Monday, January 31, 2005

Iraq: The Guardian's Jonathan Steele, The Independent's Anne Penketh and Matthew Rothschild of The Progressive

"Beyond the bullets, a new constitution is the crucial issue for this democracy" by Jonathan Steele in today's The Guardian is an article worth reading. It concludes:

The big unknown is what effect yesterday's successful vote has on the insurgency. President George Bush warned Americans recently that it will probably get stronger. There is a paradox. In as much as yesterday's election gives greater legitimacy to the next Iraqi government, since it will have been elected by Iraqis rather than appointed by Americans, it also subtracts from the right of foreign troops to remain in Iraq.
The two issues are not in direct inverse proportion to each other but there can be less justification for such a pervasive presence of foreign troops in a country which has voted to put its own people in charge of government.
The pressure will be on the Americans to speed up the training of Iraqi forces and start the process of handing security responsibilities over to them under a clear and public timetable.

At The Independent Anne Penketh provides some basics and perspectives on Iraq.

In addition, I'd stress Matthew Rothschild's "This Just In" for January 28th:

You can disregard his hot air about "absolutely" leaving Iraq if the new Iraqi government were to ask him to go.

He and Ambassador John Negroponte have already pre-wired the prospective leaders. There's no way those officials are going to tell the United States to leave. Bush is providing their bodyguards.

Bush is in Iraq for eternity, and he doesn't care about the price tag in lives and treasure.

Already, his war has taken the lives of more than 1,400 U.S. soldiers.

Already, it has wounded more than 10,000 U.S. soldiers.

Already it has killed between 15,000 and 100,000 Iraqi civilians.

And this colossal waste is not making America any safer. It is fueling hatred of America throughout the Arab and Muslim world.

And of course check out Democracy Now! today which I'm sure will be providing coverage of Iraq.