Iraq: referendum on SOFA postponed

The deadline for an Iraqi referendum on the security agreement with the US passed July 30 with a few deadly bombings but no vote. The government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has proposed scheduling the referendum for Jan. 15, 2010, to coincide with parliamentary elections. (Seattle Times, July 31)

According to one colonel’s internal memo, penned in July and obtained by the New York Times, the US should withdraw combat forces from Iraq by August 2010. “As the old saying goes, ‘Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days,'” wrote Col. Timothy R. Reese, an adviser to Iraqi forces in Baghdad. “Since the signing of the 2009 Security Agreement, we are guests in Iraq, and after six years in Iraq, we now smell bad to the Iraqi nose.” (Wired, July 30)

Under the security pact, known as the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), signed in November by the Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and the then US ambassador Ryan Crocker, US troops were to withdraw from Iraq’s urban areas by the end of June 2009 and from the country altogether by the end of 2011. The US still has over 130,000 troops in Iraq, and estimated 132,000 military contractors, including around 36,000 American citizens. (Press TV, July 16)

See our last post on Iraq.

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  1. ratification expiration
    The Iraq SOFA ratification was temporary and conditional. It contained a deadline for the ratification process to be completed by holding a referendum no later than July 30, 2009. The deadline passed and the referendum wasn’t held or the law amended to provide more time. The ratification has expired and the SOFA is null and void. The US is in Iraq without legal authorization and should be confined to base and withdrawn asap.

    1. SOFA…
      Are you feeling okay buddy? This was an agreement by the US and Iraq, it’s not null and void, “The US is in Iraq without legal authorization and should be confined to base and withdrawn asap.” Come on get real dude….if they really wanted us out don’t you think we would be gone. We can’t just turn our backs on a country that still WANTS our help…otherwise all the lives lost would have been for nothing.