Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Give Iraq back

By Libby Spencer

Cernig flags an underreported aspect of what's holding up any chance of political reconcilation in Iraq.

That's the rift between nationalists - those Iraqis who, like most of their countrymen, oppose the presence of foreign troops on the ground, the wholesale privatization of Iraq's natural resources and the division of their country into ethnic and sectarian fiefdoms, and Iraqi separatists who at least tolerate the occupation - if not support it - and favor a loose sectarian/ethnic-based federation of semiautonomous states held together by a minimal central government in Baghdad. [...]

The key ingredient to understand is this: The Iraqi executive branch - the cabinet and the presidency - are completely controlled by separatists (including Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds and secular politicians). But the parliament is controlled by nationalists - nationalists from every major ethnic and sectarian group in the country - who enjoy a small but crucially important majority in the only elected body in the Iraqi government.

The Bush administration, aided and abetted by some our Congresslizards are trying to do an end run around the Parliament and the UN appears to be willing to allow them to do it. Am I the only one who remembers that we allegedly turned over sovereignty to the Iraqis years ago? I cringe every time I hear a US politician making pronouncements on the appropriate agenda for the Iraqi government. Either we just spent our blood and treasure for the last five years to give them a democracy or we should admit that we're an occupying force that is dictating their policy. As the linked piece puts it:

It's time to force the issue: The Iraqi parliament, the only body elected by the Iraqi people, wants some say over the continuing presence of foreign troops on its soil, and a majority of its lawmakers, like a majority of both Americans and Iraqis, wants a timetable for ending the occupation.

Really, if all those purple fingers meant anything more than a photo-op for Bush, then it's time to let Iraqis decide what should happen to Iraq. The only ones being fooled by the current machinations between the Bush administration and their toady Maliki are Americans. The truth is glaringly apparent to the rest of the world.

(Cross-posted at The Impolitic.)

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