Thursday, April 15, 2004

Iraq insurgency: The Brahimi Plan for a transitional government 

From the essential Juan Cole:

[Brahimi's plan] suggests a handful of top appointments, and wants the United Nations to have a strong hand in making them. But then he also suggests the election of a Consultative Assembly that would be more broadly based and would advise the government during the transition.

The danger in Brahimi's plan for a corrupt Pentagon-supported expat like Chalabi is that Brahimi is saying that the UN doesn't want him in a high appointive post because of all the questions that swirl around him regarding embezzlement and playing fast and loose with other people's money.

Brahimi seems to be saying that the appointed high officials--a president, two vice-presidents, and a prime minister-- should have genuine grass roots in Iraq and be respected as upright. I think Barzani and Talabani among the Kurds fit this bill, and so do Abdul Aziz al-Hakim and Ibrahim Jaafari among the Shiites. I don't know, however, to whom you would turn among the Sunni Arabs for a politician with substantial grass roots.

it seems likely that Chalabi also does want to clear the decks so that he can rule unopposed if he can get into power, without a lot of pesky informed technocrats second-guessing him and even thwarting some of his policies. Since the CPA is a creature of the Neocon-dominated Department of Defense, it may well be that punitive measures against former Baath Party members is designed to punish them for their hostile attitudes to Israel or to ensure that Iraq is able to conclude a Camp David-style peace treaty with Ariel Sharon down the road.
(via Juan Cole)

We have the word "Byzantine" to describe all this. It's interesting the linkage between Chalabi and Sharon, eh?

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