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Jason Holliston
 
Tuesday, June 29, 2004  
What Am I Missing Here?

I have to be missing something. It can't be that simple, can it? Sunday, the day before the sovereignty handover to Iraq's interim government, ex-U.S. administrator Paul Bremer issued a bunch of edicts, which revised Iraq's legal code, and he appointed a couple dozen Iraqis to government posts.

Let the jaded remarks begin.

I've already heard a few people make comments about this, implying that these actions show that Iraq's sovereignty really isn't as advertised. More than one talking head has been heard on TV and radio making similar disparaging remarks. Here's a quote from the Washington Post, hardly a right-wing rag:

Some of the orders signed by Bremer, which will remain in effect unless overturned by Iraq's interim government, restrict the power of the interim government and impose U.S.-crafted rules for the country's democratic transition.

The relevant text would be: "...unless overturned by Iraq's interim government..."

Here's what it would take to overturn Bremer's orders, from the same article:

An annex to the country's interim constitution requires the approval of a majority of Allawi's ministers, as well as the interim president and two vice presidents, to overturn any of Bremer's edicts. A senior U.S. official in Iraq noted recently that it would "not be easy to reverse" the orders.

Read the whole article, and get a feel for what type of edicts were handed down. I'll give you a hint: they'll all things that would assist the fledgling government eventually flower into a dyed-in-the-wool democracy. Some anti-corruption measures. Not letting former members of Iraq's army hold office for 18 months after retirement or resignation. Anti-money-laundering laws. Do these things sound like the heavy hand of colonialism, or sound laws? You decide, but they all seem like pretty good ideas to me.

The way I see it, these edicts were a shove in the right direction. If they really want to resign themselves to fascist or theocratic hell, these edicts won't stop them. They are just road blocks -- making the way to that hell a bit harder to travel.

So, what do the Iraqis think about the handover? WindsOfChange.net, of course, has a very comprehensive roundup from the bloggers from that country. My favorite, from Omar at Iraq the Model:

It's hard to appreciate the efforts of all those who helped us to get our freedom and rebuild our country. We will never forget them. We will keep them in our hearts.

God bless Iraq and her people.
God bless America and her people.

God bless all the coalition forces who supported operation Iraqi freedom.
May God bless the souls of all those who sacrificed their lives to free Iraq.


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