The U.S.-led coalition transferred sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government Monday, speeding up the move by two days in an apparent bid to surprise insurgents who may have tried to sabotage the step toward self rule.
Legal documents handing over sovereignty were handed over by U.S. governor L. Paul Bremer to interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi in a small ceremony attended by about a half dozen Iraqi and coalition officials in the heavily guarded Green Zone.
“This is a historical day,” Allawi said during the ceremony. “We feel we are capable of controlling the security situation.”
Bremer will leave Iraq sometime Monday, coalition officials said on condition of anonymity.
Although the interim government will have full sovereignty, it will operate under major restrictions — some of them imposed at the urging of the influential Shiite clergy which sought to limit the powers of an un-elected administration.
The new government’s major tasks will be to prepare for elections by Jan. 31, handle the day to day running of the country and work along with the U.S.-led multinational force, which is responsible for security. The Iraqis can in principle ask the foreign troops to leave — although it is unlikely this will happen.
However, the United States and its partners hope that the transfer of sovereignty will serve as a psychological boost for Iraqis, who have been increasingly frustrated by and hostile to foreign military occupation. U.S. officials hope that Iraqis will believe that they are now in control of their country and that will take the steam out of the insurgency.
I fully expect Democrats to state the early transfer is a symbol of failure somehow.
*** Update ***
So, its pretty obvious that we’re in total control in Iraq. So much so that we have to do the handover in secret, two days before its scheduled, transferring not much power to Iraq’s new unelected leadership.
That means our soliders can come home, and everything’s hunky-dory, right?
MORE: Can anyone say “get out of Dodge“?
Is it so hard to understand that Bremer had to leave so that Iraqi’s would truly believe they were in control?
*** Update #2 ***
No one can eclipse the breathless hysteria of Ezra (he should have read his partner’s much more reasonable post). He did everything but mention the ‘Brutal Afhan Winter’ and throw in a ‘quagmire’ or two:
If you needed convincing that the situation has deteriorated and the Iraqis are far from prepared to assume sovereignty, you need look no further, the Bush Administration proved it today.
The political calculus here was a simple one. The June 30th transfer would symbolize success; make it a ceremonial event fitting of a historic occasion and the political rewards would be enormous. At the very least there’d be a significant uptick in support for the war and satisfaction with the outcome; sham or not, a milestone would have been reached. The downside of this plan was its importance, were insurgents to substantially interrupt or wreck the proceedings, it’d be further evidence of our weakness and exponentially more damaging due to the event’s significance.
But even I didn’t expect this. Not only did the Bush Administration sacrifice the political benefit of the transfer, they did themselves harm. Pushing it up two days and conducting it in a tiny room with few watching leaves the media with no relevant spin save “they were afraid of insurgent attacks”. Stunningly, they essentially admitted that they can’t protect the country and they’ve no control over the events.
If any attacks come in the future, or on the 30th, they will be on the sovereign state of Iraq, and not the CPA. Why don;t people understand why this is so important? This was a brilliant move, and it also signalled that not only is the Interim Government ready, but it was ready early to take the reins.
A couple of weeks ago on the anniversary of D-Day, MSNBC ran a program trying to guess what media coverage of D-Day would be like in the modern era. They then put on a 1 hour show, in the modern sense, pretending to have reporters at OMaha Beach, Paris, London, England, Mosocow, etc. It was pretty entertaining, but all I could think was “This isn’t what it would be like at all. If today’s press reported the actual events of D-Day, our liberals and Democrats would be suing Germany for peace on June 7th. I would be sitting here in lederhosen eating cold wurst as we speak.
The shrillness, the ngeativity, the willingness to distort reality into negative spin is just beyond me.
And Ezra- there are goingto be more terrorist attacks. More soldiers are going to die. More Iraqi’s are going to die. It will be a shame, but it will not be the end. And the ceremony you so desparately need- that can come on June 28th, 2005, on the first Anniversary of Iraqi Independence. As if you would have welcomed a ceremony on Wednesday anyway- you would have called it a fraud and a charade and a PR stunt, and found some other way to piss all over everybody who doesn’t share your jaded worldview.
NPR’s take this morning – the CPA is running scared from the insurgents. Early turnover is heigntened evidence of the strength of the insurgents. Quote: “its all about security.”
There you have it, NPS sets the tone for revisionism on the same day the history is made.
How could it be a failure? the earlier the better. Sistani was calling for early a long time ago.
With the early turn-over and help from the UN to train the Iraqi troops there goes one of John Kerry’s screaming points. It looks like GW is doing it to the Dems again. I love it when he takes one of their screaming points and actually sees it through. Now all they really yell about is history. How GW went into Iraq without the help of THe French (who has to hire outsiders to fight their wars for them), Germany, and Russia which were all dealing with the so called contained Saddamn.Suppling him with weapons and the equipment for war. So I really don’t see a big difference in the outcome of the Iraq with or without thier help.
Of course it is a failure, the Bush administration failed to keep its word to accomplish the handover on June 30. A lot of important hair flew in to Iraq to be there to broadcast the formal handover and now they have two days to vent their displeasure at not having world events arranged to meet their schedules.
