Lag in Forming Iraq Government TroublesomeWell, duh
By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press WriterThu Feb 2, 4:13 PM ET
Iraqi efforts to form a government are only now beginning in earnest nearly two months after key elections, and the hard bargaining could take weeks — if not months — to produce a new leadership. That could delay the eventual drawdown of U.S. forces.
American diplomats are putting intense pressure on the Iraqis to agree quickly on a government to include Shiites, Kurds and Sunni Arabs, the community that forms the backbone of the insurgency.
Until a new government is in place, it is unlikely the United States and its coalition partners can move to the next step — pulling out some of the 160,000-strong multinational force.
If the Iraqis take the maximum time allowed for each step, it would be May before a government is in place. Vice President Adil Abdul-Mahdi, a Shiite widely mentioned as possible prime minister, said Wednesday he expected to finish the talks by mid-March.When what freezes over?
However, negotiations in Iraq often move at a glacial pace, and deadlines written in the law are sometimes ignored — such as during last year's deliberations on the constitution.
The Shiite alliance, for example, has insisted Sunni politicians not only condemn "terrorism" but work actively to oppose the mostly Sunni insurgency. Sunni Arabs insist on drawing a distinction between terrorism — suicide bombs that kill civilians — and "legitimate resistance" against forces of the U.S.-led coalition.So we are working to establish a government in Iraq that may well write it into its Constitution and/or laws that waging guerrilla war against us as we prop it up is legitimate.
Latter fifties, married, out of work (had knee surgery and haven't gotten back to work); my (step) son-in-law is back from Iraq, but a lot of boys are still over there. Support our troops -- throw the Republicans out!
Cost of the War in Iraq to Date
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