"What a leader!" Abu Ali, the owner of a small restaurant in Basra says with a tear already half way down his cheek. "A leader that is willingly relinquishing power to save Iraqi lives?" Mohammed from Ramadi says with equal disbelief. "I don't think there has been a better leader in Iraq since Imam Ali" a cleric from Najaf remarks as he fidgets with his worry bead. "wil-Abbas he is a hero and true patriot" another says readjusting his turban. Most of the Iraqi population is asking "is this really happening?"
No of course its not really happening. This is just a figment of my imagination. In reality its back to muhasasa and tedious tit-for-tat carving of the pie. The kind of negotiations where the last things to be discussed are trivial inconsequential matters such as credibility, competency and qualifications. If we could all eavesdrop it would sound something like this. "I will give you oil and defence but only if you give me foreign and interior." "Johnny you must be on drugs if you think we will let you take any security ministries" "Okay that's fine with us but we want most service ministries" "You can have anything as long as our boy is Prime Minister." "Shall we give the Presidency to the Sunnis or let the Kurds keep it for another term?" "I don't mind either as long as my party gets trade and finance".
Do not be so surprised if the next government includes a death squad boss restyled as Interior Minister or a criminal in charge of national security. Remember this is Iraq. Everything is for sale. Anything is possible. I don't think I will be able to stomach it. Someone please hand me a tissue... or bucket.