The Road Ahead

It’s been a heady — and bumpy — two months for Iraq, which finally got a new president and prime minister last week when Jalal Talabani, a Kurd and Ibrahim al-Jafari, a religious Shi’ite, accepted their respective positions. But serious challenges remain as to how to bring Sunnis into the political process and how to deal with the Ba’ath Party’s legacy.

Enough with the Pope already! Back to Iraq.
It’s been a heady — and bumpy — two months for Iraq, which finally got a new president and prime minister last week when Jalal Talabani, a Kurd and Ibrahim al-Jafari, a religious Shi’ite, accepted their respective positions. But serious challenges remain as to how to bring Sunnis into the political process and how to deal with the Ba’ath Party’s legacy.
At stake is not just whether Iraqi lawmakers can stick to the ambitious deadline of Aug. 15 for a new constitution and two elections by the end of the year. Just as important is what role and how much influence Sunni Arabs will have in the parliament and the new Iraq: Will they be trusted to hold real positions of power, or will they be relegated to largely symbolic posts?

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