Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Majority of Iraqi parliament want Americans out

On Tuesday, without note in the U.S. media (my emphasis), more than half of the members of Iraq's parliament rejected the continuing occupation of their country. 144 lawmakers signed onto a legislative petition calling on the United States to set a timetable for withdrawal, according to Nassar Al-Rubaie, a spokesman for the Al Sadr movement, the nationalist Shia group that sponsored the petition.

It's a hugely significant development. Lawmakers demanding an end to the occupation now have the upper hand in the Iraqi legislature for the first time; previous attempts at a similar resolution fell just short of the 138 votes needed to pass (there are 275 members of the Iraqi parliament, but many have fled the country's civil conflict, and at times it's been difficult to arrive at a quorum).

Will America respect the Iraqi democracy they say they invaded to create?

1 comment:

janfromthebruce said...

Excerpt from Lawrence Martin in Globe and Mail article, "On war, a little diplomacy couldn't hurt
Peace talks with the Taliban? Not if you're waiting for a push from Canada."

Tuesday's senate decision was, in part, motivated by escalating discontent over civilian casualties at the hands of foreign forces. Yesterday, right on the heels of the vote, 21 more civilians were killed by U.S. air strikes.

As could be predicted, the Afghan diplomatic push got a ho-hum reception in Canada. Not one party leader in Question Period picked up on it. Although impetus for negotiations with the Taliban is gaining in many quarters - even among some U.S. Republicans - don't look to Ottawa. Canada used to lead the way on such peace initiatives; now we take a back seat.

The Liberals, once our foremost advocates of the diplomatic solution, have not been heard. The governing Conservatives, so enamoured of people in uniform, are not terribly interested. It is left to the NDP's Jack Layton to carry the banner of negotiation and diplomacy. And for his troubles, he is derided as "Taliban Jack."

So it will be once again, "Diplomatic Jack," left to do the heavy lifting.

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