Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Taking the Next Step in Iraq

The interim government for Iraq has been announced. As of June 30, they will assume direct control of Iraq and her affairs. This is a highly positive step for Iraq and is hopefully a harbinger of positive things to come.

There are many things to like about the interim government. It has representatives from the Kurd, Shi'ite and Sunni ethnic factions. More importantly, the leaders the Iraqi IGC chose for this interim government were NOT the choices of the US. In the case of the president, Sheikh Ghazi al-Yawar, it was in direct opposition to U.S. (aka Paul Bremer) wishes.

Good. The only way the interim government in Iraq will achieve legitimacy in the eyes of the Iraqi people is to appear as independent as possible. This is a good first step. The next step belongs to the Americans, and it is a big one.

After June 30, we MUST let the Iraqis choose their own path. And that means if they ask Coalition forces to leave, we leave. If that means they choose Islam as the basis of national law, we can't challenge that. If that means they bad-mouth Israel, so be it. We have to let the make their own choices, or else this whole affair will have been pointless. The big question is, can we do it?

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