June 28, 2004

AN EARLY TURNOVER OF SOVEREIGNTY in Iraq — a clever way to forestall terrorist attacks planned for June 30. And a self-governing, democratic Iraq is what the terrorists dread.

Now will we see early elections for the same reason? I hope so.

UPDATE: Roger Simon has thoughts. So does Joe Gandelman, who predicts that the new Iraqi government will crack down in ways the United States has not.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Robert Alt comments from Baghdad, and Michael Rubin has comments too. Meanwhile, for the press, it’s all about — the press! “As someone who was in the Press Room in Baghdad when the announcement was made to the Press via a phone call, I can tell you that there were flacks who visibly angry at being ‘duped.’” I don’t blame them for being mad. What’s more important — the future of the Middle East and America, or the care and feeding of media egos?

ANOTHER UPDATE: Interesting list of CPA accomplishments here. As someone who’s been critical of the CPA, I should note that it has actually done a lot.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Michael Greenspan emails:

On CBS Radio’s 1:00 EDT news roundup, the Iraq handover was the second story, behind the Supreme Court decisions. I was amazed at that editorial choice, and perhaps this is the explanation:

One thing I am absolutely sure about. The press is vexed, mightily vexed. They won’t say it, they can’t. But a zillion muckety-mucks have gone to Iraq to be there for the handover and they got scooped. Plans have been trashed, egos bruised. It will be interesting to see how or if this gets translated into coverage.

Indeed.