The Iraqi democracy the U.S. has built could take a leading role in swinging political support away from the Bush administration’s war policy.
On Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on CNN that he was fed up with the Iraqi government and called it a “huge disappointment,” citing the parliament’s failure to pass an oil revenue bill, hold local elections or meet other benchmarks set by the U.S.
Asked about a possible vote on a bill asking U.S. forces to leave, McConnell said: “I want to assure you, if they vote to ask us to leave, we’ll be glad to comply with their request.”
Sen. Trent Lott, the Republican whip from Mississippi, said that Iraq should heed McConnell’s words. “I think he was telling Iraqis, ‘Be careful what you wish for,'” Lott said Tuesday.
The bill proposed in the Iraqi parliament has the support of 144 of 275 members, according to The Associated Press, and is backed by a bloc of 30 lawmakers allied with Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, as well as other Sunni and Kurdish politicians.
Sadr’s militia is a target of the “surge” strategy now being pursued by U.S. forces. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is not a supporter of the bill, but he needs parliament’s support to stay in office.
That would be interesting.