Saturday, November 22, 2008

Does US Congress Have Less Clout Than Iraqi Parliament?

Believe it or not, this seems to be the case. Incredibly, while the Iraqi parliament comes to blows over the agreement that would allow the US to stay in their country for another 3 years, the lil' ol' US Congress can't even read that Agreement, let alone discuss it.

The administration has asserted that the agreement between the U.S. and Iraq is merely a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and therefore does not require congressional approval. Yet the agreement goes far beyond the traditional limits of a SOFA, which typically set the terms for bringing materials and equipment into a nation and outline the legal procedures that will apply to members of the military who are accused of crimes.

Believe it or not, the current agreement contains terms that will actually give Iraq a measure of control over U.S. forces. No foreign nation or international entity has ever been given the authority to direct U.S. forces without prior congressional approval - either through a majority vote of both chambers or a two-thirds vote in the Senate in the case of treaties.

If this agreement goes into effect without congressional approval, it will establish a precedent under which future presidents can exercise broad unilateral control over the U.S. military - and even give foreign nations control over our troops.

If this sticks in your craw, you can send a message to that effect to Congress, and hope someone listens...
And they're getting ready to adjourn, the best you could hope for is Nancy Pelosi pops this question - highly unlikely - and the end (of the time to approve the agreement) is near...

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