Seems part of Bush's legacy hit the skids today when it was announced that talks with the government of Iraq, regarding a long-term agreement, fell apart. From MSNBC:
U.S. and Iraqi negotiators have abandoned efforts to conclude a comprehensive agreement governing the long-term status of U.S troops in Iraq before the end of the Bush presidency, according to senior U.S. officials, effectively leaving talks over an extended U.S. military presence there to the next administration.
In place of the formal status-of-forces agreement negotiators had hoped to complete by July 31, the two governments are now working on a "bridge" document, more limited in both time and scope, that would allow basic U.S. military operations to continue beyond the expiration of a U.N. mandate at the end of the year.
This breakdown warms the cockles of my little black heart don't cha know? It means that no matter how hard Bush's negotiators pushed, Iraq refused to cow to their demands. What IS important is that Iraq is demanding a timeline, as I stated in a post last week. The MSNBC writeup has the following about Iraq's demands for a US withdrawal schedule:
Although President Bush has repeatedly rejected calls for a troop withdrawal timeline, "we are talking about dates," acknowledged one U.S. official close to the negotiations. Iraqi political leaders "are all telling us the same thing. They need something like this in there. . . . Iraqis want to know that foreign troops are not going to be here forever."
New document to contain timeline
Unlike the status-of-forces agreements between the United States and countries such as South Korea and Japan, where large numbers of U.S. troops have been based for decades, the document now under discussion with Iraq is likely to cover only 2009. Negotiators expect it to include a "time horizon," with specific goals for U.S. troop withdrawal from Baghdad and other cities and installations such as the former Saddam Hussein palace that now houses the U.S. Embassy.
So, instead of admitting that Iraq wants a timetable for withdrawal of US forces..its being called..a..cough..time horizon.
Jesus H. Christ, won't anyone admit to anything in BushCo?