Iraq is sovereign again.

It came two days early. Iraq is now officially a sovereign nation again. My take on it is that the early handover has probably foiled the Iraqi insurgents in any ideas they may have had in marking the day of handover with coordinated attacks on the new government. Aljazeera is reporting another take on the early handoff.

Critical of the early handover, editor of the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper, Abd al-Bari Atwan, said: “The Iraqis have been shortchanged.”

"It will not make any difference … why is Blair and Bush not there?" he asked. "Where are the celebrations?"

It is clear, Atwan added, that the the occupation is afraid of attacks. "If the Iraqi police cannot protect their own stations, how are they to protect on a day of ceremony like this?"

"They wanted to have the show as soon as possible … so everybody can go home," he stated.

This, Atwan added, will be seen "as a victory for the resistance".

"They will rejoice. It is clear the coalition forces are not in power. This will be seen as a sign of weakness by the coalition."

Personally, I see this early handover as a good thing. I don’t believe we will see an end to the violence but it should be easier for an Iraqi government to get better cooperation from the Iraqi citizens in stemming this violence than it was while the U.S. led coalition was in full charge.

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