The power to be your best

With last minute preparations for tomorrow’s vote to approve the hastily drawn, heavily compromised, and frankly, not very important Iraqi constituion… insurgents are blamed for managing to cause a blackout in Baghdad and vicinity.
In some sense… what else is new? Large parts of Iraq are used to very, very unreliable electricity, not to mention water, telecommunications, public services in general, and certainly, security. Amidst such an environment, one might thinnk it a tad premature, if not outright presumptuous, to think that a new constitution can be hammered out and ratified in a manner that will (1) give it any kind of legitimacy and (2) enable it to be part of a process that somehow resolves the insurgency and stabilizes Iraq, as opposed to, quite likely, either not changing anything at all from the current instability and violence, or worse, perhaps drawing or redrawing factional battle lines.
But what do I know? U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad tossed me out of his political science seminar back at Dear Old Alma Mater (TM) (nothing I said or did; the seminar was just overcrowded and another one opened up.)
Khalilzad seems to be orchestrating various back and forth last minute deals, including the current variation that even if the constitution is ratified, it may be freely changed by the new parliament to be elected around December, “so what’s the big deal?”
Indeed. What’s the big deal? The President’s somewhat embarassing stage-managed video-conference with some gung ho troops hasn’t stanched his political bleeding: Iraq is now old news. At 2 1/2 years and hundreds of billions of dollars in, and very, very close to 2,000 Americans dead, the American public is no longer willing to give the benefit of the doubt to this President, on Iraq, or much else.
To the extent that the ratification of the Iraqi constitution, and quite possibly, the installation of a new parliament in December or thereabouts, enables us to simply declare Iraq stable (reality notwithstanding) and begin a large-scale draw-down going into the 2006 mid-terms, well, by God that’s what we’re going to do. So, for that all important reason of domestic politics (pretty much the only reason we invaded Iraq in the first place, assuming there was a reason at all), we’ll be commencing the drawdown… around Christmas. with the majority of our forces gone by around, say, next September– regardless of the situation on the ground in Iraq.
Not to worry: I understand that the American Embassy in Baghdad is huge, and I understand, its roof can hold several helicopters at once.