CP TEXT: The United States federal government should hold a referendum of the Iraqi public and should withdrawal all of the United States Federal Government’s military and police presence from Iraq if and only if a majority of the Iraqi public votes in favor of withdrawal. 4
Referendum of SOFA has been postponed twice – it is now in effect Iraqi law 4
Decisions made without Iraq consensus undermine Iraq’s democracy 9
A2: KURDISH LT 10
The Kurds aren’t involved in current negotiations – all they care about is Kurdistan 11
No one accepts the Kurds demands 12
CP TEXT: The United States federal government should hold a referendum of the Iraqi public and should withdrawal all of the United States Federal Government’s military and police presence from Iraq if and only if a majority of the Iraqi public votes in favor of withdrawal.
Referendum of SOFA has been postponed twice – it is now in effect Iraqi law The Hindu 08/07/10 (“U.S. puts down roots in Iraq”, http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/article555828.ece,. MX)
The terms “enduring bases” and “permanent access” do more than evade the Congressional ban on permanent bases in foreign countries. The creation of such huge outposts in Iraq is entirely consistent with the Quadrennial Defense Review and the National Defense Strategy, both of which in effect put U.S. interests above the sovereignty or independence of other states. The possible counter that the Philippine Senate closed Clark Field and Subic Bay after nearly a century of U.S. tenure is negated by the subsequent Visiting Forces Agreement, under which Washington continues as before. In Iraq, the key document is the 2008 Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), signed between the U.S. and the then government in Baghdad. The Iraqi cabinet passed the agreement, but the ratifying referendum was postponed twice. It was then planned for March 2010 but nothing happened. So SOFA is de facto Iraqi law, despite being signed by a puppet regime in a country occupied and controlled by the U.S. According to one critic, instead of building the bases to wage war, the U.S. has waged war to build the bases. Noam Chomsky, for his part, calls the bases an empire, meaning they are not for U.S. security but for global dominance. In this, the Obama administration is indistinguishable from its infamous predecessor.
Alissa J. Rubin 06/09/09 (American journalist who began covering the Middle East for The New York Times, “Iraq Moves Ahead With Vote on U.S. Security Pact” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/10/world/middleeast/10iraq.html?_r=1&ref=world,. MX)
American diplomats are quietly lobbying the government not to hold the referendum, but so far Iraqi politicians have decided to go ahead with it to avoid appearing to be in the pocket of the Americans in an election year. On Tuesday, the cabinet approved the appropriation of $99 million for the referendum. Parliament still has to sign off on the spending and pass a law detailing how the referendum would be conducted, but it is expected to do so.There is still some possibility that the referendum could be pushed back, especially if, as often happens, the Iraqi Parliament gets bogged down in crafting the referendum legislation. Perhaps in deference to American concerns, the cabinet issued a statement on Tuesday saying that it wished to delay the vote for six months so that it could be held at the same time as the national elections in January “in order to save money and time.” But senior lawmakers appeared to think that a change in the date was unlikely. Under current law, the referendum would be held on July 30. In order to change the date, the cabinet would have to submit a new draft law on the timing of the vote to Parliament, which would then have to move it through the lengthy parliamentary process for considering legislation. “The date was an essential part of the security agreement,” said Ali Adeeb, a member of the Dawa Party, led by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. The Parliament speaker, Ayad al-Sammaraie, a Sunni lawmaker from the Iraqi Islamic Party, held the same view. “No one can say they don’t want a referendum, it is a law,” Mr. Sammaraie said in a recent interview. The referendum was the little remarked upon, but potent poison pill approved at the same time as the security agreement as a way to appease political factions that did not want to be tarred with the accusation that they had voted for a measure that allowed American soldiers to stay on Iraqi soil until 2012.
