Thursday, October 16, 2008

Iraq Troop Deal Should Not Be Considered Until 111th Congress

Seems a new SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) is circulating around on Capital Hill, and Gates is wanting Congress to pass it. Who cares if months of negotiation have brought forth a contract that Gates (and George W. Bush) can live with? Fact of the matter is, this SOFA should not be looked at, considered and voted upon until the 111th Congress, should not be voted on until the NEW PRESIDENT can put his fingerprints on it. Bush is a Dead Duck president with zero clout, Gates is gone when the new administration comes in, and the new President should not have his hands tied by pushing through a deal in the closing hours of a dismal administration that is filled with graft and corruption.

Status of Forces Agreement Being Circulated in U.S. and Iraq Governments

After months of negotiations, the United States and Iraq have produced a draft agreement outlining how U.S. troops will operate in Iraq, and it is being circulated among the executive branches of both the U.S. and Iraqi governments.

Girls walk past a U.S. soldier on a patrol with the Iraqi police in Baghdad's Ameen district October 14, 2008.
(Thaier al-Sudani/Reuters)

Negotiations on the Status of Forces Agreement, or SOFA, had been deadlocked for months over disagreements about a timeline for U.S. troop withdrawal and over whether U.S. troops would be subject to Iraqi laws if they commit crimes.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is "comfortable" with the draft agreement, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said, indicating the key hurdle of legal immunity for U.S. troops in Iraq had been overcome -- though he did not reveal details.

However, a senior U.S. official told ABC News the deal would allow for American troops to be tried in Iraqi courts for crimes committed off-base and when not on missions.

The Iraqi government has pressed for lifting the blanket immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts that U.S. forces currently have in Iraq, should they be involved in crimes. Currently, any offenses are dealt with through the military judicial system.

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