I call this out only because other news sources reported the same story as:
... but not so in the U.S.
When U.S. citizens read in their newspapers, "Iraq's government approves security pact with US", they think, "Ah - this is a done deal!"
The Iraqi Parliament has yet to approve it, which is now required.
Yes - the cabinet agreed to it (it helped that Sen. Obama is now President-elect Obama), but it is NOT a done deal!
Okay - there are a number of riffs to be played on this theme.
I'll focus on two.
1. The SOFA approved by Iraq's cabinet faces serious opposition from Shi'ites... particularly from our creation, Moqtada al-Sadr: Hardline Iraqi cleric bids to kill US pact in parliament.
2. The wording of the pact approved by the cabinet calls for complete withdrawal of American troops by the end of 2011.
W sees it differently:
Press Briefing by Press Secretary Dana PerinoThe negotiated SOFA sets a date. W views this as only "aspirational".
MS. PERINO: As we've been saying since July, when we said that we would work with the Iraqis to establish a date that we would aspire to...
... One of the points that we conceded was that we would establish these aspirational dates.
More to follow.