Spencer Ackerman 6/10/09 (American national security reporter and blogger, he began his career at The New Republic and currently writes for Wired, Washington Post, “Chris Hill vs. the Iraqi Status of Forces Agreement Referendum” http://washingtonindependent.com/46318/chris-hill-vs-the-iraqi-status-of-forces-agreement-referendum,. MX)
Alissa J. Rubin has a great story in The New York Times today about a crucial issue in Iraq (which some wags are starting to call the “Forgotten War”): an upcoming referendum that, if passed, would compel the United States to withdraw its troops from Iraq within a year, well ahead of the end-of-2011 timetable specified in the Status of Forces Agreement. There’s been a cumbersome and confusing series of bureaucratic, political and legislative hangups over the referendum,as Rubin explains, casting doubt on whether it would be held at all. And the United States really wants the referendum to be scrapped, delayed or defeated: one of the arguments made in court last month by Gen. Raymond Odierno, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, to keep the torture photos out of the public view was that their release could compel Iraqis to pass the referendum and kick the United States out ahead of 2011. But Rubin reports that anti-American sentiment ahead of this year’s national elections is compelling parliament to move ahead with the referendum, scheduled for July 30, and yesterday the cabinet authorized $9 million for it. The cabinet suggested that the referendum could be delayed until January, butthe parliament speaker, Ayad al-Summarie, an opponent of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, appears to be leaning in the direction of holding it by July 30. Welcome to Christopher Hill’s first massive challenge as Iraq ambassador. He can continue to press behind the scenes for the Maliki government and the parliament to block or delay the referendum, contending that a premature U.S. departure is a gamble that Iraq can’t afford. But if he does that, the inevitable charges about American intentions for permanent occupation will intensify in an election year, risking not only the passage of the referendum but a more anti-American parliament as well. If he doesn’t press Maliki and the parliament, the referendum could pass. Would that be the end of the world? No, but it could make the actual withdrawal more chaotic. What’s striking is that for months, administration officials I’ve spoken with about Iraq have been convinced the referendum wasn’t going to happen.
Heath Druzin 06/15/09 (Graduate of the University of California has been covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2008 for Stars and Stripes, “Referendum on SOFA could boot U.S. from Iraq in 2010”, http://www.stripes.com/news/referendum-on-sofa-could-boot-u-s-from-iraq-in-2010-1.92481,. MX)
As the U.S. military continues its slow withdrawal from Iraq, the Iraqi people face a decision that might force those efforts into overdrive. A referendum scheduled for July 30 would give Iraqis the chance to vote for or against the Iraqi-U.S. security agreement that calls for all American troops to leave Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011. If the referendum goes ahead as scheduled and Iraqi voters reject the agreement — a likely outcome, observers say — the United States would be obliged to pull out troops one year after the vote, or nearly 1½ years before the deadline set by the pact. Last week, the Iraqi Cabinet approved a $99 million appropriation to stage the vote. But the cabinet also issued a statement suggesting the vote be delayed six months, in part to coincide with Iraq’s January national elections. Any delay in the vote would have to be approved by parliament. A rejection of the security pact would mean the United States would have to shift its focus primarily to leaving at a tenuous moment in Iraq’s history, said Michael O’Hanlon, a national security expert and author of the Brookings Institution’s Iraq Index.
Decisions made without Iraq consensus undermine Iraq’s democracy
Larry Diamond 2004 (coeditor of the Journal of Democracy, codirector of the International Forum for Democratic Studies, and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, “LESSONS FROM IRAQ” http://www.journalofdemocracy.org/articles/gratis/Diamond-16-1.pdf,. MX)
It is hard to imagine a bolder, more assertive, and self-confident act than a nation, or a set of nations, or “the international community” intervening to seize effectively the sovereignty of another nation. There is nothing the least bit humble about it. But ultimately the intervention cannot succeed—and the institutions it establishes cannot be viable— unless there is some sense of participation and ownership on the part of the people in the state being reconstructed. This is why holding local elections as early as possible is so important. It is why it is so vital to engage local partners, as extensively as possible, in postconflict relief and economic reconstruction. And it is why the process of constitutionmaking must be democratic and broadly participatory, not merely through the election of a constituent assembly or a constitutional referendum (or ideally, both), but through the involvement of the widest possible range of stakeholders in the substantive discussions and procedural planning, and through the organization of an extensive national dialogue on constitutional issues and principles. As Jamal Benomar observes, “Constitutions produced without transparency and adequate public participation will lack legitimacy.”17 And illegitimate constitutions augur poorly for future stability. Ultimately, the CPA did concede to the demand for an elected Iraqi constituent assembly, whose draft constitution is to be approved in a national referendum. The interim constitution also requires broad public consultation and debate in the making of the permanent constitution. But the interim constitution, while impressively liberal in many respects, was itself produced under great pressure of time through a process that was not transparent. As a result, many Iraqis were deeply aggrieved that major constitutional principles such as federalism, extensive minority vetoes, and a very limited role for religion in public life were being foisted upon them without debate. Through an extensive and expensive public-relations campaign, the CPA attempted to explain and “sell” the interim constitution to the Iraqi people after it was signed
on 8 March 2004. But there was never a true dialogue, and the numerous objections that were raised received no response or consideration. As a result, the status of the interim constitution, so crucial to defining the rules of the political game during what could be a two-year transitional period, and to protecting the rights of long-suffering and deeply anxious minorities, is now uncertain. The bargains struck by the Governing Council in the interim constitution do not yet have broad public understanding and support, and the newly elected Transitional National Assembly could attempt to declare some of its provisions null and void, ignoring the formidable requirements for amendment of the document. In short, when decisions are made by occupation powers and by their chosen interlocutors, without adequate national consultation and consensus, problems are kicked down the road and new ones are created that could undermine the prospects for democracy and tolerance.
