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Bush, Maliki Sign Security Pact in Baghdad
American Forces Press Service ^ | Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden, USA

Posted on 12/15/2008 3:32:56 PM PST by SandRat

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2008 – With fewer than 40 days left in office, President George W. Bush signed a security pact in Baghdad yesterday, putting an end in sight for the Iraq war after nearly six years of fighting.

“The war is not over yet,” Bush said, “[but] it is decisively on its way to being won.”

During a surprise farewell visit to Baghdad yesterday, Bush met with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for a signing ceremony, affirming the two landmark agreements to withdraw U.S. troops and formalizing a long-term relationship between the two countries.

“[The agreements] cement a strategic partnership between our two countries, and they pave the way for American forces to return home as the war in Iraq approaches a successful end,” Bush said. “They represent a shared vision on the way forward in Iraq.”

Two years ago, such an agreement was unimaginable, Bush said. Violence and attacks in Iraq were rising, and sectarian lines were dividing much of the Iraqi people. Terrorism and fighting in many regions proved difficult to overcome. The Iraqi people have suffered greatly, he added.

“[The Iraqi people] suffered car bombings and suicide attacks and [improvised explosive devices], and desperate efforts by terrorists to destroy a young democracy,” he said. “Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have stepped forward to defend this democracy, and many have paid a dear price.”

Bush said the American people sacrificed a great deal for Iraq to reach this point too, as fighting there has required large amounts of time, resources and American lives. More than 4,000 U.S. servicemembers have been killed in Iraq since March 2003. More than 300 coalition troops also have been killed.

The agreements honor all those who have sacrificed by building a freer, safer and more hopeful world, Bush said.

“In terms of the agreements, this is a major achievement,” Bush told reporters. “Is it the end? Absolutely not. There is more work to be done.”

The strategic framework agreement provides the underpinning for a U.S.-Iraq trade and investment relationship as well as diplomatic, cultural and security cooperation. It sets the foundation for a long-term bilateral relationship between the two countries.

The status-of-forces agreement outlines the framework for American forces withdrawal while providing authorization and protections for U.S. troops to continue support operations after the United Nations mandate expires Dec. 31.

Although the pace of meeting those agreements depends on the Iraqi government and military, Bush said, the SOFA acknowledges that U.S. combat forces in Iraq are required to withdraw from Iraqi cities, villages and localities no later than June 30, and it calls for a complete withdrawal of forces by Dec. 31, 2011.

Both agreements were passed by Iraq’s parliamentary councils Nov. 27 and by the presidency council Dec. 4. Both take effect Jan. 1.

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Bush Visits Baghdad, Hails Passage of Agreements, Bids Farewell to Troops

TOPICS: Government; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bush; frwn; iraq; maliki; pact; progress; rebuildingiraq; security; sign; surprisevisit

1 posted on 12/15/2008 3:32:57 PM PST by SandRat
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To: 91B; HiJinx; MJY1288; xzins; Calpernia; clintonh8r; TEXOKIE; windchime; freekitty; A Navy Vet; ...
If you would like to be added to / removed from FRWN,
please FReepmail Sandrat.


2 posted on 12/15/2008 3:33:44 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: SandRat
Bush should have whopped him upside the head with a Wheeler Boot (nothing but the best for old maliki) after the signing... just to show the same respect to maliki that maliki’s own countryman had shown to Bush.


3 posted on 12/15/2008 3:57:05 PM PST by LibLieSlayer (MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! so sue me!)
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To: SandRat

The Status of Forces and Strategic Framework agreements portend victory. Iraq and U.S. as two sovereign, coequal countries agreed on ways forward implementing U.N. principles and purposes. Iraqi pragmatic evaluations of conditions lead talks for disengagement: not U.S. election cycle driven timelines.

General Petraeus testified the surge would execute proven counterinsurgency tactics “to improve the security for the people of Iraq in order to give Iraqi leaders the time and space they need to come to grips with tough political issues”. Throughout 2008 Iraqi people and leaders experienced deliverance from lives dominated by assassins stalking them and their families. They witnessed national institution ascendance in providing personal and material security.

Persistence for Iraq representative government thwarted al Qaeda determination that Babylon becomes the Caliphate rallying point. In Iraq, U.S. earned credibility as a counter force to all horrid factions applying murderous coercion when striving to dominate African, Oriental, and Asian politics.

Invigorating new allies’ confrontational initiatives brings Global War on Terror victory by frustrating plans, breaking alliances, and fracturing jihadist organizations into ever less effective units. Without cities, countries or armies bin Laden, successor sociopath prophets, and tyrants they empower only dream of conquest as they suffer unnaturally shortened lives as pariahs.

Yet administration leaders Obama, Biden and Clinton voted for removing most troops by April 2008, and preventing this victory. Their behavior portends traditional ally abandonment. Their actions portend escaping commitment, and reviving self-congratulatory righteousness within elegant foreign policies redefining national interest, proportional response, multi-lateralism, re-deployment and exit strategy.

4 posted on 12/15/2008 4:00:04 PM PST by Retain Mike
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To: SandRat
They will never honor anything,trying to civilize that place is like training a box of vipers.
5 posted on 12/15/2008 4:09:59 PM PST by Cheetahcat (Osamabama the Wright kind of Racist!)
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