SECURITY AGREEMENT UPDATE....From Juan Cole:
Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that its sources in Baghdad say that the al-Maliki government will sign off on a security agreement with the Bush administration "within days." The report says that Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani has assured the government that he will accept the agreement if it can pass parliament. Pundits are debating how likely the measure is to get through the Iraqi legislature, with some denying it has a chance and others saying it will sail through.
Cole suggests this might be an attempt at an "October surprise," but I don't really see that. It's been in the works for months, everyone knows it's been in the works for months, and even if it passes the Iraqi parliament it's hardly election-changing news anyway. I'm surprised it's taken as long as it has, but my guess is that the delay has been of a fairly mundane variety.