An interesting lead from an April 22 story in the New York Times. “WASHINGTON, April 22 – 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.” It sure doesn’t sound like we are spreading democracy.
Further down, the story continues. “Only 10 weeks from the scheduled transfer of sovereignty,
the administration is still not sure exactly who will govern in Baghdad, or precisely how they will be selected. A week ago, President Bush agreed to a recommendation by Mr. Brahimi to dismantle the existing Iraqi Governing Council, which was handpicked by the United States, and to replace it with a caretaker government whose makeup is to be decided next month.”
Further down in the story… “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” … “Since last November, when the June 30 transfer of sovereignty was approved by President Bush and decreed by Mr. Bremer in Iraq, the United States has insisted that Iraq would have a full transfer of sovereignty on that date.
“Mr. Grossman, however, referred in testimony on Wednesday to what he said would be “limited sovereignty,” a phrase he did not repeat on Thursday, apparently because it raised eyebrows among those not expecting the administration to acknowledge that the sovereignty would be less than
“The problem of limiting Iraq’s sovereignty is more than one of terminology, several administration officials said in interviews this week. The proposed curbs on Iraqi sovereignty are paving the way for what officials and diplomats say is shaping up as another potential battle with American allies as the United Nations is asked to confer legitimacy on the new government.”
Nobody really expected anything different. Let’s just not call it democracy or freedom.