A2: KURDISH LT
The Kurds aren’t involved in current negotiations – all they care about is Kurdistan
Marina Ottaway, Danial Kaysi 07/14/10 ( analyst for the Carnegie Endowment Fund for International Relations on issues of political transformation in the Middle East and of Gulf security “The Chess Game Continues”, http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=41210,. MX)
Both interpretations of these meetings are plausible. For example, it is not clear the talks between Iraqiya and State of Law have produced any concrete results—when one side, most often the State of Law, claims progress is being made, the other promptly denies it. And the INA, despite a few expressed concerns, does not appear worried enough by the dialogue between Maliki and Allawi to support Maliki for the prime minister’s position—and INA is also holding talks with Iraqiya. All parties are thus still playing a multi-sided game. The Kurdish parties, which will have to be brought into the government no matter who forms it, are not directly involved in the current maneuvers. Their concern is to retain control of the presidency and to safeguard the autonomous status of Kurdistan, and they will thus support any government that accepts these demands
No one accepts the Kurds demands
Kurdish Globe08/07/10 (“Kurdistan Alliance must insist on its demands for government formation”, http://www.kurdishglobe.net/displayArticle.jsp?id=442659237E62FF904678DFE205298E99,. MX)
Kurdistan Alliance list, which is taking part in negotiations to form the next government, made their stance clear.They are in favor of an inclusive Iraqi government that believes in the Constitution and works for its implementation--a government that is democratic and established on the basis of federalism and power-sharing arrangements, and is inclusive of the various Iraqi constituencies at the decision-making level. Among the key issues for the Kurdistan Alliance are commitments to the Constitution, including the implementation of Article 140, and passing oil and revenue-sharing laws. It is highly difficult to expect Shiites and Sunni blocs to accept the demands of the Kurds in order for them to participate in the next government. Without Kurdish participation in the next government, it will not only sideline the Kurds but also force the Kurds to rethink their unity with Iraq. The Kurdish position in the Iraqi central government cannot solely be based on the seats that they had in the Iraqi Parliament, but must be judged as the Kurds make one of the two main national groups of the country.
NAMO ABDULLA08/05/10 (Kurdish freelance journalist based in Irbil “Allawi, Kurds and Shiites May Form Govt without Maliki”, Allawi, http://rudaw.net/english/news/iraq/3082.html,. MX)
Despite statements that Iraqiya and Kurds are likely to form a government, it still remains unclear how possible it is for Kurds and Iraqiya to agree on certain Kurdish demands with which most of the Sunnis joining Allawi’ coalition bitterly disagree. One of the demands is the implementation of Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution which calls for a referendum to determine the fate of the disputed regions like the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. The Sunnis fear that the implementation of the article could put Kirkuk under the control of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
On Wednesday, while addressing Kurdistan Women’s Union, President of Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani, reiterated that Kirkuk had been a key topic in his discussions with Iraqi parties.
“Kurds should be one of the main components of the new Iraqi government. We have reached a good understanding with the Kurds” said Mullah, of Iraqiya. “We will declare our candidate for the position of prime minister soon. If the State of Law does not accept him, we will form a government with Iraqiya” said Muhammad Mashkuri, senior member of the Shiite Iraqi National Alliance.