The U.S. wants a relatively loose agreement that allows us to keep troops in Iraq.
But the prime minister is under intense political pressure to take a hard line against the Americans, even as his government engages in the back-and-forth of negotiations. Graffiti can be seen on the walls in Shiite districts of Baghdad saying, “Iraq for sale: See Maliki.”
To further prove his independance, Malaki is getting ready to sign a big oil deal with China. Russia is probably next. We spend $2 Trillion on what Greenspan called “a war for oil”, and our global rivals get half the oil. We continue to live in this illusion that our military power gains us some global mercantile advantage.