McClatchy Newspapers report Under Iraq troop pact, the U.S. can’t leave any forces behind. If the “withdrawal agreement,” as it is now being called, is endorsed by Iraq’s parliament, then “in six weeks American forces would have to change the way they operate in Iraq, and all U.S. combat troops, police trainers and military advisers would have to leave the country by Dec. 31, 2011. President-elect Barack Obama’s campaign plan to leave a residual force of some 30,000 American troops in Iraq would be impossible under the pact.”
Of course, the agreement could be amended with written agreement from both Iraq and the U.S. However, “if Iraq wants American forces to leave earlier, it could terminate the agreement with one year’s notice. The United States has the option to do the same.”
Among other point, the pact states the U.S. may not use Iraq as a base for attacks on another country.
According to the LA Times, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki is defending the security pact despite it giving the U.S. three more years in Iraq. “lawmakers loyal to Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr, who wants the 146,000 U.S. troops in Iraq to leave immediately, vowed to fight passage of the accord.”
The LA Times reports an Indian warship destroyed a suspected pirate ship off Somalia. For the second time in a week, an “Indian warship patrolling the treacherous waters off the Horn of Africa destroyed a suspected pirate ship… The Tabar opened fire on a pirate ship after it came under attack Tuesday evening, leaving the burning vessel to sink.” As the ship sank, some pirates escaped on high-speed rafts.
Also “on Tuesday, pirates off Somalia’s coast seized an Iranian-owned and Hong Kong-flagged freighter carrying 35 metric tons of wheat and a crew of 25, a Greek freight ship with a crew of 23 and a Thai fishing boat and its crew of 16.”
Meanwhile pirates have demanded a $120 million ransom delivered in cash for the captured Saudi-suptertanker, Sirius Star, carrying at least $100 million worth of crude oil.
Four at Four continues with deflationary pressures on the economy and CO2 threatening oceanic life.