Iraqi MPs call for US withdrawal

Iraqi MPs are gathering votes to force their government to set a deadline for US forces to withdraw from the country and think they have a majority, a leading Shiite politician announced May 11. Baha al-Aaraji, a supporter of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, told AFP that 144 members of the 275-seat national assembly have signed a draft law that would set a departure timetable for US troops. However, other legislators said the bill would probably become a non-binding petition, and that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki would martial enough support to renew the US mandate next month. (iAfrica, May 12)

UK Treasurer Gordon Brown, fingered by the outgoing Tony Blair as Labor’s candidate for prime minister, continued to act as if there is broad-based support for the occupation in Iraq. While conceding “I accept that mistakes have been made,” Brown said: “We will keep our obligations to the Iraqi people.” (Daily Mail, May 12)

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