Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category

Political Progress in Iraq Backsliding

February 29, 2008

Senator McCain and President Bush have repeatedly argued that the surge in Iraq has been successful.  Originally, they based this view on the reduction of violence in Baghdad.  More recently, they pointed out that the Iraqi Parliament had passed several new laws that finally showed the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds were making the necessary political compromises that would lead to a stable Iraq.  These laws included an Accountability and Justice Law that undoes the de-Baathification program that the Coalition Provisional Authority imposed in 2003, the passing of a budget, and a new elections law that was passed with great fanfare two weeks ago.  The passing of these new laws certainly seemed promising at the time, even though many analysts raised concerns about some of the new laws, especially the Accountability and Justice Law which was criticized by many Sunnis even though it’s supposed to help them.

Well, it was probably too good to be true.  Yesterday, The New York Times  reported  that a feud between Shiite factions in Iraq lead the three-member Iraqi presidency council to veto the election law.  So, the new elections that were supposed to be held on October 1 are in limbo until a new version of the law can be passed, assuming the Iraqi Parliament can actually work out a new version.  Unfortunately and somewhat surprisingly, the Times buried this story on page A10 rather than putting it on the front page, so this story got a lot less coverage than it should have received.  Neither CNN nor MSNBC mentioned this story on their websites.

As USA Today pointed out in an article  on 2/13, the Iraqi government has also not yet been able to work out an agreement for sharing Iraq’s oil revenues between the different regions and ethnic groups.  So much for political progress.