Quote of the day in the NYT from Kurdish MP Mathoud Othman that just about sums up the Iraqi political process. There’s lots of rules and regulations written down on paper, but it’s just paper. What actually happens will occur at its own pace, worked out in some backroom, with very little regard to such niceties as deadlines and procedures.
Mr. Othman said going beyond Jan. 31 would not necessarily make the elections illegitimate. “Nothing in Iraq is very legitimate,” he said. “We have violated a lot of things in this country in the last six years.”
The big concern here–at least from the American point of view–is that the January elections have been billed as our ticket home. Once they happen and a new government takes power, then we can begin to drawdown in earnest. The longer the elections are delayed, the more likely our withdrawal plans get delayed.