Tuesday, June 5, 2007

It Wasn’t About The Oil

A White House spokesman, Tony Fratto, said Bush expressed confidence in al-Maliki during a telephone call Monday to the Iraqi leader.

He said the two talked about political progress in Iraq, and al-Maliki gave Bush updates on two key U.S. demands -- legislation to share Iraq's oil wealth among its regions and ethnic groups and a reform of the constitution.

But two senior Iraqi officials told The Associated Press that Bush warned al-Maliki that Washington expected to see "tangible results quickly" on the oil bill and other legislation as the price for continued support.

Senior Kurdish lawmaker Mahmoud Othman confirmed that U.S. pressure was mounting, especially on the oil bill, which was endorsed by the Iraqi Cabinet three months ago but has yet to come to the floor of parliament.

"The Americans are pressuring us to accept the oil law. Their pressure is very strong. They want to show Congress that they have done something so they want the law to be adopted this month. This interference is negative and will have consequences," Othman told AP.[1]

News flash; If the Iraqis want America out of Iraq, then don’t sign the oil bill. It appears that the only way to get Bush to put pressure on the Iraqis is concerning the oil. Based on news out of Iraq the majority of the Iraqi parliament members want a time line for withdrawal of American troops. There seems to be hesitation on signing the PSA agreements by the Parliament as well. The administration wants us to believe the reason for the rush on the oil bill, is to alleviate fears among the Sunni’s of being impoverished in the new Iraq. The real reason of course is they want to lock the Iraqis into these long term PSA’s which heavily favor the large oil companies while the Iraqis are in a position of weakness.

With Iraq going to hell, the focus of this administration is not on reducing the suffering; it is on increasing the profits.

“The Democrats were elected in November to lead the country out of the war, and this bill doesn’t do that,” Mr. Pariser said. “And the perplexing thing about this moment is that the Democrats have the political wind strongly at their backs, and the country wants them to fight.”

Many Democrats share that view, saying they would have preferred a harder line from the leadership. “They were weaker than I would have preferred,” said Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York.

But some of Mr. Nadler’s colleagues said Democrats had to exhibit the responsibility that came with power and should reserve their criticism for Mr. Bush. [2]

Many in the party are disappointed with the leadership and with good reason. If the American people supported this war they would have left the Republicans in office. When are these apologists going to learn that there has to be more to governing than criticizing George Bush.

I am of the belief that there are more than a few Democrats that would have us continue down this bloody path in Iraq for political gains. I am sure someone believes that as long as we are in Iraq and as long as it continues to go badly, it won’t matter who the Republicans nominate. I hope that I am wrong and that concern for our troops would overcome politics, but with the this White House and this Congress who knows. Let’s make “We Support The Troops” more than just a bumper sticker. Let’s start by bringing a few of them home alive.

[1] http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/world/

[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/24/washington/24cong.html

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