Staying media course in Iraq

Updated on May 04, 2004 11:03 PM IST

The Baghdad government will be praised as the embodiment of Iraqi sovereignty while the US military continues to do whatever Washington wants it to do in Iraq.

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PTI | ByNorman Solomon

On his way to confirmation as US ambassador to Iraq, the current UN envoy John Negroponte was busily twisting language like a pretzel at a Senate hearing the other day.

The new Baghdad regime, to be installed on June 30, will have sovereignty. Well, sort of. Negroponte explained, "That is why I use the term 'exercise of sovereignty.' I think in the case of military activity, their forces will come under the unified command of the multinational force. That is the plan."

In other words, the Baghdad government will be praised as the embodiment of Iraqi sovereignty while the US military continues to do whatever Washington wants it to do in Iraq -- including order the Iraqi military around.

Negroponte talked about "real dialogue between our military commanders, the new Iraqi government and, I think, the United States mission as well." But ultimately, he said, the American military "is going to have the freedom to act in their self-defence, and they're going to be free to operate in Iraq as they best see fit."

The disconnect between democracy rhetoric and imperial reality is glaring enough to require some media acknowledgment. During an April 25 interview on NPR's "Weekend Edition", a former adviser to the Iraq occupation authority discussed the Bush administration's concept of "limited sovereignty" for Iraqi people.

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