Okay, so I have spent the last two days traveling from one part of the world to another, leaving me in a state of jet lagged mush. That being said, regular blogging will resume this week, as my self-imposed vacation has been lifted.
And what do I find in the newsprint?
After I had rather rashly declared democracy in Iraq “dead” (at least in the headline–if you read closely you’ll see there’s a caveat taking into consideration just such a development) the government, according to the NYT, has “staggered toward a resolution of its election crisis on Sunday as the country’s leaders gave an appeals court time to reconsider a ban on hundreds of candidates barred from next month’s election because of alleged links to Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party.”
It appears they’ve done the time honored Iraqi tradition with tough political issues, and kicked the can down the road. The ban of the 500 candidates, it seems, will be reviewed after the election. How this “sweep it under the rug” move will work in practice is anybody’s guess.
In other words, the crisis might be resolved, or it might be about to get worse. Per the NYT:
But the fate of some of the most prominent candidates accused of having Baathist ties remains unresolved, and the crisis could still worsen.
More importantly, this highlights the rather unusual relationship that the U.S. will have with Iraq in the year ahead. While at the same time claiming that Iraq is a sovereign country, Americans are still mucking about in its government process in a pretty signifcant way. In this case, Prime Minister Maliki’s people haven’t been too appreciative of it, accusing the U.S. of “interfering in Iraq’s internal affairs by trying to put pressure on the judiciary to reinstate the candidates.”