Iraq's top Shi'ite, Sunni Arab and Kurdish political leaders announced on Sunday they had reached consensus on some key measures seen as vital to fostering national reconciliation.There's always a catch...
The agreement by the five leaders was one of the most significant political developments in Iraq for months and was quickly welcomed by the United States, which hopes such moves will ease sectarian violence that has killed tens of thousands.
But skeptics will be watching for action amid growing frustration in Washington over the political paralysis that has gripped the government of Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.White House spokesperson (there are so many these days) Emily Lqouhgqpapmre--Oh, just read it:
Emily Lawrimore congratulated Iraq's leaders on the accord, hailing it in a statement as "an important symbol of their commitment to work together for the benefit of all Iraqis."Of course it is, dear. Maliki went on Iraqi TV with 4 other leaders. Here's what they agreed on:
There's something missing. Something major. I know, I know! The Oil Law:
- [E]as[ing] curbs on former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party joining the civil service and military.
- [G]overning provincial powers as well as setting up a mechanism to release some detainees held without charge, a key demand of Sunni Arabs since the majority being held are Sunnis.
[T]he leaders also endorsed a draft oil law, which has already been agreed by the cabinet but has not yet gone to parliament.
But a statement from Talabani's office said more discussions were needed on the draft oil law and constitutional reforms. Committees had also been formed to try to ensure a "balance" of Shi'ites, Sunni Arabs and Kurds in government.
Discussions, right. I give them another, what, 15 years?
The timing of all this is interesting since
Petraeus's the White House report is due soon. When? (echo effect) September the 11th...September the 11th...September the 11th.... Good news comes in news cycle bunches, doesn't it? For suresies!
Spokesperson Lawoiuqtwugre said that the U.S. continues to "support these brave leaders" in their efforts to "overcome the forces of terror", and:
"The President also welcomes the desire of the Iraqi leadership to develop a strategic partnership with the United States based on common interests."Nothing Bush likes more than strategery. And common interests, spelled O-I-L.
But Democrats are not convinced, and presidential hopeful Senator Hillary Clinton and fellow Senator Carl Levin have called for Maliki to be replaced.Maliki doesn't like that one bit. And he said so. He even mentioned the Dems by name, so you know he's serious.
"I ask them to come to their senses and to talk in a respectful way about Iraq."With all due respect, he's beginning to sound a little like Rodney Dangerfield. Since it seems like his days as Prime Minister are numbered, maybe he should think about a career as a stand-up comic. It's just a thought.