On Wednesday, the US is supposed to turn over political authority to run Iraq to the interim council. I hope those guys have read the fine print in the contract. All those footnotes basically say that we get to veto just about anything they do that we don’t like.
Among the other "democratic" features of this turn-over of "control" is that a commission chosen by Paul Bremer, the US Administrator for Iraq, can decide who will be able to run for office and which parties can field candidates when elections finally roll around. Bremer has also appointed a variety of people to serve in key positions within the new government for the next five years and they can’t be fired no matter who is elected.
Combine this arrangement for babysitting the "sovereignty" of the country with the fact that both W and Kerry want to send more troops to Iraq and it looks like we are going to be stuck with this mess for a long time to come.
Tim, I had to sign up for WPo to read the article. I decided I was a male, born in 1907, CEO of a 10,000 plus company. I enjoyed it. Anyway. Interesting article. I did notice that the edicts were not impossible to get out of, but very difficult to get out of. Difficult might mean that you need to do a lot of thinking about the issue, which might not be that bad a strategy to force thinking before acting. Also, I sort of thought about it from a parent’s point of view. When a child gets a driver’s license we don’t send them out first day with a carload of friends to a rock concert four counties away. They work up to that. My optimistic side, the one I have decided to use on the Iraq issue is saying maybe baby steps are ok. I guess we will see.
Unfortunately, many online news sources require some kind of registration. At least the Post is pretty benign about their registration list. You probably won’t get much of any mail from them – especially considering how old you are! :-)
As to Iraq, the stability of any new government is going to depend on how quickly leaders appear who have the respect of the general population. The ones we’ve “blessed” in this intermin government will have to work very hard to earn that respect. Unfortunately, some of them will not live long enough to do so. But like you, I remain optimistic that some good will come of all this.