May 092004
 
Authors: Christopher J. Ortiz

If it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.

I like to think I’m an average student (although I just found

out that at 23 I am considered a non-traditional student) and when

it comes to deadlines, I live by the last minute.

I would have never thought President Bush and I had anything in

common, but it seems we both like to wait until the last minute to

get anything done. If there is a paper due on Friday, you can be

assured I’m not starting that paper until Thursday night or Friday

morning – depending how long the paper is. And if there is a June

30 deadline to hand over sovereignty to a nation, you can be

assured Bush has no idea what he is doing.

Bush held a primetime press conference on April 13. When asked

by reporters who the United States was handing power over to, he

responded with, “We’ll have to see.”

That’s like coming up with a topic for your final thesis the

night before it’s due.

And when you’re under the gun, you will resort to almost

anything to meet that deadline. For students, that means playing

with the margins or using Helvetica instead of Times Roman to meet

that 15-page length (my personal favorite is going into the line

spacing and changing it from 2.0 to 2.25 spacing – you can thank me

later).

But for Bush, with the June 30 deadline looming, it means

handing over the government to a handpicked interim council with no

real power, while retaining, for all intents and purposes, all real

governing power. Since the U.S.-led occupation regime will have a

hand in choosing Iraq’s next government, the body will lack a

mandate for anything but administrative tasks. Many envision a team

of nonpartisan Iraqi technocrats who concentrate on keeping the

country functioning, according to Newsweek.

“We don’t expect them to enact any laws unless there is absolute

need for them,” said Iraqi Governing Council member Adnan Pachachi

to Newsweek. “We’re not going to enter into any big contractual

obligations – either diplomatically or economically – because those

things should be done by an elected government.”

The short-lived government’s main work includes passing the 2005

national budget and preparing for elections, the U.S. official told

reporters in a dinner meeting.

The 130,000 U.S. troops will have commanding power over the

country, not the interim governing council. And in addition,

America’s ambassador to Iraq will also have a say in the spending

of $8 billion of the massive $18.4 billion U.S.-aid package

approved by Congress in November, a huge tool with which to

influence Iraq’s affairs and thus deny the Iraqis power.

It’s an insult to the Iraqis we were there to liberate.

Elections in Iraq are in January, but until then the 110,000 U.S.

and ally forces are the ones with the real power there.

Can we fairly say that Iraqis have any more freedom than they

did when Saddam Hussein was in power? I mean, it’s not like we are

abusing prisoners or torturing them in the same prison Hussein

tortured and abused prisoners, right? It’s not like the United

States shut down Iraqi media when they print or broadcast news the

U.S. military doesn’t agree with, right? The U.S. military shut

down the Al-Hawza newspaper on March 28, saying it was inciting

violence against troops. I mean, it’s not like we picked out a flag

for them that resembled the Israeli flag, which was a complete

insult to the Muslim country.

While my procrastination might resort in me having to live with

a C in a class, Bush’s procrastination will have the United States

remaining with a tarnished foreign-affairs record, a reputation in

the international scene as being imperialistic and leaving a

country no better off than it was before.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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