News Release

New Bush-Malaki Agreement: “Undermines Iraqi Sovereignty, Democracy”

On Monday President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki signed — via video conference — a Declaration of Principles covering a host of military and economic issues. The AP reported on Monday: “Iraqi officials foresee a long-term presence of about 50,000 U.S. troops…” stemming from the agreement. The agreement is on the White House webpage.

JOSEPH GERSON
Author of The Sun Never Sets, a book about U.S. military bases overseas, Gerson said today: “With the media focused on Annapolis, little attention has been paid to an arrangement which will commit the next U.S. president to indefinitely maintaining a 50,000 strong U.S. foreign legion in Iraq. …

“Since shortly after the invasion, the U.S. has been building an infrastructure of permanent military bases — 14 in number — from which, over the long term, it can influence the political dynamics of Iraq and threaten military attacks against other oil-rich Middle East and Caspian Sea nations.”

Gerson is director of programs at the American Friends Service Committee in New England. His latest book is Empire and the Bomb: How the U.S. Uses Nuclear Weapons to Dominate the World.
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RAED JARRAR
Born and raised in Iraq, Jarrar is Iraq consultant for the American Friends Service Committee. He said today: “While the agreement gives lip service to protecting Iraqi sovereignty and democracy, it in fact undermines these very things. It is a major step in the attempt to make permanent U.S. domination of Iraq, thus undermining any real sovereignty. And it attempts to circumvent any democratic process whereby the Iraqi people or parliament have a say over agreements like this.

“A majority of members of parliament have gone on record opposing any kind of longterm military bases for the occupation forces — and have affirmed that this year’s renewal of the Multi-National Force mandate should not happen without attaching a number of conditions that include setting a timetable to withdraw all foreign troops and mercenaries.”

“A poll conducted by World Public Opinion found that around 8 out of 10 Iraqis say that the United States plans to have permanent military bases, but they want a complete withdrawal of all occupation forces. Around the same percentage of Americans oppose leaving permanent U.S. bases in Iraq.”
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SAMEER DOSSANI
Director of 50 Years Is Enough, a group that scrutinizes major international financial institutions, Dossani said today: “The agreement, which expressly mentions ‘U.S. investments’ and ‘transition to a market economy,’ can be seen as a shift from a primarily military occupation of Iraq towards expanding the already ongoing economic occupation of Iraq.

“While questions of the ownership of Iraq’s oil reserves, for example, should be answered by the Iraqi people through democratic processes, this agreement indicates that the U.S. would continue to have a strong hand in such decisions. If meaningful democracy is to be even an option in Iraq, questions over economic policy must be left up to Iraqis and not officials in the U.S., who would make such decisions with their own interests in mind, not those of ordinary Iraqis.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167.