Ahmed Rasheed reporting from Baghdad for Reuters
* * * * *
Iraq's ruling alliance and powerful Shi'ite militias say Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi would be digging his own political grave and undermining the fight against Islamic State if he permits the deployment of a new U.S. special operations force in the country.
Washington said on Tuesday it would send troops, expected to number around 200, to Iraq to conduct raids against the ultra-hardline Sunni Muslim militants who have seized swathes of the country's north and west and neighboring Syria.
Abadi said hours later that any such deployment would require his government's consent, comments that may have been made for public consumption at home.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry maintained on Wednesday that the Iraqi government had been fully briefed on the plans and said the two governments would consult closely on operational details.
* FOLKS... LET ME JUST GET TO THE HEART OF THE QUESTION: DOESN'T IT SOUND LIKE THE "OBAMA DOCTRINE" IS SOMETHING ALONG THE LINES OF "WE'LL DO WHAT WE WANT WHERE WE WANT WHEN WE WANT" AND TO HELL WITH INTERNATIONAL LAW, NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY, OR INTERNATIONAL BORDERS?
* LEFTISTS...??? ANY THOUGHTS...???
Abadi's political partners told Reuters they would never accept an expanded role for U.S. troops and insisted the premier would not dare act alone after parliament withdrew support for his domestic reform agenda last month over concerns he did not consult widely enough before making important decisions.
"If Abadi makes a unilateral decision to approve the deployment of American special forces, we will question him in parliament. He is aware that a questioning could lead to a vote of no confidence," said Mohammed Naji, a lawmaker from the Badr Organization and a local leader in the Hashid Shaabi, which groups Shi'ite militia and other fighters against Islamic State.
* SO... ANOTHER QUESTION: ALL YOU "DEMOCRACY FANS"... ALL YOU "ANTI-IMPERIALISTS"... WHAT'S YOUR POSITION ON THIS? WOULD YOU APPROVE OF ABADI VIOLATING IRAQ'S CONSTITUTION AND BASICALLY ASSUMING DICTATORIAL POWERS AS LONG AS HE'S DOING IT ON BEHALF OF OBAMA'S AGENDA?
* I TRY... I REALLY DO TRY TO UNDERSTAND THE LEFTIST MINDSET. IS IT BLATANT HYPOCRISY ALL THE TIME... OR JUST MOST OF THE TIME?
(*SCRATCHING MY HEAD*)
* I MEAN... IT SURE DOES APPEAR THAT OBAMA PLANS ON USING ABADI AS A PUPPET WHILE TREATING IRAQ AS... OUR PROPERTY... DOESN'T IT? (THIS IS REUTERS REPORTING...)
"The government is not allowed to authorize a deployment of American troops in Iraq even if it they are expeditionary or intelligence gathering forces," said Hakim al-Zamili, a leading Shi'ite politician from the Sadrists, a movement founded by anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
Ammar Tuma, leader of the Fadhila party in the Shi'ite alliance, backed that position, arguing that only parliament, not Abadi, has the authority to approve the presence of foreign combat forces.
Resistance to any expansion of the U.S. role in the country, no matter how limited or gradual, stems in part from absolute mistrust among Iraqis and their leaders of Washington's intentions.
Naji said he feared that once deployed, U.S. special forces might eventually turn their attention to pursuing Hashid Shaabi commanders and key Shi'ite politicians, some of whom are on the U.S. terrorism watch list.
* NICE "ALLIES," HUH?
"For Abadi to give a green light for the American troops to deploy in Iraq would not be a shot in the foot," said another lawmaker from the Shi'ite alliance. "It would be a shot in the head."