Friday, August 31, 2007

We Report, Who Decides?

Report Finds Little Progress On Iraq Goals -
One of eight political benchmarks -- the protection of the rights of minority political parties in the Iraqi legislature -- has been achieved, according to the draft. On the others, including legislation on constitutional reform, new oil laws and de-Baathification, it assesses failure.
The protection of the rights of minority political parties. This, less than a month after the Sunni bloc of Parliament walked out mid-session. This, after two hundred died in a suicide bomb attack on a Kurdish Yazidi sect. And that's just in the last thirty days.

The report claims that "de-Baathification" has failed. Have they not heard? The U.S. has been strenuously trying to re-Baathify Iraq. The Army has been recruiting and arming Sunni militias. They've been chiding al-Maliki for not kowtowing to the wishes of Sunni politicians.

Ioz makes the point that we have no reason to trust a report issued by the same government that is occupying the country being reported on. But that's a very Ollie Stone view of the federal government of the U.S. The government is not some monolithic entity. It's a series of competing factions, all of whom pledge nominal allegiance to the same godhead. The GAO faction has just issued a report, which the Democratic faction will make a lot of noise about, the Executive faction will pretend to acknowledge and the Journalist faction will foam about for four days and then forget. Meanwhile, the troops going from house to house in Basra will, if they hear about it, scratch their dented helmets and say, "De-Baathification? Shit, is it that time of year again?"


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