Congressional Research Service report: Iraq government near collapse

From the Daily News:

Now, in a parliamentary system, they use the word “government” to mean what we in the U.S. would call the “administration,” and the word “state” to mean what we would call the “government.” If the “government” of PM Gordon Brown collapses, that’s not the end of the world; it just means new elections, and all existing executive agencies continue to operate in the meantime. But, in its present form and unstable condition, can the new Iraqi state survive if the current government collapses? Would circumstances on the ground even allow for the possibility of new elections?

Well, if a Coalition of Muslim States defeated your army, and installed a government to replace your government, how long do you suppose it would last after their army left?


But our Army hasn’t left!

It’s basically a prop held in place by American forces, and not a real “state”/government/whatever at all. It’ll last as long as we are there, and vanish when we leave. Since it’s meaningless and powerless anyway, it’s internal squabbles won’t make it any weaker. It’s already as weak as it can get.

General Petraeus is none too optimistic about the political state of Iraq.

Really? What does he recommend that we do?

Not having bothered to click on the link, I’m going to play The Amazing Kreskin here for shits and giggles.

Bet he wants one or two more Friedman units.

PS- How’d I do?

If it were to collapse, how would we know? They live entirely within the Green Zone, they could be conducting a year-long pinochle tourney, for all we can tell. What effective application of power have they made?

There’d be an AP story on page A16 of Saturday’s paper.

Even if they were safe, I don’t know if the Iraqis in the States would bother to show up again at the five voting stations. Somehow they may have lost some of their optimism.

Oh. You mean in Iraq…

Why did the US install a parliamentary system in Iraq anyway? No confidence in the presidential system?

Fear, perhaps, that too strong a president, with a personal electoral mandate independent of Parliament, might turn into another Hussein?

Correct me if I’m wrong (as if I had to offer that, ehe?) but I thought the Iraqi’s picked the type of government they wanted during the first election cycle. Didn’t they write their own constitution with the first temporary committees. No?


Have a cigar.

The Germans wrote their own new constitution after WWII, but they were listening very carefully to the Americans, including some generals who hailed from the South and were doctrinally committed to “states’ rights” – which is one reason why modern Germany has a federal rather than a unitary system of government. You can read the story in The Frozen Republic, by Daniel Lazare. If Japan does not have a federal system, it is probably because Douglas McArthur had no strong feelings on the matter.

Interesting. Are you saying that the Iraqi situation parallels that of Germany and Japan post WWII? Do you have any evidence of this? Wiki seems to contradict your conclusions (but then, its not exactly a reliable source either).

Out of curiosity, what was your link to Amazon supposed to prove there? I’m probably not going to be able to order the book, have it delivered AND read it tonight after all.


ed Here is the Wiki link if you want to read through it…its kind of a hijack so I’ll just post the link.

Only in the sense that the U.S. is the principal occupying power in charge of nation-building.

Only that the U.S. occupying authorities heavily influenced the form of the new German government (and, therefore, it is not unreasonable to infer that American occupying authorities had some influence on the form of the new Iraqi government), which I happen to know about just because I happened to read that book. (What the author was trying to prove is that both American and German constitutional arrangements were put in place by elites to thwart a mass democracy – which is probably true; but he is also a democratic socialist who seems to assume that democratic socialism is what the American people would choose if our Constitution did not put that choice out of their reach. You can read an insightful critique of that assumption here.)

Tsk. On that link, the article appears to be truncated, for some reason. But you can read some of the omitted portions here. (You can read the whole thing here, as well as Lazare’s article in reply, but only if you subscribe to the New Left Review.)

As to troop withdrawal, my understanding from various sources is that there will be a drawdown of troops come spring, If things are going as swimmingly as they are now. There will also be a troop drawdown if things are a napalm shitstorm. There will be a troop drawdown if Al Queda allies with the Klingons.

They are offering to do what they have no choice but do. If thats not lying, its lying’s ugly sister.

I thought it was called, “making a virtue of necessity.”