So today Zarkawi and company wake up and see that their scheduled mayhem is 2 days too late.
And that’s a bad thing? Why? Oh yes, it helps Bush so we’ll find a way to make it a bad thing.
Iraq is a state. We’re still helping to be sure, but the ball is in their court. Go slow and steady Iraq, we’re in this together!
Good thing? Bad thing? Too soon to say. I hope it works out well for the Iraqi people, who deserve much better than they’ve had at the hand of Saddam Hussein and the CPA.
Note to the clueless: I am NOT trying to create equivalence between Saddam and the CPA. I would like to see Iraq governed by Iraqis.
Well, take a look now.
I think that it is very instructive that Oliver’s post is titled with obvious irony and a sneer.
The dems think Bush is the “bad guy”. Terrorists? never heard of them.
They are a pre-911 party in the post-911 world. sad but true.
I vote half democrat, half independent. I think Bush is hitting his stride right now coming into the home stretch.
Democrats are running scared, flailing about for anything to use against Bush. It makes them look like amateurs.
It’s true. A growing economy, Iraq coming under control, equals good for Bush.
Kerry’s strategy of keeping quiet and laying low isn’t working, not when you have Moore and Gore tainting him with guilt by association.
Keep in mind the Repubs late convention, and the attending post-convention bounce that come along….Kerry is in trouble.
It will be close, maybe Kerry even takes the popular vote again. But Bush will win…
Andrew J. Lazarus
Yeah, Bremer is getting out of town to show that Iraq is run by Iraqis. That’s also why Baghdad now features the LARGEST American Embassy ANYWHERE in the world.
You know, PJ, if there were any reason to think that American troops would be coming home, or that casualties would be any less, I’d tend to agree with you (reluctantly). There is, however, no such evidence. Far from hitting stride today, Bush just got crushed in his own Supreme Court.
“Bush just got crushed in his own Supreme Court.”
Crushed? And remind me, how many Justices were nominated by Dubya?
Is this the same supreme court that was supposedly hijacked by a far right-wing cabal in the 2000 election?
Funny how you can’t get your storylines straight…
Back to the 60’s pal…
The Japanese and Germans have no sovereignty, etc. etc.
Check out this Iraqi blogger:
Must be a CIA or Zionist puppet. Or something. Everyone knows those little brown Ay-rabs can’t possibly govern themselves, nor be interested in trying.
Look for this meme to have legs, because the media is ANGRY that they didn’t get little scoop…
“This was a brilliant move…”
Ah, the soft bigotry of low expectations strikes again. You take an ill-conceived action of the administration that just reeks of desperation made in the hope (which, as we all know, is not a plan) that things will work themselves out, or will at least visit no further–um, what’s the word Ehud Barach used? Oh, yeah–“humiliation” on us and particularly the administration, and then you call it genius.
Sometimes, I get the impression that conservatives would vote for chimp for president as long as it had an (R) by its name, and you’d spend the 4 years of its term proclaiming how brilliant this particular simian is and how it has the liberals on the run, and of course, feeding it bananas and cleaning its cage.
I guess it could happen, and maybe it has.
I disagree with your impression. There are conservatives of that stripe, I guess. But most of us who take ideas and their consequences seriously would be the first to be furious at Bush if we thought he was betraying the ones we believe in. Go check around the right side of the blogosphere; a lot of people think Bush is too cautious (you’ll even find spineless and cowardly) to do the right thing when it counts.
And then others think our foreign policy gamble isn’t perfect, but can still work out, and has a better chance to do so than the leading alternatives.
Disagree too on the desperation. Gee whiz, we’ve got some critics saying we’re bugging out with our tail between our legs because we didn’t hold the ceremonies when the terrorists planned, just to show them we won’t be cowed; then Andrew thinks we’re not relinquishing enough sovereignty because our embassy is too big!
The Lefties and Dems are not going to be happy no matter what happens in with Iraq. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t. Ralph Nader was just here in Oregon the other day and the Dems were actually demonstrating and telling people that a vote for Nader Is a vote for Bush. Talk about Hypocrites. They have gone into win at any cost here in Oregon. There are cars driving around with ANYBODY BUT BUSH 04 bumper stickers on BMW’s and Lexus SUVs. So of course the Dems are going to spin any thing they can so that their fan base doesn’t become discouraged with the way the Dem Party has been hijacked by the extreme lefties, I just think that as the election draws closer the easier it is to see if JFK implodes. On Alr Amerika they are to busy discussing who is going to be VP. Their platform is weak and crumbling and spinning the news takes everybody eyes of that problem.
Andrew J. Lazarus
Dorian, remedial reading. The point is not that we have the largest embassy in Baghdad. The point is that our embassy in Baghdad is the largest embassy anywhere in the world.
Why not in Iraq? Well, except for our continuing occupation (under some other legal fiction) and its commercial byproducts, the place would barely rate a storefront embassy: small economy, not a center of immigration, very few US tourists to watch over. Of course, the key word there is “except”.
Just my guess, Shark, but I think a few years after Kennedy leaves the court, he’ll speak of Bush v Gore in the same terms that Justice Powell described Bowers v Hardwick. Yeah, this was Bush’s Supreme Court (well, five members), or if you prefer, he was their President. But when he shifted from President to King, the cut him off.
