The Corner

The Brahami Plan

Here is what I’ve picked up from those following Iraq closely about the Brahami plan. I’ve been wondering why picking another group of Iraqis to govern the country will make for a body with any more legitimacy than the current governing council. I’m told these are the reasons: 1) the key people in the government will be independent and not associated with any political party; 2) they won’t be exiles, so will have deeper organic connections to Iraqi society; 3) they’ll be picked by the UN—although with our input—so they don’t carry the taint of being selected by the occupying power. There will also be a broad advisory council selected of perhaps more than 1,000 people that will serve as a clearing house for all Iraqi opinion and work to achieve consensus on important issues. The dirty secret about this assembly is that it will probably be chosen in a process very similar to the original U.S. caucus plan that was shot down by Sistani and others. As for the tough questions raised by David Rivkin and Lee Casey on the homepage right now, I’m told that it shouldn’t be a problem because a new UN resolution will authorize the U.S. military presence and thus protect it from having the rug pulled out from under it. Also, we should probably expect some level of carping about our military operations because resentment against us, weirdly enough, is an important element in achieving the sort of Iraqi unity we want. We are going to have to put up with a major piece of cognitive dissonance in Iraq: they dislike us for invading and humiliating them, but don’t want us to leave yet because they know we are important to the progress of their society. I’m not sure what to make of all this myself exactly, but pass it along…

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