Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Endgame Watch
Written by: Beck

Now that Bush has decided to ask the UN for approval for future US actions in Iraq, keep a sharp eye open for the early indicators of the gradual disintegration that is certain to follow. It's only been one day since Bush's speech outlining our new "strategy" going beyond the scheduled June 30 hand over of sovereignty to the Iraqi interim government, and already the first signs of the impending clusterfuck are making themselves heard.
Bush sought French backing for the transfer Tuesday in a phone call with President Jacques Chirac, agreeing that the proposed resolution would need "further adjustments" if it is to win council support.

In Washington, Bush told reporters there will be a "complete and real transfer of sovereignty" from the U.S.-led occupation to an interim Iraqi government, and he said Chirac shares the U.S. goal of "a free and stable and peaceful Iraq."
Any and all aspiring world leaders out there, go ahead and write this down: you know that you have failed as a leader any time you find yourself seeking French backing for something you're perfectly capable of doing by yourself.
France, one of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council, has said the resolution should have stronger language, making clear the interim government has full sovereignty.

That definition should include the right to veto military operations by the U.S.-led multinational force that will remain in Iraq after the hand over, the French said.
That's right, France wants someone, for the first time since operations began, to have a veto over US actions. Why on earth could they possibly want that, you ask? So they can cozy up to the new regime and start calling the shots from Paris perhaps? No, I'm sure that never crossed their minds. Naturally, it wont ever cross Bush's mind either. So what does the White House think of the French position?
But the White House has said it prefers to spell out a military relationship with the interim Iraqi government in an exchange of letters with that government rather than in the resolution.
Translation: we're going to knuckle under to French demands so that we can look like good guys in front of the UN for the first time in two years, but not before making a few futile, silly gestures in which our policy proposal is "an exchange of letters."

Now I know what you must be asking yourself. "Self," you're asking, "That's all well and good about how we're about to publicly fellate France, but how about Russia? Do we get to bend to their wishes too? That'd be even better, what with how they were our enemies during the cold war and currently their economy makes the third world look down right stable." Excellent question!
A broadly worded statement by the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said the new resolution "should answer the real concerns of Iraqi society," but offered few specifics on what Moscow wants to see included.

The statement called for "the swiftest reinstitution of Iraq's sovereignty and an end to foreign occupation," and said Iraq should be guaranteed control over its natural resources and its security forces.

A Russian diplomat told the news agency Interfax that the plan for the United States to continue leading coalition forces in Iraq "does not cause a strong allergy in Moscow."
That's right, ladies and gentlemen, we don't cause a strong allergy. We're more like a mild sinus head ache. We should replace E Pluribus Unum with whatever the Latin translation is for, "We're Better Than Anaphylactic Shock."

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