but the best among bad options
The following are excerpts from the contribution of the Iraqi CP leader, Hamid Majeed Mousa, in the Iraqi Parliament session held on 22 November 2008 to discuss the Iraqi-US Agreement:
"My remarks focus on the Agreement itself, though this does not mean it is not linked to other Iraqi issues and concerns."
"Indeed, when one speaks of an agreement that concerns the withdrawal of foreign troops and foreign presence, one cannot be free of the bitterness into which we have been put. We were against the war and invasion, and we are striving to eliminate the occupation and its consequences. But at this moment, we must not forget the main cause that led the country to where we are; that is the former regime that had generated a lot of reasons for wars, invasion, occupation and more. Now, how to get out of this ordeal? How do we put the occupation in the place where it can be removed and its presence be eliminated? This is the core issue on which we decide our position.. Yes, there are no few remarks about the Agreement, and about its shortcomings and loopholes. We pinpointed the latter in adequate detail in the memorandum that we presented to the Council of Ministers and also in the discussions that took place with the Prime Minister. These shortcomings and loopholes have yet to be addressed, such as the inspections and export in Article 15, the jurisdiction and immunity in Article 12, and financial issues in Article 26."
"Here, when I am talking about the remarks and loopholes, I am not seeking something impossible, irregular or improper. (...) I believe that it is not right to think that Obama will be committed if the UN mandate is extended, and that he will not be committed if we sign the agreement. Obama is Obama whether there is an agreement or whether the UN mandate is extended. Therefore, we must interpret these factors and not make them essential. But there is a need to strengthen the U.S. commitment to the protection of Iraqi funds, both inside the U.S. and globally, through being committed to a new resolution from the UN Security Council under Chapter VII to protect these funds. This is possible and necessary. The Agreement refers to the possibility of amendment and scrutiny even after it is signed."
"It is my opinion, therefore, that the Agreement is not the best solution and aspiration, but the best among bad options. We are thus to choose the lesser of two evils, as long as this agreement ensures the withdrawal and evacuation in a specified and regulated period of time, and especially that it will be a United Nations document. Extending the UN mandate [for the presence of foreign forces in Iraq] means, in my opinion, remaining in square one; keeping everything as it is. The fact that this agreement contains a specific and final date for foreign presence, the need for phasing it out in a gradual and escalating manner, the lifting of immunity from foreign security firms, the exit of Iraq from UN Chapter VII, and not to attack neighbouring countries, implies steps towards the restoration of sovereignty. However, extending the UN mandate [which ends on 31 December 2008] means the continued presence of occupation with all its weight."
"We are therefore in front of a course that entails the restoration of sovereignty and independence in accordance with a specific timetable. This is what we should pay attention to and be concerned about despite the existence of the other shortcomings and loopholes which, I stress, can be amended in subsequent supplements."
"The proper implementation of the Agreement, and seriousness in implementation, are connected to our national unity and to creating a positive political atmosphere of reconciliation, consensus, deepening of democracy, and developing our national capabilities, including the armed forces, improving the government performance at the level of services and their provision, the proper management of the country's affairs away from quotas and violence and by the adoption of citizenship and elevating the status of Iraq .. Thus, in this way, we can implement the Agreement so as to achieve our goal of the evacuation and withdrawal of foreign forces and the restoration of sovereignty and independence."
Source: Media Communication Centre - Iraqi Communist Party