Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 12, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

ELECTIONS IN IRAQ....Ah, it appears the UN has decided that direct elections are feasible in Iraq after all. Or have they?

In a nod to [Grand Ayatollah Ali al] Sistani's rising influence, UN diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi announced the decision after a two-hour visit to the reclusive cleric's home in the holy Shiite city of Najaf, 90 miles south of Baghdad. Mr. Brahimi said that Sistani "is insistent on holding the elections and we are with him on this 100 percent because elections are the best means to enable any people to set up a state that serves their interest."

Brahimi leads a UN team that is in Iraq to assess the feasibility of holding the early direct elections that Sistani has been urging in opposition to the US plan of holding regional "caucuses" to elect an interim government by June 30.

This is peculiar phrasing. Brahimi has apparently decided that direct elections are great things but hasn't yet decided whether they are feasible things. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

UPDATE: CNN reports that a possible compromise is to hold direct elections but postpone them until early 2005. Practically the only American demand left has been to turn over power by June 30, so this would apparently mean simply turning over power to the IGC while waiting for elections to be held. Hmmm....

Kevin Drum 11:02 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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