OUT OF IRAQ BY NEXT YEAR?….Paul Bremer is ready to move on:

Now that the governing council has been seated, Bremer told journalists, the next task facing Iraq is the creation of a constitution “written by Iraqis for Iraqis.” The council is expected to name a constitutional conference by September, and experts have said it might take a year to write the country’s new basic laws.

“Once approved, democratic free and fair elections will be held in Iraq for a fully sovereign Iraqi government, and then our job is over,” Bremer said.

….When asked about a timetable for an end to the occupation, Bremer said: “The timing of how long the coalition stays here is effectively now in the hands of the Iraqi people. It’s up to them.

“My personal preference is that it should happen as quickly as it can consistent with writing a good constitution ? largely because then I get to go home,” he said.

I don’t want to make too much out of a single quote, but this really doesn’t sound like the kind of thing Bremer should be staying. I don’t think there are any serious analysts who believe that the United States can successfully rebuild a stable Iraq within a year, and I don’t understand why Bremer would be building false hopes that this might be the case.

I hope this isn’t motivated by a desire to be largely finished with the occupation before next year’s election.

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