Early Handover in Iraq

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Sovereignty in Iraq came a little early this week. Instead of waiting for the planned transfer of power on Wednesday, US officials handed over the keys to the kingdom two days early. Now Iraq’s interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi is in charge, and Paul Bremer is on a plane. But beyond the shuffling of files and the shifting of power, Iraqis and Americans are waiting to see what difference this day will make. Some say the early transfer is aimed to head-off more attacks– the car bombs which recently killed more than 100 people in a single day. Iraqi politicians say they are ready to rule. So if the occupation is over, why hasn’t anyone told the insurgents?


Juan Cole, Professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor

Hassan Mneimeh, Director of The Iraq Foundation in Washington, DC