Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 18, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

IRAQ'S SMOKE FILLED ROOMS....What's the meaning of the latest moves in the seemingly endless effort to put together a government in Iraq? Eric Martin offers some speculation that's disturbingly plausible.

Kevin Drum 12:45 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (23)

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Comments

Wow. I had a harder time following that than "Syriana".

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 18, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Surely you realize the endgame by now: Dick Cheney ends up running Iraq, his very own country.

Posted by: craigie on April 18, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

I like this quote: "It would not necessarily be based on the results of the election, which we do not think reflected the voters' will, anyway."

Pretty much what the Right thought of Clinton's election, isn't it? So who says we aren't exporting American-style democracy to Iraq?

Posted by: Alek Hidell on April 18, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

This lengthy process must be coming up against a constitutional deadline. If only they had a supreme court to end the bickering and restore order and stability to the government.

Posted by: toast on April 18, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

The never spoken about condition for assuming the leadership of Iraq is that the head of state must agree to a permanent US force of between 30 and 40 thousand troops under American command.

An unelected strongman who would rely on the US forces to secure his appointment is the only way to be sure that the government won't do something embarrassing like tell the US to leave, entirely.

They're running this thing the same way Mr Micawber ran his household budget.

Posted by: JayAckroyd on April 18, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

After perusing the comments above, and watching leftists marching side-by-side with radical Islamists who oppose every human right that the Left stands for, I'm now wondering if the inversion of the Left will complete itself, and the Democratic Party will actively campaign for our military to surrender to Zarqawi in Iraq and concede the Middle East to the Islamofascists.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 18, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Which democracy do you prefer -- anarchy or autocracy? Throw some elections in there and we can declare victory.

Posted by: lou on April 18, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Who knows? Everyone in Iraq is permanently confused being refugees from a socialist dictatorship.

Posted by: Matt on April 18, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, don't paint me as defeatist liberal fake tbrosz. I'm arguing for an Allawi stacked supreme court to restore him to power so he can personally shoot all the first born Sunni males in Al Anbar province.

The last thing we need is a popular president. Jaafari needs to be weakened or replaced.

Posted by: toast on April 18, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Can you spell C H A L A B I?

Posted by: Darwin on April 18, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

This is terrific! An arrangement that marginalizes Sadr while at the same time providing a pretext for claiming Iranian interference in Iraq's personal affairs so we can bomb the spit out of them.

Dr Evil, "Yes. He is most astute. I am trying to kill him."

Posted by: cld on April 18, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Ann Berg offers up a plausible explanation for why the US is so eager to get a new Iraqi government formed in this article:

http://www.antiwar.com/orig/berga.php?articleid=8862

Grand Theft Babyon, indeed, if the US can ever get the new government to sign those oil "production sharing agreements." The key sentences in Berg's article:

"According to Muttitt's conservative estimates, Iraq stands to lose between $74-194 billion in these agreements over the life of the contracts, which will most likely be in effect for 40 years. Instead of the average rate of return of 12 percent generated by most oil field development investments today, these arrangements will net between 42 and 162 percent."

Now that's incentive!

Posted by: Taobhan on April 18, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

watching leftists marching side-by-side with radical Islamists who oppose every human right that the Left stands for

tbrosz - Ya di da di da.

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 18, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

fake tbrosz:

...and the Democratic Party will actively campaign for our military to surrender to Zarqawi in Iraq and concede the Middle East to the Islamofascists.

Geez, where have you been?

Iraq the Model, among others, covers the politics pretty well over there, and is a bit closer to the ground IMO. He's not happy right now.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 18, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz are you really that stupid or is your head just stuck in the sand.Your first comment had absolutely no relevance to the commentary or is that your job to just bloviate inanties to sidestep whatever is being discussed.Oops I forgot I thought you were a haman being.

Posted by: gandalf on April 18, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

I gotta say this sounds pretty far-fetched. A bunch of quotes taken out of context and cobbled together with ominous commentary doesn't do much to raise my eyebrows.

That said the Iraqis, like many Middle Eastern peoples, have a rather unhealthy fascination with conspiracy theories (and maybe this isn't so unreasonable given the real role of conspiracy in shaping their region). So the longer we go without a government the more these rumours will proliferate.

Posted by: Jonathan Dworkin on April 18, 2006 at 10:44 PM | PERMALINK

Not sure when Bush and his comic book foreign policy advisors are gonna get it: These people have absolutely no concept of democracy. We could be there for 100 more years and that won't change. It is simply not part of their culture.

Posted by: Pat on April 18, 2006 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz

The days are long gone when a liberal would show that much back bone. You sound like you have been in the deep freeze since 1975. Liberals these days are well spanked and well behaved and when the republicans want thier opinion, those republicans will tell those liberals they were only joking.

A "benificent " dictator is the most rational outcome of this Iraq cluster f&*(k, Whether he is chosen by Washington or not may not actually matter. He ( and it will be a he) will probably be obliged to sign some oil deal before the last Humvee and Helicopters pull out so that the US can claim it got something. This dictator will turn around and sign something with the Chinese, thus negating the comfy feeling we may get in the ME. THe beauty of this dictator shall be much spoken of and the surly among us shall be silenced in order that we may demonstrate our love for america.

One problem may be that the republicans may be so unpopular in two years, that even a democrat could get elected before the Iraq thing gets arranged.. ( Hey, remember the demcrats last guy lost to the grand nitwit.) This would be the Somalia wrinkle. Remember - Bush Sr. - a consumate war planner of demostrated ability commits a complete mess up in Somalia just before Clinton gets in. Who do the republicans blame? Clinton of course. And Clinton, well he don't make no fuss. He's a democrat see and they don't like to fight republicans. So the republicans will do it again .

American politics is all decadant and pointed headed. A huge waste of money and time.

Posted by: exclab on April 18, 2006 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

The problem is much more serious than people often think it is. Generally, you'll right, but I would have posed the question another way - could the real democracy exist in such a country? Are people prepared for this? The Fukuyama's ideas seem to be a bit unappropriate when speaking of Iraq.

Posted by: pissed on April 19, 2006 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

Sounds like we plan to install our very own Shah, version 2.0.

Posted by: Peter on April 19, 2006 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

pissed

my feelings on Fukuyama are that his "end of history" idea was dumb. Why is it the only wonks that get listened to these days are failed conservative ones?

Iraq is not a country. We shouldn't expect it to be.

Peter

Yeah, I expect thats what they will be shooting for at this point.

It will be an excellent oppurtunity to set up a police state with modern survielance equipement. A whole new area to experiment with.

Posted by: exclab on April 19, 2006 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

Sistani is a force for peace and Godliness (morality) over there. I trust that the Iraqis will not give away their advantage. We need to withdraw from Iraq ASAP.

Posted by: Jimm on April 20, 2006 at 3:03 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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