The once-strong political relationship between Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President Bush, shown here in 2007, is withering away as the U.S. remains recalcitrant over the issue of allowing its citizens to be tried in Iraqi courts.
We tearfully regret to inform you that an agreement that would legally extend the U.S. imperial occupation of Iraq is at risk of falling apart, as Iraqi officials continue to make the audacious demand that U.S. soldiers and mercenaries be subject to Iraqi law for crimes committed outside the scope of military operations.
The New York Times:
An agreement to extend the American military mandate in Iraq beyond this year — near completion only a month ago — has stalled over objections by Iraqi leaders and could be in danger of falling apart, according to Iraqi and Bush administration officials.
The disagreements threaten a capstone of President Bush’s Iraq policy during his remaining months in office. Mr. Bush has already offered significant concessions to the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki in the negotiations, including his willingness to accept a specific date for withdrawing American forces: the end of 2011.
The major remaining point of contention involves immunity, with the United States maintaining that American troops and military contractors should have the same protections they have in other countries where they are based and Iraq insisting that they be subject to the country’s criminal justice system for any crime committed outside of a military operation, the officials said.