by Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani
"CAIRO - Washington and Baghdad signed a security agreement earlier this month allowing the U.S. to maintain a military presence in Iraq for another three years. But while Baghdad officials hailed the pact as the "beginning of the end" of the U.S.-led occupation, Egyptian commentators – like much of the Iraqi opposition – say the agreement simply reflects U.S. strategic interests.
"The pact reflects the balance of power and is therefore entirely in the interest of the U.S.," Ahmed Thabet, political science professor at Cairo University, told IPS. "It provides formal cover for the continuation of the U.S. occupation of Iraq and leaves all decision-making – and the very fate of the country – in American hands."......"