I was very pleased that the transfer happened early. The Democrats’ propaganda machine (NYT, ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR etc. ) didn’t get a chance to report the the transfer from the Kerryite point of view. The coverage will be negative. It would have benn negative on June 30. It would have been on March 1st. The Democrats want the situation in Iraq to collapse. Their media pets will reflect that.
Andrew, the Supreme Court is, of course, liberal. There just wasn’t enough evidence manufactured to allow Gore to steal the election. Take away the half million tombstones, housepets and illegal aliens who voted for Gore and Bush won the popular vote too.
I believe our Embassy in Iraq is large because it is considered important. I know you’d like the experiment to fail, but some of us believe that a democratic Iraq is worth some attention.
Andrew J. Lazarus
Not a surprise you couldn’t find a link to put in there. No one has come up with any such evidence, not enough to balance out even the thousands of incorrectly disenfranchised Florida voters who had the same name as felons, much less Gore’s 500K popular vote margin.
The right wing really does live in an alternate reality. Well, the mass delusion that overcame the Germans becomes more explainable every day.
As far as embassy size, if your argument about helping democracy had merit, wouldn’t we also have huge embassies in Poland? We don’t. As you know, our Baghdad embassy is large to accommodate the liaisons, fixers, and advisers who worked for the CPA day-before-yesterday and who will still be pulling the strings in Iraq today. We probably aren’t that interested in Iraqi democracy, not when it’s first act would be internal conflict between the major groups (Kurds, Shia, Sunni), and its second, if it survived, would be reinstatement of Saddam’s Palestinian Terrorist pay bonus.
Please, Andrew, how naive can a person be. You guys on the left all act like election day chicanery was invented in Florida in 2000.
I live in South Philly. It’s been going on here for a hundred years. How do you think it is that one party, despite running the city into the ground, is able to stay in power?
In 2000, there were wards in Philly that had like a 98% turnout, which is unheard of. Why didn’t you hear more? Well, when you have a Democratic mayor, Democratic DA, and 14 of 16 members of city council also Democrats, what do you expect?
You people crack me up when you act like all this stuff started in Florida in 2000 and only Republicans have ever (alledgedly) benefitted from it.
“We probably aren’t that interested in Iraqi democracy, not when it’s first act would be internal conflict between the major groups (Kurds, Shia, Sunni), and its second, if it survived, would be reinstatement of Saddam’s Palestinian Terrorist pay bonus.”
So Iraqis were better off under a homicidal despotism (as were the Pali terrorists)?
Do you propose to tackle any problems in the world, or do you believe UN resolutions and the like *are* ends in themselves?
incorrectly disenfranchised voters
…whose numbers were more than balanced out by the thousands of felons who ILLEGALLY voted in Florida, since 20 counties ignored the lists and allowed anyone to vote, whether or not they were legally permitted to do so.
much less Gore’s 500K popular vote margin.
..which has nothing to do with how presidents are elected. Bush won in the Electoral College, which is how both candidates campaigned. If you don’t like the electoral college, push for its abolition, but not in the middle of a disputed election. You can’t change a horse in midstream, and you can’t change the rules to benefit your candidate after the election is over. That is what the SCotUS told the SCoF when they unanimously vacated the first decision, and then again told them in the 7-2 second decision.
Fegit it, just ignore the bitter rantings of one of the plotters in the attempted sue d’etat in Florida.
I’m enjoying the pressies’ hissy fit, though. They sound like a couple of censorious great-aunts who were waiting for an invitation to the wedding (so they could criticize the bride’s hairstyle and the groom’s family) and then learn that the couple in question has eloped.
So Dan and Peter and Tom are cheated of their opportunity to be center stage during a televised ceremony, telling us yokels back home What It All Means. How DARE the evil Dubya deprive them of their camera time!
Nice drive-by nazi reference, Andrew.
Not even going to pretend to be reasonable any more?
Don’t you all just LOVE AJL, the idiot who thinks Mad Magazine is the font of all knowledge.
Come on, Terry, AJL’s not an idiot. Kind of condescending, sometimes, though.
So at the risk of having him recommend remedial reading for me: AJL, I really don’t get why you find the size of our embassy so incriminating.
Yes, if we were turning over sovereignty in name alone, we would need a huge staff to nefariously keep running the place.
On the other hand if, having gone to war to overturn the old government, and helped form a new government, we now sincerely wanted to turn over sovereignty to it, yet remain involved enough that it didn’t fall the next month, we would also need a huge staff there.
Seems to me there’s less to that point than meets the eye.
JPS- You obviously haven’t read any of his academic papers, or you wouldn’t hold to the view that he wasn’t an idiot.
“The point is that our embassy in Baghdad is the largest embassy anywhere in the world.”
It is obvious that a fair amount of resources will be needed to stand up a brand new democracy in the Middle East and administer a huge reconstruction package. There is nothing that’s normal about the sovereignty that has come to Iraq. Even Democrats can understand that simple truth. So, it is a waste of time to argue that Ambassador Negroponte will be running your basic diplomatic mission. How long before you argue that the ambassador went into Iraq without enough “troops”?
