Friday, June 09, 2006

Iraq's last chance for democracy?

That appears to be the case. I remain very skeptical. However, Nouri al-Maliki has an Op Ed in the Washington Post saying all the right things. Now, it has to be implemented.:
To provide the security Iraqis desire and deserve, it is imperative that we reestablish a state monopoly on weapons by putting an end to militias. This government will implement Law 91 to incorporate the militias into the national security services. Unlike previous efforts, this will be done in a way that ensures that militia members are identified at the start, dispersed to avoid any concentration of one group in a department or unit, and then monitored to ensure loyalty only to the state. In addition, we will engage with the political leaders of the militias to create the will to disband these groups.

While security represents the major impediment to reconstruction and the provision of essential services such as electricity, administrative corruption is also contributing to the problem and robbing Iraq of its wealth. We will fight corruption from the top down. We will revamp and strengthen our anti-corruption watchdog, the Commission for Public Integrity, and initiate necessary political, economic and civil reforms. This will include gradual reductions in government subsidies, which impede Iraq's economic recovery and abet corruption, coupled with the establishment of a social security program for the least privileged.

The political and economic reforms outlined here are guided by a common belief in democracy. Liberty is the essence of a democratic system, which is why I believe they must go hand in hand.

Finally, to achieve this vision, it is necessary that Iraq's neighbors not interfere in its internal matters. While some neighboring countries provided refuge for many Iraqis during the rule of the dictatorial Baathist regime, this does not give them a right to meddle in Iraq now or turn a blind eye to terrorists' operations.
The crucial ministry positions as detailed in the Washington Post:
The new interior minister, Jawad al-Bolani, was nominated by the Iraqi United Alliance, the largest Shiite bloc in the parliament. But unlike his predecessor, Bayan Jabr, he is not connected to Shiite militias. He had been an engineer in the Iraqi air force until 1999. He became involved in politics after the fall of Saddam Hussein's government and eventually joined Iraq's interim parliament.

After his appointment was announced, he pledged on television to perform his job with "hard effort and integrity."

The new minister of defense, Abdul-Qadir Muhammed Jasim, was approved over the protests of parliamentarians from western Anbar province. Jasim served as commander of the Iraqi forces in that region during the 2004 military operation against insurgents in Fallujah, 35 miles west of Baghdad.

Sheerwan al-Waeli, the new national security minister, also encountered some opposition. The leader of the main Sunni Arab group in the parliament, Adnan al-Dulaimi, complained that his group had not been consulted on the position.


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