By Stephen Lendman
Global Research, July 9, 2008
"Washington is currently negotiating two accords with the al-Maliki government to take effect after expiration of the UN's military mandate on December 31. One agreement is for a long-term "strategic framework" to establish "cooperation in the political, economic, cultural and security fields." Or according to the administration - to defend Iraq's "sovereignty and integrity of its territories, waters, and airspace."
The other is a so-called "status of forces agreement" (SOFA) to provide legitimacy for the US occupation beginning January 1, 2009.......
Indefinite occupation is planned and to be enforced by dozens of permanent military bases, including at least five mega-ones. On June 5, Patrick Cockburn reported in the London Independent that "Bush wants 50 military bases, control of Iraqi airspace and legal immunity for all American soldiers and contractors." Regardless of the November election, US personnel are currently immune under Paul Bremer's CPA Order 17, and a secret deal is being negotiated to make US occupation indefinite on Washington's terms.
Besides permanent bases and immunity from Iraqi law (largely written by Washington), the deal gives US military forces a free hand. It lets them carry out operations inside Iraq, presumably anywhere in the region as well, and grants the right to arrest Iraqis. Cockburn states: this "will destabilise Iraq's position in the Middle East and lay the basis for unending conflict in their country." Deal or no deal, that's assured as long as Iraq is occupied against the will of its people......."