So much for sovereignty

One of the fallback positions for the pro Iraq war camp has often been to emphasize that Iraq has had “free” elections and now has a constitution. Unfortunately, every so often, we are provided with a reminder of how hollow this tenuous claim really is.

Following the leak of a memo last November criticizing his leadership, Malaki was forced to ask George Bush if his administration had plans to replace him. Hardly the behaviour one would expect from the leader of a sovereign country. Well, it seems Malaki is still feeling a tad insecure. As if the proposed Iraqi oil laws, drawn up in Washingotn, approved by US oil giants and ratified by the World Bank weren’t bad enough:

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki fears the Americans will withdraw support for his government — effectively ousting him — if parliament does not pass a draft oil law by the end of June, close associates of the Iraqi leader told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

That one sentence alone should dissipate any illusion as to who is running Iraq.

And it gets worse.

Beyond that, the al-Maliki associates told AP, American officials have informed the prime minister they want an Iraqi government in place by year’s end that would be acceptable to Iraq’s Sunni Arab neighbors, particularly Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt.

So not only is Malaki feeling pressured to pass a law that would effectively give away Iraq’s oil to foreign interests, but he has to acquiesce to demands that satisfy the requirements of the governments of Iraq’s neighbours. One could only imagine what the response in the US would be if Washington were told that the government needed to be molded to suit the bromide laid out by Canada and Mexico.