The planned withdrawal of American forces from Iraq faces its final hurdle today, when parliament meets to vote on the pact.
The deal would see US troops pull out by 2011, seen by the government in Baghdad as a major victory. But opioion is divided on the streets, as these comments show :
“The security deal between Iraq and the United States is biased in favour of America, and does nothing for Iraq. Basically, Iraq is the weaker partner in this deal.”
“I think the security agreement is good for the Iraqi people because the army needs more training and support. The Americans will provide that before they leave, so the pact will be good for Iraq.”
Large Shi’ite and Kurdish parties which support the government may see the deal passed. But followers of radical Shi’ite cleric Moqtadr al-Sadr reject any pact with what they see as occupiers. The main Sunni bloc also has reservations.
If it overcomes the opposition, the deal would greatly strengthen prime minister Nouri al-Maliki. He will continue to benefit from American military backing, while scoring points for being the one who ushered them out.