Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Will the real Iraq please stand up?

May 22, 2006
'We have a government of national unity that crosses all boundaries. Iraqi people are able to write the next chapter of their history themselves' - Tony Blair on a visit to Iraq yesterday.

"I can understand why people are concerned about whether or not our strategy can succeed because our progress is incremental. Freedom is moving but it's in incremental steps, and the enemy's progress is almost instant on their TV screens." Bush in his first speech since the swearing in of a new government over the weekend.

Administration officials have said the establishment of a new government is a key step toward stabilizing Iraq and making discussion of an eventual American troop pullout possible.

Two car bombs explode in Baghdad, killing nine. At least 23 more die in attacks elsewhere, bringing the death toll in May to 848 as sectarian violence spreads.

Blair arrived in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, to greet the new Iraqi Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki, by helicopter.
Anybody entering the zone on foot has to negotiate eight checkpoints defended by heavily armed troops and guards surrounded by sandbags, razor wire, sniffer dogs and X-ray machines.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the US ambassador to Iraq, played a crucial role in getting rid of the last duly elected prime minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari. His officials do not conceal that the envoy has been what The New York Times described as "a tireless midwife in the birthing of the new government".

The problem for the US and Britain in Iraq is at one level quite simple. " If you have democracy in Iraq it will be in the interests of Iran, religious organisations and the Shia," said Sami Shoresh, a commentator on Iraqi affairs.

All in all there is little optimistic sign of a sovereign and independent Iraqi administration in the near future.

Various sources, including the Independent, UK

3 comments:

reality-based educator said...

When they can't fill the defense, interior and national security minister posts and all the other ministries have been doled out along sectarian lines, I just don't see how this is a "unified" government. Seems to me they put a few bandaids over the deep splits so that Bush could say Iraq was at a "turning point" and start to draw down troop levels before the November midterms.

abi said...

Unfortunately, "the next chapter of their history" promises to be even bloodier than the current one.

I'm always impressed by politicians who can lie with such grace and ease in the face of overwhelming contradictory evidence.

Cartledge said...

Yes to both, so much to say on such a broad issue.
I was actually surprised that Bush was sort of up front about being in deep shit. But then he isn't trying to back out gracefully.