The Iraqi parliament has approved the Status of Forces Agreement that sets a date for the withdrawal of US combat troops from the country by 31 December 2011.
The deal is being presented as an end to the US misadventure in Iraq.
But it does not mark the end of the occupation.
The US has had to back down on a series of Iraqi demands, including ending the immunity of the mercenaries who spread terror throughout the country, and giving Iraqis greater control over military operations.
The Iraqis were also able to set a timetable for withdrawal despite the objections of the neo-cons.
But although the deal gives the US an exit route from Iraq, thousands of US soldiers will remain in “advisory roles”, and combat troops could return if the country was threatened by “internal revolt” or external threat.
It is no wonder that George Bush is said to be happy with the pact.
Both the Sunni resistance organisations, headed by the Association of Muslim Scholars, and Shia Muslim supporters of rebel cleric Moqtada al-Sadr have denounced the deal as “legitimising the occupation”.