Here's a fun little article from the Christian Science Monitor on the context of the early handover in Iraq today.
If you think it's all over, think again. We still have a ton of troops over there, and by most estimates we will have a military presence for 5+ years. Yesterday's Doonesbury had a nice little riff on that.
And the worst is yet to come. There isn't a democratically elected government, or a constitution yet. Why? Because 60% of Iraqis are Shiite Muslims. That's right, the same as the ruling party in Iran. A one-person, one-vote election would create a Shiite ruling party, which is exactly what their religious leaders would like. And there are two ways that would play out: either a clone of Iran, or civil war when the other 40% revolt.
This is just more evidence that the Bush administration had no post-war plan. And it's no surprise that they are handing off as quickly as they can, and trying to get NATO peacekeepers on the ground, so that they are not in charge when the wheels come off the wagon. Conveniently, the deadline for an election is January 31st, safely after the U.S. election; I bet there are a lot of people in the administration who hope that things can hold out until then…
With the CPA gone, who is going to oversee the rebuilding of Iraq, and the disbursement of US funds to pay for that rebuilding? (hint: what rebuilding? what funds?)
Here's an MSNBC article talking about the transfer and who is in charge of what. Read the last section, “Bremer's legacy.” My favorite part:
On Saturday, Bremer signed an edict that gave U.S. and other Western civilian contractors immunity from Iraqi law while performing their jobs in Iraq.
A resounding endorsement of the new Iraqi interim government.
Anyone want to place bets on which country will have an election first: Iraq or Venezuela? [Kevin Schofield's Weblog]