« Lee Smith and Tariq Ramadan | Main | The baby aardvark »

February 20, 2004


Dave L

I think we have to conclude that the most economical explanation for Administration behavior is that it still wants to control the outcome. From that perspective, the flaw in your proposal is that it involves a direct transition from CPA rule to direct elections - precisely the risk the US seeks to avoid.

Transferring "sovereignty" to an unelected transitional government, with at least a six-month interval before elections, gives the Bush administration one last chance to shape post-Saddam Iraq to our liking. - or, at a minimum, to secure permanent basing rights from a 100% legitimate, fully independent Iraqi government.

And don't count Chalabi out just yet, either. Look at Jim Hoagland in the WPost today (he has a long record of channeling Dick Cheney's thinking). Highlights:

"Respect the Iraqi Council"

...An Egyptian or Saudi dissident tempted to take the chance of supporting Bush's vision will draw little comfort or encouragement from the treatment of Iraqi risk-takers, who are being told they are not ready to hold elections or exercise independent leadership.

...The problems began in the crucial opening phase of occupation, when the administration suddenly tossed out plans for installing an Iraqi coalition of leaders that had been carefully assembled over months of deliberation.

...A core group of Iraqi leaders, most of whom fought Saddam Hussein from exile or from the Kurdish regions protected by U.S. air power after the 1991 Persian Gulf War, has asserted itself over the past decade. Its members have shown that they can work together and promote democratic values.

...Moreover, to bypass this leadership group would undermine the historical legitimacy of the genuine Iraqi resistance, which Bush launched the March invasion to support. To expand the council's membership in a continuing, cosmetic pursuit of a mathematical balance of "representation" is a pointless, debilitating exercise at this late date.

...Any Iraqi who agrees with democratic values cannot possibly be an authentic Arab leader, this argument goes. Chalabi, who was educated in the United States and who relentlessly lobbied Democratic and Republican administrations to intervene in Iraq, is a lightning rod for such guilt by association.

...Who should organize Iraq's election? The answer lies in plain sight -- for those with eyes to see. Let the council be the council and get on with its work.


The comments to this entry are closed.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Blog powered by Typepad