Friday, April 23, 2004

Sovereignty in Iraq will be transferred in Iraq on June 30th according to plan...

Of course, that sovereignty will not include such frivolities as the ability to make laws or control the military.

The Bush administration's plans for a new caretaker government in Iraq would place severe limits on its sovereignty, including only partial command over its armed forces and no authority to enact new laws, administration officials said Thursday.

Asked whether the new Iraqi government would have a chance to approve military operations led by American commanders, who would be in charge of both foreign and Iraqi forces, a senior official said Americans would have the final say.

"The arrangement would be, I think as we are doing today, that we would do our very best to consult with that interim government and take their views into account," said Marc Grossman, under secretary of state for political affairs. But he added that American commanders will "have the right, and the power, and the obligation" to decide.

Obviously, that sovereignty will also not include the power of the Iraqi government to take foreign policy stands which contrast with those of the United States, either.

"Clearly you can't have a sovereign government speaking for Iraq in international forums, and yet leave open this possibility that we'll do something they won't particularly like or disagree with," said an administration official. "There's got to be something to be set up to deal with that possibility."

"That thing is called a pink slip," the administration official added.

Mr. Grossman was also asked what would happen if the new government wanted to adopt a foreign policy opposed by the United States, such as forging close relations with two neighbors, Iran and Syria.

The United States, he replied, would have to use the kind of persuasion used by any American ambassador in any country.

Such as the threat of force?


n 1: government free from external control


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