(i) Forming a Constitutional Review Committee and then completing the constitutional review.
Assessment: The Government of Iraq has made satisfactory progress toward forming a Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) and then completing the constitutional review.
thoughts: They've formed a committee to review the constitution, but they haven't actually done anything. Given everything else that is going on in Iraq, I'm sure the Iraqi people will be glad that there's "satisfactory progress" toward benchmark #1
(ii) Enacting and implementing legislation on de-Ba’athification
In Recommendation 27, the Iraq Study Group emphasizes the need for United States Government support of reintegration of former Ba’athists and Arab nationalists into civic life. The New Way Forward strategy makes de-Ba’athification reform an integral part of the United States Government’s Iraq policy. The Embassy has
pressed hard on all political elements to move forward.
Assessment: The Government of Iraq has not made satisfactory progress toward enacting and implementing legislation on de-Ba’athification
thoughts: Not much re-integration? How about some revenge? Under Saddam, you had to join the Ba'ath party to get a government job (the communist model), so a lot of party members weren't enthusiastic Ba'athists. The upper level members of the party are mostly dead, imprisoned, or have fled the country. It's really only the lower level workers (mostly Sunni) for whom this is an issue.
(iii) Enacting and implementing legislation to ensure the equitable
distribution of hydrocarbon resources to the people of Iraq without regard to the sect or ethnicity of recipients, and enacting and implementing legislation to ensure that the energy resources of Iraq benefit Sunni Arabs, Shi’a Arabs, Kurds, and other Iraqi citizens in an equitable manner.
Assessment: The current status is unsatisfactory, but it is too early to tell whether the Government of Iraq will enact and implement legislation to ensure the equitable distribution of hydrocarbon resources to all Iraqis.
thoughts: Ah, the oil law. This is the one benchmark that shrub has pushed the hardest on. The parliament has had some meetings on this, usually leading to one group or another walking out. The actual law benefits oil companies, not the people. Since almost all of Iraq's oil is in Shia and Kurdish lands, the Sunni's are (rightly) afraid they'll be shut out. It's unlikely that the current Parliament will be able to resolve an oil law any time soon.
Notice what the first 3 benchmarks have in common? All three are American goals, not necessarily Iraqi goals. As I pointed out in my initial IBAR post, we're grading the progress based on shrub's priorities more that on Iraqi priorities.
Time to take another break.