And from our other friends of America, commenting on the enemies of Iraq’s freedom, i.e., the forces of the old despotism and the jihadists from neighboring lands who have turned Iraq into a devil’s playground :
“The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not “insurgents” or “terrorists” or “The Enemy.” They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow — and they will win.” Michael Moore
“We do not wage our jihad in order to replace the Western tyrant with an Arab tyrant. We fight to make God’s word supreme, and anyone who stands in the way of our struggle is our enemy, a target of our swords.” Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
The Americans — “These, as you know, are the most cowardly of God’s creatures. They are an easy quarry, praise be to God. We ask God to enable us to kill and capture them to sow panic among those behind them and to trade them for our detained shaykhs and brothers.” Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
And just to make sure you know he supports the American troops that are there in Iraq — ” I’m sorry, but the majority of Americans supported this war once it began and, sadly, that majority must now sacrifice their children until enough blood has been let that maybe — just maybe — God and the Iraqi people will forgive us in the end. ” Michael Moore
Andrew J. Lazarus
Terry, I’m a little mystified which of my academic papers mark me as an idiot. The one in Nagoya Math J. is pretty good [cited occasionally, too], although S. Louboutin’s paper on the subject a few years later (I think it was in Crelle) was much better. I also like the paper I have in Oper Res Letters, since I did the work as an undergrad although I published it much later.
I would think the paper in Journal of Religion would have looked good to you, since on postmodermist thought I’m pretty much of a reactionary.
If you’d like reprints of those or any other papers, I can send some. I’d be interested in seeing yours, of course. There aren’t many people interested in classical cyclotomy any more. (And if you aren’t interested in cyclotomy, I can’t imagine you could have made sense of most of them.) Given how much the field owes to that genuine Nazi Hasse, we shouldn’t let political disagreement get in the way.
Oh, I did look like an idiot in that postal chess miniature that was published in “Fernschach” in the 1980s; but you should know that my opponent was #4 for France at the time, and swindled me nicely in an opening I didn’t know. I am amazed you connected the dots, since I think the magazine printed only my surname.
Now, to get back to the Embassy size. I’m not saying that the large size of the embassy is per se bad, but that its evidence the “handover” is mostly cosmetic. We haven’t withdrawn American troops, and they’re still in the line of fire. I rather doubt if the relationship between our troops and the Iraqi military forces (such as they are) changed much, nor—given that huge embassy—American control in civil affairs. I don’t want to say the handover was entirely a smokescreen, but I do say that the “sovereignty” under which Iraq operates is a very weak version of the concept as it was formerly known. I don’t know if the Iraqi public or the American electorate was the principal target, but I’m sure it wasn’t the terrorists, and I don’t think our struggle against them is affected much, one way or the other.
I stand corrected. To the word “idiot,” one should attach the adjective, “pompous.”
I suspect that, no matter what link or citation one could come up with, Andrew would find it inadequate. If the same handover tactic were practiced by a democrat (which would never happen because democrats of recent vintage only lob cruise missles at problems), it would be tactically brilliant. However, since it was done by a Republican administration, it’s guano.
Andrew J. Lazarus
I’ll take that, Terry, as a concession you won’t be proving me an idiot on the basis of my academic papers. I wouldn’t mind so much your claiming I was an idiot on the basis of my political beliefs, but the approach you took was nasty. It would have been uncalled for even if you knew what you were talking about, and I think it’s pretty obvious TO EVERYONE that you don’t. The truth is, I would probably recognize the name of anyone who knows enough in my specialties to call me an idiot on the basis of my work, especially the first-rate guys who would be justified in saying so in comparison to themselves. I may be pompous, but at least I’m honest. You’re holding a busted flush.
Andrew J. Lazarus
Perhaps someone could explain how this story from after the “handover” reflects on Iraqi sovereignty? Excerpt:
The U.S. said it would give Iraq its sovereignty. Iraq has its sovereignty. While this may not mean much to you, it does mean something to the people in the Middle East. Even Abu Musab al-Zarqawi understands that this largely symbolic move changes the game. He admitted as much in the letter that was intercepted by the Coalition back in February. It puts an Iraqi face on the receiving end of his terrorist acts. When al-Zarqawi strikes against police, security forces, or the infrastructure, he is striking against the Iraqi provisional government, and by extension, the Iraqi people. Whether you believe Iraq is sovereign or not, doesn’t matter.
BTW, even the most sovereign of nations have overlaps of jurisdiction and extradition issues.
“I do say that the ‘sovereignty’ under which Iraq operates is a very weak version of the concept as it was formerly known.”
You’re probably right on that. I think that’s inevitable for now. Where we differ (inter alia) is that you seem to think that makes it a sham; I think it’s nonetheless meaningful.
And I’ll repeat my amusement that other critics not only think it’s real, but insist it’s the prelude to a cut-and-run. I take your point more seriously than theirs.
Andrew J. Lazarus
I don’t think Zarqawi will be at a loss for Western non-Iraqi targets. I’m not even sure (although this is a much closer question) that the Iraqi public will be sufficiently self-identified with the interim government’s institutions to inhibit terror attacks on police stations and the like. Certainly, a story like the one I excerpted above, would suggest Iraqis are unlikely to see the criminal courts as anything that important, if they may be overriden by US officials at will. (At least SCOTUS slapped down the attempt to run the USA this way.)
