Monday, July 26, 2010

Still No Government in Iraq ran a nice piece over the weekend by veteran Middle East reporter Andrew Lee Butters.  The article describes nicely the maneuvering by Allawi and Maliki to form a majority coalition -- and most importantly, to be named Prime Minister.

It seems that a lack of government is having little effect on Iraq, and many would argue that given the ineffectiveness of the Iraqi government, that no government is actually better.  The longer-term implications of this impasse, however, are most definitely negative.  The Iraqi government is locked in a struggle for legitimacy.  Who can provide for the needs of the people?  Who can provide security?  Is it Al Qaeda?  Iran?  For the future of Iraq and the Middle East, the answer had better be the lawfully elected Government of Iraq.  The longer this stalemate goes on, the less legitimate the government is seen in the eyes of the people, and the greater the opportunity for other players to exert influence on the population.

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