The status of forces agreement (SOFA) can be regarded as the crown jewel of the U.S.-led change in Iraq. It’s not an overstatement to say that it represents an aspect of victory in this war. By victory I mean that it will mark the beginning of a time in which Iraq is officially a partner of the U.S., as it will join Iraq and the U.S. in a new relationship that serves the national interests of both countries. Above all, it will be a major boost for the effort in the war on terror as it will guarantee that Iraq will not fall prey to extremists. It will ensure that Iraq becomes a barrier against the aspirations of extremists, not a vessel that conveys them. In my opinion this treaty will set the foundations for a new Middle East ripe for transformation and for joining the free world. For these reasons and for others that we’re still trying to understand, this treaty has been receiving fire from virtually all directions.
I understand why Iran and other enemies of democracy in the region stand against it. They know that it will stand in their way and further undermine their position. In fact, whenever I pass through a period of intellectual laziness, I look at where dictators and religious extremists stand on any issue and take the opposite position. Whenever I see them opposing something I can automatically — with a very low error margin — assume that the thing they oppose is good for me, for I absolutely wouldn’t suspect at any moment that they care about the welfare of the people of the region or that of the world. For this reason I wasn’t surprised by the vicious attack on the treaty from Arab and Muslim media and leaders.