Thursday, April 15, 2004

G'bye, IGC. And Good Riddance!

UN Advisor Lakhdar Brahimi lays out his proposals (in a somewhat vague way) in this press release by the UN. The transcript of the news conference makes for better reading, as it lays down point by point the advisor's "preliminary observations." The most exciting point that I see is that Brahimi says let's be done with the Chalabi-led Iraqi Governing Council once and for all, and offer in its place a "caretaker government."

The most upsetting point as I see it is the dismissive way that the concept of "sovereignty" is being addressed. It is not, as Brahimi--and Bush, for that matter--suggest. If the transition is to have any merit, then real and not just symbolic power must be given back to Iraq. But that is unlikely, says Professor Joseph Nye--the soft-power guy. He was interviewed for this article in the LA Times last week, where he said that the June 30 transition "is mostly symbolic" and amounts to little more than changing the "Coalition Provisional Authority" headed by Bremer to "the United States Embassy" in Iraq, headed up by someone else (I heard talk it might be Wolfowitz. That would be real smart.).

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