- Egypt rights center raided, 2 Mubaraks acquitted
- New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage constitutional
- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
Iraqi Cabinet approves 2011 deal
Question of the Day
From combined dispatches
Prospects of U.S. forces legally remaining in Iraq for three more years improved Sunday when the Iraqi Cabinet passed an agreement setting a 2011 deadline for an American pullout.
Iraq’s fractious parliament must still approve the deal, and it is expected to vote by the end of the month.
Iraq’s Cabinet overwhelmingly approved the pact after 11 months of negotiations to allow American forces to remain beyond the end of this year.
“It’s the best possible, available option,” said government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh.
Mr. al-Dabbagh described the pact - intended to supplant the U.N. mandate expiring Dec. 31 - as an “agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. troops,” and Washington welcomed the Cabinet’s approval.
“While the process is not yet complete, we remain hopeful and confident we’ll soon have an agreement that serves both the people of Iraq and the United States well and sends a signal to the region and the world that both our governments are committed to a stable, secure and democratic Iraq,” said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council.
There is a good chance that parliament will pass the agreement with a large majority, since the parties that make up Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s coalition government dominate the legislature.
Mr. al-Dabbagh said Iraq’s government has received U.S. assurances that President-elect Barack Obama would honor the agreement and pointed out that each side has the right to repeal it after giving one year’s notice.
Mr. Obama, who takes office in January, has said he would pull U.S. combat troops out of Iraq within 16 months of moving into the White House - or May 2010.
Iraq’s neighbors and U.S. adversaries, Iran and Syria, oppose the pact, arguing that the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces offered the best option for Iraq.
The Iraqi government sought to allay their fears, amending the document to prohibit the Americans from using Iraqi territory to attack neighboring nations.
The Cabinet’s decision was made amid violence, despite a dramatic improvement in security over the past year. Fresh attacks underlined doubts about whether Iraq’s nascent security forces can stand without U.S. military support and training.
Hours after the Cabinet vote, seven people died and seven were wounded in a suicide car bombing at a police checkpoint in Diyala, a turbulent province northeast of Baghdad, according to police Col. Ahmed Khalifa, chief of the Jalula police station.
By Michael P. Orsi
Edward Snowden should declare his patriotism in court
- Citing 'unfair system,' Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack offenders
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- KELLNER: It's not a Merry Christmas for the persecuted church
- PRUDEN: 'Tis the season for apologies
- Special ops vets slam military benefit cuts
- ORSI: No greater act of loyalty to the Constitution
- TRIPLETT: Shale revolution reality checks
- Obama sends 45 service members to South Sudan
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Southern Fried Politics from the Lens of a Persian-American Millennial
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Paul Rondeau exposes the propaganda, media tricks, and government policies that undermine our families, faith, freedom…and even life itself
Implement these actionable tips, how-to’s and best practices in 10 minutes or less to leverage online communications and technology for brand, business and career development.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow