WASHINGTON — With its international mandate in Iraq set to expire in 11 months, the Bush administration will insist that the government in Baghdad give the United States broad authority to conduct combat operations and guarantee civilian contractors specific legal protections from Iraqi law, according to administration and military officials.I'm not exactly a master carpenter, but I've done some remodeling and fabricated some big set pieces in my time, and I know my way around a circular saw. So you will please pardon my inability to understand how a "fragmented parliament [and] weak central government" constitute a "buzz saw of opposition" . . . or, check: a potential buzz saw of opposition.
This emerging American negotiating position faces a potential buzz saw of opposition from Iraq, with its fragmented Parliament, weak central government and deep sensitivities about being seen as a dependent state, according to these officials.
If Iraq is a weak, divided, un-self-governing state, which it is, then its hard to see how the Iraqi government represents an impediment to our continued occupation. Dear New York Times: It's a fait accompli. The Iraqis can say whatever they want. They can order us to leave. Thank you, but we'd rather not.