How The U.S. Election Explains the (Lack Of) Iraqi Provincial Elections
So it doesn’t look like the Iraqi provincial elections will happen this year. The White House, forever, is pushing hard for them, and that has Iraqi leaders both perturbed and confused, according to The New York Times:
“It’s interfering in an inappropriate way with the Iraqis,” said Mahmoud Othman, an independent Kurdish lawmaker. “I don’t know why they are so much in a hurry for this law. Anything done under pressure will not be workable.”
I imagine Othman is feigning surprise. Why is the Bush administration in such a hurry for the provincials? Because holding them before the November election will give John McCain the ability to say that the war is going so well that a new crop of Iraqi political leaders has come to the fore democratically, spurring an array of handwringing stories about Obama’s Iraq position crashing into (a manufactured) reality. True to form, Bush would rather deny Obama a news cycle than allow the Iraqis to come to terms with their own elections.