Loya Jirga on the Tigris?
US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said Weds. that a “Loya Jirga” could be held in Iraq. He seems to me to be grasping at straws.
The loya jirga or tribal council was never an elective or decision-making body in Afghan history. Typically, the kings of the Durrani dynasty only called a loya jirga to rubber stamp a policy they had already decided on. The loya jirga held in Afghanistan was thus an American invention of a tradition, and everyone knows that anyway it was stage managed by the US.
Iraqis are largely urban, industrialized and highly literate compared to Afghans, and nothing like a loya jirga would work in Iraq. They’d like free and open elections.