The Iraq parliament finally over came opposition from Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani and voted to allow non-American troops to remain in Iraq until July. The speaker had resigned in a dispute over several issues including the notorious shoe thrower. Great Britain’s contingent of 4,000 will be allowed to remain until the spring when they will all be sent back to England. American troops are allowed to remain until 2011 under a special agreement reached a few weeks ago. In a separate issue, the Iraq government admitted there never had been a plot to overthrow the government as it claimed several days ago.
The agreement clarifies a murky situation in which British troops technically could not remain in Iraq after January 1st. All accused of being involved in the alleged plot were released on bail.
The great unknown is will Iraq degenerate into squabbling factions and religious groups as they assume greater control over their nation’s destiny.