President Bush signed a deal setting the foundation for a long-term U.S. troop presence with details subsequently to be worked out. Bush and Prime Minister Maliki reached the agreement on Monday which creates an “enduring” relationship in military, economic, and political terms. The hypothesis is that major portions of the American armed forces will be withdrawn over the coming year, but a large force will remain in Iraq, most probably stationed in outlying areas. There are rumors the eventual agreement will provide special advantages for American investments in Iraq– one can assume this would include oil exploration and development. Meanwhile, US troops fired on civilian vehicles which did not halt when demanded and five civilians were killed including children.
This agreement is exactly what one would expect from President Bush who still lacks any grasp concerning the complexities of Middle Eastern politics and religion. A continuing American military presence is a mistake since it opens the door for constant attacks and violence. Why not creation of a Muslim Army drawn from other Muslim nations which could assist a new Iraq government establish the basis for security? Turkey has a powerful and well trained military which would be able to accomplish anything that US forces would achieve. America must leave the region. The very notion of giving US business special advantages is a horrible mistake which eventually will backfire. Have we forgotten that American oil companies at one time received special advantages from the Saudi Arabian government until times changed and agreements were ended?