Tentative Congratulations

Iraq finally has a government, even if it still lacks agreed-upon ministers for defense, oil and electricity.
Twenty-seven ministers and five acting officials gained approval from 180 members of the 185 who were present in the 275-member Parliament, ending a three-month political stalemate that has appeared to be fueling violence.
Where were the other 90 members? That's about one-third of Parliament.

Another curiosity:
The acting oil minister will be Ahmad Chalabi, a Shiite once close to the Pentagon. He will also be one of four deputy prime ministers....
And then the shrug:
Dr. Jaafari's speech [announcing the formation of a government], widely broadcast on Arabic satellite television, drew an ambivalent response from some Iraqis, who seemed pleased at the apparent formation of a government after so many delays but baffled by his refusal to provide more details.
Not surprising, since a legislator was brutally murdered on Wednesday.

Juan Cole's overview of the cabinet is here. Biggest surprise: There's a Youth and Sports ministry. We humbly suggest adding a Ministry of Fun and Light-Heartedness. You know, for kids.

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