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Done deal in Iraq!

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Here’s some interesting strategery: Bright and early and two days ahead of schedule, Paul Bremer on behalf of the US has officially handed off power to the new Iraqi interim government.

From his statement:

“As recognized in U.N. Security Council resolution 1546, the Coalition Provisional Authority will cease to exist on June 28th, at which point the occupation will end and the Iraqi interim government will assume and exercise full sovereign authority on behalf of the Iraqi people. I welcome Iraq’s steps to take its rightful place of equality and honor among the free nations of the world. Sincerely, L. Paul Bremer, ex-administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority.”

Looks good on the administration, being ahead of schedule.

This also tends to cut off the insurgents and opposition. Hey, might as well chuck it in. It’s a done deal now. Heck, they don’t even get to try to bomb the transfer ceremony. I’m sure they were looking forward to it.

Congratulations and best wishes to the people of Iraq.

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  • bhw

    The “occupation” might end on paper, but we’re looking at sending MORE troops over there. Iraq is really not ready to self-govern, so it will be interesting to see how they handle it.

    From the article:

    Asked by reporters attending the ceremony about why the handover was stepped up by two days, an Iraqi official said Prime Minister Allawi requested it because “every day matters” and they were ready to crack down on violence.

    I’m interested to see how they’ll crack down on violence, when they have a rag-tag police force and a civilian population that doesn’t seem interested in helping stop the violence. Our military hasn’t been able to stop it, so I’m not terribly confident they will.

    Sadly, I don’t think things will get much better very soon. But I do wish them — and our troops — the best.

  • simon b

    And, of course, talking of “done deals”, the Iraqi people will be taking control of their country to discover that most of the oil revenue has already been pledged: “Here, have your house back – we’ve smashed it up and mortgaged it – oh, and there’s a few tigers still running loose upstairs. Enjoy!”

  • Harald

    Isn’t this more or less saying ‘the situation is so bad we can’t do this kind of thing when we announced it because we’d be blown to bits’?

  • Al Barger

    Goodness gracious, but you’re all SO determined to spin this into badness.

    Yes, we’re still going to be there for awhile. It’s not an all at once kind of deal. They’ve already been taking back bits and pieces of control for awhile now, though. This makes it official.

    One big difference that I suspect will emerge over the next couple of months is in the handling of insurgency. The US has tread oh-so-lightly, where I suspect an Iraqi government will start dealing considerably more harshly- hopefully hard enough to knock it down.

    And if there is significant military-style assault, the US is there to get their back.

    Hey, it ain’t pretty- but it’s a helluva sight better than the Hussein family.

  • Jim Carruthers

    Yep, nothing says democracy, peace and freedom like a surprise secret ceremony.

    And how fitting they used the same protocol set down by the Trilateral Commission for the hand-over of power in the USA.

  • Jim Carruthers

    Oh, wait, I just saw the video and they were all wearing those fez and driving those little motorbikes just like the Shriners!

    And I loved the Sons of the Desert banners, that was cool.

  • Harald

    “The US has tread oh-so-lightly”

    No they haven’t – that’s one of the reasons they’re so hated there in the first place. They should have listened to the Brits.

    “I suspect an Iraqi government will start dealing considerably more harshly”

    Like they did when dealing with Al Sadr – where 40% of their forces went home and 10% switched sides.

  • Jim Carruthers

    So, if this Iraq ceremony is legit, Al, does this mean Sun Myung Moon is now the King of the USA?

    Sure looks like it.

    As a shining symbol of democracy, the United States capital is not ordinarily a place where coronations occur. So news that the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the eccentric and exceedingly wealthy Korean-born businessman, donned a crown in a Senate office building and declared himself the Messiah while members of Congress watched is causing a bit of a stir.

  • Al Barger

    Yeah, I’ve been seeing the Moon story, and I want to write about it. It’s just so beautifully, comically absurd to start with that I haven’t got any idea how to satirize or mock it.

    Man, I don’t think it could have been any funnier if those congressmen had literally had egg dripping off their faces while they were confronted by reporters.

  • Jim Carruthers

    Al has a verbal whatzchamacallit:

    Man, I don’t think it could have been any funnier if those congressmen had literally had egg dripping off their faces while they were confronted by reporters.

    Well, there weren’t any reporters covering it, because reporting on what is happening in government isn’t their job. And doesn’t the great state of Indiana have a great poultry industry, so why aren’t you out there handing out past due eggs to all and sundry?

    You could use this as part of your platform: “Al, he likes eggs, what you do with them is your own business!”

  • Al Barger

    Jim Carruthers, you no good pinko Canuck! When I’m senator, we’ll have a special spot for you at Gitmo, what with your “beady little eyes, and your head so full of lies.”

    In fact, though, at least a couple of congressmen were asked about it later, and they looked REAL sheepish.

  • Jim Carruthers

    Hey, Al, when I visit Cuba, it’s all about the beaches, the cigars, the rum, the beard growing, the vintage cars, the muy music and living down that reputation as the Havana Superman.

  • jack e. jett

    so i just heard bush on cnn spewing something about bringing democracy to all of the middle east.

    i am totally serious when i say that i think this man might be mental. he really needs to climb down off his jesus high horse.

    jack e. jett


    The US is sending more troops over to relieve those of us who have been here for as much as 15 months in my unit, other s even longer.

    Whether you like it or not, the worst thing the US can do is pull out support now that NATO is willing to help out, and there is a Iraqi govenment forming.

  • bhw

    I’m glad we’re sending support for the troops already there. We should have done it a while ago because the stress must be pretty bad.

    But, really, it’s hard to say the occupation has ended when in excess of 100K of someone else’s soldiers are on your soil and not answerable to your government.