The New York Times reports that the first step has been taken for Iraqi self-governance. As the headline reads, Iraqis to Set Up an Interim Council to Administer Country.
The article, which reads pretty rough considering that the Times is holding on strongly to its pessimistic view of the situation on the ground, does shine through enough to make one gain hope:
In an interview tonight, L. Paul Bremer III, the top American administrator in Iraq, said that in the course of negotiations over the new governing structure, he had made a number of “tactical adjustments” to meet the demands of the Iraqis. One of those adjustments, Iraqi political figures said, was to grant assurances that the majority of the council’s members would be Shiites.
Mr. Bremer said the governing council would appoint and supervise a council of ministers that would run the government, send diplomats abroad to represent Iraq, establish a new currency, set fiscal and budget policy and, perhaps, take a prominent role in national security even as the country remains garrisoned by American and British troops.
“If they appoint a minister and he doesn’t perform, they can fire him,” Mr. Bremer said. “That’s pretty executive.”
Sergio Vieira de Mello, the special representative of United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan in Iraq, expressed satisfaction with the new government structure, saying that Mr. Bremer “obviously has been listening to the Iraqis.”
If the UN approves, I can hardly understand why anyone else would not. But then again, Bush allegedly lied about WMD, right? So of course there will be those who mark Sunday as a dark day in their battle against the imperialist oppressor.