April 25, 2005

You And What Army?

So as we know, the secular Shiites and Kurds in Baghdad are probably conspiring to hold up the formation of a new government, so as to run down the clock on Ibrahim Jaaferi—who's too much of an Islamist for their liking. Well, fair enough. But now the U.S. is sending in the big guns to hurry things up: "Rice and Cheney Are Said to Push Iraqi Politicians on Stalemate."

Uh, okay. And the Iraqis are supposed to care why, exactly? Are we going to withhold aid if they don't get their act together? Tell them they're an embarrassment to democracy in the Middle East? Threaten to withdraw our troops? No, no, and uh, no. Prez. Jalal Talabani probably got on the phone with Rice, nodded a bit, "uh-huh, uh-huh," and hung up. Sorry lady, I'm making the most important decisions of my life here, and I'll take my sweet goddamn time if I have to. Thanks! Surely the White House knows all this? Unless the Rice/Cheney plea was for our domestic consumption here in the U.S.A.—to make it look like the White House is "doing something" about the uptick in insurgent attacks of late. Maybe.

UPDATE: Also, as Swopa noted a few days back, you would think the White House would be happy that Jaaferi's candidacy going down in flames thanks to the cabinet gridlock. That seems plausible. So perhaps Rice's "hurry up" was more of an explicit *wink wink* at Talabani. Or, conversely, the White House thinks the Allawi/Talabani stalemate gambit will just enrage the religious Shiites in the UIA to the point where they secede from government altogether. Ah, Iraqi politics...
-- Brad Plumer 12:43 AM || ||