Handover has occurred
BAGHDAD — Surprise! The Iraqi handover of sovereignty has occurred two days early at approximately 10:30 a.m. today because of security concerns. Iraq is sovereign again, more or less.
The news is just now filtering out on the various media here in Iraq, so there isn’t much reaction from the street. Many people don’t know it has happened. The ceremony was secret because of fears that militants would try to attack or otherwise disrupt the process. But now, Paul Bremer is leaving Iraq later today and Allawi is the prime minister. By all accounts, it was
his Allawi’s idea to move the handover up.
A formal ceremony led by Allawi is expected later today to swear in the Iraqi ministers, and there likely will be quite a bit of activity tonight from the militants and celebratory Iraqis.
More on this later. I’m going out to get some reaction.