BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's interim prime minister on Wednesday threatened military action against the main insurgent stronghold of Fallujah if residents don't hand over Jordanian terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi...This would probably be humorous if it wasn't so damned sad. What Allawi is doing is setting up the excuse for a major and bloody confrontation in Fallujah - and I'm laying my bets that regardless of the press the other day (no major action until after U.S. elections), something happens before November 2.
However, the toothless roaring by Allawi does bring up a larger topic for discussion. When President Kerry takes over in January, he's going to have an immediate shitstorm to deal with. Iraq isn't going away. They keep saying "elections will take place in January", even though the U.N. doesn't have enough boots on the ground in Iraq right now to run even a couple of voting precincts in Baghdad, much less the entire country.
So there will be no honeymoon for President Kerry. Not in the middle of the mess we're in right now. Kerry's going to have to hit the ground running from day one; even before day one. Normally, winning candidates take an extended vacation between election day and inauguration day, and let the transition teams lay the groundwork.
On November 3rd, President-elect Kerry needs to immediately get to work with his shadow government. There's going to be no luxury of downtime, because there's so much at stake. On the first day that he's able to make real decisions in January, 2005, President Kerry has to be ready to act quickly and decisively. If not, by the end of his first week in office, the GOP will be painting the Kerry administration as "the failed Kerry presidency", and someone, somewhere will be drawing up articles of impeachment.
Count on it.