A Good Post From Missing Links
"A day after the Sunday Nov 16 announcement of approval by the Maliki cabinet of a version of the bilateral security agreement, the only published version* I've seen of the text is, oddly enough, by the Iranian Fars News Agency (h/t to RoadstoIraq); and Fars leads its story this way:
The latest "revised" text of the security agreement which America wants to have signed, and which the Iraqi government affirmed today after broad American pressure and threats, confirms American admission that Iraq has the sovereign right to demand the withdrawal of the American forces from that country at any time.
This refers to Article 24 section 4:
The United States acknowledges the sovereign right of the government of Iraq to demand the withdrawal of the forces of the Unites States from Iraq at any time, and the government of Iraq acknowledges the sovereign right of the United States to withdraw its forces from Iraq at any time.
Simple as that.
So on the face of it, this seems to moot the whole issue of fixed-date withdrawal-schedule versus conditions-based withdrawal-schedule, because it ackowledges that withdrawal happens whenever either government demands it--"at any time".......
Likewise, on the political side, there is somewhat striking language in the text that also supports this idea. Here's Article 4 section 1:
The government of Iraq calls on the forces of the United States for temporary assistance in its efforts to preserve security and stability in Iraq, including cooperation in undertaking operations against AlQaeda and the other terrorist groups, [against] outlaw groups, and against the remnants of the previous regime.
There is no reference to the rule of law here, only these labels, reflecting in effect an amalgamation of the Bush-era rhetorical GWOT approach, with the Supreme Council Saddamist-under-every-bed fixation....... "