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Breaking: Iraqis Reject Occupation

Remember that long-term troop presence that President Bush is negotiating with Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki? It turns out to not be, you know, very popular! The Los Angeles Times:

Thousands of supporters of Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr protested Friday against any security agreement between the U.S. government and Iraq that would keep American forces in the country for years.

Protests were held in several cities, as Sadr’s followers angrily voiced their opposition to negotiations that call for U.S. troops or military bases to remain in Iraq.

Waving Iraqi flags, some protesters in Sadr City shouted: “No, no, no to the occupation!” A small group burned an effigy of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki.

Ah, but it’s not just Sadr. Even members of Maliki’s own party are saying that what he’s doing will ensure Iraq endures a fate worse than occupation.

Hassan Suneid, a Dawa lawmaker, considered close to the prime minister, lashed out at American requests to conduct military operations without Iraqi approval.

“They are calling for unlimited jurisdiction in countering terror with mere American will. They want the air and land to be opened without any restrictions. They want immunity for those working with the army,” Suneid said. “This is not only an attempt to control, but rather an agreement with such characteristics worse than the occupation.”

Abdelaziz Hakim, the head of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, also confirmed the Shiite elite’s unhappiness with American demands.

“There is a national consensus on rejecting many issues mentioned by the American side . . . because it’s compromising the Iraqi national sovereignty,” the Shiite leader said in a statement on his party’s website.

That’s not all! Maliki’s predecessor, the low-profile Ibrahim Jaafari, has come out against the accord.

Former Iraqi prime minister Ibrahim Al-Jafari condemned on Saturday the Iraqi-U.S. Strategic Partnership as “humiliating” and urged the national political forces to oppose the extension of the deal being pushed by the incumbent government.

“The deal is humiliating for the Iraqi people,” said Jafari, who is also chairman of the newly-formed National Reform Trend, in statements to the press here.

So let’s review. Against the deal are the Iraqi people and the American people. For the deal are George W. Bush, Nouri al-Maliki, John McCain and Osama bin Laden. Whatever should we do?

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