I hope you elect to read the whole article at the above link, but here's an excerpt of Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez's interview with Patrick Cockburn, Mid-East Correspondant for The London Indenpendant. They discuss the extortive efforts of the Bush Administration to force an Iraqi security agreement on their terms in exchange for 50 billion in Iraqi national funds being held in the federal reserve.
"AMY GOODMAN: Patrick Cockburn, if this is pushed through before this president leaves office, how does it bind a future president? And what is your assessment of what these presidential candidates in the United States are suggesting for the end of war in Iraq?
I think that the candidates—I mean, what strikes me, being in Washington, is the degree to which America is absorbed in the presidential election, and Iraq has been far too much on the margins of the news, as if nothing new was developing there or the situation might be bad but it’s not getting much worse, while these enormously important developments are taking place, which are laying the basis for future violence, for future wars, not exactly going through on the nod, but they’re being smuggled through. Their significance is being downplayed by the US ambassador in Baghdad, by the administration here in Washington. And this is taking place while the whole focus is on the presidential election here."
PATRICK COCKBURN: Well, you know, they’re describing it as a security agreement and saying, well, we have such agreements with eighty countries. But, I mean, this is frankly baloney. I mean, the other countries do not have an American army present which is under continual armed attack. It’s a very different type of agreement. And of course the reason they’re saying this is that they don’t want to submit it to Congress, and they also don’t want to submit it to a referendum in Iraq. In both cases, it might go down.
Also, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki has been quoted saying in regards to the negotiations, “We have reached an impasse, because when we opened these negotiations we did not realize that the US demands would so deeply affect Iraqi sovereignty, and this is something we can never accept.”
another Democracy Now! article here: http://www.democracynow.org/2008/6/13/headlines#7