I do not, in fact, think we are cutting and running. We are, or rather Bush is, trying to juggle a combination of the appearance we are on the way out (our troops, of course, are not, but we’d like to look like we are) while retaining enough influence in-country to make the war at least superficially more successful: no civil war, better economic numbers, etc. That’s a lot of balls in the air. Bush pulled off delicate timing before, with both the Iraq resolution and the Homeland Security bill set up to shatter the Democratic Party for the 02 elections, but in this case he’s playing with forces whose timetables are really out of US control.
I think, BTW, that sham is not quite the right word, because of the fraud connotation. The message I am trying to convey is that the changes that actually took place in the handover (I notice we didn’t bother with the new Israel-inspired flag, and we agree that the changes are far from restoration of full sovereignty) are not IMO going to affect the situation on the ground very much.
Andrew J. Lazarus
PS: JPS, you must be a real idiot. I don’t even understand the titles of your academic papers. :-)
Would mind telling me the difference between “full sovereignty” and “sovereignty”?
“Certainly, a story like the one I excerpted above, would suggest Iraqis are unlikely to see the criminal courts as anything that important, if they may be overriden by US officials at will.”
The fact that the U.S. doesn’t recognize Iraq’s jurisdiction with respect to one particular prisoner, does not mean Iraq lacks sovereignty. You seem to be suggesting that the prisoner in question committed some sort of local crime and that the U.S. was superceding Iraq’s authority to try the matter. Since the Geneva Convention was invoked, it would appear that the prisoner was involved on the battlefield. If the U.S. had custody, the Geneva Convention gives them the right to hold the prisoner.What you are suggesting is akin to the Germans in World War II asking for return of prisoners of war because their local court found then innocent of committing a crime. What’s your point?
I respect your patience, willyb, in trying to reason with AJL. Over a couple of months time, I discovered that to be largely a waste of one’s time. AJL demonstrates time and again that he usually knows more than he understands. But, keep trying since you appear to have the patience of Job.
Nor I yours, Andrew. From one academic type who gets called an idiot in political discussions, to another, cheers.
I didn’t mean to put the word ‘sham’ in your mouth. Interesting answer.
Thanks for the solace. I hope I’m not boring the rest of the blog too badly.
Andrew J. Lazarus
Willyb, according to the story, the prisoner was accused of being in a car that was firing on Coalition forces. I couldn’t figure out from the story exactly what was meant in the GC referral.
One possibility, I guess, is that the prisoner was not a POW under the GC, which seems plausible, but in that case what was the trial about? An unlawful combatant is allowed to challenge the designation before a tribunal, and it looks like he WON. Or do we play heads you lose, tails we play again?
I was wondering if instead we meant that post-handover we were no longer bound by the *Fourth* GC on treatment of civilians under occupation. That would be pretty ironic, the idea that we are LESS constrained after the handover, but then maybe with the time zone difference our officials in Iraq haven’t gotten the SCOTUS message.
In any event, the case smacks of the sort of extraterritoriality that brought colonialism into disrepute. I can’t imagine its being well-received by the Iraqi public.
JPS: ex-academic, I’m afraid. Given a choice between Plan B in California and my first tenure-track job offer out in John Cole’s part of the world (sorry John), I opted for the former. If I strike it rich, I might try again… Let me add, in reading several liberal blogs, some do refer to cut-and-run as applying to the entire occupation, others are merely referring to the curious advancement of the date. Does it indicate the weakness of the security situation? A desire to push Hamdi and the Guantánamo cases off the front page?
Terry: LOL. Next time I’ll try it your way, calling people an idiot with neither knowing nor understanding.
Fair enough. I don’t know the details of your example, but still maintain that one example does not make your case. Iraqis are in charge of making all the decisions in their country. I will admit that the government may lack credibility at the moment, since they were appointed, but they are still in charge (as much as anyone can be in charge of that zoo). And if you can believe the CPA polls, the people seem to approve of the new prime minister.
As I said before, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi believes there is a difference, even if you don’t.
Andrew, you live in California, so you know that no identification is required to register or vote here. You know the courts have basically made it impossible to challenge a voter, especially a minority voter. You know that in every urban area, the Democratic machines ( unofficial here in nonpartisan California ) produce get out the vote efforts with citizens, who if legally entitled to vote, are too stupified to comprehend the process. You know St. Louis has more registered voters than adult residents. You know that my wife’s grandfather who died two decades ago is still voting in Chicago, a city he last saw in the 1960’s. You know the Democrats produce hundreds of thousands of false votes,
You also know Gore and company hired armies of lawyers to suppress the military vote in Florida and elsewhere. You know you tried to steal the 2000 election and you’re mad you got caught. You also know that any attempt to investigate Democratic wrongdoing will be killed by the courts. You know that the worst example of judicial misconduct is the Ninth Circus ( yeah I know, but it’s more accurate than the official title ).
