Iraq sovereignty: A given or handover [Archives:2004/746/Opinion]

June 14 2004

Iraq sovereignty: A given or handover
By Abdul Karim Al-Hubaishi
For Yemen Times

With only weeks to go to the decisive day of the handover of sovereignty to the Iraqis after a gruesome year of occupation in which as much Iraqi blood as oil was pumped, uncertainty overshadows how the new US-favored Prime Minister and his government will fare in the prevailing chaos.
Hopes of full sovereignty have already been shattered weeks before the day by Colin Powel, when he made it clear that the would be new sovereign regime of Iraq will accept US forces, and will not have a say in their movement on the Iraqi soil. It is rather the Iraqi's being asked to give up sovereignty that to hand it over.
Latterly, the neocon – run Bush administration, the masterminds of the war on Iraq, appear to have withdrawn from the limelight. We don't see Richard Pearl, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and Cheney on shows like the press conferences they used to conduct. It looks they shifted from their strategy of preemptive strikes to preemptive diplomacy. Paul Bremer struck his preemptive diplomacy and managed to outmaneuver the UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and some of the Iraqi administrative council members who had different views in the formation of the new regime. Bremer is said to have exercised dictatorial power, imposing and threatening as one council member described (in a manner harsher than the former dictator Saddam Hussein). Colin Powell's statement was itself a preemptive diplomatic message to the Iraqis and the international community that there is no full sovereignty handover. Then comes George Tenet, the CLA Director, tendering his preemptive resignation ahead of an upcoming Senate committee of inquiry report accusing him of presiding over a gross national intelligence failure. This was followed by Bush's preemptive tour to Europe to mend ties with the French and Germans, old Rumsfeld's old Europe, to say “excuse us”. The whole campaign is to get a UN resolution that legitimizes the illegitimate coexistence of sovereignty and occupation which they, at the end of the day, will get under the current suspended state of international law.