Just before bed, I find fantastic news:
Yesterday, in defiance of all pessimists, Iraq resumed its life as a sovereign country, in a manner no one outside Iraq has the right to gainsay. We have a secular Shia prime minister (Iyad Alawi), and a ceremonial Sunni President (Ghazi al-Yawar). Both are acceptable to all reasonable parties, including the United States. We have a ministry of all the talents, such as they are: with every available regional, ethnic, and religious affiliation.Defenders of Liberty, rejoice!
The formal transfer of power from Paul Bremer's occupation authority to the new Iraqi government waits till the end of the month, but with the self-dissolution of the interim Iraqi Governing Council, we have witnessed an effective transfer. From now on, American advisers won't be running Iraqi ministries -- won't dare try -- and allied troops on the ground will be consulting Iraqis before launching new raids on assorted bad guys. Best of all, the region's governments, including nefarious Iran and Syria (up to their eyeballs fomenting trouble within Iraq), will know it's too late to sabotage the hand-off -- because it has already occurred, by surprise, ahead of deadline.
No one else will say this, so I will. The Bush administration has handled the transfer of power in Iraq more cleverly than anyone expected, including me.
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