Meanwhile, Back in Baghdad…

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The transfer to the interim Iraqi government is done:

"You have said, and we agreed, that you are ready for sovereignty," Bremer said in the ceremony. "I will leave Iraq confident in its future."

Whole account, courtesy of Seattle Times, here. Among the things left behind--135,000 U.S. troops and 20,000 more from other countries.

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  1. A sovereign nation with no military, no central police force, no infrastructure, no manufacturing industry, widespread unemployment......

    Looks like a nation of people with alot to look forward to.

  2. This doesn't change the fact that the Iraq was war wrong.

  3. A sovereign nation with:
    "no military,": The Iraqi Civilian Defense Corps doesn't count?

    "no central police force": Funny, I thought I saw pictures of the police for the last few months.

    "no infrastructure": Really and the oil fields, roads, and water works that exist are only mirages?

    "no manufacturing industry": This is a requirement for sovereignty? I assume under this requirement that neither Saudi Arabia nor Luxembourg can be said to be sovereign?

    "widespread unemployment......": Again ditto Germany and France, right?

    You really ought to try a better set of lines than this.

  4. Just wondering,
    Vital question, do they have have more or less to look forward to now that Saddam and his sons no longer rule the country? Alternatively, are their prospects better now or were they better in 2002? I myself am "just wonder'n"?

  5. What happened to that new Iraqi flag they made? All the pictures I saw had rows of the old one in the background.

  6. I have my fingers crossed, but I think Iraq is going to do just fine. The contractors need imunity, they are going to be protecting non Iraqi diplomats and varios Iraqi polititians that the Iranians, the militant fundamentalists and others might not like.

  7. The new Iraqi flag was a dumb idea. It looked way too much like the Israeli flag, and these people are kind of paranoid that way. There is nothing wrong with the old Iraqi flag.

  8. If our military presence can stave off a civil war until all the major constituencies have a legitimate stake in the future of a unified Iraq, then I suppose the prospects of the average Iraqi are better now than they were in 2002. But if the legitimacy of the new government doesn't take hold, and our military presence isn't doing much for the legitimacy of the new government, then a horrific civil war is likely to lay all of our efforts to waste, and the prospects of the average Iraqi aren?t very bright in a horrific civil war.

    If there is a civil war, I hope we're not there when it happens, but, on the other hand, if we pulled out our troops today, I suspect the civil war would start tomorrow. A few months from now, baybe Cavanaugh will have a post entitled "Should I Stay or Should I Go?". Quite a conundrum, isn't it? That's okay, I'm sure the geniuses in the Bush Administration have plans worked out for all such contingencies. After all, they're ingenious, and what's more, they're in charge so they must know what they're doing.

  9. This is a real sovereignity, but one that's not complete.

    Iraq could turn around tomorrow and award a huge oil contract to France, for instance, and there's not a damned thing the U.S. can do about it. They can declare martial law or choose not to. They have full control over their oil revenues, and can spend it any way they see fit.

    There is a 'status of forces' agreement that gives the coalition responsibility for border security and civil order. And this force is under American command, as it should be. But my understanding is that the Iraqi government has the ability to tell the coalition troops where and when they can move into civilian areas, subject to some broad caveats regarding the safety of coalition forces and control of ongoing military operations.

    But South Korea is sovereign, despite having 50,000 American soldiers on its soil under a similar agreement. Would you question the sovereignity of South Korea?

  10. Let's hope this goes horribly wrong. Or else it is four more years of Chimpy and his neocon handlers.

  11. bush-hater, you're one of those guys who would benefit his cause more by arguing the other side.

  12. as the election draws more near, subtlety and silly humor become more difficult to detect.

    i just hope this election doesn't take 3 months like the last one. it totally fucked up my simpsons rerun viewing schedule.

  13. kwais:

    "The contractors need imunity, they are going to be protecting non Iraqi diplomats and varios Iraqi polititians"

    Why is immunity a requirment in this case? Your assertion,I'm afraid, is not good enough.

    Joe L:

    "are their prospects better now or were they better in 2002? "

    Well, going by the killing rate in the last year, I would say it is not as clear cut that they are doing better than during the dictator's rule as you think it is.

  14. "A sovereign nation with no military, no central police force, no infrastructure, no manufacturing industry, widespread unemployment......
    Looks like a nation of people with alot to look forward to."

    Looks like Egypt

  15. "do they have have more or less to look forward to now that Saddam and his sons no longer rule the country?"

    Anyone who claims to know the answer to this question at this point is a liar or a fool.

    Top tens things we don't know, that we would need to know in order to answer the above question:

    How long would the Hussein regime's rule have lasted absent the invasion?

    Would an internal democratic resistance have emerged?

    Would the sanctions regime have been modified?

    Who wins the next election?

    Is there an election after that?

    If so, who wins that?

    If not, who comes to power?

    Will a civil war occur?

    Among which parties?

    Do the Kurds retain their two party democracy, or get swamped by "Iraqi" politics?

  16. A handover conducted in secrecy during a 5-minute ceremony. How like the Bush administration. Pathetic.

  17. Some empire we are. "A-waahhh! Our contractors are getting beheaded! A-waaaahhhh! Car bombs loud and icky! Wanna go home! A-waaahhhhh!!!"

  18. interesting to find that the US and other western contractors have complete immunity with regards to the new laws. some "sovereignty"

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