Yeah, it would be worth it to watch that wretched little fuckface Tony Snow try to dance around that one but, as with all things around here, that's not even the best part.
Given that Iraq is a member of the United Nations, one wonders why those folks don't just go before the General Assembly and ask for military assistance to drive out the occupiers. I can just imagine it now:
"Mr, Secretary General, it was 1990 when the former government of our country launched an unprovoked invasion of the country of Kuwait, and this body -- recognizing its international responsibility -- quickly responded with military assistance to drive the invaders out of Kuwait. Today, we ask you to again recognize your obligations, and help the struggling and sovereign nation of Iraq to expel the foreign force that has occupied our conntry for the last several years. You did the right thing with respect to Kuwait, now please do the right thing with respect to the invasion of our country by the United States."
Yes, that would be quite the little speech, wouldn't it? I'm sure it would have no effect whatsoever, but it would sure make for some awkward moments, wouldn't you say? And it would be fun to see the frantic tap dancing from all of Wankerville as they sputter their standard refrain of "But ... but ... that's different!" Yes, it always is, isn't it? But I'd still watch for the entertainment value. Because wankers might be ignorant, infantile jackasses, but they do have their entertainment value.
P.S. It's unlikely that any argument on the topic of "sovereignty" would be terribly meaningful to Admiral McFlightSuit, if you know what I mean:
AFTERSNARK: Given the hilarious irrelevance and dishonesty of Commander Codpiece's "Let Freedom Reign" comment above, you'd have to be pretty much a deluded dumbass to use that as your defining ideological slogan and ... oh, never mind.
UPPITY DATE: The Rev. makes the following point:
Lets just backtrack there for a minute. The U.S. has control over its troops and can pull them out anytime it damn well wants. The sovereign government of Iraq has not yet asked them to do so, though I don't doubt a lot of people would love to see them gone. The government is unlikely to ask the U.S. to leave as they are currently refereeing a civil war and forking over lots of weaponry and cash to the government for the right to do so.
Sure, the U.S. can leave whenever it wants, but the question is, would they leave if asked? And, these days, all the indicators are "no."
As it stands, it appears that the Iraqi government doesn't have any say on things like what the U.S. chooses to build in terms of embassies or military bases. And here's an interesting recent exchange (emphasis added):
Sami al-Askari, a key aide to al-Maliki and a member of the prime minister's Dawa Party, said the policy of incorporating one-time Sunni insurgents into the security forces shows Petraeus has a “real bias and it bothers the Shiites,” whose communities have been targeted by Sunnis in Iraq's sectarian conflict.
“It is possible that we may demand his removal,” al-Askari said.
A lawmaker from the al-Sadr bloc, who wouldn't allow use of his name because of the political sensitivity of the matter, said al-Maliki once told Petraeus: “I can't deal with you anymore. I will ask for someone else to replace you.”
Such a request isn't likely to get much of a hearing in Washington, where the Bush administration presents Petraeus as one general who can improve the Iraq situation.
As recently as this year, the Bush administration publicly assured everyone that, 'If Iraq Says Leave, "We Would Leave."' But I haven't seen anything that suggests that that's even remotely close to the truth, and it would certainly be fascinating to see that assurance put to the test, wouldn't it?
P.S. Note well the situation described above, where U.S. General Petraeus is doing things that Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki clearly does not approve of. So who do you think is really running this show?