Sunday, May 21, 2006

baby steps

so if i understand this correctly: for the past 5-6 months iraqi politicians have been unsuccessfully negotiating to form a government. during the negotiations, the main sticking point, really the reason they were unable to form a government, was because they could not agree to who would take the critical positions of minister of the interior, minister of defense and minister of national security.

so this weekend the big announcement was that they broke the deadlock and managed to agree on a new government.

except that they really didn't. they never decided who would head those three critical ministries. they just decided that, contrary to what they've been saying for several months now, they can form a government without agreeing on the ministers of defense, interior or national security.

i guess that is a form of progress (honestly any will do under these circumstances). but couldn't they have done this months ago? i mean, the sticking issue still isn't resolved, just kicked down the road. the only difference is that they've decided they're allowed to kick it down the road.

now maybe this will lead to a real political resolution. the parties have agreed to temporary ministers in all three positions. and with no agreement on their permanent replacements, these three might just end up the de facto ministers even if, technically speaking, there's an "acting" written at the beginning of their job title.

i guess it had to end some way. but i don't see how this proves the iraqis are capable of really agreeing to a government of national unity in their current political situation.