Monday, June 28, 2004

Iraq -- two days early

Acting one step and two days ahead of the Islamicist nutters, whom the press expected would launch a new round of violence Wednesday, the US formally returned sovereignty to the Iraqi people earlier today. The handover ceremony was private, with only about 30 people in attendance, according to the NY Times report linked above.

This is fairly slick on the part of the US, and smart on a number of levels: (1) internationally, Iraq is now for the Iraqis -- therefore it's not some American imperialist effort or a manifestation of US unilateralism; (2) politically, Pres. Bush has made and kept his promises to the Iraqis and the UN, and has done so ahead of schedule; (3) geographically, the US has proven that a democracy (of sorts) can be erected in the sands of Arabia; (4) strategically on two levels -- the defusing of the potential coordinated attacks designed to foil the June 30 handover and the defusing of the domestic political whining that would accompany such attacks if they occurred.

Moreover, the Iraqi government is more likely to crack down on Islamist and Sunni/Baathist nutters because: (a) they don't have to worry about the same politically correct pieties that the non-Muslim coalition troops would concern themselves with; (b) the Shia majority that had been oppressed by the Sunnis and Baathists since before Saddam's accension will not put up with Sunni/Baathist agitation; (c) ownership theory -- the Iraqis are now in charge of their own homeland, therefore they will take care of it against enemies within and enemies outside (like the Iranian and Syrian backed al-Qaedans).

Good luck and congratulations to the Iraqi people.

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