Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Sovereignty Hot Potato

Not that July 1 will be materially different in Iraq than June 29; if Saddam is handed over to the Iraqi government he will be secured by US forces, the Army and Marines will not disappear from the streets and those that remain will not answer to any Iraqi, the Coalition Provisional Authority - the name will probably change - will not abandon the Green Zone, pack their bags and leave. Iraqi sovereignty will be that in name only after June 30 even though BushCo. clings to that date like a lifeline.

But even if it were real sovereignty, I wonder if anyone in the new Iraqi government would really want it? With insurgents killing anyone they can find with connections to the American occupation, there could be no bigger targets than members of the new government. In fact they have already been targeted. Is this new government going to willfully accept the mantle of "sovereign?"

So the new government will have to act a lot like the current CPA. Holed up in a new version of the Green Zone, unable to move freely around the country they supposedly control. They will command security forces that have yet to be trained and who appear to chose which orders to obey and when. They will inherit a country without any form of functioning infrastructure; from sewage to electricity, from roads to a civil aviation authority.

In fact the new government is going to be a lot like the current Interim Governing Council: powerless.

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