Shiite lawmakers are pushing ahead with legislation that would provide a mechanism to carve Iraq into largely autonomous regions, angering some Sunni Arab lawmakers who say Shiites should first follow through on a promise to allow Parliament to re-examine the issue of federalism.
[. . .]
Other Shiite parties in Parliament say they favor a slower path toward federal territories. Nasir al-Saadi, a member of the bloc loyal to the radical cleric Moktada al-Sadr, said he did not object to a mechanism for carving the country into regions. But he said that it would be a long time before the country was ready to do that and that it should not happen until the "occupation" had ended.
"This isn't the time to implement federalism," he said.
Hassan al-Shimiri, a member of Fadhila, another Shiite party, was also cautious. Within the dominant Shiite governing coalition, he said, "there are many blocs that still have reservations about the activation of federalism."
The above is from Richard A. Oppel Jr.'s "Shiites Push Laws to Define How to Divide Iraqi Regions" in this morning's New York Times. Dahr Jamail discussed this topic on yesterday
on KPFA's Flashpoints (he also discussed Ramadi and body counts -- and we'll note some of it in the snapshot later today). Oppel also notes that occupation spinner (American division) William B. Caldwell IV is stating that today there will be a handover of control over Iraqi troops to . . . well Iraqis. And it's only taken what? Three plus years? Caldwell gushes that it's "gigantic"! Get the idea Caldwell grew up going all swoony in the locker room?
This is the minor control (nothing to swoon over) that was supposed to have been handed over last Saturday. Remember? They even had a ceremony planned. Didn't happen. Supposedly it happens today. Reuters reports that analysts "say Iraqi security forces remain heavily dependent on U.S. troops for logistical support to combat a Sunni insurgency and sectarian violence that kills an estimated 100 people a day."
There was a rush to create excitement at the end of last week over a limited notion of "control" being handed over. It didn't play then but with Caldwell gushing "giganitc" look for some to get taken in.
In news of other attempts to spin, Martha notes Jonathan Weisman's "Panel Set to Release Just Part of Report On Run-Up to War: Full Disclosure May Come Post-Election" (Washington Post):
A long-awaited Senate analysis comparing the Bush administration's public statements about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein with the evidence senior officials reviewed in private remains mired in partisan recrimination and will not be released before the November elections, key senators said yesterday.
Instead, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will vote today to declassify two less controversial chapters of the panel's report, on the use of intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war, for release as early as Friday. One chapter has concluded that Iraqi exiles in the Iraqi National Congress, who were subsidized by the U.S. government, tried to influence the views of intelligence officers analyzing Hussein's efforts to create weapons of mass destruction.
If you're hearing John Fogerty's "Deja Vu All Over Again," there's a reason for that. The report was agreed to in February 2004 but, as the 2004 elections grew nearer, we were told we would all have to wait until after the elections. They're singing the same song again -- saying the report is just around the corner but will have to wait until after the 2006 elections.
Those unfamiliar with Fogerty's "Deja Vu All Over Again" can make do with singing the Four Tops' "It's the Same Old Song."
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the new york times
richard a. oppel
the washington post