Saw that one coming

19 Feb

The UN is set to announce that the US cannot successfully hold elections in Iraq in June.

The New York Times is reporting that:

Secretary General Kofi Annan will endorse the view that the interim Iraqi government to take office this summer cannot be chosen by direct elections, but he will not make his recommendation on Iraq's political future for at least a week, senior United Nations diplomats said Wednesday.

The diplomats, who did not want to be quoted by name, said that Mr. Annan would consult Thursday with his special envoy to Iraq, Lakhdar Brahimi, who is returning from a weeklong examination of the political situation in the country. Afterward, Mr. Brahimi is to discuss his findings in a meeting with the Security Council.

The diplomats said that while Mr. Brahimi has concluded that setting up credible elections by the June 30 deadline the United States set for returning sovereignty to Iraq is not feasible, he will need more time to develop clear options to pass along to Mr. Annan for the transfer of power.

I have a friend who noted that the number of US casualties seems to finally be dropping and that is good news for Bush. However, while a bit cynical, it will take more Iraqi deaths to equal the impact of the the death of Americans but those deaths are occurring. What does this have to do with elections? Failed elections will push Iraq closer to a civil war and that is pretty much the worst possible outcome for Iraq. Bush is trapped between rushing an election and getting the worst possible outcome or taking a risk of staying longer and getting backlash. For Iraq's sake, I hope he takes the smaller risk.

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