By the way, just when did we invade Poland? Where exactly are the thousands of Polish terrorists killing inocent Poles and Americans in Warsaw? Where is the thriving Catholic theocracy financing antiwestern extremists? Does the Vatican have the bomb?
Iraq is a special case. If it succeeds then its neighbors are forced to face that change is coming to their region. We need to have a lot of help there because the fanatics know a renewed Iraq begins their downfall. I don’t care if we turn an entire city into an embassy if that’s what it takes to start the process.
I don’t think you’re an idiot, but I do believe you are self deluded. You may think I’m an idiot, but honestly, that doesn’t bother me much. I’ve been called worse. Fortunately, I’ve never been called a Democrat.
What is the source for your conclusions?
“Iraq’s new government has no control over the soldiers stationed in Iraq. It cannot sign treaties, cannot incur debt. It is not free to spend the oil revenue anyway it sees fit. Sovereignty, my ass.”
Are you saying that you do not recognize the United Nations’ conclusion in the matter of Iraq’s sovereignty?
“The members of the Security Council welcome the handover of full responsibility and authority for governing Iraq to the FULLY SOVEREIGN [my emphasis] and independent Interim Government of Iraq, thus ending the occupation of the country. The members of the Council reaffirm the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Iraq.” Press Release SC/8136 — IK/443; 28/06/2004.
“Today, the Secretary-General welcomes the State of Iraq back into the family of independent and sovereign nations. He calls upon all Iraqis to come together in a spirit of national unity and reconciliation, through a process of open dialogue and consensus-building, to lay down secure foundations for the new Iraq. Their first duty is to assist their Interim Government to establish security for the population so that the difficult process of return toward normalcy can commence.” Press Release SG/SM/9390 — IK/444; 28/06/2004
If the Interim Government of Iraqi is recognized by the international community, who are you to say it’s something less?
Black’s Law Dictionary has more than one definition (you know lawyers/barristers, they are always looking for a loophole). If you would have read a little further …
“Sovereignty in government is that public authority which directs or orders what is to be done by each member associated in relation to the end of the association. It is the supreme power by which any citizen is governed and is the person or body of persons in the state to whom there is politically no superior. …”
BTW, the definition you cite in your post includes a list of noninclusive powers, there are others, and it is not necessary the all powers be exercised. Interesting that you hurt your case by citing anti-business sentiment in the form of a conspiracy theory for why Bush would push for an early transfer of SOVEREIGNTY. I wonder how many contracts were signed in the 2-days prior to June 30, 2004?
As to whether your ass is sovereign, I would say the jury is still out.
In case some of you might be wondering what my last post was about, I was responding to this post by jasper emmering (which apparently disappeared somehow??):
Black’s Law Dictionary defines sovereignty as the “power to do everything in a state without accountability, to make laws, to execute and to apply them, to impose and collect taxes and levy contributions, to make war or peace, to form treaties of alliance or of commerce with foreign nations, and the like.” Since Iraq fails to meet part or all of the last two planks of that definition, the country is still a far cry from being truly sovereign.
Read about it here. Iraq’s new government has no control over the soldiers stationed in Iraq. It cannot sign treaties, cannot incur debt. It is not free to spend the oil revenue anyway it sees fit. Sovereignty, my ass.
And as for the handover. If the situation were safe enough, Bush would be there, Kofi Annan would be there, all the tv talking heads would be there and it would look like a Disney-parade on Main Street. Iraq not being safe is a serious blow to Bush, no matter how you try to spin it.
Lastly, might there be an underlying reason for this whole pseudo-sovereignty thing? Well, this letter writer may or may not wear a tinfoil hat:
Why is George Bush pressing ahead with the June 30 handover of sovereignty in Iraq? Because the future of US corporations is at stake. They have paid out billions, and this is payback time. Their contracts (for oil production, public utilities, telecommunications) can be signed only by a “sovereign” government. That is an iron rule of international contract law. Without “sovereign” signatures, contracts would not be bankable. And it is clear that no democratically elected government could sign them, given prevailing Iraqi attitudes. That is the real reason why Bush must have a period of puppet government before elections – and my guess, as a barrister, is that the contracts will be signed in its first 14 days.
Roger Warren Evans
Posted by: jasper emmering on June 30, 2004 10:49 AM
***Terry: LOL. Next time I’ll try it your way, calling people an idiot with neither knowing nor understanding.***
Idiots would’ve been much tamer than “The right wing really does live in an alternate reality. Well, the mass delusion that overcame the Germans becomes more explainable every day.”
I appreciate the newfound reasonableness & will assign the quote to your simply having a bad day (lord knows I have ’em), but in the mean time you can climb down off the cross. We need the wood.
Andrew J. Lazarus
Ricky, I’ll repeat that if you wish to call me an idiot on the basis of my political beliefs, I have no quarrel, although I disagree. And I may, of course, return the favor.
Terry took the *bizarre* step of arguing that I am an idiot on the basis of academic publications (most of which require at least a Master’s in mathematics to follow) that he probably didn’t even find, much less read. I can only conclude that I goaded him to go over the edge.
Has anybody heard the rumor that some news organization is trying to get the divorce records of John Kerry unsealed (as in Jack Ryan)?
And I reiterate that the nazi drive-by doesn’t bode well for presenting one’s self as reasonable.
