January 19, 2005

Woo 'Em With Diplomacy

Greg Djerejian thinks thinks that the U.S. ought to explain a few things to the new Iraqi government:
Bush … must increasingly pound in the message that: a) Iraq is already sovereign, is embarking on historical elections, and that a national assembly and consitution will take shape thereafter, b) U.S. forces remain in theater solely to help bring about the successful conclusion of this hugely difficult political process..., c) that no permanent American bases will remain in Iraq, d) Iraq will have its own independent foreign policy (even an anti-Israeli, pro-Iranian one, if that's how things pan out, though I don't think they necessarily will).
Right. The problem is that it's awfully hard to pound on that message when stuff like this is going on:
A prominent Iraqi politician, who is running for the National Assembly as a member of the religious Shiite coalition, told me that the Americans had quietly let the leading candidates know that there were three conditions that they expected the next Iraqi government to meet. "One, it should not be under the influence of Iran," he said. "Two, it should not ask for the withdrawal of American troops. And, three, it should not install an Islamic state."
Really, where do all these crazy Arab conspiracies come from?
-- Brad Plumer 3:06 PM || ||