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A new Iraq born? « Previous | |Next »
June 29, 2004

So the big day for Iraq came and went. Sovereignty has been given to Iraq--well sort of.

The reality is that the Americans will continue to prop up the undemocratic Ayad Allawi transitional/caretaker/interim Iraqi government with money and muscle. They have to. There is not enough money from oil to reconstruct Iraq, the Allawai government does not have a functioning military force whilst the constitution limits the interim government's power to basic civil administration and preparations for national elections.

The Americans spin the event as the handover of power, and they say that it is another landmark in Iraq's arduous and bloody journey to achieving democracy, prosperity and viability. The reality is that the Allawi government is not capable or ready to run Iraq. I cannot see how it is ready to handle the situation, whether it's security or the economy. The reality is that Iraq’s “interim government” is the outward face of a client regime.

CartoonStavro10.jpg
Stavro

What we have is a similar situation to Afghanistan. U.S. presence maintains a facade of stability and it protects an inner group that is designated as having sovereignty. As in Afghanistan the government's authority does not extend beyond the inner circle itself. Does that mean a unified state cannot be built and Iraq becomes a number of local baronies?

Personally I think we will have more of the same. More violence. More bloodshed. Only worse. A majority of Iraqi's do want the Americans to leave. Unsuprisingly, because the Bush administration has badly mismanaged post-war Iraq. The guerrilla insurgency will continue and grow because the Americans are still seen as the occupiers.

Will the symbolic images of the transfer of sovereignty be able to counter the negative images of Iraq and turn around the Bush administration's bruised credibility over its rationale for the war? Will Saudi Arabia and Pakistan continue to wobble. Will the region be increasingly in turmoil. A panel discussion.

A geopolitical storm is brewing in the region. I fear the worst.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:27 PM | | Comments (0)
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