* Has anybody heard the rumor that some news organization is trying to get the divorce records of John Kerry unsealed (as in Jack Ryan)? *
Yes willyb you will find it at:
my ass doesn’t need to be told by the international community about it’s sovereignty. If someone else has to declare you are sovereign, you obviously aren’t.
Now as to why Bush wants a period of pseudo-sovereignty:
Maybe I’m misreading your post but I think you have it backwards. Bush (and Blair) declared Iraq to be occupied in order to show everybody they would comply with international law. Basically they promised not to rob the country (or privatize national industries or resources).
If Bremer had given all the contracts to exploit the oilfields to Halliburton, these contracts would be void: any new sovereign Iraqi government could simply annul any agreement.
That’s why Bush is interested in pseudo-sovereignty. He wants a sovereign government that can privatize industry and award oil contracts but that will still do his bidding. At least, that’s the conspiracy theory. Bush needs a puppet government to bridge the period between the occupation and the time the Shia rule.
A simpler explanation is offered by Juan Cole: it might just get Iraq off the front page. It worked for Afghanistan with the Loya Yirga or whatever it was called.
But why has the Security Council agreed with Bush? I am not sure. Probably because they don’t think Bush can pull it off (after all, he’s failed at everything else) and think that partial sovereignty is a step in the right direction. You have to remember that, like the US, the other SC-members can’t afford to see Iraq fail. Here is how Juan Cole puts it:
The problem for the world community is that the US has presented them with a fait accompli. It’s not in anybody’s interest in Europe, for instance, for Iraq to descend into chaos. Europe is heavily dependent on Persian Gulf petroleum, it could be deindustrialized if things get too bad. So when the Americans come and say, “If you pass a resolution of this sort, we’ll set the process back to order,” who’s going to argue with them?
What part of my post is backwards to your conclusion: “Bush (and Blair) declared Iraq to be occupied in order to show everybody they would comply with international law. Basically they promised not to rob the country (or privatize national industries or resources).” ???
I do think you have it right when you characterize the scenario you lay out as a conspiracy theory. If you are saying that Bush is trying to arrange the situation in Iraq so that the Coalition will be in a position to have an opportunity of being treated fairly going forward, I would agree. What should he doing?
I find this whole line of reasoning is asinine. It’s premised on the Coalition going into Iraq to get it’s oil. Has the Coalition confiscated Iraq’s oil production? What they have done is spend a considerable amount of U.S. taxpayer dollars to fix the infrastructure of Iraq, including it
First, regarding the conspiracy theory:
Well, you somehow seem to think that ” you [i.e. me] hurt your case by citing anti-business sentiment in the form of a conspiracy theory for why Bush would push for an early transfer of SOVEREIGNTY. I wonder how many contracts were signed in the 2-days prior to June 30, 2004? ”
When the rather simple and straightforward conspiricay theory is:
1. Occupying force cannot privatize industries or sign huge contracts. That would not be legally binding, so there will be no buyers.
2. Democratically elected sovereign Iraqi government can privatize & hand out contracts to US, but won’t because of popular sentiment.
3. Solution: interim puppet regime that is nominally sovereign.
Someone with a dim view of Bush’s motives, such as the abovementioned Guardian-reader, would expect Bush to create a ‘sovereign’ interim government headed by a former Baathist CIA-snitch. What such a person wouldn’t expect is a handover of sovereignty after general elections.
Companies from coalition forces have already gotten a preferred treatment. Understandable, but also illegal under international law. One should not profit from conquest. Now the conspiracy theory (to which I do not adhere but which I also cannot yet discount) thinks Bush is after a preferred treatment for US corporations lasting much longer than the present occupation. Unlikely? I don’t know.
“Companies from coalition forces have already gotten a preferred treatment. Understandable, but also illegal under international law. One should not profit from conquest.”
Frankly, as an American taxpayer, I don’t give a rat’s ass if it is illegal according to International Law to pay Coalition partners to perform needed work. How exactly did America profit? American taxpayers paid for these contractors. Are you suggesting that the countries, such as France and Russia, who were chest deep in the U.N.’s Oil for Food fraud, should be given contracts that were paid for by the blood of Coalition soldiers?
BTW, the Coalition was cheered in many parts of the country, by many people, immediately after they kicked the shit out of the Iraq “army.” This was early on in the war, before the hardcore remnants and arab terroists began their search for the 72 virgins. I imagine that those 72 “virgins” are the busiest whores on the planet by now.
The bidding should be open to any and all, ’cause them’s the rules. Not only would it make the Americans look good, it would also be CHEAPER.
Are you pro-free trade or simply pro-US business?
The popularity of the occupation with the average Iraqi Ahmed doesn’t really matter. What matters is how many fucked up Ahmeds are willing to fight the occupation. That number is the one that is crucial for knowing how many troops are needed to occupy the country. Wolfowitz had told Congress that it’s likely the US would be back to having only one division in Iraq by October 2003. He obviously had his head up his ass.
“The bidding should be open to any and all, ’cause them’s the rules. Not only would it make the Americans look good, it would also be CHEAPER.”
