6 April 2004

U.S. doesn't want to give up power

Beneath these machinations lies a dilemma for the Bush administration. While desiring the appearance of democracy for domestic and international purposes, it is afraid to surrender authority.

Its problem is that a free Iraq is unlikely to implement the U.S. agenda: a secular state, permanent military bases, American direction of the oil industry, a privatized economy and a foreign policy consonant with Washington's.

In designing their mission for Iraq, top Bush officials were hoping to re-enact the successes of the early Cold War. A reconstructed West Germany had helped consolidate Western Europe into a bastion of democratic capitalism and American power.

They envisioned a reformed, malleable post-Saddam government that could spark a similar transformation of the Middle East. Yet unlike Iraq, Germany possessed a tradition of parliamentary governance, an established capitalist class and a strong national identity, which made the transfer of political power less worrisome.

Moreover, Germany had first declared war on the United States, not the other way around. And the American occupiers possessed the authority that came from fighting and defeating an enemy, which had actually surrendered and disarmed.

By contrast, the U.S. strategy of racing to Baghdad bypassed tens of thousands of enemy troops, who retained their weapons and remained dangerous.

The result has been a disastrous occupation in which security remains an agonizing problem. The administration's current inability to arrange a viable political transition is but the most recent illustration of its foolishness in launching an invasion in the first place.

Boldface mine. Now that it's clear the Iraqi transitional government will not even control its own treasury we know the 'sovereign' Iraqi transitional government is going to lack sovereignty, security forces, and money. Other than a brief flag-raising ceremony at ITG headquarters what are they going to do?

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