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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Good News From Iraq

When the New York Times bites the bullet and is forced to go against their own political agenda to report the good news in Iraq, it has GOT to hurt.

As we mentioned yesterday, Iraqi's have seen some decent political progress, more so than our own politicians can take claim to with the FISA bill, as just one example.

Our Senate passed a broadly bipartisan FISA bill, just three days before the current extension (the current extensioin was passed because they were too incompetent to pass the bill before it expired on Feb. 1) was set to expire and the House couldn't even hold their OWN caucus together in order to pass yet another 21 day extension, yesterday, and yet the Iraqi politicians, with decades less experience have overcome three major political hurdles.

One month after Parliament approved a law intended to open government jobs to former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party, American officials insist it will ensure that more former Baathists will be hired than barred. That will take a lot more good will and follow-through than Iraq’s central government has so far shown.

The Bush administration — which has displayed only intermittent interest in Iraq’s political stalemates — will have to press a lot harder to make sure that all these new laws are translated into action.

We are, of course, cheered by the news that representatives from Iraq’s three main ethnic groups — Shiite, Sunni and Kurd — finally saw some benefit in compromise.

The Kurds’ largely autonomous regional government got what it wanted — a 17 percent share of the 2008 budget. The Sunnis will be the main beneficiaries of the amnesty law since 80 percent of the detainees in Iraqi jails are Sunnis.

The third law will transfer more power to Iraq’s ethnically dominated provincial governments — something all groups say they want. There are already questions about whether the provincial governments will be ready to hold elections in October. The United States and its allies will have to move quickly to provide both funding and technical help.

Must have been hard for the NYT to admit this, they offer it with plenty of caveats but for a paper that often only reports what it wants to instead of actual news....this HAD to hurt.

As I said yesterday, perhaps Pelosi and Reid should go and get some pointers from Maliki on how to get a job done, even though he has had to overcome conflict within five different factions of Iraqi politics and the Democratically control House and Senate only have to deal with two.