Rules? We have rules for contract bidding in a situation similar to Iraq? Please provide me with a source for your “rules.” It appears to me that the rest of the world is not altogether rational in their view of America and that opening the bidding process would do little to change their hateful views. In any event, a prinipled country wouldn’t allow their contractors to profit from a war they opposed.
“What matters is how many fucked up Ahmeds are willing to fight the occupation.”
What occupation? And what matters is how many of these Ahmeds die fighting against the cause of freedom.
“Are you pro-free trade or simply pro-US business?”
Free trade is a concept that has applicability to the trade process between nations, and is generally defined to mean “trade based on the unrestricted international exchange of goods with tariffs used only as a source of revenue.” What does the situation in Iraq have to do with free trade?
Happy to oblige:
The Hague Regulations state that an occupying power must respect “unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country.” The Coalition Provisional Authority has shredded that simple rule with gleeful defiance. Iraq’s Constitution outlaws the privatization of key state assets, and it bars foreigners from owning Iraqi firms. No plausible argument can be made that the CPA was “absolutely prevented” from respecting those laws, and yet two months ago, the CPA overturned them unilaterally.
On September 19, Bremer enacted the now-infamous Order 39. It announced that 200 Iraqi state companies would be privatized; decreed that foreign firms can retain 100 percent ownership of Iraqi banks, mines and factories; and allowed these firms to move 100 percent of their profits out of Iraq. The Economist declared the new rules a “capitalist dream.”
Order 39 violated the Hague Regulations in other ways as well. The convention states that occupying powers “shall be regarded only as administrator and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct.”
Bouvier’s Law Dictionary defines “usufruct” (possibly the ugliest word in the English language) as an arrangement that grants one party the right to use and derive benefit from another’s property “without altering the substance of the thing.” Put more simply, if you are a housesitter, you can eat the food in the fridge, but you can’t sell the house and turn it into condos. And yet that is just what Bremer is doing: What could more substantially alter “the substance” of a public asset than to turn it into a private one?
In case the CPA was still unclear on this detail, the US Army’s Law of Land Warfare states that “the occupant does not have the right of sale or unqualified use of [nonmilitary] property.” This is pretty straightforward: Bombing something does not give you the right to sell it. There is every indication that the CPA is well aware of the lawlessness of its privatization scheme. In a leaked memo written on March 26, British Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith warned Prime Minister Tony Blair that “the imposition of major structural economic reforms would not be authorized by international law.”
So far, most of the controversy surrounding Iraq’s reconstruction has focused on the waste and corruption in the awarding of contracts. This badly misses the scope of the violation: Even if the selloff of Iraq were conducted with full transparency and open bidding, it would still be illegal for the simple reason that Iraq is not America’s to sell. The Security Council’s recognition of the United States and Britain’s occupation authority provides no legal cover. The UN resolution passed in May specifically required the occupying powers to “comply fully with their obligations under international law including in particular the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Hague Regulations of 1907.”
According to a growing number of international legal experts, this means that if the next Iraqi government decides it doesn’t want to be a wholly owned subsidiary of Bechtel or Halliburton, it will have powerful legal grounds to renationalize assets that were privatized under CPA edicts. Juliet Blanch, global head of energy and international arbitration for the huge international law firm Norton Rose, says that because Bremer’s reforms directly contradict Iraq’s Constitution, they are “in breach of international law and are likely not enforceable.” Blanch argues that the CPA “has no authority or ability to sign those [privatization] contracts” and that a sovereign Iraqi government would have “quite a serious argument for renationalization without paying compensation.” Firms facing this type of expropriation would, according to Blanch, have “no legal remedy.”
What does the rest of the world have to do with the US upholding the law?
A principled country would allow private enterprise to go wherever it wanted to, provided that enterprise abides by the rules.
A principled country that holds the rule of law as one of its core principles would not stoop to breaking the rules to spite French or German companies. It’s the US Government/CPA that is wrong, not European industry.
Are you brainwashed? If I take your line of reasoning I can argue that Holland wasn’t really occupied by Germany during WWII because the Germans imposed a civilian government.
A fine definition. Except that trade entails goods AND SERVICES.
I am not an international law expert, and do not wish to become one. I will say that the rules you cite can be interpreted in more than one way, and I remained unconvinced that the U.S. has done anything that is clearly “illegal.” You are talking at a 50,000 foot level, and give no details of specific asset privatization transactions that might give me some pause to reflect. But before you start digging up an example, you should know that I frankly don’t care what Iraq does with “privatized” assets once they have an elected government in place. They can give them to France for all I care.
The issue I was talking about related to the U.S. government spending its taxpayers’ dollars to provide goods AND SERVICES in support of its mission in Iraq. Part of the mission was to help the Iraqis get their infrastructure working again so they could be self-sufficient. I was asking you to give me rules that apply to how the U.S. SPENDS ITS OWN MONEY! What does free trade have to do with this situation?
“Are you brainwashed? If I take your line of reasoning I can argue that Holland wasn’t really occupied by Germany during WWII because the Germans imposed a civilian government.”
Nice drive-by Nazi reference. Are you seriously trying to equate what’s going on in Iraq to the Germans in WWII? You are the one that’s brainwashed.