From the DOD today, we have this story on newly appointed leaders of the Iraqi government:
The interim government that will run Iraq after the June 30 transfer of sovereignty took shape today, as U.N. officials in Baghdad announced the members of the government's presidential council and recommended the composition of a new cabinet to the country's prime minister-designate.As has been widely noted, the UN envoy was involved in exactly none of these decisions. Indeed, the US State Department was roundly ignored by the Iraqi Governing Council as well. The IGC took charge and, by unanimous internal consent, delivered a fait accompli about which State and the UN have to pretend to be happy.
Lakhdar Brahimi, special envoy for U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, announced that Ghazi al-Yawar will be Iraq's president, and that Ibrahim Jaafari and Rowsch Shaways will serve as deputy presidents.
Brahimi also announced today that on May 31 he forwarded his recommendations for the composition of the new Iraqi cabinet to Prime Minister-designate Ayad Allawi. News reports indicated names of other new cabinet members and that the existing governing council had dissolved itself....
Brahimi's statement said consultations in forming the interim Iraqi government have been going on without interruption for the last four weeks. "These consultations have involved the (Iraqi) Governing Council, the Coalition Provisional Authority, and a very large number of representatives of the Iraqi public, including political parties, professional associations, trade unions, tribal and religious leaders, academics and intellectuals, women's and youth organizations, and others," the statement said.
It's always tempting to assume that a defeat for the UN is a victory for civilization, and in fact this appears to be the case. For more than a year the IGC has squabbled, quarreled, bickered and (especially the efforts of Grand Ayatollah Sistani, which caused the abandonment of a already-active plan to transfer power to a government chosen by local 'town hall' sessions) shot the process in the back. Suddenly, however, the IGC has stepped up and become exactly what it was supposed to be all along. It became a functional government, which has just dissolved itself to make way for its replacement.
What caused this? My personal suspicion is that it was the raid on Chalabi's INC. The official record of charges against him was that he was an Iranian agent, as proven by the fact that he had demonstrable ties to Iran and occasionally passed information their way. Every member of the IGC, considering this, realized that they themselves had at least as strong a connection to Iran as Chalabi--many of them, in fact, had been living in Iran this last little while.
We have, therefore, a new Iraqi government that is genuinely sovereign. It is free in the only way you can really be free--by driving off those who would control you. This is precisely what the government and the UN has claimed to desire all along.
Is it a good thing? Probably. It certainly limits the likelihood of civil war, as this new government has the unanimous support of the outgoing IGC, which includes some powerful figures who lend to the new government some measure of their credibility. We are informed that these new appointees have little support among the Iraqi people; but the CPA has less, and the UN even less than that. "Support us, or the foreign devils will return" is an appeal that is widely understood wherever you may travel. It is probably as good a start as could be hoped--certainly imperfect, but so is the world.